Seeing Red? How to Calm and Reduce Redness

Just like how some of us are more prone to hyperpigmentation, others are more prone to redness in the skin. Not all redness, also known as Facial Erythema, is created equal either. Some causes can include inflammation, reaction to trauma, heat/spicy food, allergies, and even our emotions. Another cause for turning red is clinically referred to as rosacea. Rosacea is a condition in which certain facial blood vessels enlarge, giving the cheeks and nose a flushed appearance. It can appear as a constant state of redness or be easily triggered by irritants in your face wash, moisturizer or outside elements. More aggressive forms of rosacea can even come with papules and pustules and be extremely sensitive to touch. It is also important to note that while we want to address redness when we spot it on our faces, it can show up anywhere on the skin. Read on to find out the cause and cure (word to SWV) of your redness.

Sun, Not So Fun

It could be that sun exposure is the root cause for your redness. If you’re noticing a slight red, bumpy rash or raised, red patches every time you come inside then you may have a slight sun allergy. Specifically, you may be experiencing a reaction to Polymorphous Light Eruption [PMLE] caused by UV radiation. Of course, utilizing a good sunscreen can help to prevent this. It is more common to develop this during the spring and summer months.

HOW TO CALM
An over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen and a topical hydrocortisone should help with itching and swelling. You can also use a cold milk compress and aloe vera gel to soothe the affected area.

Problematic Products

When it comes to skin care products and cosmetics, it is important to test on a small area of your skin for at least 24 hours. The main reason for this test is to look for any allergies/reactions. Another big cause for redness in the skin is due to contact dermatitis and, often times, this is something that we do to ourselves. You will notice “breakouts” and itching usually within a day of using the product or coming into contact with the allergen, if not immediately. If you didn’t do a patch test, but are able to determine the specific product causing the allergy, you want to first stop using it immediately.

HOW TO CALM
You want to use cooling, hydrating products on the affected area as well as taking an oral antihistamine. The Avène Antirougeurs Fort Relief Concentrate works well for restoring the skin quickly (and is recommended by most professionals for clients with rosacea).

War of the Roses

Rosacea can be tough because it will seem like you are red all the time. This is a skin condition diagnosed by dermatologists and if you are wondering if you should see yours, check for the following: increased flushing on the cheeks and nose, red pimples and pustules, and dilated blood vessels. All three need to be present to be categorized as rosacea. When left untreated, rosacea gets worse before it gets better and the condition is exacerbated by sun exposure. If you have already been diagnosed with rosacea, the primary focus for your skin care regimen is to stay diligent. Those with rosacea are more likely to have sensitive skin so using products that can help without causing irritation is key. And your skin care routine will be imperative to keeping your redness under control.

HOW TO CALM
Use a gentle, yet effective cleanser like SkinCeuticals Gentle Cleanser. It has just a slight bit more oomph! than Cetaphil and contains orange oil (a natural, soothing antiseptic) and benzoic acid, a microbial and conditioning agent. You’ll want to follow that up with a hydrating moisturizer such as La Roche-Posay Toleriane Soothing Protective cream. The main ingredient found in this cream is Squalane which is a natural hydrator found in the skin. People with rosacea also benefit from regular light therapy treatments.

Some other general ways to calm your redness include: cold compresses, masque treatments, and less stress!

 

Image Credit: Model Codie Young via The Fashionography