Anyone else feeling stressed at the moment? You're not alone. According to new research from the Mental Health Foundation , more than eight in ten (82 per cent) of UK adults have experienced stress because of the pandemic. You might have noticed this stress wreaking havoc on your skin in the form of breakouts.

When we're stressed our body produces more cortisol , which drives sebum production in our skin. Excessive sebum production can lead to blocked pores, resulting in acne breakouts.

So what to do?

Fundamentally we need to address our stress levels; meditative techniques , ashwagandha  and CBD  are all recommended by Dr Sophie. Getting out into nature is key  too, as well as spending time with friends and family (albeit virtually) and getting enough sleep.

Product-wise, tread carefully. Stressed-out skin will be more sensitive, which can mean AHAs  might sting more than normal. Sophie recommends using barrier healing ingredients such as polyhydroxy acids (PHA) along with your usual AHAs and BHAs and maybe adding in a little retinol. Sophie suggests Neostrata's The Skin Active Tri Therapy Lifting Serum , £74.99 as a PHA to try. Check out our advice for strengthening the skin barrier  for more skincare wisdom from our experts.

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