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Our body knows when we’re stressed — especially our skin. Despite learning how to bake sourdough and picking up a few quarantine hobbies, the pandemic has left most of the population feeling drained.
In fact, a recent survey found that 55 percent of Americans reported an increase in stress during the pandemic.
Stress impacts us mentally and physically, so much so that you can see it in our faces. Under-eye bags, acne, wrinkles, and rashes are just a few of the many ways stress can wreak havoc on skin.
Little tasks like drinking water and getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep can do wonders for our skin. But while the fundamentals of a good routine are vital, so is your skin care regimen.
Thankfully, there are many quality beauty products to help soothe your skin and help you manage stress in one fell swoop.
While we’d love to try every skin care product on the market, we realize that’s a lofty goal. Our list of recommended products is based on a mixture of personal experience, high ratings of at least 4 or 5 stars, best-selling items, and expert opinions.
By scouring reviews from customers to trusty leading skin care influencers, we’ve rounded up our favorite 20 calming beauty products to try in 2021.
- $ = under $20
- $$ = $20–$65
- $$$ = over $65
CBD is more than just a buzzword or an ingredient at your favorite indie coffee shop — it’s also an increasingly popular beauty staple.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the active compounds found in the Cannabis plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in cannabis, CBD doesn’t have psychoactive side effects — in other words, you won’t get high.
Lord Jones CBD Formula Bath Salts include ingredients like pink Himalayan salt, magnesium-rich Epsom salts, arnica, lavandin oil, eucalyptus oil, and calendula petals.
Packed with 20 milligrams of broad-spectrum CBD per scoop, the bath salts have become a go-to for the brand’s stressed shoppers. “After a long exhausting day, there is literally nothing more relaxing. The CBD is very soothing and the aroma is unlike anything I’ve ever used before,” one reviewer says.
If you’re looking for a lightweight serum to assuage your skin’s bad days, look no further.
The cannabis sativa hemp seed oil in the serum works to improve your skin’s appearance, while hyaluronic acid acts like a sponge to attract moisture and boost hydration. The formula also features a cocktail of essential oils like lavender, mandarin, and rosemary.
The product has garnered a 4.4-star review on Ulta, with 88 percent of shopper recommendations. Reviewers were drawn to its cruelty-free formula, plant-focused properties, and price point.
One reviewer says, “For years I’ve religiously used a very expensive high-end skin brand, and let me tell you… I have much better results with this and it’s like 1/5 the price.”
Tatcha is known for its devoted following. Its rice polish line has gained attention from beauty vloggers and influencers alike, because of its unique formula.
Unlike harsh physical exfoliants like scrubs that damage the skin’s moisture barrier and cause inflammation, the polish is formulated with microcrystalline cellulose that can easily break down with water. The rice polish comes in powder form but quickly turns into a lather with water.
Hyram Yarbro, a skin care expert with 4.36 million followers, touted Tatcha calming rice polish as one of his favorites from the line in a review on his YouTube channel. The formula also includes colloidal oatmeal, “one of the best ingredients out there,” according to Yarbro.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair skin care products have exploded in popularity on TikTok, with the #cicapair hashtag garnering 10.4 million views. And it looks like it’s trending for good reason.
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Calming Gel Cream has netted 4.5 stars on Sephora, with 92 percent of shoppers recommending the product.
Tiger grass (also known as cica or Centella asiatica) is an herb that has a strong history in Chinese medicine. The name “tiger grass” is quite literal since tigers roll around in the grass to heal their own wounds, making it a soothing and reparative ingredient in this gel.
Natural supplements may help your effort to find a sense of calm in a time of turmoil. SuperYou claims to regulate cortisol levels, reduce emotional fatigue, and boost energy. De-stress in a bottle? It’s worth a shot, so we tried it.
SuperYou blends the adaptogens ashwagandha, shatavari, rhodiola, and amla. Research has shown that adaptogens can help mental performance, ease depression and anxiety, and combat fatigue.
After a week of taking SuperYou daily, we felt more focused during the day and handled work stress with more ease. We didn’t gain the ability of flight or super strength, but it felt pretty super.
Some consider Patchology FlashPatch Rejuvenating Eye Gels a holy grail product. These cooling eye gels have received 4.5 stars on Ulta, with 91 percent of shoppers agreeing they’d recommend it to a friend. We found the eye gels to be a pick-me-up to a stressful day.
Centella asiatica helps to calm skin while inhibiting skin inflammation, and the hydrolyzed collagen improves skin hydration and elasticity. Pro tip: Chill your eye gels in the refrigerator before use for an extra cooling sensation.
Stress can negatively impact your hair and prevent follicles from growing new strands. According to
The Maxsoft Hair Scalp Massager is a handheld tool that feels like you’re getting a scalp massage at your favorite salon — a missed luxury in a world of social distancing.
With nearly 60K ratings and 4.6 stars, Amazon reviewers are raving about this handy tool. “I cannot explain how good this feels when you’re using it,” says one reviewer. “The inventor of this has my vote for sainthood or at least a Good Samaritan award…,” says another.
