Stress can hit hard, especially during these unprecedented times. Even if you’re meditating each morning and streaming Modo Yoga classes by night, the effects of the current climate can affect more than your mind; stress can also take a toll on your complexion. “Any type of stress can manifest in your skin, since it’s the largest organ in the body,” says New York City plastic surgeon Lara Devgan, M.D. “Stress can increase cortisol levels which in turn increases inflammation,” she explains. In turn, inflammation can exacerbate whatever your underlying skin conditions may be.
As a general rule of thumb, Devgan suggests bringing your routine back to basics and eliminating any products with excess fragrance, colors or dyes. “Sometimes, products can begin to irritate your skin during a time of extreme stress,” she says. Devgan also warns against wearing heavy makeup: “It’s a good time to give your skin a little break,” she says, underlining the importance of letting your complexion breathe without foundation for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. And don’t let your skincare routine feel like homework: “Find products that bring you a little joy,” Devgan says. Here, more expert tips for dealing with concerns that come from stressed skin.