How to Calm Skin Redness and Inflammation
Say goodbye to itchy, red and inflamed skin with these soothing ingredients.
Dealing with facial redness, flushed, and irritated skin can be frustrating. The majority of us eventually face this concern at one point in our skincare journey but especially those with sensitive skin may experience it quite often. Redness and sensitivity can be a source of insecurity and even a sign of underlying health issues. It is essential to find a way to calm the redness and inflammation by consulting with a specialist and identifying the reason for it.
What Causes Redness and Irritation?
From eczema and rosacea to acne and over-exfoliation, there are many reasons you might get red and inflamed skin. Here are some of the most common causes of redness and irritation:
- Inflammatory acne – it can be anything from a tiny blemish to deep cysts and it results in swelling, redness, and bumps.
- Rosacea – a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes redness, visible blood vessels, and small, red bumps. It can be triggered by extreme temperatures or spicy food, for example.
- Eczema – itchy, red, inflamed, and dry skin that can lead to a compromised skin barrier.
- Contact dermatitis – this happens when your skin has an allergic reaction to a product, such as a cream, a serum, or a face mask, and usually contains potentially irritating ingredients like fragrance and dyes.
- Over-exfoliation – home peels are great but they should be used carefully, as overdoing them can lead to burning and stinging sensation, and weakening the skin’s natural barrier function.
Reduce Skin Redness and Inflammation
Redness and irritation can happen to the best of us. Luckily there are plenty of skin-loving ingredients that are effective when it comes to soothing the skin.
Azelaic acidAzelaic acid is an ingredient known to reduce inflammation that helps the skin look less red and less irritated. It also fights dark spots and unclogs pores for a more even complexion.
NiacinamideNiacinamide acts as an antioxidant and decreases redness and hyperpigmentation while improving the skin’s natural barrier function.
Salicylic acidA beta-hydroxy acid (BHA), known for its pore-unclogging effect in treating oily and acne-prone skin. It is less known that it is also a great anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredient.
Licorice extractA plant extract that has anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties. It also evens out the skin tone by brightening the complexion and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation and discoloration.
Centella AsiaticaAnother botanical extract that you may have come across as part of your favorite K-beauty products. Sensitive and redness-prone skin can benefit from using this ingredient, as it calms inflammation, gives the skin a serious boost of hydration, and revitalizes skin’s protective barrier. It is known by a variety of names, so look out for tiger grass, Gotu kola, Brahmi, or Asiatic pennywort on your labels.
Green teaGreen tea is similar to Centella Asiatica, as they are plant-derived antioxidants with soothing properties. Both originate from traditional medicine and are now scientifically-proven to hold those benefits.
AllantoinThis is a by-product of uric acid, extracted from urea but it also occurs naturally in the body. As a plant extract it can be derived from chamomile and is effective in calming sensitive and redness-prone skin.
Colloidal oatmealProduced by finely grinding oats and then boiling them, colloidal oatmeal has water-binding properties and is effective in skin protection, while soothing inflammation and redness. It contains a high concentration of beta-glucan that is a known anti-irritant and skin-soothing agent.
Tips for Avoiding Redness
It is not always easy to prevent skin inflammation and redness but there are known triggers that you might want to stay away from.
- Start from within – anti-inflammatory diet is a thing and it can be quite beneficial. Fish and green leafy vegetables, probiotics, and vitamin D supplements not only deliver the needed nutrition but also regulate redness and the appearance of flushed cheeks.
- Limit exposure to irritants – steer clear from potentially irritating ingredients, such as fragrance, dyes, drying alcohols, essential oils, and phthalates.
- Avoid stressors – sunlight, smoking, coffee, and spicy foods are proven to trigger conditions like rosacea.
- Wear sunscreen – SPF reduces the flaring that comes from sun exposure.
- Commit to a simple skincare routine – it’s fine to try different products but start with one active ingredient and add another, only if you’re sure that your skin tolerates the first one without any irritation.
No matter the culprit, it is crucial to prevent and treat redness and inflammation before it leads to more serious skin and health concerns. Along with the skin-soothing agents mentioned above, you can benefit from adding hydrating components, such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, and ceramides to your regimen. It is essential to strengthen the skin barrier, avoid potentially irritating ingredients, and protect the skin from environmental stressors.
