Skincare Tips for Calming Redness


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It isn’t easy dealing with the intermittent flare-ups of redness that can happen on the face, especially along the cheeks, nose and sometimes even the chin and forehead. It can be so frustrating—making you look like you’re embarrassed and hot when you’re not.

Making matters even worse is that this kind of redness is accompanied by skin that becomes easily aggravated by the littlest thing and sometimes bumps occur. None of this is welcome and finding solutions is at best challenging.

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

Which Products You Should Eliminate

In order to get your skin back on the right track, it is critical to eliminate the parts of your routine that may be aggravating your skin and making redness worse. Here are the top offenders to weed out and stop doing now. The difference when you do will be a sigh of relief for your skin.

  • STOP using bar soaps, cleansing scrubs, and cleansers that leave skin feeling tight or dry.
  • STOP using abrasive cleansing tools (i.e. 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 containing fragrant plant oils/extracts such as lavender, grapefruit, peppermint, lemon and rose.
  • STOP applying products containing synthetic fragrances (may simply appear as parfum or fragrance on the ingredient list).
  • STOP applying products containing any essential oil (which are really just more fragrance).

Just writing this list makes us turn red!

One of the common warnings in our list is fragrance. Fragrance has many negative repercussions for skin, including flare-ups that 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 absolutely fragrance free.

Step-by-Step Skincare for Red, Temperamental Skin

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

  1. A gentle, non-drying, easy to rinse, skin softening, water-soluble cleanser.
  2. A toner that delivers replenishing ingredients such as antioxidant-rich plant extracts, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and calming agents to renew your skin.
  3. A salicylic acid (BHA) exfoliant. BHA not only exfoliates skin built up dead skin to reveal radiant healthy skin hiding beneath, but it can also 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. This will 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.

This 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 of which are 100% fragrance free and carefully crafted with ingredients to tenderly soothe redness, lessen dryness, control oil, minimize pores, enhance radiance, combat sun damage with gentle sunscreens, and reveal a healthy, younger-looking glow.

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.

About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and helping you solve your skincare frustrations with research-supported expert advice—so you'll have the facts you need to take the best possible care of your skin.

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