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Stress takes a variety of pathways that result in different symptoms on the skin. Learn more about what form stress can take on the skin, and what you can do about it, in Dara’s interview with Annee de Mamiel.
Dara: We love that you present your products as part of a larger effort to reduce stress in our lives, from your product usage instructions to additional tips you’ve shared here. Now that you have multiple “Fixes,” you’re addressing different pathways that stress can take. Can you tell us more about these pathways?
ANNEE: The primary pathways are glycation (Gravity Fix), fatigue (coming soon), breakouts (also coming soon), and inflammation. For mild cases of inflammation, First Fix definitely helps, along with Skin Recovery Blend; for those beyond mild cases, we’ll have something coming next year to help.
The interesting thing about stress, with the brain-skin connection, is it overlaps so many different fields of medicine: psychology, endocrinology, and immunology as a whole. By pulling all of these elements into skincare — a routine we already have in our lives — and trying to overlap these amazing tools to address stress on a more holistic level: that’s what I do.
With the stress response, people understand “fight or flight,” but it’s those other components of stress that have been ignited that are important, too. Gravity Fix addresses a big one: under stress, there’s glucose that’s dumped and released in our body so that if we were running away from a tiger, we’d have energy. But if you’re in the car, that’s just sitting in your body. And when you’ve got all this glucose that has nowhere to go – that’s where we see that breakdown of collagen and elastin.
Added to that are the effects of the hormones that are buzzing around in our body when we’re under stress: those hormones are doing their job, but we don’t need them to do it because we’re not running away from the tiger. And we see the effects on the skin over time.
The next Fixes will address the other pathways. They’re intended to get you engaged and thinking about your particular response to stress: do you get saggy? Or constantly tired? Or do you get blemishes? When you understand your own response, you’re better able to determine what you need.
Dara: How do you think about the differences between your first two Fixes? When and why would you choose one or both of these?
ANNEE: First Fix is your everyday, all-rounder serum to prop you up. You can start with it from a young age: it’s protecting, repairing, sorting you out and keeping your skin in a good place. I recommend it most when skin feels confused: those times when it doesn’t matter how much moisturizer or soothing stuff you put on, you just can’t get back to equilibrium and your skin isn’t calm or even-toned.
Gravity Fix is the one to use when it’s been two years, your feet are dragging, and everything feels like it’s gone south. It’s like you’re walking through muddy field and everything requires effort. Emotionally, you feel heavy. If you’re constantly reaching for sugar or salt, Gravity Fix takes the sugar hit for you. It addresses what we see in the skin with menopause as well: people can get anxious and stressed through perimenopause and menopause. This gives you the framework to support you and your skin through that time. I’d say it’s definitely for a 40+ age group. If we feel we’re aging prematurely, and we’re feeling older because of everything that’s going on — this is the thing that will help change that perspective.
And you can use both First Fix and Gravity Fix. I use First Fix during the daytime and Gravity Fix during the nighttime, which is a nice way to address the stress that led to all of this. I used Gravity Fix both day and night a few months ago, but in the summer, Gravity Fix might be a bit rich for some people in the morning — and while it does contain retinal, that’s actually a retinoid that you can use during the daytime.
Dara: Can you give us a sample routine for either Fix?
ANNEE: I’d start with the Restorative Cleansing Balm. Then, pump the Facial Mist into your hands and press it into the skin. Follow that with your Fix, your Seasonal Oil, and Skin Recovery Blend if it’s needed. And through it all, remember to breathe. Ritual is about amplifying the product — there’s a real reason for the breath and the scent to come into the picture with all of these.