I Am Soooo Stressed Out, And It’s All Your Fault

The 3 products I’m using to get me through all your pitches with my skin and sanity somewhat intact.
Publish date:
April 29, 2013
moisturizers, aromatherapy, stress, Kiehl's, balms, Lather, tata harper

As you may have noticed, there have been lots of new faces and voices on xoVain in the last couple of weeks, and there are more to come. That’s because Annie put out the call for new xoVain contributors over on xoJane, and HOLY CRAP, I HAVE SO MANY EMAILS TO GET THROUGH.

Several hundred people have responded to Annie’s post, and I am astounded by how many great ideas and writers there are out there--like, non-professional great writers. I’m starting to feeling like my bachelor’s in creative writing was just lily-gilding. (OK, I’ve always felt like that.)

Having hundreds of pitches to get through is at once awesome and stressful. I’m reading every single one, and it rankles me that I don’t have time to reply to all of them.

If you’re annoyed with me because you haven’t gotten a response yet and you’re into schadenfreude, know and cherish this: I’ve spent the last week looking way haggard, to the point that I felt like I had to promise the XO team that I’d try to be prettier this week.

So, what better time than now to test out some stress-related products, right?! RIGHT?! ANSWER MEEEEEEEEEEE! Just kidding--I’m totally not that stressed. (Yes I am.)


Do you know why Kiehl’s has been around since 1851? Because they’re psychic.

Right before we put out of the call for more xoVain contributors, they kindly and unsolicitedly sent me their new Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator because THEY JUST KNEW I’d be needing it.

This super-gentle moisturizer is formulated to address the way stress manifests on your skin, like blotchiness and dehydration and a perpetually horrified expression. It feels soooo nice, thanks to its chamomile and rose extracts.

But the effects aren’t just superficial; a sugar molecule called mannose helps skin recover from the crap you’re putting it through.

And if you don’t expect your stress to stop anytime soon (optimism!), Kiehl’s offers an auto-replenish service!


Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment looks like a mini perfume roller. And sure, you can apply this blend of linden, rose, neroli and frankincense to your pulse points; it says so right on the bottle.

But it also says: “For immediate results, apply liberally to palms, rub hands together and inhale deeply from palms.”

In other words, if you really want to get the relaxing, anxiety-squashing benefits, do a modified Mary Katherine Gallagher impression.

It also says you can do it as many times as you need to throughout the day, so I’ve been bouncing around the office, doing lunges and yelling “SUPERSTAR!”

I think it’s working.


I hold a lot of tension in my face. At least I thought I did, until a couple days ago when one of my BFFs told me that she was clenching her teeth in her sleep so hard that she woke up with a broken molar.

But this isn’t a competition, BETSY.

I love Lather’s Clear Head Balancing Balm because you can (warning: more package reiterating) “apply a dab to temples, forehead, back of neck or anywhere you feel tension), so I’ve been applying it to my temporomandibular joint to help calm it the hell down with menthol, which smells so lovely, you'd never imagine it was desensitizing the nerve signals to your brain.


I have the most conditioned TMJ skin in all the land! The balm’s various botanical oils make it a great spot treatment. So if you happen to have dry skin in the exact area you hold all of your tension, you clearly need this just as much if not more than I do.

Again, this isn’t a competition.

What are your favorite stress-melting products? Do you think stress whines like the Wicked Witch of the West when it melts but at too high of a register for humans to hear? Can you tell I’ve lost my mind?