Skincare Tips for Calming Redness


In This Article:

It’s no fun to have to deal with intermittent flare-ups of redness on your face, especially along the cheeks, nose, and sometimes even the chin and forehead. It’s so frustrating—making you look like you’re embarrassed and hot when that’s not how you feel.

Making matters even worse, this kind of redness often becomes easily aggravated, often by the littlest thing, and sometimes leads to bumps. This is not welcome, and finding a solution is at best challenging.

Don’t lose hope! We can show you how to build a gentle, soothing skincare routine that calms redness and helps smooth bumps. We also have other suggestions that stand to make a big difference, including which ingredients could be making the problem worse. It’s time for you to start having healthy-looking, even-colored skin again.
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Recommended Products for Redness

Which Products You Should Eliminate

If you want to get your skin back on the right track, it’s critical to eliminate the parts of your routine that may be aggravating your skin and making redness worse. If you can do that, the difference will seem like a giant sigh of relief for your skin. Following are the top offenders you need to weed out and stop doing now:

  • STOP using bar soaps, cleansing scrubs, and cleansers that leave skin feeling tight or dry.
  • STOP using abrasive cleansing tools (e.g., a cleansing brush with stiff bristles).
  • STOP using astringents, toners, clarifying lotions, or any skincare product that contains alcohol (listed as SD alcohol or alcohol denatured) or witch hazel.
  • STOP applying products that contain fragrant plant oils or extracts, such as lavender, grapefruit, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, and rose.
  • STOP applying products that contain synthetic fragrances; these may simply be listed as parfum or fragrance on the ingredient list.
  • STOP applying products that contain any essential oil; essential oils are, essentially, just more fragrance! They contain volatile compounds research has shown aggravate skin.

Just writing that list makes us turn red!

One of the most common warnings in our list is fragrance. Fragrance has negative repercussions for skin, including flare-ups, which can lead to red, bumpy, flaky, dry, older-looking skin. So, aside from the importance of NOT using anything that aggravates your skin (everything you use must be completely non-irritating), your entire skincare routine should be 100% fragrance free!

Step-by-Step Skincare for Red, Temperamental Skin

Once you’ve cut out the bad products and eliminated the problematic skincare steps, and have started using only soothing, antioxidant-enriched, skin-calming, gentle, fragrance-free-formulas, you will be miles ahead of where you started. The following will make a huge difference in calming your red, aggravated skin. Here’s what you need for success:

  1. A gentle, non-drying, easy-to-rinse, skin-softening, water-soluble cleanser.
  2. A toner that delivers skin-replenishing ingredients, such as antioxidant-rich plant extracts, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid, and calming agents to renew your skin.
  3. A salicylic acid (BHA) exfoliant. BHA not only exfoliates built-up layers of dead skin to reveal the radiant healthy skin hiding beneath, but also can calm red areas while smoothing dry, flaky skin.
  4. During the day, a sunscreen with SPF 30 or greater whose only active sunscreen ingredients are titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide. These ingredients provide the utmost age-defying protection and can help reduce the risk of early signs of aging.
  5. In the evening, revitalize and soothe skin with a calming serum and moisturizer, formulated for your skin type, that contains abundant antioxidants, skin-enriching ingredients, and skin-drenching hydrators.

That might sound a bit complicated, but we’ve made sticking to these guidelines easy with our CALM Redness Relief Kits for Normal to Dry Skin and Normal to Oily Skin; both kits are 100% fragrance free and carefully crafted with ingredients to tenderly soothe redness, lessen dryness, control surface oil, minimize the appearance of pores, enhance radiance, combat sun damage with gentle sunscreens, and reveal a healthy, younger-looking glow. We think you’ll agree the difference in the appearance of your red, extra-sensitive skin will be nothing short of dramatic!

The Best Skin of Your Life Starts Here: The same type of in-depth scientific research used to create this article is also used to formulate Paula’s Choice Skincare products. You’ll find products for all skin types and a range of concerns, from acne and sensitive skin to wrinkles, pores, and sun damage. With Paula’s Choice Skincare, you can get (and keep) the best skin of your life! Learn more at Shop Paula's Choice.

References for this information:

Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, February 2016, Supplement, pages 2-8
Journal of Cosmetic Science, March-Apri 2015, pages 79-86
Journal of Allergy, February 2011, ePublication
The Journal of Clinical and Aestheic Dermatology, November 2008, pages 38-44
American Journal of Contact Dermatitis, September 1998, pages 170-175

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!

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