IIf you thought hormones and forgetting to wash your face were the only culprits behind new blemishes growing near your chin, think again. Beyond the usual suspects that can leave you with less than thriving skin, stress plays a huge role in the state of your complexion – and the definition of “stress”, depending on your skin tone, goes beyond just concern about work deadlines.
“Stressors trigger inflammation, and inflammation is at the root of almost all skin problems, including signs of aging and rashes,” says Desiree Stordahl, director of applied research and education to Paul’s choice. “Preventing and reducing the impact of stressors is key to achieving the healthiest version of your skin possible.”
So what exactly is stressed skin and how do you prevent it? According to Stordahl, stressed skin is skin that has been compromised in some form. “In some cases, the visible effects of stressed skin appear almost immediately, leading to rash-like reactions or sensitized, reddened, dehydrated skin,” she says. “In other cases, years of onslaught of stressors slowly erode the skin’s natural ability to look and feel healthy.”
“…years of assault by stressors slowly erode the skin’s natural ability to look and feel healthy.”
The fix? First, check out what could be stressing your skin the most (more on that below!) and get a game plan to deal with it. “We can’t avoid all the stressors life throws at us, but we can control how we react to them,” says Bryan Barron, director of research at Paula’s Choice. “The bottom line: The more positive, positive, healthy things you do on a regular basis, the better your mind and body will handle stress, whatever its source.”
Once you’ve identified your skin stressors, connect with Stordahl’s expert-approved solutions and Paula’s Choice product recommendations to soothe your (skin) stress and improve your glow.
Keep scrolling for 5 of the most common causes of stressed skin.
1. Sun exposure
It may not come as a surprise, but sun exposure is one of the biggest skin stressors that can cause long-term problems. “Essentially, sun damage destroys the skin’s ability to retain vital components (such as antioxidants, essential fatty acids, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins) it needs to look youthful and healthy. healthy,” says Stordahl.
To help counter this effect, Stordahl advises prioritizing products with all the ingredients that sun damage depletes, namely antioxidants (which intercept free radicals), moisturizers and, of course, SPF. Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth Prolonging Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 covers your bases with soothing antioxidants and SPF that make it a total multitasking victory for your routine.
2. Air pollution
Protect yourself from the sun? To verify. Now we have to worry about the rest of the atmosphere affecting your complexion. According to Stordahl, all forms of pollution cause free radical damage to the skin, with smog being a particularly harmful source. “This damage leads to the breakdown and deterioration of everything the skin needs to look healthy,” she adds.
To fight against these free radicals, opt for Paula’s Choice DEFENSE antioxidant pore purifier, which, as the name suggests, acts as a daily pollution defense system for your face. “Salicylic acid helps remove debris from pores, while specially selected antioxidants neutralize airborne pollutants,” says Stordahl.
3. Aggressive products
Even if you think your skin can take anything you throw at it, that doesn’t mean you should, because harsh products can sometimes do more harm than good. Some of the major offenders range from abrasive face scrubs, super-scented formulas and products front-loaded with drying alcohol, Stordahl says.
If you are dealing with red and aggravated skin, Paula’s Choice Redness Relief Repairing Serum contains the ultimate hydrating blend of ingredients, like glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, plus super-soothing antioxidants to give you that instant “ahh” feeling.
4. Powerful assets
How many times have you jumped into a brand new product or routine without taking a look at the list of actives? (Guilty.) “It can be tempting to slather on all the most potent superstar ingredients you can get your hands on, but it can backfire in the form of sensitized, reactive, or flaky skin,” says Stordahl. “It’s always a good idea to start slow with assets and work your way up slowly.”
Find your radiant complexion with Paula’s Choice RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer which carefully combines low-strength retinol with skin-soothing antioxidants. “This formula carefully combines an innovative blend of research-proven ingredients to strengthen the skin barrier, all without going overboard and stressing the skin,” adds Stordahl.
5. Psychological stress
If you’ve been stressed by work or just life, you know how your body, including your skin, can react. According to Stordahl, psychological stress can signal an increase in inflammatory substances in the skin, while simultaneously decreasing the calming peptides the brain would normally release. “It can make skin look tired by weakening its support structure,” she says.
Not to mention, stress impacts your sleep, and Stordahl says chronic lack of sleep keeps your body in a near-constant state of stress, which further impacts your overall health and appearance. (There’s a reason they call it “beauty sleep”.)
“For a relaxing cleansing experience, try the Omega+ Complex Cleansing Balm and end your routine with the Radiance Renewal Mask to reset stressed skin,” Stordahl says. “Sometimes pampering is just what the doctor ordered. How’s that for a de-stressing slogan?
Do you want to buy your de-stressing products for a flight? Click here and use code WELLGOOD and you’ll get 20% off and free shipping sitewide through April 15!
Conditions: The prices are those indicated on the eligible items. Kits, sets, sales, sample sizes and new items listed on applicable product pages are excluded. Offer cannot be applied to previous purchases, auto-replenish orders, or combined with other discounts or offers. Applies to in-stock items only; no rain checks. Offer expires April 15, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. (PT).
Top photo: Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt