If your skin has been feeling out of whack lately, you’re not alone. It may be signs of stressed skin. We’re living in highly unprecedented times, which means many people are experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions. This has a ripple effect on our skin: When we get anxious, the primary stress hormone in our bodies, cortisol, gets out of control, and our skin suffers. You’ll be able to tell, too. For instance, when cortisol levels spike, it prompts the skin to create excess sebum, which leads to clogged pores, inflammation, and acne. It can also exacerbate existing skin conditions, such as eczema. Thankfully, we can count on clean skin-care brands like Kiwi Botanicals to help get our skin in balance. Here, we’re breaking down how stress shows up on your skin and the exact products that will get it back in check.
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Your Skin Is Super Dry
If your skin has been feeling parched, or perhaps just drier than usual, stress could definitely be a contributor. Take it from board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner: "Stress promotes inflammation in the skin that interferes with optimal skin barrier function, and this translates to a weakened outer layer with loss of hydration."
To get your complexion feeling soft and supple again, Zeichner suggests using a thick moisturizer while skin is still damp. "Apply moisturizer within five minutes of getting out of the bath or shower to lock in hydration and get the best results," he says.
Kiwi Botanicals' Soothing Body Butter is a perfect choice for this, because it contains ingredients specifically designed to address dry, distressed skin. One standout example is vitamin- and antioxidant-rich manuka honey, which helps coddle skin and bring it back to life. The rich yet non-greasy body cream is also made without any harsh or toxic ingredients, such as synthetic dyes, fragrance, or formaldehyde.
Your Eczema Is Flaring Up
For those who may not know, eczema is a condition in which the skin barrier doesn’t work properly, which can result in dryness and inflammation. "The skin develops red, itchy, and scaly patches that typically affect the inside of the elbows and behind the knees. However, it can develop anywhere on the body," says Zeichner, who adds that stress has been shown to make eczema worse.
His advice? Combat it first with a nourishing body wash that won’t strip the skin, and then immediately follow up with a moisturizing body butter or cream. "Look for hydrating cleansers rather than harsh soaps, and moisturize twice daily," he says.
Kiwi Botanicals' Soothing Shower Gel is an amazing option, as it contains calming ingredients, including chamomile, honey, lactic acid to gently exfoliate scaly skin, as well as glycerin to hydrate. After cleansing, slather on their Soothing Body Conditioner as soon as possible to lock in moisture and protect the skin barrier from drying out further. It contains a blend of shea butter, squalane, and honey to intensely nourish and soothe irritation.
Your Skin Is Breaking Out
If you’re suddenly getting a bevy of blemishes out of nowhere, well, stress could certainly be the issue. "Stress increases hormones that can impact oil production, and more oil means blockages in the pores that can promote acne breakouts," says Zeichner.
To stop excess sebum in its tracks, try using the Kiwi Botanicals Nourishing Day Lotion SPF 30, as it’s made with niacinamide, which is known to inhibit the over-production of oil. It also contains a blend of soothing and hydrating ingredients — including vitamin B5, glycerin, and kiwi fruit extract — that can help to alleviate angry breakouts.
Your Skin Is Looking Dull
Another sign of stressed-out skin is a sallow or lackluster complexion. As Zeichner explains, "We know that stress slows wound healing and may be associated with slower cell turnover, which means the skin may appear dull as dead cells accumulate on its surface and block light reflection."
To get your glow back, consider a gently daily exfoliation with a product like the Kiwi Botanicals Brightening Honey Melt Facial Cleanser. This will buff away any lingering dead skin cells and allow your serum and moisturizer to penetrate deeper (and ultimately work better). The manuka honey in the formula helps revive tired-looking skin, while glycerin packs a major punch in the hydration department.