The Top 5 Things That Stress Your Skin—and the Expert-Recommended Solutions for Each of Them
If you believe hormones and neglecting to wash your face are the sole reasons for the new pimples near your chin, you’re wrong.
Stress, in addition to the typical culprits that can leave you with less-than-thriving skin, plays a significant impact in the state of your complexion—and your skin’s concept of “stress” goes far beyond fretting about job deadlines.
“Stressors cause inflammation, which is at the foundation of practically all skin concerns, including aging and breakouts,” explains Desiree Stordahl, Paula’s Choice’s director of applied research and education. “To get the healthiest version of your skin possible, preventing and limiting the impact of stresses is critical.”
So, what precisely is stressed skin, and how can it be avoided? Stressed skin, according to Stordahl, is skin that has been compromised in some way.
“The obvious repercussions of stressed skin can appear almost instantly in some situations, resulting in breakout-like reactions or sensitive, inflamed, and parched skin,” she explains. “In other circumstances, years of stressor assaults gradually erode skin’s capacity to look and feel healthy.”
“…years of stressor assaults slowly chip away at skin’s natural ability to look and feel healthy.”
What’s the solution? First, determine what is causing the greatest stress to your skin (more on that below!) and devise a strategy for dealing with it.
“We can’t prevent all of life’s pressures, but we can manage how we respond to them,” says Bryan Barron, Paula’s Choice’s head of research. “The basic line is that the more positive, affirming, and healthy things you do on a regular basis, the better your mind and body will handle stress from any cause.”
Once you’ve determined your skin’s stressors, use Stordahl’s expert-backed treatments and Paula’s Choice product suggestions to relieve tension and improve your shine.
Continue reading to learn about 5 of the most prevalent reasons of strained skin.
1. Get some sun.
Sun exposure is one of the key skin irritants that can create long-term difficulties, which may come as no surprise. Sun damage, according to Stordahl, “essentially kills skin’s capacity to preserve the key components (such as antioxidants, essential fatty acids, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins) it requires to look young and healthy.”
Stordahl recommends prioritizing products that have all of the elements that sun damage depletes, such as antioxidants (which intercept free radicals), hydrators, and, of course, SPF. Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 is a total multi-tasking winner for your regimen, with soothing antioxidants and SPF.
2. Pollution of the air
Are you looking for sun protection? Check. Now we have to be concerned about the rest of the environment damaging your complexion. All forms of pollution, according to Stordahl, induce free-radical damage to the skin, with smog being particularly hazardous. “This damage causes everything skin needs to look healthy to break down and deteriorate,” she explains.
To combat free radicals, use Paula’s Choice DEFENSE Antioxidant Pore Purifier, which functions as a daily pollution defense system for your face, as the name implies. “Salicylic acid helps clear out dirt within the pore, while specially selected antioxidants neutralize airborne contaminants,” adds Stordahl.
3. Products that are harsh
Even if you believe your skin can withstand anything, you should avoid using harsh cosmetics because they can occasionally cause more harm than good. Abrasive face washes, overly fragranced regimens, and products front-loaded with drying forms alcohol are among the worst offenders, according to Stordahl.
Paula’s Choice Redness Relief Repairing Serum has the ultimate hydrating blend of nutrients, including glycerin, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, as well as super-soothing antioxidants, to give you that instant “ahh” feeling.
4. Active ingredients that are effective
How many times have you tried a new product or habit without first reading the ingredients list? (Guilty.) “It can be tempting to put on as many high-strength superstar components as you can get your hands on,” Stordahl warns, “but this can backfire in the shape of hypersensitive, reactive, or flaky skin.” “It’s always a good idea to start carefully with actives and ease into them.”
Paula’s Choice RESIST Barrier Repair Moisturizer restores your skin’s youthful glow by combining a low-strength retinol with skin-soothing antioxidants. “This recipe carefully blends an innovative mix of research-proven substances to rebuild skin’s barrier–all without overdoing it and stressing skin out,” says Stordahl.
5. Stress in the mind
If you’ve ever been stressed out by job or life in general, you’re aware of how your body—including your skin!—can react. According to Stordahl, psychological stress can cause an increase in inflammatory chemicals in the skin while decreasing the amount of calming peptides released by the brain. “By decreasing the skin’s support system, this might make it appear weary,” she says.
Not to mention, stress affects your sleep, and chronic sleep deprivation, according to Stordahl, maintains your body in a near-constant state of stress, affecting your general health and attractiveness. (It’s called “beauty sleep for a reason.”)
“Try the Omega+ Complex Cleansing Balm for a calming cleansing experience, and finish with the Radiance Renewal Mask to reset stressed skin,” Stordahl says. “Pampering oneself is often just what the doctor prescribed.” How about that for a stress-relieving slogan?