Does your skin often flush red or sting or burn when you apply certain products? These symptoms describe a subtype of sensitive skin, caused by underlying inflammation. Fortunately, there are a number of topical ingredients that you can add to your daily skincare regimen to help calm and soothe red, irritated skin.
What Causes Redness?
It is important to understand that inflammation is the root cause of red, angry skin. Inflammation is one of the four barriers to skin health. I like to use INFLA-MAN™ to explain how inflammation affects the body.
There are several different inflammatory pathways that become “turned on” and create even more inflammation within your body. I use INFLA-MAN™ to stand in for all of these different complicated scientific pathways. Various pathways activate other pathways that lead to an endless cycle of inflammation. This GIF of INFLA-MAN shows him throwing an inflammatory factor that creates a domino effect that is difficult to control. This illustrates why it is important to stop inflammation as soon as possible.
Within your skin, inflammation causes blood vessels to become dilated and leaky, resulting in redness. In the case of rosacea, a chronic inflammatory skin condition, many factors can trigger inflammation and cause a flare-up of symptoms. Sun exposure, hot drinks, spicy foods, exercise, and skincare ingredients like fragrances and dyes can all trigger rosacea symptoms.
How Do Anti-Redness Products Work?
Anti-redness products work by targeting the various pathways that lead to inflammation, turning them off and therefore stopping the cascade effect of inflammation within the body. Phyto Corrective Gel by SkinCeuticals, for example, contains anti-inflammatory ingredients like cucumber and thyme to suppress inflammation and calm redness. This serum also contains mulberry extract to help promote an even skin tone and combat free radicals, thanks to its abundance of antioxidants.
Other anti-inflammatory ingredients to look for to calm red, flushed skin include:
- Argan oil
- Green tea
- Aloe vera
What’s the Best Skincare Routine for Sensitive Skin?
Before making any changes to your skincare routine, find out your Baumann Skin Type by downloading the Skin Type Solutions mobile app or visit SkinTypeSolutions.com and take the quick quiz. (If you DM us on instagram @skintypesolutions we will give you a doctor’s code to access the quiz. If you come in to see us as a patient we will give you a doctor’s code) Once you know your Baumann Skin Type, it is easier to target the barriers to skin health that are keeping you from having healthy skin.
Generally speaking, sensitive skin types should look for anti-inflammatory ingredients like those listed above. Sensitive types with dry skin should avoid foaming cleansers and toners, as these products strip the skin of its natural oils, making matters worse.
- Acne is treated with ingredients like salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide, retinoids, and alpha hydroxy acids, depending on your skin type.
- Rosacea can be managed with prescription treatments such as Rhofade™ and Soolantra®, as well as the proper daily skincare regimen and lifestyle habits.
- Contact dermatitis happens when your skin is exposed to a particular allergen or irritant. Work with your doctor to find out which ingredients or substances irritate your skin so that you can avoid them.
- Burning and stinging can occur on their own or in conjunction with another sensitive skin subtype. If your skin burns or stings, avoid ingredients like topical vitamin C, alpha hydroxy acids, and sodium lauryl sulfate.
Red, irritated skin is a frustrating problem for many men and women. However, the proper skincare regimen for your skin type that includes anti-inflammatory ingredients can help to calm redness and clear your complexion.
For more information on how to care for your unique Baumann Skin Type, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also visit www.derm.net to sign up for our email newsletter or request an appointment at Baumann Cosmetic Dermatology in Miami.
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