Does Your Lifestyle Affect Your Acne?

For those wondering if lifestyle can have an affect on their acne, the answer is yes! Lifestyle plays a significant role in our skin, and the lifestyle choices we make can often be reflected by the appearance of our skin, especially in regards to the presence of acne.

What is Acne?

Unless you’re one of those people who have perfect skin, chances are you have been affected by some type of acne at one point in your life. Acne appears as pimples that happens when a pore in the skin becomes clogged. The types of acne include cystic acne, which causes more significant outbreaks, and other types such as hormonal acne, back acne, and even adult-onset acne.

The clogged pores in acne occur because of sebum, an oily substance that helps moisturize the hair follicle. When too much oil and dirt come together and are mixed with the sebum, a clog is formed. The body then senses the clogged skin pores and mounts an inflammatory response to that area to clean it.

Symptoms of Acne

Acne can be more than just a pimple, and typically shows up as either a whitehead or blackhead. Whiteheads and blackheads are both clogged pores. Whiteheads occur when the pore is small and closed, while blackheads occur when pores are stretched from the blockage but remain clogged and cause a colonization of bacteria.

Most people consider acne as redness, pain, and pustule formation — this is the result of the inflammatory response to clean out the pores further. Knowing how to clear up acne is as simple as keeping your pores clean: unfortunately, that can be a problem.

Lifestyle Factors Affecting Your Acne


Stress is a confusing thing. While it technically doesn’t cause acne, it does cause emotional changes in your typical lifestyle. Corticotropin-releasing hormone is a hormone that your body produces to help it cope with emotional stressors. Scientists have found that the increased production of this hormone binds to the sebum within the pores, which in turn, causes the oil glands to produce even more oil and clogs the pores up. This can lead to increased acne symptoms during stressful times.

Hormonal Changes

One way to know how to reduce acne is by learning how to work with your hormonal changes and your skin simultaneously. Hormonal changes that can worsen your skin conditions include polycystic ovarian syndrome, pregnancy, and menopause. Women with polycystic ovarian syndrome have elevated circulating androgen (male hormones that all women naturally have) levels. Androgens increase sebum levels. As the hormones help the baby to grow, the excess hormones also increase the amount of oil that the sweat glands produce. Menopause causes a decrease in estrogen, but an increase in the testosterone to estrogen ratio, which creates the same problem.


It was once thought that chocolate causes acne, but scientists haven’t reached a solid conclusion just yet. The effects of diet on acne are controversial, but some dietitians recommend avoiding certain foods to have a clear skin diet. Some common acne dietary recommendations include:


  • White breads & starches
  • Refined sugars
  • Greasy food (fast-food)
  • Dairy products
  • Sodas and sweetened beverages
  • Whey protein powder

What should you eat? Here are some foods that are good for acne:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids (like salmon, flaxseed, and walnuts)
  • Probiotic rich foods (Keifer, sauerkraut, kimchi, and yogurt with live cultures)
  • Plain green tea
  • Turmeric
  • Vitamins A, D, E, and zinc
  • Paleo and Mediterranean Style diets

Some people have said that drinking water clears up acne and causes the skin to glow, but this idea hasn’t been proved by science. A glass of water will not magically cure your acne, but the water beneficial is helping to keep your body clean. Water is necessary to flush out toxins and wastes, which could help to reduce the prevalence of acne. One thing is for certain, if you have to choose between a soda or a glass of water — choose the water. Your skin will thank you.


Another lifestyle factor is one’s makeup. This one can be difficult to know what to do. Makeup is expensive, and most manufacturers promise that theirs is the most natural, most gentle, most perfect makeup ever. But makeup, regardless of its ingredients, goes on your face, and whatever touches your face has the potential to clog your pores. Look for non-comedogenic makeup products. Using the right kind of makeup is essential, as well as properly removing your makeup at night before going to bed.

You don’t ever have to worry about traveling to a provider for your skincare needs — an online dermatologist consultations can save you time and money.

If you have acne or have symptoms that make you suspect that you may have these, then you should consider seeking an online medical consultation. The telehealth technology used by Alpha Medical provides instant access to physicians online who can perform an online dermatologist consultation directly from the comfort of your home and provide online dermatologist prescriptions that can be shipped directly to your door. Set up a membership with us to start your treatment today.

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