Red, flushed skin can be attributed to a number of things, whether it's warm weather, an intense workout, or simply feeling excited or embarrassed. Sometimes redness can occur because of a skin condition, such as rosacea, or issues like endocrine disorders that we can't easily see. While some causes of redness are a bit easier to treat than others, and perhaps only require a pat-down with cool water or a calming mask, others require intensive treatments with the help of a skin care pro. Whatever the case, finding a way to calm red, flushed skin can be done once you identify the cause.
So if you’re curious about why some skin types commonly experience symptoms like redness and flushing, what you can do to calm your skin when this happens, and which signs may indicate an issue that may require more medical intervention, and more, keep reading on for 10 different ways to soothe red skin!
Identify the Cause
Not all red, flushed skin can be attributed to the same cause, and not all treatments and remedies will address every issue as effectively as others. To start calming your skin, it will help if you can pinpoint the reason for the redness. Red, flushed skin can be caused by a myriad of factors, such as heat, emotions—like blushing due to embarrassment—medications, alcohol, rosacea, endocrine disorders, menopause, and carcinoid syndrome. Even certain vitamins can lead to redness, like niacin, which can cause transient flushing.
There are also several skin conditions that can cause facial redness. These range from irritation to contact allergy to rosacea and acne. If your facial redness is new and not getting better on its own or with over-the-counter products, see a board-certified dermatologist.
Use a Cool Compress to Calm Flushed Skin
If your red or flushed skin isn’t due to an underlying medical condition, treating it can be done by applying a cool compress to the affected area. In most cases, the skin becomes flushed as a result of the blood vessels widening in that area, which then allows for more blood to flow through. This is why some people experience redness during exercise, when they drink alcohol, or if they become embarrassed—which we'll get to in a minute. To calm flushed skin, place a clean washcloth in a plastic bag filled with ice cubes and leave it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Then, remove the cloth and gently apply it to the skin for about 20 minutes before removing it.
Use Visine as a Color Corrector
For years, Visine has promised to “get the red out” of our eyes, and as it turns out, that same color-correcting magic can work on skin. Like ice or cold water, Visine constricts blood vessels to reduce redness by restricting blood flow to the area. Many people already know that a few drops of Visine on an inflamed pimple can offer temporary relief from redness, and Guanche recommends implementing this practice to any affected areas of the skin by combining a little Visine mixed with moisturizer.
Use a Soothing Sheet Mask
If you don’t need to constrict your blood vessels but seek to calm red skin that’s caused by dryness or inflammation, sheet masks make for great at-home treatments when they contain the right ingredients. Rosewater is known for reducing redness and calming irritated skin and is naturally packed with vitamins A, C, and E, which will leave your skin looking and smelling fantastic in mere minutes.
Consult Your Dermatologist
Sometimes skin redness or flushing requires treatments and ingredients that at-home DIY solutions can’t offer. Calming red skin depends on its cause, especially when dealing with a skin condition with or without acne. Rosacea is the most common cause of facial redness. The best approach to treating this is multifactorial – we call it functional and it includes a combination of nutrition and lifestyle modification, skincare, medications, and procedures, such as laser.
Procedures such as micro-needling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP), which are anti-inflammatory, can often help patients that have an acne/rosacea combination. Micro-needling works by resurfacing the skin and decreasing inflammation.
Try Certain Medications
If you know that the redness on your skin is caused by rosacea, you can also look to certain prescription medications to treat your symptoms. Try talking to your doctor about topical creams that relieve redness temporarily. If your rosacea has you feeling especially dry, a calming lotion may also provide temporary relief. There are over-the-counter options available, too.
Avoid Irritating Products
Redness can be exacerbated by certain ingredients in our skin care—namely acids, which are commonly used to exfoliate the skin. Steer clear of strong retinoids or retinol, as these products can further irritate sensitive skin, as well as harsh physical exfoliants and polishing scrubs. Some acne products can be drying and should be used with caution if you have sensitive skin, such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, and glycolic acids.
If you can’t part ways with your favorite acid-enhanced product, look to formulas that contain a low percentage of the good stuff. And to ensure your red skin stays cared for, limit your use of acid-containing items to every other day or just a few times a week. Be sure to follow up with a moisturizer and SPF every day (even when it's cloudy!), as these skin-sloughing formulas can make complexions more prone to irritation when exposed to UV rays.
Even if you're not using harsh acids, it's a good idea to use a gentle cleanser twice daily. Also, apply a moisturizer with SPF 30 or higher every morning, and use a nourishing moisturizer at night.
Reduce Redness From Within
Underlying redness can simply be related to a few outside factors. This is, of course, if you're not dealing with a certified medical condition. If your redness is less medical and more environmental, sometimes it can be broken down into making simple changes in things like your diet.
It’s often recommended to switch to an anti-inflammatory diet, which includes green leafy vegetables, fish, essential oils, and low-glycemic fruits. Even more importantly it excludes simple sugars, grains, non-organic meats and dairy, and high-glycemic fruits. Pre- and probiotics are a must. Vitamin D supplements also help, even in those with “normal” vitamin D levels.
In the same way that certain skin care ingredients may trigger the outer layer of the skin, some foods and drinks can inflame and irritate skin from the inside. These foods tend to have high acidic content and can regularly produce flushed cheeks and persisting redness.
If you are prone to redness or rosacea, then you can avoid triggers, such as spicy foods, citrus, tomato, chocolate, and cinnamon. Additionally, heat, extremes in temperatures (either hot or cold), wind exposure, alcohol, and some warm beverages as additional triggers that can lead to redness or may induce rosacea symptoms.
Make Additional Lifestyle Changes
While persisting redness can be a frustrating problem, and when it comes to rosacea, an actual skin condition, the cause is often more than skin deep. This can mean that the solution can require more than one step and can involve the medication, treatments, and dietary changes that we spoke about above.
As for the lifestyle modifications you can make, try the following:
- Decrease sun/UV exposure
- Stop smoking
- Stop drinking hot beverages
- Drink cold water while exercising.
While this won't necessarily 'cure' redness, doing things like avoiding excessive sun exposure or using a cool compress can help reduce symptoms temporarily.
Swap Your Skin Care for Natural Products
When you consider how to treat skin problems, it should be simple to realize that maybe your skin care is part of the issue. Brands are filled with preservatives, chemicals, and low quality/low concentrate ingredients that can do more harm than good. For treating Rosacea, you want products that will have results that decrease the flush and inflammation caused by the skin condition.
Therefore, changing to natural ingredients that can help relieve redness, inflammation, and soothe irritated skin is a must! Enter Wild Naturals. Visit our online store for the full catalog of skin care products that are known for reducing redness, healing, and are fully anti-inflammatory by not one, but two different natural ingredients (hint: they’re manuka honey and cehami flower extract).
See the incredible difference with your skin when you try Wild Naturals skin care!