“Help! I’m stressed and my skin looks like (insert expletive here)!” You know those times when you’re running on fumes, and then you look in the mirror and it only makes matters worse? Turns out, science proves there is a real connection between our stress levels and our skin. You’re not crazy.
Exploring this idea further, a new skin-care line called LOUM is rooted in the concept of psycho-dermatology, or the mind-skin connection. “There are two kinds of stress: acute and chronic,” says psycho-dermatologist Francisco Tausk, MD, who developed the brand based on personal research. “Both types can trigger our skin’s inflammatory response, leading to a spike in dryness, redness and sensitivity—it can also worsen inflammatory conditions like psoriasis, eczema and acne. Lastly, it can increase sebum production, making skin oilier and causing breakouts and enlarged pores.”
All nine products in the collection, from the vitamin C serum and firming face cream to the exfoliating “minifacial” and rollerball essential oil, have two key goals: create moments or “rituals” of self-care and minimize the effects of stress on the skin. Daphne Oz—you know her as a food guru and TV host, and her dad is Dr. Oz—joined the brand as co-owner and “chief LOUMinary” after being super intrigued by the psycho-dermatology application in skin care, and impressed with the science.
“As you can imagine, I’ve been approached by other skin-care companies in the past to be part of their journeys, but for me, as a total product junkie, it was important to me not to be a part of something that I felt was just more noise in an already-crowded marketplace. If anything, I wanted to find something that was going to help me ‘lean’ my routine. We’re all getting busier by the day, and if we’re going to stick to something long-term, it has to be easy and it has to work for your life. I’m also such a nerd—I come from a long line of doctors and I’ve studied nutrition—and I just care deeply about making sure that results are being derived from the idea and understanding of real science underpinnings, and do it in a way that still makes sense for a busy, crazy life. LOUM really ticked all of the boxes for me because it was so much about making it easy to have this small moment of self-care, this ritual of introducing calm into your life, premised on science first and foremost.”
Oz says she’s no stranger to stress-filled days, and it’s no surprise when it shows up on her skin. “I’ve definitely experienced some increase in stress as of late, but there’s also just chronic stress all around as a working mom of four—it feels like it’s all around me all the time—and it’s on me to try to set the tone and the steady course for my family. I’m sure a lot of moms feel that way,” says Oz. “I certainly felt like different phases of life—hormonally, energetically—have different levels of stress associated with them, and if you pay attention to your skin, you’ve probably seen that happen. Like when you aren’t sleeping well, and you wake up and look in the mirror and your skin is dry or dull, it immediately makes you feel more tired.”
Total transparency about ingredients is also important to Oz, who tries to use clean beauty products like as much as she can. “Our skin is our largest organ and absorbs everything we put on top of it. It’s a constant sponge for the things we’re exposing it to. As much as possible, I’m looking for ways to use clean products.” Three ingredients LOUM highlights in its formulas are marine microalgae, Indian wild indigo and CBD, which, when combined in the brand’s signature Tri-Serene complex, dial down the impact of stress on the skin. “Broad-spectrum CBD was shown by many investigators—third-party, not from our brand—to be a very powerful anti-inflammatory agent and to decrease production of sebum from glands,” explains Dr. Tausk. “It can reduce stress-driven oil in the skin and help minimize the appearance of large pores.”
Oz has beeing using the products for more than six months now and calls them “a big game changer” in her life. “I love knowing that I get to be a part of spreading this message and helping women feel good about themselves day in and day out. As women, we are so much more stressed than we are willing to acknowledge or are even aware of, and we continue to take on more—we take, take, take from the coffer of energy that we have, and we need these small rituals to help provide a sense of calm.”
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