How to Deal with Stress-Induced Skin Inflammation

Photo Credit: Orawan Pattarawimonchai/Shutterstock

My skin type is oily and acne-prone. Keeping oil and breakouts under control is challenging, as I’m sure many people can relate. As a skin-care fanatic, I believe that a good routine can make a huge difference in skin health and appearance.

To my surprise, the stress of the coronavirus pandemic has wrought havoc on my skin. I started struggling with dryness, stubborn breakouts, redness, irritation, and severely chapped lips. These are all signs of inflamed skin.

After a few weeks, I was able to alleviate many of my concerns with the following skin-care habits. If you’re experiencing similar issues, it may be time to update your routine.

1. Simplify Your Skin-Care Routine

Check the products you use for unnecessary ingredients that may be irritating to skin. Many products have added fragrance that can cause flare-ups. I switched to clean skin-care products and noticed far less redness and irritation.

2. Clear Up Acne with a Salicylic Acid Cleanser

This is a gentle exfoliating ingredient that unclogs pores, which prevents breakouts.

3. Introduce an Antioxidant Serum into Your Routine

Vitamins A, C, and E are antioxidants that protect against free-radical damage, so skin experiences less damage and inflammation.

4. Moisturize Skin Immediately After Cleansing

Facial cleansers may dry out the skin even further, so always follow up with a moisturizer. I use a noncomedogenic and oil-free moisturizer in the morning and evening, so my skin doesn’t feel dry and dehydrated. Apply this after any serums.

5. Use a Moisturizing Oil to Hydrate the Lips

I like to mix coconut oil with shea butter to create a super thick lip balm. The coconut oil hydrates dry lips while shea butter creates a protective barrier.

6. Apply a Topical Retinoid

My secret weapon for clear skin is a topical retinoid. Look for an Adapalene gel, which is an acne treatment similar to prescription retinoid products. Use this in the evening after your moisturizer to reduce breakouts.

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but the stress of the coronavirus pandemic has been extra-problematic for skin issues. If you have noticed more breakouts and inflammation, you’re not alone. Calming inflamed skin may require some patience, but stay consistent for the best results.


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