A close look at your complexion can reveal a multitude of things. As the body’s largest organ—and the outermost one—your skin serves as a protective covering, yes, but also offers insight into your overall health and habits. Here, four common things to look out for and how to treat them.
1. If the skin under your eyes is dry, you’re not drinking enough water. Dehydration causes your skin—particularly the delicate area around your eyes—to become tight and crinkly. Luckily, the fix is simple: get to sipping. Aim for the trusty eight glasses a day and you’ll notice smoother skin soon.
2. If your forehead is oilier than usual, you’re over-cleansing. Yup, there is such a thing—even during the hot, sweaty months. In fact, for most people, washing more than once a day strips away too much oil, which causes your skin to go into overdrive and produce even more sebum. Stick to rinsing with water only in the mornings—and lather up with a gentle cleanser at night.
3. If you’re breaking out around your mouth, you’re touching your face too much. What seems like a harmless habit could be the cause behind those pesky bumps on and around the lower part of your face—and, worse, bacterial infections. Next time you feel yourself mindlessly stroking your chin, remember the dollar bill you took out of your wallet earlier (and all the other people who held it before that).
4. If your cheeks feel like sandpaper, you’ve likely been around air pollution. Extended contact with city air can cause skin (especially on and around the cheeks) to look dull and feel rough. Take a two-pronged approach to protecting your face from the smog: Layer an antioxidant serum under your sunscreen before you head out each morning and make sure to wash your face thoroughly every night.