As much as a new job is an exciting opportunity, it can also wreak havoc on your complexion. This is a lesson I learned the hard way after I started working at InStyle.com more than two years ago. I went from working five minutes from my home in New Jersey to waking up at 5 a.m. to commute into New York City. Needless to say, it was a big adjustment—one that my skin struggled with the most.
Within a week I was breaking out more than I ever did during my teen years, and it seemed like the acne products I turned to only made matters worse. While things have drastically improved since then, those first few months of waking up to a face full of blemishes still haunt me to this day. When I met with Vanda Serrador, a facialist who specializes in urban skin and is a body care expert for The Body Shop, she helped put the situation in perspective.
“This was a big change for you. You had to change your environment and your lifestyle and many things you didn’t really take into account,” she said. “So in the beginning that’s putting stress on your hormones and your stress levels are rising as well. So you had a few changes in chemicals within yourself and because of the stress levels you had less time to rest.”
This all made perfect sense, but I knew that pollution had to be a factor as well (NYC is famous for a lot things, but clean air definitely isn’t one of them). “The pollution also causes your pores to breathe less and creates more clogged pores,” Serrador confirmed. The hours I was spending on the train and subway weren’t exactly doing me any favors either. “The hot and cold air creates dryness and dead skin buildup, and using strong products to remove this can be harsh on your skin," Serrador explained. "And because you’re stressed, you do it more and make your skin more sensitive, which then creates an internal anxiety that can spiral out of control.”
After recommending I try The Body Shop’s new Oils of Life Collection for a spa-like experience at home, Serrador gave some words of wisdom: "Combine your lifestyle with a philosophy. Look at what’s around you and find a way to delicately address what it is you need to improve your skin. Keep in mind it takes time to adjust.”