Most of the time, we go about our skin care routines never dealing with much more than an errant zit or dry patch. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? But because not all ailments are always vividly visible to the naked eye, your skin may not be as healthy as you presume it is. Your skin is your largest organ, and the one that reflects your overall well-being. Here are the vital signs to check if you feel your skin may be crying SOS—or you just want to know where you stand!
The consistency of color in your skin is more of a tell-tale sign than the color itself. Any blotchy spots, light-colored, dark, or red spots, and any dark circles under your eyes are signs that your skin is a little worse for the wear. Lots of things can be the culprit—probably most notably, hyper-pigmentation. Blotchiness can be brought on by a slew of things, most frequently a bad reaction to an allergen or cosmetic ingredient. However, even your mood can cause skin blotches. Consider it the SOS of blushing—anxiety can manifest on your skin in hives or blotches. Considering your skin does most of its express regeneration while you’re sleeping, getting more of that will definitely do your skin some good.
Closely related to consistency of color, the texture of healthy skin should be mostly smooth to the touch. If you have things like acne, white/blackheads, or tiny bumps called millia, your skin is probably really congested. Try to include a form of chemical exfoliation like using a toner with AHAs in it after cleansing to slowly melt the gunk clogging your pores. Since your skin absorbs whatever you put on it, you want to make sure those pathways are nice and clean.
General dullness in your skin’s texture and lack of “glow” could also be attributed to diet (and sleep). Your gut is a huge part of skin care, so whatever you eat generally feeds your skin—so feed it good stuff!
We go through it every winter—the tightness and dry, flaky patches. If you battle those every season, however, it could mean that your skin is super thirsty. Despite popular belief, drinking lots of water doesn’t really benefit your skin that much, since water goes mostly to your inner organs first before reaching your skin. What you should do is opt for a smart moisturizer–doesn’t have to be heavy, just full of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.
Alternatively, your skin care products could also be contributing the dryness. Try making a scrunchy face after cleansing and drying your face. If it immediately feels tight, you’re probably using too much cleanser.
Healthy skin feels like you’re wearing nothing at all. It’s just there, sitting on your face. If you become aware of your skin because it itches, pulls, stings, or burns, that’s a surefire sign that something is up. First assumption is usually that something you’re putting on your face is the cause of those weird sensations. If you haven’t introduced anything new into your skin care, the next culprit could be the environment–windburn, extreme cold, or sun. If there are visible spots and rashes to go along with the itching or burning, it could also be a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis. Internal signs can manifest on your skin in this way too, like liver malfunctions, vitamin deficiencies, and conditions like diabetes. Don’t panic! If the discomfort doesn’t go away after a few days and you’re sure nothing you’re putting on it is the cause, then definitely call up your doc. This is one of those signals your skin sends when something potentially much deeper is the root of the problem.