We may love the way a bit of blush can enliven the skin, but rosacea, blotchiness and general redness on the face is different. We want to be the ones to decide where a red flush belongs, thank you very much. So what can we do about unwanted redness?
Causes of redness on the face
Understanding the cause of redness on the face is the first step in treating it. Dr. Carl Thornfeldt, dermatologist and founder of Epionce, says that facial redness can be caused by a number of factors. The sun is the first thing we probably think of, but airborne pollution, changing temperatures and allergic reactions can also contribute to redness. Vasodilating foods and beverages (ones that dilate blood vessels) like caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods can also make the problem worse. Even our skin care products or being too aggressive with them can result in red skin.
Redness and rosacea are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably, but there is a difference between them. Board-certified dermatologic surgeon Dr. Dendy Engelman says that rosacea symptoms include persistent redness or flushing. Rosacea is genetic, especially if you have fair skin. It’s primarily vascular inflammation and the result of excessive glandular activity, says Thornfeldt.
Prevention and treatment of redness
Many people experiencing redness may be tempted to focus on covering up red skin with foundation and concealer. But why mask the problem when we can treat it with over-the-counter products? Engelman recommends treatments that cool skin and restrict blood vessels. Those with rosacea will need a prescription product, though.
When choosing products, it’s important to scan the labels as certain ingredients can make redness on the face worse. Watch out for fragrances, AHAs, retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and certain preservatives, cautions Thornfeldt. Alcohol is another sensitizing ingredient. If the labels are confusing, take note of products that dry out skin or compromise the skin barrier because they often lead to worsening redness.
Click through the slideshow above for some of the best products to soothe and treat redness on the face.