4 Ways to Address Skin Redness Without Covering It Up
Flushed cheeks and ruddy skin — it happens more often than you might think. The good news? Redness associated with flushing, ruddiness, irritation or even an allergic reaction doesn’t have to be plastered on your skin for too long. Even better news? You don’t have to resort to heavy-duty makeup to conceal it, either. That’s right — a few simple tweaks to your skin-care routine can help reduce the appearance of redness. How so, exactly? With helpful tips from board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com expert, Dr. Dendy Engelman, we’ve created a cheat sheet for diminishing skin redness without concealer or makeup.
First, Swap Your Face Wash
If your skin feels tight and dry and looks red after cleansing, your face wash may be to blame. Scan the product label and ask yourself these questions: Is the cleanser formulated for your skin type? Is the cleanser gentle? If the answer is no for either (or both) of these questions, it’s time to swap in a new facial cleanser like the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser that won’t irritate or strip your skin.
When removing impurities and dirt off your skin’s surface, it’s a good idea to stick to lukewarm water for rinsing. Also, use your fingertips in gentle circular motions to avoid irritation. Lastly, pat — don’t rub — your face dry with a soft, clean towel.
Editor’s note: If your cleanser is causing your skin to sting, burn, or turn red, stop using it immediately and contact your dermatologist for a new recommendation. We also recommend skipping toner or astringents, as some of these products can increase redness.
Now, Moisturize Your Skin
After washing your face, immediately apply a hydrating face cream or moisturizer to lock in moisture. But be picky with the formula you choose, as some moisturizers formulated with harsh ingredients like alcohol or fragrance can cause additional irritation. “Look for hydrating ingredients that will strengthen the skin barrier as well as provide a ‘shield’ from environmental stressors,” Dr. Engelman recommends. “Peptides, ceramides and hyaluronic acid can all help to build a barrier for the skin’s surface.” The Vichy LiftActiv Peptide-C is an excellent anti-aging moisturizer to try. Pro tip: Start storing your moisturizer in the fridge prior to applying it onto your skin. Cool products can help to deliver a refreshing cooling effect along with vasoconstriction of blood vessels, which can help to reduce the look of redness and swelling.
Say Goodbye to Harsh Ingredients
Think back to any skin-care products you’ve come into contact with that didn’t sit well on your skin. Those formulas could be formulated with ingredients that aren’t compatible with your redness-prone skin. “Avoid ingredients that can dry out the skin, like fragrance, alcohol, menthol, witch hazel and more,” Dr. Engelman suggests. Instead, swap in skin-care products that offer skin-calming properties, like green tea or aloe vera for example. “When applied to the skin, [green tea and aloe vera] can help to reduce the look of redness,” Dr. Engelman says. The Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque contains soothing aloe vera and oatmeal to soothe the skin while deep cleaning it as well.
Don’t Skimp on Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen
This goes without saying, but skipping sunscreen when outdoors is a quick ticket to a sunburn, which can make your skin look even more red. What’s more, neglecting to protect your skin from harmful UV rays puts you at risk for premature signs of skin aging and even some cancers. Apply a non-comedogenic, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher prior, like the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid SPF 50 before leaving the house — even if it’s rainy or cloudy. Pair your sunscreen use with additional sun protection measures such as wearing protective clothing, seeking shade and avoiding peak sun hours — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — when rays are strongest.