Calm Irritated Skin: Best Skincare for Redness
Skin redness is a condition we all experience at one time or another. But when it doesn't go away or is accompanied by irritation, your skin may be responding to inflammation in the body or environmental stressors. Treating redness successfully takes a holistic, multifactorial approach. A gentle skincare regimen is key, but lifestyle modifications and nutrition are just as important. Whether your rosiness is caused by acne, rosacea, broken capillaries, or eczema, redness is something that many of my clients complain about.
Find redness relief with our guide to the best skincare products and practices for calming irritated skin and reducing redness.
Understanding Skin Irritation and Redness
Redness in the skin occurs when blood vessels dilate and blood rushes close to the surface of the skin. While redness can be a transitory state caused by temperature change, massage, and allergies, the more common causes that people come to me for are Acne, Rosacea, Broken Capillaries, and Eczema. In order to identify the best skincare products and practices to address the issue it's essential first to understand the underlying causes.
Here are the various factors that can cause skin irritation and redness:
- Sudden temperature change
- Exposure to prolonged heat or cold
- Allergies and reactions to products
- Broken Capillaries
Soothing Skincare Products
Respecting skin barrier function and incorporating soothing ingredients into your routine will help alleviate skin redness, no matter the cause. And contrary to typical acne treatments, maintaining clean yet moisture-balanced skin will keep breakouts at bay.
Here is the best skincare for redness:
When you suffer from skin redness or irritation, choosing cleansers that don't dismantle the skin's natural protective barrier is important. If you support the skin's biological job, which is to protect, you can avoid dryness and further sensitivity. Deeply exfoliating or harsh cleansers can further irritate sensitive, red skin and leave it prone to dryness.
- Ignae Daily Enzyme Cleanser - Ignae's proprietary EPC Factor, plus three naturally-derived alpha hydroxy acids (citric acid, lactic acid, and tartaric acid), provide a refreshing cleanse also provide mild and gentle exfoliation to support your skin's daily renewal process and preparing it for the next steps in your routine.
- Avène Tolerance Extremely Gentle Cleanser - Restore your skin's natural barrier with this no-rinse cleansing lotion. It gently removes makeup, dirt, and oil from the face, eyes, and lips while soothing skin.
Once you determine the cause of your skin redness, serums are the best way to target your specific condition.
- The Soothing Serum - A great option for every skin condition, this calming and protective serum contains ingredients that deeply hydrate, reduce the appearance of redness and other inflammation, comfort stressed and sensitized skin, increase collagen production, and restore immunity.
- Biologique Recherche Serum Complexe Iribiol - his purifying serum aims to prevent and alleviate skin imperfections and acne by regulating sebum secretion and reducing inflammation thanks to antimicrobial active ingredients.
- Environ Vita-Enriched Colostrum Gel - Containing a high concentration of bovine colostrum and enriched with vitamins and a variety of antioxidants, including Green Tea, vitamin C, and vitamin E, this boosting serum helps to protect the skin from external and internal stressors relieving redness and rosacea and resulting in skin that feels soft, soothed and protected.
- Biologique Recherche Serum Erythros - This targeted serum acts simultaneously on the causes of vascular dilation, the formation and propagation of new blood capillaries, inflammation, and visible redness.
Moisturizers are a basic yet essential step in your skincare routine. When skin is hydrated, it is healthy, keeping the skin barrier strong and less prone to irritation.
- The Balm - Great for eczema and rosacea, this rich and comforting balm is formulated to provide long-lasting hydration, decrease water loss, lower reactivity, soften skin, improve its texture, energize, and increase luminosity.
- Chuda Healing Hydrating Cream - Rooted in the centuries-old, skin-healing Remedea Compound™ and boosted by the most scientifically advanced, medical-grade actives, Chuda Healing Hydrating Cream deeply hydrates and rapidly heals dry, damaged, and compromised skin.
Masks are an incredible way to boost your routine when your skin needs extra soothing. Targeted ingredients spend more time in contact with your skin, so they can penetrate deeper and work better.
- Environ Hydroxy Acid Sebu-Clear Mask - Perfect for breakouts, this acid cream mask contains a combination of exfoliating acids to help clear the appearance of existing breakouts, leaving the skin looking visibly clearer.
- The Face Mask - This silky and comforting bio-cellulose mask hydrates, soothes and protects skin with vitamin E, red marine algae, hyaluronic acid, sunflower seed oil, and glycerin.
In addition to protecting you from sunburn and UV rays, Zinc, found in mineral SPF, is also a soothing anti-inflammatory ingredient.
- Salt & Stone’s Lightweight Sheer Daily Sunscreen - A 100% mineral, oil-free, sheer facial sunscreen moisturizer for every skin type provides SPF 40 protection while helping to protect from blue light.
