The best beauty products to use when your anxiety is taking over
In a perfect world, every woman would get plenty of sleep every night, treat her body with gentle TLC, and spend each weekend in a relaxing spa. Unfortunately we live in the real world, and stressors and anxiety triggers are everywhere. It’s pretty much impossible to avoid stress, whether it’s from work, relationships, or even chronic anxiety.
Just as it’s not always possible to avoid stress, it’s also not always possible to avoid the beauty issues that arise from stress. You deserve to look your best even when life’s making it hard to feel your best.
So if you’re feeling stressed about the fact that your stress is becoming visually obvious (it’s a vicious cycle!) we have a few quick and easy fixes for you. Read on for the best beauty products that you can use to soothe and heal the most common physical manifestations of stress and anxiety.
1. Ruined nails
One of the most common victims of stress and anxiety is our nails. Whether you’re a compulsive biter or a nervous picker, it can be hard to leave your nails alone when you’re stressed out. Sometimes you just can’t help it, and before you know it the damage is done. You don’t have to be embarrassed of your short nails or ruined cuticles, though. Give your hands some much needed TLC with L’Occitane Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil ($22, sephora.com). This dry oil will make even the most ruined nails stronger and the roughest cuticles softer. You’ll be back to sporting adorable manicures in no time.
2. Bitten lips
Many people chew on their lips when they’re stressed out or anxious. Dry, chapped lips are already an issue in the winter months so the last thing anyone needs is to make them look and feel any worse. Kill two birds with one stone by using Josie Maran Argan Love Your Lips Hydrating Lipstick ($26, sephora.com), which has the pigment of a lipstick surrounded by a hydrating balm. Your lips will be moisturized and soothed, and you’ll also probably find that you’re less likely to bite your lips because you won’t want to mess up the pretty lipstick colour.
3. Puffy eyes from crying
Sometimes stress and anxiety causes a teary breakdown. Whether you were up all night watching every Adele video on YouTube or you had a quick cry in the office bathroom, Benefit Cosmetics Puff Off! ($38, sephora.com) will effectively hide the evidence. Puffy eyes don’t stand a chance against this eye cream and its smooth, “ironing” tip.
4. Thinning or oily hair
If you find your hands reaching for your hair every time you’re stressing out, there’s one solution: dry shampoo. Whether you tend to pull at your hair, causing hair loss, or you keep running your hands through your hair until it looks oily, dry shampoo solves both issues. There are tons of great dry shampoos on the market these days so you really can’t go wrong even with one of the cheaper options. However, if you want to treat yourself, Elizabeth & James Nirvana White Dry Shampoo ($34, at Sephora) smells amazing with notes of peony, muguet and musk.
5. Stress rash/hives
There’s nothing worse than getting stress hives. The red, itchy bumps seem to come out of nowhere, and it’s not pretty or comfortable. The best ingredient for these is colloidal oatmeal, which will soothe any itching. Try First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lotion ($53, at Sephora) on any angry or itchy rashes; the colloidal oatmeal and Shea butter will help to soothe the skin while lightly moisturizing it.
6. Body odour/sweating
Nothing’s worse than getting partway through a stressful day only to realize that your body is signalling its distress to everyone else in the vicinity via sweat and body odour. A fail-proof deodorant is required for anyone who suffers from stress or anxiety. Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant ($29, sephora.com) will probably be the most expensive deodorant you’ve ever tried but you’ll discover that it’s worth it. It has a gentle, calm scent that effectively hides any body odour all day long and it prevents any awkward pit stains as well.
Even after you recover from a stress-induced breakout, there can still be scarring to contend with–especially if you’re a nervous face-picker. Encourage cell turnover via chemical exfoliation–specifically with a peel containing the chemical exfoliant alpha hydroxy acid, or AHA. Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel ($20, sephora.com) can be used on any skin type and contains AHAs to help to make your skin look more radiant and even.
Flushed, red skin is another physical manifestation of stress. It’s basically impossible to control, but you can fight it by keeping a spray bottle of soothing rose water in the fridge and hide it by using a gentle redness-reducing primer. Clinique has a great line of redness reducing products but the best one is probably the Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base ($28, sephora.com). Its green hue cancels out redness and visibly calms skin all day.
If you find yourself breaking out whenever you’re stressed, you need to have a strong spot treatment on hand to nix stubborn blemishes as soon as they appear. After all, nothing causes even more stress than a painful breakout. A great choice is Origins Super Spot Remover Acne Treatment Gel ($20, sephora.com) which contains salicylic acid–exactly what’s needed to shrink a zit.
10. Dark circles from lack of sleep
Stressed out and not sleeping? Dark under eye circles will inform everyone you know. Avoid the dreaded “You look tired” comment by using Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer ($36, sephora.com) in the shape of an upside-down triangle under your eyes. It comes in ten shades so you’re sure to find your match, and you’ll find that its subtle radiance is perfect for making you look more awake.