Let’s face it: These are stressful times. Besides the toll on your mental wellbeing, the weight of just living in the world right now is getting under our skin … literally. Stress acne, anyone?

If you’re like us and are cringing at the breakouts in the mirror, then the first step to de-stressing your skin is finding a way to eliminate as much tension as you can. It’s a lot easier said than done, but we’re here to help. Check out our guides to maintaining physical and mental wellnesspicking up a hobby, or creating a sanctuary to help you de-stress before getting into skincare. 

The next step? Develop a routine. Having a set skincare routine can be a great way to maintain some semblance control in your life. It can be a calming start to your day or a way to set boundaries between work and home life in the evenings.

If you need ideas for your routine, again, we’re here to help. Treat yourself to one of these self-care indulgences, or add them into your own daily beauty regimen. 

Spot treatments 

When you’re already stressed, new breakouts can make it worse. If you’re looking to target something specific, spot treatments are your best bet.  

Cocokind’s Turmeric Stick Spot Treatment 

For an inexpensive way to help with any stress-related inflammation, try Cocokind’s Turmeric Spot Treatment. This yellow balm is made from turmeric root powder, ginger root powder, and tea tree oil, all of which are organic. If you need a little extra help unclogging pores or getting rid of dark spots, this product was made for you.

Kate Somerville’s EradiKate Acne Treatment 

Kate Somerville’s EradiKate Acne Treatment is perfect if you’re looking for something that’s a little more acne-focused, without being too harsh. Sulfur is the main ingredient, which is more gentle than salicylic acid. But, this treatment can still dry out your skin, so make sure to moisturize well. It claims to have proven results in one hour, so it’s useful in a pinch.

Differin

If you think you need something a little more high-powered, Differin might be your best bet. It’s a retinoid, so it works on moderate to severe acne by unclogging pores. Differin is the harshest of the bunch, so use it sparingly. You only need to use a thin layer on the affected area, but you can expect to see quick results.

Face masks 

Face masks can be a great self-care tool that works while you relax. There are thousands of options out there, but for stress, it’s good to look for soothing and brightening masks.

Mario Badescu’s Azulene Calming Mask

Mario Badescu’s Azulene Calming Mask is a good choice if you’re looking for an easy way to get into skincare since it’s relatively affordable and widely available. This gentle clay mask works on all skin types. It hydrates, extracts, and helps with redness through ingredients like Vitamin E and olive leaf extract.  

Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask

Want instantly hydrated skin? Look no further than Kiehl’s Calendula & Aloe Soothing Hydration Mask. The two main ingredients are in the name, calendula and aloe, both natural healing herbs. It’s super gentle, soothing, and lightweight so you can use it multiple times a week or whenever you need some extra stress relief.

(Malin + Goetz) Detox Face Mask

For a face mask that’s soothing and detoxifying, the (Malin + Goetz) Detox Face Mask does it all. It’s full of great ingredients that moisturize, cleanse, smooth and brighten your skin. It foams up after you apply, so you get the added benefit of being entertained by your face mask. 

Serums

Serums can be a great step to give your skin some extra love, whether you want to incorporate them into your daily regimen or just have a few on deck for when your skin is looking a little dull.

The Ordinary's Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

The Ordinary is known for shockingly low-price points and a focus on effective ingredients. The Mandelic Acid 10% + HA, which retails for under $10, is no exception. This gentle exfoliant helps with dullness, texture and acne—making it the perfect solution to stressed skin.

Glossier's Super Pure

For a middle of the road serum that the internet loves, check out Glossier’s Super Pure. The two main ingredients are zinc PCA and vitamin B3, so it targets acne while also working to improve clarity and texture. This serum can be applied every day after cleansing.

Dr. Dennis Gross's B³Adaptive SuperFoods™ Stress Rescue Super Serum 

If you want to really pull out the big guns and splurge, Dr. Dennis Gross’s B³Adaptive SuperFoods™ Stress Rescue Super Serum is a serum built to combat stress-related skin aging. It’s full of vitamins and superfoods that work to improve texture and boost your complexion. 

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