Be it from too much time in the sun or a condition like eczema or rosacea, red skin in any form can feel like a big “look at me!” sign. Figuring out the mystery of why your skin is always red is only half the battle. Next up: treating it.
Though the former could be prevented by using sunscreen regularly and the latter are potentially lifelong conditions, they all just make your skin feel hot, uncomfortable, and call for the same thing: temporarily calming products.
Oftentimes, choosing products that will play nicely with your skin while it’s so sensitive is a little tricky. Too strong and they’ll just make things worse, too plain and they won’t do anything at all.
There’s no better way to know a product before you buy it than to understand its ingredients.
I’ve made a list of my top favourite anti-inflammatory, soothing ingredients. They’re proven to actually make a difference in taking the sting out of red skin. Look out for these names when browsing the aisles for new skin care products:
Ever heard of soaking in an oatmeal bath to treat eczema? Colloidal oatmeal in skin care follows a similar principle. “Colloidal” just means ground up. This fine powder is created by grinding oats, releasing all the goodness within – which is as simple and natural as effective ingredients get. Beta-glucan and phenols in the oatmeal make the resulting product highly anti-inflammatory, anti-itch, anti-redness, hydrating, and soothing, and also tolerated by almost everyone’s skin.
The thick juice of the aloe barbadensis or aloe vera plant is perhaps best known for its cooling effect on a bad sunburn. It’s actually still a bit of a mystery how it works. Regardless, this plant can offer similar results for inflamed skin from other causes too. Its low irritation potential and gel texture make this viable as a one-ingredient product – perfect as a one-stop cooling, hydrating and soothing layer.
Azelaic acid – despite its scary name – is incredibly effective against the papules and pustules or ‘adult acne’ associate with certain types of rosacea, as well as treating the overall redness. Better yet, it is soothing too. Treat lightly however, as you might have to build up a tolerance to use these products, or they might sting!
An ingredient in many soothing toners and moisturisers, allantoin is thought to be helpful by promoting healing, soothing and conditioning the skin.
Another skin soothing agent that is used in many skin-conditioning formulas such as lotions and moisturisers.
Green tea (cameillia sinesis)
As if being anti-ageing thanks to antioxidants wasn’t enough, green tea is not only tasty but extremely helpful in treating rosacea and other inflammatory skin conditions. The key is in the polyphenols and epigallocatechin gallate that promote deep healing and even fight ageing.
I hope this article provided you a jumping off point to help you curate a collection of soothing products that work for you. Of course, despite our best efforts, not everything can be fixed at home. If your rosacea is severely disrupting your life, please see a dermatologist to look into further therapies beyond what over the counter products can offer. Good luck to all of you suffering from rosacea or any other chronic skin condition – keep persevering and you’ll find something that works for you!