Alternative Treatments for Acne Triggered by Stress

Do you know YOUR primary acne cause? Still struggling with an unsure self-diagnosis?

We created a short quiz to help you Discover YOUR Complexion Causes

Do you suspect that stress might be triggering your acne breakouts?

You’re likely right on. What’s more, any number of situations might be contributing to stress and acne. From a rough week at work or an ongoing family upset, to illness, a lack of exercise, or a demanding semester at school.

Even good things can elevate your stress! A hot date with a new love interest, a move to a great new location, or an interview for a coveted promotion. And, for sure, there’s nothing worse than having a big breakout at moments like these.

Who do you turn to for help?

When acne won’t go away or keeps getting worse―and over-the-counter remedies don’t help―people reach out to dermatologists. And why not? They’re experts on skin, right?

alternative acne treatments for stress

And while a good dermatologist can literally be a lifesaver (just think about the crucial work they do with screening for cancerous moles and other skin growths), when it comes to acne, there are a few drawbacks to consider.

First, dermatologists have limited time to spend with you. Typically, ten or fifteen minutes at most to fully evaluate the rich tapestry of who you are and what might be impacting your life and triggering your acne.

Second, because dermatologists don’t have time to address the WHOLE you, they prescribe meds. It’s what they know. And meds mean a “one size fits all” regimen of oral antibiotics, topical prescription creams like Retin-A (which contains pore-clogging inactive ingredients), Benzoyl Peroxide, and topical antibiotics.

When this approach ends up failing after a few months (which it always does―otherwise you wouldn’t be here), dermatologists usually prescribe a new round of antibiotics. And then another. Until they’ve blown through their chemical options except for one last resort. Accutane.

Also known as isotretinoin, not only does Accutane put patients at huge risk for multiple, severe side effects such as dry skin, dry eyes, constipation, diarrhea, liver damage, depression, and much more. It fails to cure the acne, even after patients try several rounds of Accutane.

What about alternative healthcare professionals?

If you prefer a more natural approach, you might be considering alternative health professionals such as naturopaths and acupuncturists.

Indeed, they typically have a wealth of beneficial knowledge and can help you be your healthy best in many regards. And, when it comes to healing acne, they may be able to get you moving in the right direction.


The central tenant of naturopathic medicine is a person’s inherent ability for self-healing. Educated and trained in accredited naturopathic medical colleges, naturopathic doctors diagnose, prevent and treat acute and chronic illness in a personalized, holistic manner to restore and maintain the best health. They focus on treating the underlying issues of health problems, rather than just the symptoms.

When it comes to treating stress, naturopaths typically consider a wide variety of evidence-based nutritional and botanical supplements for their calming effects. Based on the individual, these might include gamma-aminobutyric acid (or GABA), L-theanine, passionflower, scutellaria lactiflora (skullcap), hops, Piper methysticum (kava), lavender, adaptogens such as Withamnia Somnifera (ashwagandha), lithium orotate and magnesium. Another newer option is cannabidiol or CBD oil.

Naturopaths might also recommend mindfulness, therapeutic exercises such as yoga, biofeedback, progressive muscle relaxation, breathwork, and meditation.


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Using fine needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points, acupuncturists are trained in a form of traditional Chinese medicine that relieves pain, promotes healing, and improves physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being.

Acupuncture is relaxing and calming. Research indicates that acupuncture works similarly to anti-anxiety and antidepressant medications―though without the side effects. In addition, it uses energy points in the body that, when stimulated, boost energy levels.

When it comes to acne, though, here’s what’s missing…

Keep in mind, naturopaths and acupuncturists are not acne specialists. They’ve likely not studied the myriad, interconnected ways stress, diet, gut health, hormone balancing, pore-clogging ingredients, supplements and herbals of every ilk, clean acne care products and regimens AND hormones must ALL be balanced and optimized to create clear skin.

For example, if your naturopath only recommends a hormonal stress-balancing supplement, you’re fighting a losing battle. Same for acupuncture―while it may help relieve stress related to challenging life situations or illnesses, by itself, it won’t cure your acne.

That’s because these treatment methods don’t consider the plethora of acne triggers impacting your skin every single day. Which explains why you often only see fleeting or little improvement.

What can you do instead?

The future of office visits is here—and available everywhere

Clear Skin Coach on consult

It’s called telemedicine, and it’s a virtual visit with a healthcare provider via video conference on your phone, tablet, or laptop. Telemedicine has actually been around for over 20 years. But thanks to high-speed Internet, it’s now reaching the medical mainstream.

Five reasons why telemedicine is the next big thing in health care: 

1. Better access to specialists 

You can live anywhere—even in a remote location several times zones away—and still receive access to the acne specialist you need. There’s no need to drive long distances or invest a lot of time and energy to visit a doctor’s office.

2. No time off work 

You can schedule your appointment during a lunch break, or before or after work. You just need to find a place that offers sufficient privacy. Even your car can work as a great visiting room when it comes to telemedicine!

3. No transportation costs

Since you’re visiting your practitioner via the Internet, you don’t spend a dime on gas, parking, or public transportation. Plus, you don’t have to worry about running into traffic jams or parking problems that can make you late.

4. No childcare issues 

Let’s face it: scrounging around for a babysitter to take care of your child so you make your doctor’s appointment is difficult, expensive, and impractical. Telemedicine solves this problem by allowing you to see your doctor in the privacy of your home at a time that’s convenient for you and your family

5. No more wasting time in the waiting room 

A video visit means that your appointment starts at the allotted time. No more showing up at an office and waiting 30 minutes or longer before your practitioner is available to see you.

Telemedicine has helped thousands of patients all over the world receive access to specialized care when they couldn’t get it otherwise. Thanks to video conferencing, it’s easy and convenient for clients to receive evaluation and treatment―as well as support and encouragement every step of the way. Take a look at our approach to for more information on achieving clear skin.

Ready to clear your acne once and for all? We can help.

From our experience treating thousands of clients, acne usually appears to be triggered by a combination of issues, rather than one. That’s why a typical one-size-fits-all approach rarely works when it comes to clearing and controlling acne over the long run.

If you have tried it all and still have acne, our comprehensive 16-week Online Acne Program is the answer. Our Online Acne Program has a 95% success rate helping thousands of clients get clear. We can help you too!

Get started on your journey to clear by booking an Online Acne Consult today.

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About the Founder: Jessica Gremley

Jessica has been a Medical Esthetician, Certified Acne Specialist and Healing Diets Coach since 2003. After struggling with acne for more than a decade, she became determined to find a way to clear acne without pharmaceuticals for herself and eventually, future clients. Today, she offers a complete acne regimen that combines proven non-comedogenic skincare products, natural supplements, lifestyle coaching, and support from trained acne specialists to achieve lifelong clear skin. She and her staff serve locally at Natural Acne Clinic in Wheat Ridge, Colorado and nationally via NAC’s Online Acne Program.

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