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Your Body’s First Line of Defense Could Use Some Love Right Now

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The best beauty products for stressed and dehydrated skin.

A tumultuous 2020 affected more than our mental health. The barrage of bad news followed by worse news compromised complexions as well.

“To the professional eye, it’s noticeable—we can literally see the stress on your face,” says medical aesthetician Candace Marino, who’s also known as “The L.A. Facialist” in Hollywood circles. “Since resuming practice, I’ve noticed clients who normally have flawless skin deal with new concerns like acne, hyperpigmentation, dryness, and sensitivity resulting from stress.”

The correlation between skin health and overall wellness isn’t a new concept, but the strain of our new normal is sending droves of patients to dermatologists.

“Although there are many factors that can impact someone’s complexion, stress happens to be the leading cause for dull skin,” says Mona Gohara, of Dermatology Physicians of Connecticut and an associate clinical professor at Yale. “When stressed, the body produces high amounts of cortisol, the main hormone that breaks down the skin’s collagen and elastin, which leads to causing inflammation, aging, and accelerated production of wrinkles.”

Add in extra booze or too many double espressos, plus the annual scourge of winter weather, and dehydration presents another set of issues: Nails become brittle, heels crack, and skin can become scaly. As daily Covid-19 updates, remote learning issues, wearing a mask, and missing loved ones take an emotional toll, here’s a guide to keep those parts of the body that are most visible in fine form.