How to Soothe Redness

In the day and age of Instagram filters, it is easy to assume the majority of people have perfectly even skin. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Chances are most of us experience varying levels of blotchiness, irritation, sensitivity, and redness.

It bears repeating – if you suspect your redness might be caused by an underlying skin condition like rosacea or eczema, consult your GP or ask for a referral to see a dermatologist. While these conditions can’t be cured, they can be managed with professional help.

But if you ruled out either one of these, let’s take a look at more common causes of redness and how to treat them.


Got a bit heavy-handed with acids? It happens. Over-exfoliation can result in red, irritated, dry, or flaking skin. The best you can do is stop with the acids temporarily and nourish your skin back to its baseline. Recovery serums and moisturisers with soothing and calming ingredients (ceramides, urea, and niacinamide, for example) will go a long way to replenish your moisture barrier. Once your skin is back to its baseline, it is okay to start introducing acids again, albeit at a considerably slower pace. And let’s not forget about the low pH cleanser or one of the most important steps in your skincare routine.

Environment and lifestyle

In the summer, your skin might get flushed after an intense workout. In the winter, cold air or change in the temperature can lead to redness. In some cases, triggers can include alcohol or spicy food. So let’s break this down. If you are reacting to alcohol or spicy food, if possible, the most effective solution is to avoid them.

If your skin gets exceptionally red in the winter due to dryness, try to keep it as comfortable and as well hydrated as possible. Remember, you switch out your wardrobe when the seasons change. The same applies to your skincare routine. Products that are effective in the summer aren’t necessarily the most suitable in the wintertime.

Once more, a low pH cleanser is essential. Ingredients that restore and reinforce the moisture barrier are all good. As the last step, use a decent moisturiser with occlusive ingredients to seal everything in and keep your skin comfy.

Now exercise is another matter. You might think to yourself – oh, that’s a great excuse to avoid exercise. Actually, no. Exercise is essential for our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. The benefits far outweigh any potential blotchiness. That said – keep hydrated, exercise is a well-ventilated space, and you can always spritz your face with a facial mist to bring the redness down afterward.

Reaction to products

If your skin is easily irritated and you react to just about anything, opt for soothing and replenishing products. You might know what your triggers are, but in general, you will want to avoid skincare products with alcohol, fragrance, certain types of preservatives, or essential oils.

Introduce one new product at the time. That way, you will be able to identify the culprit immediately. If a reaction has occurred, go for a gentle cleanser and a replenishing moisturiser to soothe the skin. Keep it simple for the time being until your skin returns to normal.

You can also use makeup to cover up the worst of the redness. Try a tinted moisturiser or a primer with a green tint that will neutralise the redness.

Do you have a problem with redness? How do you treat it?

Roberta Striga