Skip to Content

Can Crying Cause Acne?

Crying is an emotional response that helps us cope with stress and sadness, but did you know it can also have an effect on your skin? Can crying cause acne?

What happens to our skin, when we cry? Can crying improve our skin? Keep on reading to find out the answers….

Can Crying Cause Acne?

How Tears Are Made & Why Do We Cry?

Tears are your body’s natural response to various stimuli. There are three types of tears: basal tears, reflex tears, and emotional tears. All of them serve different purposes, yet they share common origins.

Your eyes constantly produce basal tears, which are composed mainly of water, lipids, and proteins.

They keep your eyes moist and lubricated, play a vital role in your eye’s health, and reduce friction between the eye and eyelid.

Reflex tears occur when your eyes are exposed to irritants, such as strong winds, cold temperatures, bright lights, or substances like onions.

Reflex tears contain slightly more water than basal tears and work to protect your eyes from harmful particles.

Emotional tears, the result of psychological stressors, are unique. They contain hormones and proteins not found in the other two types of tears.

These unique factors make emotional tears more viscous, allowing them to remove any stress hormones and toxins from your body.

When you experience sadness, joy, or other intense emotions, your brain sends signals to your tear glands to produce emotional tears.

It is believed that shedding tears provides a psychological release, helping you regulate your emotions and feel better after a good cry.

Benefits of Crying – Emotional Release and Beyond

Crying can provide you with numerous health and wellness benefits. A good cry can feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, helping you feel more at ease and rejuvenated.

One of the core benefits of crying is its ability to provide an emotional release. When you cry, your body releases stress hormones, which can significantly improve your mental health.

This can lead to a reduction in anxiety and an increased sense of well-being.

Beyond emotional release, crying also has a few less well-known benefits. For instance, it can help to:

  • Lubricate your eyes: Tears provide a natural layer of moisture, which helps to protect your eyes from irritation and dryness.
  • Remove toxins: Crying helps eliminate harmful substances from your body, as tears contain a natural painkiller known as leucine enkephalin.
  • Improve your mood: Crying activates the production of endorphins, those “feel-good” chemicals that can boost your mood and alleviate pain.

Why Do Eyes Get Puffy After Crying?

Why Do Eyes Get Puffy After Crying?

When you cry, your eyes may become puffy due to several reasons. First, the tears produced while crying contain a higher concentration of stress hormones and inflammatory agents.

This, in turn, can cause irritation and inflammation in the sensitive skin around your eyes.

As you cry, the blood vessels around your eyes expand, leading to an increased blood flow. This can cause the area to appear red and swollen.

Applying a cold compress to your eyes can help constrict the blood vessels and reduce puffiness.

Another factor contributing to puffy eyes after crying is the act of rubbing your eyes.

Rubbing can create friction and heat, worsening inflammation and causing even more puffiness. To prevent this, try to avoid touching your eyes while crying or afterward.

Also, when you cry for a prolonged period, your body may retain more fluid. This fluid build-up around the eyes can cause puffiness.

Drinking water and staying hydrated can help prevent excessive fluid retention.

Lastly, the swelling of the eyes can be attributed to the natural decrease in hyaluronic acid levels that occurs as tissues retain moisture.

Applying a hydrating eye cream containing hyaluronic acid can help combat this issue by providing much-needed hydration and elasticity to the skin around the eyes.

Can Crying Cause Acne?

Crying itself may not directly cause acne, but the aftermath of a good cry can sometimes lead to breakouts. When you cry, your body releases stress hormones and increases oil production, which can cause your skin to become more prone to acne.

Tears are composed of water, salt, and other substances. If you don’t wash your face after crying, these components can mix with your skin’s natural oils and clog pores, creating an environment for pimples to form.

To avoid this, gently cleanse your face after a crying session.

Another factor that can contribute to acne after crying is rubbing your face with tissues or your hands.

This rubbing can irritate your skin and spread bacteria, leading to breakouts. Be gentle when you wipe away your tears, and try to avoid touching your face as much as possible.

Can Crying Help or Hurt Your Acne?

Can Crying Help or Hurt Your Acne?

Crying can have an impact on your acne, but whether it helps or hurts depends on various factors, such as your skin type and existing acne.

Generally, crying releases emotional stress, which is beneficial for your overall mental wellbeing.

While it might not directly improve acne, stress reduction may contribute to maintaining a healthier skin environment.

For some individuals, crying can lead to short-term skin break issues, especially if your skin type is sensitive.

The salt from tears can potentially irritate your skin and temporarily cause a mild acne breakout. However, rinsing your face with water after crying can help reduce this risk by quickly removing salt residue.

If you suffer from existing acne, the severity of your acne breakouts might be impacted by crying. Tears can mix with dirt, oil, and bacteria on your skin, potentially clogging up your pores.

It is essential to keep your face clean to avoid fostering an environment that might exacerbate your acne.

To maintain clear skin, gently cleanse your face after crying to eliminate any buildup of impurities in your pores.

If You Cry A Lot, Do Your Tears Cause Inflammation?

During a crying session, your mood and stress hormones can affect how your skin responds.

Elevated stress hormones can lead to inflammation, as well as the dilation of blood vessels located close to your skin’s surface.

This inflammation can weaken your skin barrier, making it more susceptible to irritants and potential allergens.

Though tears themselves may not directly cause low-grade inflammation, they can potentially exacerbate skin conditions in those with sensitive skin.

