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How to Listen to What Your Skin is Telling You

by Deborah Duffey, Chief Product Development Officer and President    November 18, 2022

With the explosion of skincare products, tips, and routine advice, it can be easy to use trendy products that aren’t right for your skin. But if you pay close attention, your skin will actually tell you what it needs. Once you learn to listen to your skin and follow what it’s telling you instead of sticking to a routine just because it worked for someone else, you’ll start to notice improved skin tone and texture. Here are some of the ways your skin might be communicating with you and how to respond.

If your skin is inflamed, red, or itchy:

Skin that is inflamed, red, and itchy can be a sign of rosacea or other skin conditions. But if you’re experiencing these symptoms and you don’t have a particular diagnosis, it could be a sign of a damaged skin barrier. Your skin barrier can be damaged from excessive product use, so if you suspect this might be the cause, then cut back on exfoliating products and stick to hydrating, soothing formulas until your barrier is healthy.

If your skin feels dry and tight after cleansing:

While “squeaky clean” might seem like the goal after cleansing, that dry and tight feeling actually means your skin has been stripped of beneficial oils. Your skin needs to retain some oil to be healthy, and continued use of a cleanser that removes it can damage your skin barrier and lead to flaky skin. Switch to a cleanser better suited for your skin type. A cleanser that also hydrates is a good idea for those with normal to dry skin.

If you have breakouts in new locations:

Occasional breakouts can happen, but if you notice more breakouts in an area where you normally don’t experience acne, this is a sign that something new might be affecting your skin. If you’ve recently started a new product, it may be the cause of your breakouts (if this is the case, stop using the new product to see if the breakouts also stop). Hair care products can cause breakouts, too, since they can transfer from the hair to your skin. New breakouts on your forehead or along the sides of your face can be a sign that these are the culprit.

If your skin feels extra dry and flaky:

Dry and flaky skin can have a number of different causes, including a too-drying cleansing routine or over-exfoliating your skin. It can be due to lack of moisturizing, and signal the breakdown of your skin barrier. Of course, all of these will have different solutions, which is why learning to pay attention to your skin is so key. But another big reason that skin might suddenly feel dry and flaky is the change of seasons, and it might be a call-out from your skin that it needs more moisture. As the air gets drier and cooler, it’s time to change your routine to include heavier hydration—something like the Indulgence® moisturizer will help.

If you’re noticing increased fine lines:

As we age, fine lines and wrinkles are normal. But if you’re suddenly seeing lots of fine lines developing that don’t seem to be the usual progression of aging, your skin might be dehydrated. Add hydration by not only applying moisturizing creams, but by drinking enough water, too. Gently exfoliating can also help reduce the look of fine lines. Try a mask like our PBH Exfoliating Facial Masque, followed by daily use of our Everyday Skin® Penetrating Lotion.