Tag: sensitive skin

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.

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.

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.

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

Things You Absolutely Need to Know About Your Skin Type

Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards healthier skin but before we can get into your personal skin type, we’ve got to set some ground rules. First things first: do not get attached to your skin type. Our skin is always evolving and while you may discover that your skin is one way today, you could have a totally different skin type six months, a year, or a decade from now. The general rule of thumb is that our skin types change as we get older. Secondly, everyone is unique. The information presented in this post describes general indications of each skin type. To be sure of the skin you’re in, book an appointment with your esthetician or dermatologist. Lastly, don’t fret if you discover your skin isn’t what you were expecting. Remember, our skin is always changing and chances are that your skin type will change for the better as you learn more about properly caring for your skin.

So What’s My Skin Type?

The main skin types are normal, combination, oily, dry, and sensitive. These are determined by a few different factors including genetics, size of pores, hydration, elasticity, softness, moisturization, and overall sensitivity. Despite seeing ourselves in our skin everyday, we may not be able to notice subtle changes in our skin’s elasticity or softness but your esthetician can usually spot a difference in one visit during the skin analysis. Below are just a few of the main indicators of each skin type.

Normal Skin Type

Key indicators of a normal skin type are: glowing skin, perfect lipid (oil)/water balance, and a barely visible, normal follicle size. You also will rarely find blemishes or breakouts. If you have a normal skin type, maintenance and preventative care will be your main skin goals.

Oily Skin Type

Oily skin types are typically determined by excess sebum (oil), larger follicle size, thicker or sallow skin appearance, and blemishes/comedones will be common. Hormonal changes, stress, and humidity or heat can exacerbate an oily skin type. If you have an oily skin type, cleansing and exfoliating regularly will be a key factor in your skincare regimen–this includes washing your face twice a day (perhaps a gentle cleanser in the mornings and an exfoliating cleanser before bed) and/or with cool water after an intense workout. Though this skin type may experience more breakouts, it is imperative that you don’t pick at or pop your blemishes as it can lead to scarring and prevent you from achieving clear, blemish free skin.

Dry Skin Type

If you have a dry skin type this means that your skin lacks the natural oils that protect us from everyday environmental damage and aging. Dry skin types are also more sensitive as the acid mantle and barrier function are not healthy due to a lack of lipids. You can typically determine a dry skin type by texture (sometimes rough), very small follicles, dull complexion, visible lines, and less elasticity.

Combination Skin Type

A combination skin type will usually mean that your skin is either Normal/Oily, Normal/Dry, or (in very rare instances) a combination of all three. Combination skin types will notice an oily T-zone while their cheeks and other areas will either be normal or dry and be flaky, enlarged follicles, more blackheads, and the skin will appear shiny. Some combination skin types will also experience breakouts in their T-zone area occasionally. Keeping your combination skin type under control requires achieving an oil/water balance and proper maintenance.

Sensitive Skin Type

Sensitive skin types require careful attention and care as it is the most fragile skin type. Key indicators of sensitive skin include: redness, thin skin, telangiectasia (couperose skin), and is easily irritated by the sun and/or products (itching or burning). Some of these indicators are not as visible on darker skin so if you think you may have a sensitive skin type make sure your esthetician is experienced in working with your skin tone as well as your skin type. With a sensitive skin type, you want to make sure you are keeping your skin calm and protected at all times.

Everyone has one of these five skin types but other things can happen on our skin as well. Those are skin conditions and it’s important to note that skin types are not the same as skin conditions. We’ll explore skin conditions more in our next post. You can learn more about skin types here. Remember to book an appointment with your esthetician to learn more about caring for your skin type and keeping your natural glow!

Image Credit: Black Fashion via Miss.Cameroon