annoying skin problems

It looks as though spring may be — may be — here to stay at last. (This I say as I pretend last week's snow flurries never really happened.) As much as transitional weather can make our skin go a little haywire, so too can spring itself, which tends to bring allergies along with its blooming flowers.

Our unexpected skin problems can have many other causes besides weather, of course. Stress, lack of sleep, poor diet, smoking, and sun exposure are just a few other possibilities. If you've been experiencing frustrating skin care issues, try some of our suggested solutions below. And be sure to follow up with your dermatologist to rule out possible medical causes.

Acne Breakouts

Acne blemishes and breakouts can result from the usual suspects — sebum, stress, diet, hormones — but there are also more unexpected causes. Your hair-styling products can clog pores along your hairline, your eyeglasses can trap sweat and oil and your cell phone can accumulate dirt and baceteria on its surface. Be sure to wipe down your phone and glasses daily to keep their surfaces clean. In skin care products, look for ingredients like salicylic acid and natural astringents to unclog pores and fight bacteria.

Red Flower Lymphatic Phytopower Sea Cleanser and Masque ($42 in the shop) is a light, creamy facial wash that cleanses the skin without stripping away moisture. It also doubles as a masque boosted with powerful antioxidants and anti-aging ingredients, such as regenerating marine-plants.

Arcona AM Blemish Lotion ($38) is a lightweight lotion designed to reduce inflammation and help treat problem skin while also unclogging and refining pores with lactic and salicylic acids, as well as antibacterial manuka extract.

Envy Skin Clarifying Acne Treatment Pads ($25) are saturated with 2% salicylic acid and antioxidant and astringent witch hazel for maximum effectiveness against acne and acne-causing bacteria. 

Eye Puffiness

Puffy eyes, which are caused by a buildup of fluid in the tissues around your eyes, are often caused by allergies. They can also be caused by a lack of sleep, sinus problems or too much salt in your diet. Try eye treatments with peptides and antioxidants to reduce puffiness and hydrate the eye area.

Lumavera Anti-Aging Eye Cream ($80) uses plant cell technology and peptides to minimize wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness and loss of firmness while still being gentle around the delicate eye area.

Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin E Active Moisture Eye Balm ($49) contains organic fennel to reduce puffiness, as well as pomegranate, eyebright and ginseng to lift and plump the skin while providing continuous moisture throughout the day. Its blend of vitamins and active antioxidants will restore radiance to the delicate eye area. 

Sciote Vitamin C Eye Treatment ($60) contains 5% vitamin C, a hydrating peptide complex and soothing cucumber to reduce puffiness and dark circles. This gentle but effective formula firms, hydrates and revitalizes the eye area.

Flakiness

Flaky skin can be both irriating and embarrassing. It's most commonly caused by environmental factors such as dry air and low humidity, as well as by irritating additives in products. You need skin care products that will restore your skin's natural moisture barrier. Resist the tempation to overscrub your skin — what you need is hydration and moisture. Talk to your doctor to rule out medical causes such as Eczema and Psoriasis.

Red Flower French Lavender Moisturizing Body Lotion ($26) is a chamomile-based, anti-aging body lotion formulated with whole-flower extracts, omega-6, shea butter, gamma linoleic acid and primrose oil to increase moisture content and repair damaged skin.

Osmotics Skin Rescue Nourishing Oil ($58) relieves dry, chapped, damaged skin on the face, hands and body. This luxurious oil blend includes coconut, sweet almond, sunflower, red raspberry and evening primrose oils, which are rich in vitamins and fatty acids to soothe, smooth and protect skin. 

The Organic Pharmacy Manuka Face Cream ($76) minimizes blemishes and normalizes oil production while moisturizing dry, flaky patches. This lightweight cream also contains cedarwood and lavender and is ideal for those with oily or acne-prone skin.

Dull Skin

Has your skin lost a bit of its healthy glow? Dull skin can be the result of a diet lacking in vitamins, sun exposure or a dry climate. It's also essential to keep yourself hydrated, so be sure you are drinking enough water. Gentle exfoliation is the key to removing dead skin cells and restoring radiance; try to exfoliate at least once a week.

PureCeuticals Citrus Mint Refining Polish ($44) can be used as a masque and scrub to gently slough away dead, dull skin and impurities for smooth, radiant skin. This two-in-one polish also helps to activate collagen production and reduce wrinkles with antioxidants and vitamins.

La Vie Celeste Restorative Exfoliating Gel Mask ($60 in the shop) is a powerful exfoliating gel mask that contains a 5% concentration of pure glycolic acid in an organic aloe vera base. Gentle exfoliation is provided by bamboo grains.

Red Flower Bioactive Berry White Peat Exfoliant ($66) is a non-greasy, moisturizing face and body scrub that improves cell turnover, balances oily complexions and removes dead skin cells and toxins. This detoxifying exfoliator also enhances elasticity for younger, healthier looking skin.

Excess Oil

If your usually normal skin has become excessively oily, it could be due to hormonal changes, medications or stress. Products with ingredients such as natural clay and tea tree oil can help to absorb excess oil while giving your skin the moisture it still needs.

Amarte Daily Wonder Cleansing Foam ($40) is a whipped cleanser infused with cucumber that lifts away impurities and brightens skin without drying. Ideal for normal to oily skin, as well as acne-prone.

Medik8 Clay Mask ($50) minimizes the appearance of pores while purifying the skin by drawing out impurities and removing excess oil. This mask uses natural kaolin clay and plant extracts to prevent clogged pores, promote healing and support skin rejuvenation. 

Astara Blue Flame Purification Mask ($42) provides powerful purification of skin's pores and surface with tea tree oil and bioactive components to prevent and treat excessive oiliness and blemishes.

Inflammation

Inflamed skin can be caused by a cold or allergy, or by underlying medical conditions. Try gentle products with vitamins and calming herbs to soothe your skin, taking care to avoid harsh soaps and hot water that will dry your already irritated skin.

E'shee Clinical Esthetic Vitalizing C Serum ($119 in the shop) has a hefty 20% concentration of vitamin C with a high-tech delivery system. This serum reduces inflammation, brightens hyperpigmentation and helps repair lines and wrinkles.

M.A.D. Skincare Youth Transformation Age Corrective Serum ($60) calms and soothes sensitive and irritated skin with its combination of herbal anti-irritant extracts. This serum also contains a multi-peptide complex, along with apple, grape and alp rose stem cells, for skin that's moist, plump, nourished and recharged.

Prana Reishi Mushroom Shield ($42 in the shop) is a lightweight day moisturizer with SPF 45 derived from organic plant stem cell mushrooms and micronized zinc. These ingredients are designed to block UVA/UVB rays while reducing redness and inflammation.