🎯Ingrown hairs—these two little words conjure🎯
In our quest for smooth, stubble-free skin, ingrown hairs are an annoyance at best and cause for concern at worst (trust me- you don't want to see what they look like when they get infected)🤐 The cause of ingrown hairs isn't complicated. Simply put, when your hair starts to grow, sometimes it curls inward and gets trapped back under the surface of your skin. This can happen because dead skin cells clog up your hair follicle (so always, always exfoliate), but ingrowns also exist just because of your hair's natural growth pattern—so, unfortunately, those with curly hair may suffer the most! ￼Aspirin-Honey Treatment This recipe is a double whammy. Not only does aspirin naturally contain salicylic acid, but honey also has antibacterial properties, which can help reduce the possibility of inflammation and infection. 🔎Ingredients: 3 uncoated aspirin tablets 1 tsp. honey 1/2 to 1 tsp. water or oil Directions: Add warm water or oil to a bowl Add honey Crush aspirin tablets Mix together Leave mask on for 10 minutes Wipe off entirely with warm water ￼Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub Coconut oil, for example, is hydrating, keeps skin moisturized, and reduces inflammation.4 It's basically our winter skin savior. Mix it with raw sugar and you've got a winner. You can use this scrub daily until you see an improvement, and then you can switch to two to three times a week. Just be careful that the scrub isn't too abrasive. 🔎Ingredients: 1 cup of raw sugar 1/2 cup of coconut oil 10 drops of tea tree oil, or your preferred essential oil Directions: Combine sugar and coconut oil in a bowl Add in essential oil Mix together Apply and then rinse using warm water Dry with a clean towel ￼Baking Soda and Oatmeal Treatment I am huge fan of baking soda and how amazing this ingredient is! And rediciliously cheap. Baking soda, which is a great exfoliator, helps reduce and prevent ingrown hairs. Oatmeal has a soothing effect, reducing redness and irritation caused by exfoliation. 🔎Ingredients: 1 tbsp. baking soda 1 cup of water 1 tbsp. ground oatmeal Directions: Mix baking soda and oatmeal together Add water to the bowl Stir until it has a paste-like texture Using a cotton pad, scoop up the mixture Apply to the affected area and let sit for 10 minutes Rinse with warm water ￼Oil-Based Serum if you're particularly sensitive, it's best to avoid overly harsh scrubs. Abrasive scrubs like sugar and salt scrubs do exfoliate the skin but often at the expense of causing excess skin irritation 🔎Ingredients: 1 tbsp. castor oil 1 tbsp. hemp oil (optional) 10 drops tea tree oil Directions: Find a reusable glass bottle Combine castor oil and hemp oil Add tea tree oil to mix Apply combination after shaving to prevent irritation alba BOTANICA - Acne Dote, Face & Body Scrub Oil-Free CeraVe - SA Moisturizing Cream For Rough & Bumpy Skin GLYTONE - KP Kit Amlactin - Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion
Why pH of skincare products is important?
The pH is defined as the negative logarithm (base ten) of the concentration of free hydrogen ions in aqueous solution. The pH of skin surface ranges from 4.5 to 6 making it slightly acidic. The acidic nature of the whole skin surface was first claimed by Heuss in 1892; however, the first scientific study was carried out by Schade and Marchionini in 1928, who called it the acid mantle. The “acid mantle” protects the skin by inhibiting the growth of pathogenic organisms, regulating keratinization, desquamation and wound healing. Any disruption in the acid mantle disrupts the activity of enzymes involved in barrier function and anti-microbial protection. The skin pH and the buffering capacity of the skin surface are made up of the components of the stratum corneum as well as the secretions from sebaceous and sweat glands. Sweat is an important contributor towards skin acidity owing to its content of amino acid, lactic acid, and urea, which supplement skin NMF levels. The formation of stratum corneum barrier requires enzymes that are pH dependent. Two lipid-processing enzymes β-glucocerebrosidase and acidic sphingomyelinase require a pH of 5.6 and 4.5, respectively. An increased skin surface pH activates enzyme serine proteases, which causes degradation of corneodesmosomes and affects the skin barrier. pH also has a big impact on the skin microbiome. The bactericidal activity, because of dermicidin and nitrites in sweat, occurs optimally at pH 5.5. The resident bacterial flora changes as pH increases causing increase in population and activity of P. acnes and Staphylococcus aureus which are responsible for acne and eczema. All these result in contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, acne vulgaris and Candida albicans infections. Products with high pH cause swelling of skin follicles affecting the permeability of the skin making it dry, sensitive, and susceptible. Most of the skincare products are formulated within the pH range of normal healthy skin except the exfoliating products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA’s), Vitamin C products and chemical peel which work at low pH. Facial oils, cleansing oils, balms are not pH dependent.