Dermalogica’s Stress Positive Eye Lift is another favorite that can gently cool puffy eyes and quell dark circles. More than 869 shoppers have contributed to its 4.4 star Ulta rating.
The ingredients help firm, lift, and brighten the under-eye area with ingredients like fermented yeast and wild indigo seed.
Many consider the metal applicator as the icing on the cake. The product comes out of the cooling massage applicator, which you can glide gently under your eye. Forget gimmicks like holding cold spoons and tea bags to your eyes and opt for this all-in-one product.
The facial roller, often made from jade or rose quartz, has long become a staple amongst beauty bloggers. This roller has a long, thin piece of rose quartz on one end for areas like your cheeks and chin, and a small piece on the other that’s used for massaging delicate areas like under the eyes.
Facial rollers can stimulate blood flow, minimize puffiness, and provide a cooling sensation to calm the skin. You can put on your favorite moisturizer or serum before using the roller to massage the product into your skin. Store your roller in the refrigerator for an elevated cooling effect.
From breakouts to aggravated skin, stressful emotions and the environment can directly impact your face. Herbivore created Emerald CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil to calm redness and aid stressed skin.
The formula uses CBD, ashwagandha, and hemp seed oil that can also address dryness, dullness, and uneven texture.
Its 4.4-star review on Sephora is a testament to its popularity. Reviewers said the product “drastically reduced redness” and was a “lifesaver.”
Alchimie Forever, a family-owned skin care brand, has created a soothing body lotion designed to leave your skin feeling nourished.
The ingredient list includes panthenol and menthol that may provide comfort and curb irritation, while lavender offers a calming scent. One Dermstore reviewer called it “heavenly.”
Netting 5 stars on Dermstore, reviewers loved the calming feeling of Eminence Organic Skin Care’s Stone Crop Hydrating Mist. Designed as a healing toner for all skin types, reviewers say the blend of stone crop juice and lavender is both “refreshing” and “hydrating.”
You’ve probably heard of using melatonin as a sleep aid, but have you tried it for your skin?
Alpyn Beauty, a self-described clean skin care brand, blends calming melatonin and antioxidant-rich wild dandelion in a sleeping mask. Applied before bed and left on overnight, the mask penetrates and hydrates skin as you sleep.
Most users say they woke up to find their skin feeling soft, supple, and “luxurious” after using this product.
Give your hair a little TLC with a treatment designed to curb irritation and nourish your scalp.
Gently massage in this mask after shampooing and let the product rest for 5 minutes. One Anthropologie reviewer found the product to be especially helpful during brutal winters that are often accompanied by scalp dryness.
Beauty sleep is a real thing. Poor sleep habits are proven to have negative results on skin, including fine lines and dark under-eye circles.
Spritz a bit of this spray on your pillow and you may just fall asleep easier and catch some proper Zzz’s. According to an Anthropologie reviewer, the pillow spray transformed her bedroom into a “calming oasis.”
There are few things as relaxing as a candlelit bath. Create serenity in your bathtub and drop in a fizzy Lush Twilight Bath Bomb. Swirls of pink, purple and deep indigo will fill your tub with lavender oil and tonka.
This bath bomb is a best-seller with an impressive 4.6-star review on Lush’s website.
Fight off dry skin with Aveda’s ultra-rich body cream, a product that’s gained the online adoration of nearly 200 Aveda fans.
The aromatic cream includes organic lavender, lavandin, and clary sage. Rated 4.8 stars on the Aveda website, reviewers find the product moisturizing and soothing for everyday use.
Known for its catchy product names and Instagram-worthy aesthetic, you’ve probably heard of HUM vitamins.
The gel capsules include skin-enhancing products like ferulic acid and ceramides to aid in cell turnover as you sleep. If you have trouble hitting the pillow, the supplement includes sleep-promoting ingredients like valerian root and passion flower to help you reach a peaceful snooze.
TikTok star Vi, of @whatsonvisface, and YouTube-famous dermatologist Dr. Dray are both vocal supporters of some of First Aid Beauty’s skin care line on their channels.
In its popular mask formula, First Aid Beauty has amassed compliments from nearly 1,000 customers. The key ingredient, arnica, has healing and anti-inflammatory properties and helps soothe and smooth skin.
Arnica can help with a variety of issues from bruising to skin care.
While this balm seems like a major splurge, reviewers promise it lives up to its hype. “Nothing prepared me for how much I would actually fall in love with this dreamy balm,” penned one shopper on the Beautylish website.
Blue tansy is an anti-inflammatory ingredient, helping to relax inflamed and damaged skin.
Stress impacts us mentally and physically. It can show on our faces and our skin when stress is high.
Luckily, our picks of quality beauty products can help soothe your skin. The time spent on your skin care regimen and on your well-being can put you on a path to calm.
Jillian Goltzman is a freelance journalist covering culture, social impact, wellness, and lifestyle. She’s been published in various outlets, including Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Fodor’s Travel Guide. In addition to writing, Jillian is a public speaker who loves discussing the power of social media — something she spends too much time on. She enjoys reading, her houseplants, and cuddling with her corgi. Find her work on her website, blog, Twitter, and Instagram.