Avoiding Irritants and Triggers
Next to a gentle and targeted skincare routine, avoiding certain triggers can help reduce redness flare-ups. By limiting your exposure to these environments and common irritants, you can avoid exacerbating skin irritation and redness.
- Skip harsh soaps, cleansers, and exfoliating products and opt for cleansing balms and sulfate-free formulas.
- Avoid strong retinoids and acids.
- Go fragrance-free.
- Minimize sun exposure and wear SPF 30 when you’re in the sun for long periods to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and sunburn. Excessive sun exposure can also cause rosacea flare-ups and broken capillaries.
- Protect skin from extreme temperatures. Hot saunas, steam rooms, and showers can cause rosacea to flare up.
- Protect your skin from high winds from winter sports or extreme weather.
- Pay attention to the foods and beverages that cause your skin to redden. High-sugar treats, processed foods, and alcohol are common triggers.
- Avoid any kind of trauma to the skin, whether it's a trending at-home treatment, picking at breakouts, or anything that puts pressure on your face.
Gentle Skincare Practices
Gentle skincare practices help maintain calm skin and soothe irritation during flare-ups. My skincare philosophy of respect, support, and protection is particularly necessary for sensitive and inflamed skin. Add these techniques and tips into your gentle skincare routine:
- Facial massage, especially using our chilled Facial Massager, can help you achieve sculpted results without having to use invasive treatments.
- Cryotherapy, or the use of cold compresses, helps lower inflammation and ease irritation caused by eczema or flushing caused by overheating.
- Start low and slow with chemical exfoliators to avoid disrupting the skin barrier. Biologique Recherche’s P50 Lotion, for example, comes in several strengths, so you can slowly build up a tolerance.
- At-home light therapy by Lyma Laser or Celluma Pro allows you to bring the effective, anti-inflammatory treatment home with you to treat rosacea, broken capillaries, and redness.
- Be gentle with your skin and avoid rubbing, tugging, or picking to prevent skin trauma and broken capillaries.
Moisturize with an oil-based cream when it’s cold out. Water-based moisturizers in sub-zero weather because the water in the formula can freeze in the pores, and the subsequent expansion can lead to unwanted broken capillaries.
Professional Treatments for Reducing Redness
When skin irritation and redness become persistent, there are benefits to seeking help from a professional. A proper diagnosis is the first step to finding relief. Dermatologists and trained estheticians can pinpoint the issue, help alleviate symptoms during a treatment, and recommend products targeted to your concerns.
Professional treatments that can help reduce skin redness are:
- Facials - A facial with massage and targeted products will quickly calm your skin and reduce redness.
- Ultrasound - A modality I frequently use to exfoliate, cleanse, hydrate, and kill bacteria gently. The mechanical tool also improves moisture in the skin, alleviates rosacea, and increases product absorption.
- LED light therapy - I use LED therapy in almost all of my facials to boost skin health, but it’s also excellent at reducing inflammation, eczema, acne, and rosacea.
- Oxygen infusion - This refreshing treatment lowers inflammation, replenishes hydration levels, and detoxes.
Extractions and deep cleansing - Trust the experts to care for your breakouts, so they can clear up faster and heal properly.
Lifestyle Changes for Calming Irritated Skin
Diet plays a significant role in skin issues like redness, whether you're dealing with acne, rosacea, or eczema, all of which are caused by inflammation in the body. What we eat, and lifestyle factors account for about 70% of the health of our skin, while the other 30% is affected by the proper topical treatment.
In the same way that certain products and your surroundings may irritate your skin from the outside, some foods and drinks can inflame and trigger your skin from the inside. This is why an anti-inflammatory diet is key to treating these skin conditions, including green leafy vegetables, fish, oils rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and low sugar. Some studies even suggest removing refined sugars, grains, and dairy for a period of time to lower inflammation in the body. Specific to rosacea, some see success in avoiding spicy foods, citrus, tomato, chocolate, and cinnamon, which trigger facial redness.
Last but not least are stress and sleep, which majorly affect inflammatory levels and skin health. Almost all acne is caused by hormones: progesterone, estrogen, and cortisol, the stress hormone. Managing stress levels, improving sleep quality, and incorporating exercise will complement your skincare practices so you can achieve healthy, even skin.
Find the Best Skincare Products for Redness
Redness relief is possible with a multifaceted, holistic approach, including a gentle skincare routine, in-studio treatments, lifestyle adjustments, and an anti-inflammatory diet.
The best skincare for redness is targeted toward your condition, whether acne, rosacea, eczema, or broken capillaries. However, no matter your cause for redness, a soothing, non-invasive skincare regimen is best to keep your skin even and healthy.