The 3-Step Skincare Routine That Reduces Stress & Improves Your Skin, According To Science

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The 3 Step Skincare Routine That Will Reduce Stress And Improve Your Skin, According To Science

As a skincare fanatic, I love unwinding from a stressful day by indulging my skin.

Once I get through all my masks, cleansers, serums and oils, up to an hour can pass. I know this is excessive, but when it comes to self-care, I don’t rush my skincare routine.

So when I stumbled on this recent study that suggests reducing our skincare routines to just 3 steps to reduce the effects of stress levels on the skin, I was both intrigued and a little frustrated. Think of all the money I’ve spent on my 8-part pampering process!

But if simplifying my skincare routine will save me time, improve and skin and reduce my stress levels, I’m all ears. 

RELATED: This Simple Skin Quiz Will Help You Find The Perfect Skincare Routine

The study demonstrates how a quick but effective skincare routine led to a reduction in acne and stress levels for the 30 women who took part:

  • Cleanser
  • Toner
  • Moisturizer

The women, aged between 18 and 45, were surveyed across 8 weeks and all had acne-prone skin. A team of scientists behind the skincare brand Rodan + Fields were responsible for carrying out the survey, which examined the reduction of cortisol levels in the saliva of the women.

Cortisol is a stress hormone secreted by our adrenal glands when we are under pressure. As a side effect, this hormone also prompts the skin to produce more oil and exacerbates breakouts.

The women’s cortisol levels were measured in their saliva at the beginning and end of the 8-week test, and resulted in an average decrease from 435 ng/dL to 73.3 ng/dL. In simple terms for us non-scientists, this is a massive drop! 

The subjects also took part in questionnaires before and after the test. They mentioned feeling "less self-conscious about how [their] skin looks” and " in control of how [their] skin looks.” 

In addition, 76 percent of the subjects felt more confident about posting a selfie at the end of the study compared to 53 percent at the beginning. For me, this was the most optimistic aspect of the study.

RELATED: Why Am I Breaking Out? 15 Super-Weird Things That Cause Your Acne

As someone who hates even catching a glance at myself in the mirror when I’m having a breakout, the thought of having the confidence to take a selfie seems almost too good to be true!

The 3-step skincare routine in the study is based on products that use antioxidants, electrolytes, prebiotics, and SPF in their ingredients to improve the skin’s complexion and protect its barrier functions.

Rodan + Fields advocate for a cleanser, a toner, and a moisturizer that includes these ingredients and are used twice daily.

Here's how to reduce stress and breakouts using products as part of your revolutionary, new, minimal skincare routine.

1. Rodan + Fields Unblemish Regimen

The geniuses behind this study have their own acne therapy regimen that fights breakouts and impurities. The regimen includes a cleanser, toner, SPF moisturizer, and a bonus step acne treatment that calms breakout. 

(Rodan + Fields, $186)

RELATED: 20 Best Products For Stress-Induced Skin Irritation

2. Proactiv Solution 3-Step Acne Treatment System

Proactiv’s acne-fighting system is a more affordable option that works effectively. It contains benzoyl peroxide, an ingredient used by many dermatologists to cleanse the bacteria that causes breakouts. This system does lack an SPF, so you may want to buy a sunscreen with it.

(Sephora, $80)

3. La Roche Posay Effaclar Dermatological 3-Step Acne Treatment System

La Roche Posay’s gel cleanser is a popular product among acne-sufferers. This kit pairs it with a clarifying toner and medicated spot treatment to reduce oil production and calm redness. 

(Target, $29.99)

RELATED: How To Cure Acne With What You Put Inside Your Body

4. Acne Free 3-Step 24-Hour Acne Treatment Kit

For teens suffering from acne, this treatment is a consumer favorite. Claiming to clear skin in 24 hours is a big statement, but it certainly reduced the appearance of breakouts. Use it over the course of a couple of months to clear up your skin.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

5. Clean & Clear Advantage Acne Control Kit

If your breakouts tend to throb and hurt your skin, this soothing kit works well to calm irritated pimples. The gel moisturizer is non-comedogenic so it will hydrate your skin without clogging your pores.

(Check prices and reviews on Amazon)

RELATED: 15 Best Skincare Fridges For Preserving Your Beauty Products

Alice Kelly is a writer with a passion for lifestyle, entertainment, and trending topics. 

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