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Give Skin a Chill Pill with New Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator


About a month ago, my skin started staging what could best be described as a massive temper tantrum — the skincare equivalent of a 2-year-old throwing himself on the floor at the supermarket, banging his little fists on the ground, rolling around, kicking the floor, crying hysterically and screeching at eardrum-bursting levels. Since hitting my thirties, these types of shenanigans have become more and more frequent. Apparently, after 30 years of near-perfect skin, the jig is up — an unwelcome turn of events given that I’m now taking precautions to avoid wrinkles and fine lines while simultaneously trying to zap what I once thought was a puberty-related problem: acne. What has made this ordeal even trickier is that there are several factors that contribute to these flare-ups: hormonal changes, diet and exercise, environmental aggressors (like pollution) and, yes, stress. This last little tidbit can often prove to be my biggest obstacle since living in New York City is, in and of itself, a source of stress. Hey, there’s a reason why they say if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere. Add to that the challenges of working and motherhood, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for neurosis and anxiety. And while we associate stress with tension headaches, cramped muscles, and nervous tummies (think ulcers), it can also wreak havoc on your skin, creating and aggravating conditions ranging from eczema and psoriasis to rosacea, chronic dryness, and acne.

Given that we live in a world where everything moves so fast, you’re practically at a risk for getting whiplash, the chances of the stressors in your life (whether it’s a domineering boss, intrusive mother-in-law, elusive love interest, demanding job, sleepless toddler, noisy neighbor, or a pile of bills) disappearing are practically nil. What you can change, however, is your response to the stress. In terms of your skin, the response is simple: pick up the new Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator ($40 at Kiehls.com), which is like a huge “woosah” for your complexion.

This revolutionary facial moisturizer was formulated with a three-pong mission in mind: to calm and treat irritated skin; to inhibit the release of stress signals to the skin; and to fortify the skin barrier so as to protect it from future reactions. The first part of this mission is accomplished via chamomile extract, an ultra soothing botanical; glycerin, a humectant that leads to both long-lasting hydration and a smoother texture; and shea butter, a fatty acid-rich substance that softens and moisturizes the skin. The second task, that of inhibiting the release of stress signals to the skin, is a bit trickier to accomplish. Allow me to elaborate: as the body’s largest organ, our skin can often reveal what is occurring within our bodies. Therefore, when you feel stressed, your nervous system will go into hyper drive, and the networks of nerve fiber  within the dermis follow suit, secreting neuropeotides that lead to inflammation (be it redness, dehydration, blotchiness, or acne) along the epidermis and which can eventually weaken the skin’s barrier so much that it’s all the more susceptible to future stress episodes. In order to limit these nerve fibers’ release of norepinephrine (known as the “stress hormone”), Kiehl’s incorporated Rosa gallica extract into the formula, a botanical extract found to accomplish precisely this feat during in vitro tests. Last but not least, to fortify the skin’s barrier function, the moisturizer’s formula relies on mannose, a monosaccharide  found to fortify the skin’s immune system; squalane, a lipid derived from olives that  helps to protect skin from dehydration; and a blend of ceramides, lipids found within skin cell membranes that work as a glue and hold the epidermis together, creating a strong barrier that retains moisture and leads to supple and radiant skin, but which decrease in concentration as we age (therefore making us rely on topical applications  to compensate for these decreased ceramide levels and reinforce that skin barrier).

I’ve been using the Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer non-stop since my skin staged a coup against me last month, and my skin’s appearance has improved dramatically. I pretty much love everything about this product — the moisturizer is the perfect consistency (not too buttery or, conversely, too runny), it glides onto skin easily and is absorbed readily, and it leaves your complexion feeling silky smooth. Best of all, you feel instant relief when you work the moisturizer onto the skin and, hours after application, you’ll notice your skin still feels moist and comfortable (no tightness, itchiness, or dryness). And, if you’re having any inflammation issues — be it redness, blotchiness, or acne — this moisturizer will fix the problem faster than the team at Olivia Pope & Associates. In other words, in the same way that you have Peptobismol, Advil, and Theraflu in your medicine cabinet, you need to have the Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer above that bathroom sink — it’s that critical.

Think about it: with the Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer, clear skin is one less thing to stress over!

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