Antioxidants in skincare
Free radicals are produced as a byproduct in the body as well as are result of various external sources including ultraviolet radiations, pollution, pesticides, smoking. They damage the body’s healthy cells. Antioxidants help neutralise these excess free radicals and prevent damages to DNA, protein, lipids. They are produced endogenously in our body but certain factors affect the amount of antioxidants required to scavenge these free radicals. To prevent our skin from oxidative stress damage, topical application of antioxidants have proven to be beneficial.
Introducing Cherie’s Spotlight! 🌟
Hi cherie fam! We've updated our Leaderboard into a new, more inclusive program now called Cherie Spotlight! Starting November 30th, every two-weeks, cherie will spotlight and award free beauty prizes to new and contributing users & creators in our community at random in an effort to show more diverse content and celebrate everyone in our cherie community. The first winners of Cherie's Spotlight will be announced on December 14th and every two-weeks, we will choose several winners for each category - New on Cherie, Cherie Convos, and Cherie's Picks! New on Cherie ￼Cherie will randomly choose several users who are new to the cherie community and have posted in the current round to win a free beauty prize! Cherie Convos ￼Cherie will randomly choose several users who have created into those week's Cherie Convos topics. ￼Each week's Cherie Convos topics can be found at the top of the Discover page in the banners and on @cherie! Cherie’s Picks ￼Cherie will award our top picks of the most engaging recent posts on cherie. There's no sign-up needed, just post to participate! Happy posting and good luck!! 🌟💫
Curology vs The Ordinary! Which is better?!
Curology - Curology formula This is the first photo! Did wonders for my skin it was the best it had ever been since I started getting acne in middle school. Curology literally saved my skin, it was clear and great! (Over a year later) The second photo:/ I decided to stop using curology around 2 months ago and start using ordinary products. I decided to do this because I wanted to see if the ordinary could do the same thing as curology and maybe make my skin even better. This wasn’t because curology was bad or anything It was just something I wanted to test. I was pretty confident in my skin so I didn’t think it would be bad. I saw on social media how great it was so I figured why not? ... After slowly introducing ordinary products into my skincare routine to ( i used both ordinary and curology products together) I could see that my skin was breaking out more when I introduced the ordinary products. I didn’t think much of it cause I knew that my skin was just purging from the new products. After about 2 months of using both curology and ordinary products I decided to just try ordinary products because my skin was breaking out a lot and I felt that the ordinary would help it. (I think should’ve stuck with curology but this was just my curiosity about the product). ... (Now) I am on week 6 of using all ordinary products and this is what my skin looks like (photo 2) and I’m not happy with the results:/The first couple weeks I knew I would be purging, my skin was at its worst a couple weeks ago (week 3). But I figured that by now or next week my skin would be clear( the only reason I felt that my skin would be pretty much clear by now or next week was because while using curology all my acne was gonna by week 7). So I’m still trying to figure out if I wanna continue to use the ordinary products for a couple more weeks before I give up because it’s not giving me the results I want. The Ordinary - Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% I don’t really know how to rate this because obviously it hasn’t worked for my skin very well but I’m not sure if it’s because my skin needs more time to adjust (it has been 6 weeks so...). I think that this product works great for some people but for me definitely not. Right from the start of using it, it broke me out and then once I only used this line of products it made my skin terrible. I also used The Ordinary - Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution Which didn’t do much in the 6weeks I used it. I did feel like it helped my acne a little. Overall I really did wish this line of products would help my acne and make my skin clear like curology but that wasn’t the case. This product line is definitely not for my skin. I’ll write out my skin care routine comparisons in my next post!
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