It’s easy for your skin to get red and inflamed. It could happen if you test too many skin care products at once (guilty). It could also happen if you just have really sensitive skin and a new skin care product has irritated it. Or it could be happening right now because it’s winter and this season has no chill when it comes to icy cold winds blasting your cheeks. Either way, skin redness can be quite confusing to know how to get rid of it.
The first thing you need to do is figure out exactly why your skin is red. Certain lifestyle habits, like stress, diet, and water intake, in addition to dehydrating indoor heating and cold and windy weather can all cause facial redness.
- Acne: If you’re red because of acne, you should work with a dermatologist to develop a treatment plan that’s appropriate for your type of acne.
- Contact dermatitis: This is temporary irritation that’s usually caused by a new skin care product that your skin doesn’t react to the right way. If you have sensitive skin, do a spot test to determine if you will become irritated by something new. If you have an allergic reaction to something and it is not dramatic, try some hydrocortisone cream and apply a cold compress.
- Eczema: It’s hard to know if you have eczema, but a dermatologist can help. Mild eczema can easily be treated by changing some of your daily habits, but more severe eczema may need a prescription. Either way, it’s best to use mild soaps that won’t dry out your skin, and make sure you don’t take long hot showers. This is true for everyone; hot water dries out your skin.
- Over exfoliation: The first thing to remember is that you should never be exfoliating every day. Dermatologists generally prefer chemical exfoliators to physical exfoliators. Also, don’t use several products that exfoliate in your regime–stick to one.
- Rosacea: Rosacea is chronic redness and it’s probably one of the most common reasons for tomato-colored skin. There is no cure for rosacea, but the redness can be decreased by creams and serums. You want to make sure to use the appropriate skin cleansers and moisturizers to hydrate and calm it. Stick to hydrating cleansers that won’t disrupt the skin barrier. Look for cleansers that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid to improve hydration, as well as ceramides to help repair the outer skin layer.
Think of skin-soothing ingredients as the level-headed friend who always keeps her cool when the heat is on. Skin-soothing agents work to diminish signs of irritation, including redness and blotchiness from environmental influences. They do this by gently quieting sensitizing factors in skin’s surface, stopping the sources of distress before they make skin look as if it’s misbehaving.
Ceramides are a natural oily wax that already exist in your skin that help your skin keep water in and regulate cells. They can also help retain your natural skin barrier, which is super important when you’re dealing with redness.
Other calming ingredients to look for in your skin care - especially your cleanser and moisturizer.
- Aloe Vera
- Bisabolol (used on its own and also found in chamomile)
- Boerhavia diffusa root extract
- Burdock root
- Colloidal oatmeal
- Curcumin and its derivatives, known collectively as “curcuminoids”
- Licorice and its components, especially glabridin
- Willow herb
- Green tea (and its most active component, epigallocatechin gallate