What is your favorite skin product

Look at the mirror: disease shows on your face

Beauty is more than just skin and we're not just talking about a congenial personality.

"Our skin can reflect what is going on in our body," says dermatologist Anne Chapas, M.D., of Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. “As part of the immune system, the skin protects against environmental influences. But when your body is fighting a disease, it can become overwhelmed and things like acne and redness can occur. " Here's how to read the signs in the mirror.

The problem: Chin acne

The cause: Hormonal imbalance

There's a reason many women have a breakout on their chin just before their period: this part of the face is particularly sensitive to spikes in progesterone and testosterone. Many women simply experience mild acne, but if your breakouts tend to be more severe or painful and not suitable for OTC treatments, it is time to see your Ob-Gyn.

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"Deep, cystic acne on the chin or along the jawline can be a sign of the underlying polycystic ovarian syndrome [PCOS] and other hormonal abnormalities," says Chapas. If left untreated, the condition can increase the risk of diabetes and infertility.

Get well: For certain patients, taking birth control pills is an effective way to balance hormones and clear the skin. (The pill is also very effective at treating PCOS symptoms.) If you prefer a non-hormonal option, ask your MD about spironolactone, a prescription drug that blocks testosterone receptors, preventing the sebum glands from growing Put skin under pressure in some patients. Skipping dessert can also help, as extra insulin stimulates hormone production that is associated with breakouts. "Some studies show that getting rid of sugar and sticking it to whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can also moderate the hormonal stimuli that can lead to acne," adds Chapas.

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Look better now: Chapas recommends using a product that contains salicylic acid and sulfur. Try Murad Acne Spot Treatment ($ 18, murad .com). Dab it on the pimple and surrounding area to allow the salicylic acid to open and clear the pore; Sulfur calms the inflammation. In the meantime, cover up with a matte cream-powder concealer that will stay in place even if your chin moves when you talk, eat, or laugh. "Apply with a small brush to get every pimple off," recommends makeup artist Emily Kate Warren.

The problem: Dark circles and puffiness

The cause: Allergies

Chronic allergies dilate blood vessels and can cause them to leak, causing swelling and that tell-tale dark-purple-blue hue. “Many people are unaware that they have allergies. They come looking for professional dermatological treatment because they think pollen is coming too early, too late, or they have never had a problem before, ”said Ranella Hirsch, MD, a Boston dermatologist and past president of the American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery.

And because allergens also trigger the release of histamine, a chemical that contributes to swelling and can make your eyes itchy and runny, you're rubbing your eyes. Much. That just makes the swelling and discoloration worse. "By irritating the thin skin around the eyes, it can even lead to leaky capillaries," says Hirsch.

Allergic? Find and destroy the perpetrators

Get well: If the symptoms are new and you haven't stayed unusually long nights, try an over-the-counter antihistamine such as Allegra or Zyrtec. Taking the drug should reduce the irritation in a few weeks. If this doesn't bring you relief and you are unsure of the culprit, contact your doctor so they can determine the cause and address the best treatment.

Look better now: Chapas recommends using a beauty device like the Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller ($ 12, at drugstores) to remove the excess fluid every morning. “The roller helps push the fluid out, while ingredients like caffeine constrict the vessels to minimize leakage,” she says.

To soften the blue color, "choose a matte concealer that is the same tone as your foundation - not lighter or more shimmery, which will highlight the puffiness," says Warren. Try Nars Concealer (1), $ 30, sephora.com. Use your pinky or ring finger to dab the concealer on only the dark areas, including the space between the eyes and nose. Tap the edges so the color fits seamlessly into your skin.

To neutralize the redness, use a green primer primer.

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The problem: Redness and blotchiness

The cause: Stress, a digestive disorder, or lupus

Red spots that appear on the face and neck can be related to stress; They can be triggered by fluctuations in stress hormones, says Hirsch. Rosacea, small pimple-like red bumps, can be a sign of indigestion.

“The skin and the gastrointestinal tract are both designed to protect the body by keeping things out. This can lead to digestive problems on the skin, ”explains Chapas. When rosacea patients took antibiotics to clear high levels of bacteria in their small intestines, their skin improved, according to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology in 2008.

Most serious is a malar rash, a symmetrical butterfly-shaped red rash that usually covers the upper and middle cheeks. "It's a classic symptom of lupus, a disease that attacks the immune system," explains Hirsch. If you feel more tired than usual, bruise easily and are losing weight or gaining weight, contact your doctor immediately.

Get well: Stay away from the sun and spicy foods - both can make redness worse. It can be helpful to take stress-relieving activities (like yoga or meditation). Also try to reduce your intake of probiotics, the healthy bacteria that regulate digestion and soothe inflammation. Live culture yogurt, kefir (a yogurt-like drink), and miso are good sources. You may also consider taking a supplement like Phillips Colon Health that contains three probiotic strains.

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Look better now: To neutralize the redness, try a face primer with a green primer. Warren Likes Make Up Forever HD Microperfecting Primer in Green (2), $ 32, sephora.com. "Use it as a foundation or blend it into your favorite concealer if you're just covering minor red areas," she says. Apply with a soft eyeshadow brush and work the edges into the skin with your fingertips. Put it with a light dust of a finely ground powder.

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