3. Your lymphatic system may be out of whack
If your skin seems a bit dull and dry, and it’s suddenly lacking color, your lymphatic system might not be doing such a great job delivering nutrients. Puffiness can be a telltale sign of lymphatic issues, says Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skincare Collection, who recommends daily facial massage to get the lymph moving properly.
When your lymphatic system is on the fritz, fluids can build up in your tissues and cause swelling, called lymphedema, Lortscher explained. Depending on the cause of your lymph buildup, treatment options may include massage, dietary management and compression garments. Of course, not all puffiness automatically signals lymphatic issues, and a physician can help determine whether whether the situation is more complex.
4. You’re about to start your period
We’ve all been there: A massive monster of a pimple emerges just in time for our period to begin (so unfair!). Turns out, menstrual acne has a preferred sweet spot, too: the side of your chin. Cysts and bumps have a tendency to plant themselves in that sometimes painful position right when you’re about to start your menstrual cycle.
“Prevent the flare up by placing a warm cotton pad on the area when you feel its first signs,” Berthelot recommends. Or, apply an acne-fighting mask overnight for a long-lasting spot treatment.
5. You’re too harsh on your skin
Skin can be more delicate than you think, so it’s always a good idea to treat yours with kid gloves. That means avoiding certain inflammation triggers such as hot showers, excessive scrubbing, potentially irritating ingredients and overuse of skin care products, all of which can cause redness, acne and swelling.
Excessive heat, in particular, can be a big trigger for some, Jarosz says: “If you’re prone to pigmentation, avoid heated environments such as steam rooms or saunas. Following an intense workout, cool your face with an ice pack.”
Certain skin care ingredients — benzoyl peroxide, sodium lauryl sulfate, retinoids and propylene glycol, to name a few — can irritate skin, so try avoiding them or at the very least, make sure you know the concentration of any active ingredients in the products you use. “The stronger the product, the more conservative you want to be in terms of amount applied and frequency of application,” Lortscher said.