Is stress starting to show on your skin? You’re not alone. My eczema has flared up, my cheeks are spotty, and I have an anxious rash on my chest more often than I don’t these days. A lot is going on, and our skin, the body’s biggest organ, will show it.
Our skin needs a helping hand, and my years of dealing with stressed-out skin can help! In this edit, you’ll get the inside scoop on my SOS skin saviours – the formulas I trust to do the job when nothing else will, plus learn the ‘why’ behind your skin’s mysterious freakout. And the best bit? They’re all ⅓ off throughout April, so there’s no stressing about the cost.
If you’re curious why you’ve suddenly broken out in blemishes, stress could be the culprit. Stress causes inflammation in the body, which triggers a release of histamines – it’s this surge in cells that can trigger a flare-up. Hormones have a part to play too; stress stimulates a specific hormone (cortisol), which increases the activity of sebaceous glands, in turn creating more oils, blocking pores, and voila, acne.
I rarely get spots, so when my cheeks broke out a few weeks ago, I was thankful to have Cleanance Comedomed in my skincare stash. The formula may only have 11 ingredients, but it’s powerful! I was shocked at just how quickly redness went down. I put its fast action down to 25% comedoclastin, a patented natural active that regulates sebum production. It’s this action that helps keep hair follicles clear so that oil doesn’t become trapped, and blemishes don’t form. But despite its potency, the gel formula is ultra-soothing (a blessing for my eczema-prone skin); this is thanks to an infusion of 67.5% Avene Thermal Spring Water to calm and hydrate the skin – I’d expect nothing less from Avene!
Think anxiety is only something you feel? You haven’t seen my red, blotchy chest. Our internal feelings do show externally, and for many, this manifests itself as rashes or solid patches of redness. It happens because of a rise in the hormone, cortisol and increased blood flow; when blood flow rises, blood vessels enlarge, causing a flushed effect. These changes in the body can also trigger pre-existing conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea to flare-up.
When I want a soothing skin fix there’s only one moisturiser I turn to Embryolisse – it’s one of the most calming on the market. Its minimal ingredient line-up makes it a match made in heaven for calming redness and sensitive skin. Inside the hydrating formula are emollients that give it a silky feel, plus soy, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid, and collagen – a nourishing fusion that leaves skin soothed, plump and perfectly prepped for makeup. That’s not the best bit though, it also doubles as a primer, overnight face mask, and cleanser!
Anxiety rashes and atopic skin conditions are itchy; there’s no doubt about that. But the worst thing you can do is scratch – no matter how good it feels. Not only can it lead to infection, but it’ll make the sensation even more intense. When we scratch it causes a small amount of pain, which distracts us from the initial itch, those pain signals release serotonin, which in turn amps up the itchiness.
Take it from someone who knows, it’s not easy to stop scratching an itch, but Bioderma’s Atoderm Spray makes it a lot easier. When I’m at my wits end and feel like I’m about to cave (picture Phoebe and Ryan from Friends when they get chickenpox) I pull out this soothing spray. The 360° mist is powered by anti-itch technology that helps to reduce the urge to scratch for up to 6 hours. A single spritz brings instant relief, and the hydrating, milky formula strengthens the skin’s barrier while it’s at it – it’s a secret weapon that you’ll wish you found sooner.
Dull skin may not be the first skin concern that springs to mind when you think about stress, but it’s one of the most common. When our body goes into fight or flight mode, the body diverts circulation to our vital organs, which results in a lacklustre, tired-looking complexion.
When I first started working from home a few weeks ago, my complexion looked grey – stress and too many hours indoors were to blame! I knew right away what formula to reach for, the Eucerin Pure Vitamin C Booster. Our entire team trialled it last year, and the results were glowing! With more vitamin C than over 200 oranges, it’s a fast track way to a bright, healthy-looking complexion. The 7-day treatment contains 10% vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, plus licochalcone A, a soothing ingredient that makes this vitamin C serum a match for sensitive skin. After a week, your skin looks hydrated and glowing.
See its amazing results for yourself – find the before and after photos from our 7-day trial here.
When we’re stressed, we sweat. It’s as simple as that; our eccrine (sweat) glands are activated, which causes us to become dehydrated because we’re losing water quickly; this can result in the skin becoming dry, flaky, and uncomfortable.
Dry skin would be my Mastermind subject – I have 10+ years of eczema to thank for that. Luckily for you, it means I know what works when up against dry, flaky skin – the Nuxe Reve de Miel Body Oil Balm. The cult-favourite body butter is enriched with fatty acids, argan and borage botanical oils, which cocoon the body in nourishing care (and a delicious honey scent). With a promise of extreme comfort for 48 hours, there’s no body moisturiser better for the job!
Discover why Reve de Miel is one of Chelsey’s favourite skincare ranges here.