To help maintain your skin barrier after crying, gently cleanse your face to remove any lingering tears, and apply a fragrance-free hydrating moisturizer to soothe and protect the skin.

Remember to avoid rubbing or tugging at your skin to prevent irritation and potential inflammation.

Why Do Tears Dry Out The Skin?

Tears play a crucial role in keeping your eyes clean and moisturized. However, when you cry excessively, it may have unwanted effects on your skin.

If you’ve ever wondered why tears dry out your skin, it is due to several factors.

Firstly, your tears contain a high concentration of salt. As the salty tears flow down your face and eventually evaporate, they leave behind a residue.

This salty residue can strip away natural oils from your skin and cause dehydration. As a result, your skin may lose its suppleness and feel dry.

Frequent rubbing of the delicate skin around your eyes due to crying can cause irritation and puffiness.

This repeated action may damage the skin’s barrier, leading to increased sensitivity and dryness.

To minimize the drying effects of tears on your skin, consider following these tips:

  • Gently dab your tears away instead of wiping them to reduce friction and irritation.
  • After crying, wash your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any tear residue and help reduce puffiness.
  • Apply a hydrating moisturizer to restore your skin’s hydration and protect its barrier.
  • For the skin around the eye, opt for a specific eye cream to address puffiness and keep the area well-hydrated.

Why Do Tears Leave Red Marks on The Face?

Why Do Tears Leave Red Marks on The Face?

Sometimes, when you cry, your face may end up with red marks. The main reason behind this reddening is the increased blood flow to your facial skin.

When you cry, your blood vessels in the face dilate, bringing more blood to the surface. This dilation leads to a flushed appearance, and the longer you cry, the more visible the redness will be.

Another factor contributing to red marks is the composition of your tears. Tears contain enzymes and salts which, when in contact with your skin for an extended period, can lead to irritation.

This irritation contributes to the redness on your face.

When you cry, you may notice puffiness around your eyes and face. This puffiness is caused by the accumulation of fluid in your tissues.

Which can be the result of emotional stress or simply the mechanical stress of rubbing your eyes while crying. This fluid can also cause your skin to appear more red and irritated.

Lastly, it’s worth noting that your skin type can influence the appearance of red marks. If you have sensitive or dry skin, it is more prone to irritation and redness.

Do Emotions Contribute to Acne?

Your emotions can play a role in the development of acne, but they may not directly cause it.

When you’re stressed or emotional, your body releases hormones like cortisol, which can increase oil production. Increased oil production may lead to clogged pores, contributing to the appearance of acne.

It’s also worth noting that when people are emotional or stressed, they may be more prone to touching their faces or engaging in behaviors that can exacerbate acne, such as picking at or rubbing their skin. This can introduce bacteria to the skin and lead to inflammation, worsening acne symptoms.

Another way emotions can influence acne is through the impact of stress on the immune system.

A weakened immune system may make it harder for your body to fight off bacteria and inflammation, both of which play a role in the development of acne.

Stress can cause other consequences for your skin, such as dryness or redness, which may make acne more noticeable.

How to Choose the Right Acne Treatment

How to Choose the Right Acne Treatment

Dealing with acne can be challenging, especially when trying to find the appropriate treatment that suits your skin type. To make the right choice, consider the following steps:

First, understand your skin type. You should know if your skin is oily, dry, combination, or sensitive. This will help you select a suitable product that addresses your unique concerns.

People with sensitive skin, for example, should opt for gentle skincare products to avoid irritation.

Another essential factor to consider is the ingredients contained in the acne treatments.

Look for products with dermatology-approved ingredients, such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and alpha hydroxy acids. These ingredients help unclog pores, eliminate dead skin cells, and promote a healthy skin cell turnover.

Avoid harsh ingredients, especially if you have delicate skin around your eyes. Your eye area is prone to irritation when exposed to some acne treatments, so it’s essential to choose a product specifically designed for that region.

An eye cream can be a great option to take care of the sensitive skin around your eyes, maintain moisturization, and reduce irritation caused by crying.

Next, adopt proper skincare routines and habits. Always make sure to gently pat the tears dry and avoid rubbing your eyes vigorously.

This will prevent the friction from exacerbating acne, particularly the type called acne mechanica.

Washing your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser can help prevent pore congestion.

If you experience short-term exposure to tears, try a cold compress to help soothe the skin.

Applying a cool washcloth to your face can help minimize inflammation and redness caused by nearby blood vessels reacting to the salt content in tears.

Finally, consider addressing emotional stress as it can affect your skin’s health. Elevated stress levels might lead to an increased production of oil by the sebaceous glands, which can clog pores and contribute to acne.

Engaging in stress-relief practices, such as meditation, exercise, and deep breathing, can support your emotional well-being and, in turn, lead to healthier skin.



Crying can have both positive and negative effects on your skin. It can provide psychological release, reduce the amount of toxins in your body, and lubricate your eyes to help protect them.

But crying excessively or rubbing your face too vigorously while crying can lead to dryness, irritation, redness, and even acne breakouts.

To prevent these issues from happening after a good cry session, remember to cleanse your face gently with water and follow up with a hydrating moisturizer.

Emotional stress can also play a role in the development of acne; try to manage this stress through practices like meditation or exercise.

All products featured on Gemma Etc. are PR samples or gifted items, unless otherwise indicated. This post may contain affiliate links. If you wish to find out more, please see my Disclaimer within my navigation bar.