When it comes to beauty, few things are as annoying as inflamed skin.
For many people, inflammation means skin that can be itchy, sensitive, red and uncomfortable – and sometimes, it can be all you can think about when you have a flare-up. That’s perhaps why quick-fixes are everywhere on TikTok – you’ve probably seen the technique for ‘icing’ your skin, either with a jade roller you’ve left in the freezer, a frozen cucumber or even braving the ultimate test: sticking your face (briefly) into a bowl of ice.
We’re becoming more aware of inflammatory skin conditions – particularly with celebrities speaking out about their struggles. Kim Kardashian has opened up about her journey with psoriasis – she had her first flare-up at 25 – and famous faces with rosacea include Sam Smith and Cynthia Nixon.
If you’re struggling with a skin condition, it’s always a good idea to see your facialist or a dermatologist, so you can get the most appropriate treatment advice for you. But if you have red skin that you’d simply like soothed, anti-inflammatory skin care might be worth checking out…
The Ingredients to Help Inflamed Skin
Your skin might be inflamed if it’s red, sore or itchy and this occurs due to an immune response in the body. This can be triggered by conditions such as bacterial, viral and fungal infections, allergic reactions, internal disease, and some skin conditions such as dermatitis and psoriasis.
It’s worth noting that darker skin tones can also struggle with inflammation – and it might not always manifest itself as noticeable redness. For example, eczema might look like darker patches on darker skin, and those affected by the condition might still feel sore and itchy.
Anti-inflammatory skin care contains ingredients that actively inhibit inflammation in the skin. It’s becoming increasingly popular at the moment, and instead of buying a separate product such as an anti-inflammatory face cream, your skin care product is now giving those combined benefits, so you don’t have to purchase them separately.
Luckily, there are plenty of common skin care ingredients with anti-inflammatory properties. For instance, look out for products which include aloe, turmeric, calendula extract, manuka honey, witch hazel, niacinamide, sea buckthorn oil, cehami flower extract, vitamins C, D and E, oatmeal, carrot seed oil or ginger – all these ingredients can help fight inflammation!
If you don’t want to exacerbate the redness of your skin, there are also some products you might want to steer clear of, such as those that contain synthetic fragrances.
Mind Your Lifestyle
As with most things, anti-inflammatory skin care isn’t necessarily a quick-fix. Although topical products can start to give an immediate effect, you might want to address the inflammation that occurs in the deeper levels of the skin, and address the root cause.
The skin is our largest organ, so you have to think of a range of factors when taking care of it. Often it’s a good idea to evaluate your lifestyle (stress and raised cortisol levels), diet (certain foods can cause inflammation), water intake and amount of sleep – as these can all contribute. Ultimately, a balanced lifestyle and skin care routine are key to keeping your inflamed skin less inflamed. Do not forget the skin is an organ and benefits from vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – from food, supplementation and also topical skin care.
And don’t worry if your redness-prone complexion is taking longer than you might want to clear up (but do seek expert advice if your symptoms are severe or getting worse). The time it takes to reduce and address inflammation varies from person to person, and also on any skin conditions they are suffering from (such as rosacea, acne etc).”
Inflammation can mean a lot of different things, but skinflammation (inflammation of the skin) is an especially tricky thing to pinpoint. For starters, it can manifest in a number of ways, such as redness, dark spots, itching, breakouts, and/or swelling. And even if you haven't added any new products into the mix, there are an overwhelming number of environmental factors that could trigger skinflammation, making its elimination quite difficult.
Beware of Your Tap Water
If your inflammation is chronic, only happens when cleansing, and you've already ruled out products, I'm going to go ahead and say you probably have sensitivity to hard water. Hard water is the term used to describe tap water that's high in dissolved minerals, largely calcium and magnesium.
Depending on where you live, some states have higher concentrations of hardness in their water (like New Mexico, Utah, Indiana, and Florida), whereas other states have less.
Over time, this skin residue can disrupt the skin barrier. It causes your pores to clog up, which, in turn, can lead to acne and exacerbate skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis. If you've noticed that your skin improves dramatically when you travel elsewhere, there's a high chance that your water is to blame.
First, I recommend getting a good mineral filter for your faucet and shower head. This can help filter out the minerals that are triggering your irritation. You can also try cleansing with micellar water whenever possible, which effectively cleanses skin without requiring you to wash your face. When you do use the sink, always use cool water—never hot.
And of course, there are also additional steps you can implement during and after washing to counteract irritation. Remember that keeping a simple skin care routine that focuses less on exfoliation and more on moisturizing/calming is essential for treating inflammation. Whatever you do, don't pile on a bunch of products (especially anything fragranced) as this will most likely make things worse.
Aloe vera has a very long track record as a skin-soothing agent. Not only is it moisturizing and protective, it's also rich in essential amino acids, fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, E, and B-12, which create a protective barrier and locks in moisture without contributing to skin oiliness. Aloe vera has been shown to decrease a chemical called thromboxane, which is known to slow down wound healing. And as an added benefit, it also contains magnesium lactate, a chemical that can decrease itching and irritation.
Mother Nature usually always has a good fix for things!
What Should You Use on Your Skin Then?
So what ingredients should you be using to combat irritation? The right anti-inflammatory ingredients work by inhibiting the body's negative response and blocking the effects of certain enzymes that contribute to inflammation. I'm sure the last thing you want to do is experiment with already irritated skin, so sticking with an all natural skin care routine is the best way to go to ensure you and your body love the products you put on it!
Shop Wild Naturals today for all things clean, nourishing, soothing, and effective!