Aside from taking a toll on our emotions, that election also certainly took a toll on our skin. So to soothe both our aching souls and our angry complexions, here’s a de-stressing skincare routine.
As ever, a good routine starts with cleansing. When skin feels angry or on the verge of inflammation, keeping it simple is key for me. I love both the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser for when I want a product to clean my skin and nothing more. Both have a similar gel-like texture and leave the skin cleansed and calm.
For something a little more exciting, though, I’ve been absolutely loving the Gallinee Prebiotic Cleansing Bar. Bar soap on the face feels a little retro, but this isn’t your standard Dove bar. It leaves my skin feeling perfectly balanced—not too dry but not too oily, either. They also have a Fragrance-Free Cleansing Bar option which is even better for super-sensitive types.
When life gets tough and my skin isn’t having it, I do enjoy kicking back and whacking on a face mask. Alongside any skincare benefits, I do believe there’s something intrinsically therapeutic about taking a visible time out from life. Both the Mario Badescu Healing and Soothing Mask and the Mario Badescu Azulene Calming Mask are ideal for skin that feels irritated, angry, or just in need of some TLC.
If you’re suffering from stress-induced breakouts, though, the Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask and The Inkey List Kaolin Clay Mask are my go-tos. Unlike other clarifying masks, they’re both super gentle and leave skin feeling soothed, while helping shrink any angry pimples in the process.
Similarly, I love the Mediheal Tea Tree Mask, which is a sheet mask with a difference. This is one of the most pleasant things to put on your skin if it’s looking red and irritated. It’s cooling and hydrating, but that hint of tea tree also means it targets inflammation and breakouts.
My favorite toner for times of acne plus irritation is the Mario Badescu Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion. It’s gentler than some of my other favorite acid toners, but still visibly brightens and unblocks pores. If your skin stress is dry, though, I love the Banila Co Water+ Dear Hydration Toner for adding another layer of moisture and keeping skin feeling protected and comfortable.
Niacinamide is a real skin savior in times of stress. It’s a sort of does-it-all ingredient, offering balance and calm to the majority of skin types. The Glossier Super Pure is a great niacinamide serum option, but I also love The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% for a total bargain.
For any active breakouts, I love the Pai All Becomes Clear Copaiba and Zinc Blemish Serum, which helps treat blemishes without feeling harsh on sensitive-feeling skin. And for a boost of moisture, the CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is incredible. Not only does it hydrate the skin, but it also has reparative qualities on any compromised areas caused by irritation.
Although the Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask is a mask in name, I prefer to think of it more as an overnight treatment. I’d apply a thick layer over my serum of choice then head to bed. It’ll sink in overnight and help calm and hydrate, all while keeping your other skincare locked in, too.
I’m also a huge fan of using oil to treat skin irritation. One of my ultimate favorites is the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, which is basically the Rolls Royce of face oils. Having had it in my arsenal for a while, I’m happy to say there’s no skin ailment I’ve had that hasn’t been improved by it. But for a more affordable alternative, I’ve also been recently loving the Bjork and Berries Blueberry and Blue Tansy Restoring Facial Oil. It offers a nice hit of hydration while soothing blemishes and other unsightly areas.
If you’re finding your skin becomes annoyed throughout the day, though, I recommend keeping a mist on hand. These can offer immediate results in terms of soothing and help skin repair itself. The La Roche Posay Serozinc Face Mist is ideal for the oily and breakout-prone, while drier skin types may prefer the La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra 8 Face Mist instead.
Finally, if your skin is looking red and angry and you want some immediate results, the Dr Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Color-Correcting Treatment is incredible. It has an SPF of 30, which protects any already stressed-out areas from becoming more damaged.