Why am I breaking out in isolation?

Isolation breakouts are a thing, and if you thought you were alone… think again. There is a primary contributor to this common problem, and it is stress.

COVID19 has increased many people’s anxiety, even if they had never experienced anxiety prior to the pandemic. A lot of people have lost their jobs, are worried about the health of their loved ones, and we are all left isolated from our every day support network, which makes things even harder! This all builds up to an increased level of stress… but these circumstances aren’t the only contributor to our increased stress levels.  

Changes in eating habits are another common cause of stress for people in isolation. If you think you’re the only one not ‘getting fit in isolation’.. again you are wrong! This might be what people show on social media, but biologically your body is actually telling you to eat more during this crazy time - here’s why… 

When food is scarce, our bodies feel restricted (aka when the grocery shelves are empty), our body often responds by increasing our desire to eat. It’s a pretty clear-cut formula: restriction & scarcity equals food cravings and binge eating. 

Whilst there is no conclusive evidence to show diet directly relates to acne breakouts or flare ups, we do know that diet can have a massive impact on our daily stress levels. Eating a balanced and healthy diet is key to helping our bodies to manage the physiological changes caused by stress. Adrenal function (which is what goes into over drive when you are stressed) is significantly influenced by blood sugar levels as well. This is another reason why you might be feeling more stressed our than usual, and as a result why your skin might be looking a little angrier than normal!  

A great way to manage stress is to exercise. We all know that exercise releases endorphins into the body! What you might not know is that endorphins are key to helping you get good sleep, which in turn reduces your overall levels of stress. If you experience anxiety, your body will frequently experience elevated adrenaline levels as you go into ‘fight or flight’ mode. This is an evolutionary function that we have to keep us safe from danger, however it doesn’t quite work the same way in our modern day world. This about it like this…  

A caveman that is being hunted by a tiger will experience a rush of adrenaline and his body will go into ‘survival mode’. This will help him to run faster, and ultimately is key to helping him escape from the tiger. Once he gets safely back to his cave, he takes time to rest after expending a lot of energy caused by a sudden increase in adrenaline. Now think about this same level of adrenaline being released within your modern day body… you aren’t expending any of it running away from tigers, instead that energy builds up, and accumulates, making you feel more and more anxious. In order to reduce anxiety levels, sometimes you need to physically expend the energy! And this is why exercise can really help to lower stress levels, help you to unwind and get better sleep. 

Whilst we know eating better and exercising more can help our stress levels and ultimately our skin, we know it is not that easy. Some days you just need to sit in front of the couch and distract yourself from everything going on in the world. This is a reminder to be kind to yourself on those days. You are not lazy, you are not unmotivated, you are human! We’re all breaking out, we’re all binge eating our easter chocolate and we are all in this together. In this unique time, where we all need a little bit of extra self care, we have released a limited edition luxury organic cotton robe, so you don’t even need to get dressed for your date with Netflix and the couch. It’s available for pre-order here. Limited edition and limited stocks, so treat yourself!