For those with normal skin types, irritation caused by external factors such as harsh ingredients or extreme weather tends to be fleeting—it may last a day or two and then disappear. But for those with extremely reactive or sensitive complexions, irritation can be long-lasting and accompanied by frustrating symptoms, such as dryness or redness. While dryness certainly has its challenges, skin redness can be especially frustrating to manage, especially if you’re not sure of the cause.
Fortunately, redness is also a relatively common complexion concern. Over nearly 170 years, we’ve developed several powerful products containing proven natural and science-backed ingredients that can help manage irritation and reduce redness. Ahead, we’ll discuss several common causes of skin redness, ingredients that can soothe your skin, and how to treat irritation with our best-selling skincare products. Read on for our guide to managing skin redness for a healthier-looking complexion.
What Is Skin Redness?
Skin redness, also known as erythema, is any reddening of the skin. It can be temporary (as with redness due to sunburn) or persistent, meaning it doesn’t go away. Facial redness is often the result of some type of irritation or inflammation. As such, those with sensitive skin types may be more prone to developing chronic skin redness.
What Causes Skin Redness?
In order to treat skin redness, it’s crucial to understand what’s irritating the skin in the first place. However, pinpointing the cause can be tricky. Countless stressors can instigate or worsen skin redness, and some are easier to treat than others.
Temporary redness may result from external stressors, such as heat or sunburn. As environmental conditions trigger these, they’ll typically resolve on their own with time away from the stressor.
On the other hand, persistent facial redness is often related to the health of your skin’s natural moisture barrier. Studies suggest impaired skin barrier function and the resulting irritation are often related to long-term facial redness.I You can manage this kind of redness by avoiding stressors (such as UV radiation) and using calming products designed to strengthen the skin barrier, such as Cannabis sativa seed oil.
This anti-inflammatory botanical oil is the main ingredient in Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate Face Oil, which is formulated specifically for problem skin. With regular use, it helps visibly diminish skin redness and relieve discomfort caused by irritation. It also helps hydrate and strengthen the moisture barrier to protect your skin. We recommend using it daily after cleansing and toning to promote a stronger, calmer complexion.
Ahead, we’ll discuss more ingredients that we use in our formulations to help soothe red, irritated skin, plus tips for minimizing persistent redness. Read on to learn how to reduce redness for a healthier-looking complexion.
How To Treat Skin Redness
The most critical factor in treating skin redness is eliminating the cause. If your irritation results from harsh weather or drying skincare ingredients, for example, you’ll want to avoid those triggers. But if your redness has a less-obvious culprit, it may be due to a weak or damaged skin barrier.
To help manage non-specific redness, you’ll want to avoid irritants such as alcohol, which can be drying, or fragrances, which can aggravate problem skin. Instead, look for antioxidant-rich plant extracts and oils to help protect your skin and repair your moisture barrier. Discover some of our favorite skin redness products below, plus tips for keeping your skin soft, soothed, and healthy-looking.
Skin Redness Treatment Tip #1:
Use a Gentle Foaming Cleanser
Free radicals, or reactive oxygen species, are molecules that form on the skin after contact with an environmental aggressor, such as pollution. These compounds can irritate the skin, cause inflammation, and lead to premature skin aging. As such, cleansing daily is crucial to minimize irritation and redness.
We recommend washing your face with a gentle formula, such as Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Cleanser. This ultra-mild daily cleanser is formulated with 99.6% natural ingredients and is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.* It helps remove dirt and impurities without stripping the skin barrier for a comfortable and healthy-looking complexion.
For extra irritated complexions, try Centella Sensitive Facial Cleanser, our mildest cleanser formulated specifically for sensitive complexions. This foaming face wash contains Centella asiatica extract, a powerful plant ingredient noted for its ability to help improve the health and function of the skin barrier and diminish redness. In our cleanser, this unique ingredient helps wash away impurities while hydrating the skin for a clean, comfortable complexion.
Skin Redness Treatment Tip #2:
Reach For a Soothing Toner
If your redness is accompanied by irritation or discomfort, we recommend reaching for a product formulated with cucumber to help calm and cool the skin. Try Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner, which contains soothing cucumber extract and allantoin to help balance and hydrate irritated complexions. It’s formulated without alcohol to ensure it doesn’t dry or strip the skin. Apply a small amount to a cotton pad and swipe it over your skin after cleaning, focusing on dry or irritated areas. Let it absorb fully before the next step in your skincare routine.
Skin Redness Treatment Tip #3:
Replenish and Protect Your Skin Barrier
As we mentioned above, skin redness and irritation are often linked to a dehydrated or poorly functioning skin barrier. As such, repairing the skin barrier can help strengthen and protect your skin from the damaging effects of internal and external stressors.
If you have a sensitive or reactive complexion, we recommend incorporating Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil Herbal Concentrate Face Oil into your daily skincare routine. This effective formula, which features hemp-derived cannabis sativa seed oil and green oregano oil, helps strengthen skin’s barrier, so it can better protect itself. It also helps visibly reduce skin redness and calms the feeling of stressed skin.
Skin Redness Treatment Tip #4:
Don’t Skimp On The Moisturizer
No matter your skin type, moisturizing is essential to keep the skin barrier functioning at its very best. For mild redness, we recommend moisturizing with our top-rated Calendula Serum-Infused Water Cream. This hydrating formula contains calendula extract derived from the marigold flower. In addition to its antioxidant activity, calendula boasts strong anti-inflammatory properties.
In our daily moisturizer, calendula pairs with hydrating glycerin and vitamin E. Together, these ingredients provide 24-hour hydration while helping to even skin tone and boost radiance. With regular use, our cream helps visibly reduce redness for fresh, radiant-looking skin.
For extremely red or irritated skin, try a skin redness treatment, such as Centella Sensitive Cica-Cream. This ultra-gentle, hypoallergenic moisturizer is clinically-demonstrated to help repair the moisture barrier of damaged skin.** With regular use, it visibly reduces redness and minimizes the appearance of fine lines. This soothing formula also provides intense, 48-hour hydration to help keep the skin barrier moisturized and healthy.
Skin Redness Treatment Tip #5:
Try a Mineral Sunscreen
Even if your redness isn’t caused by sun exposure, UV radiation can weaken the skin barrier and make you more susceptible to irritation. To keep your skin looking and feeling its best, wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 (30 if you have fair skin) every day. We recommend Super Fluid Daily UV Mineral Defense, which is formulated specifically for sensitive complexions. The SPF 50+ formula contains titanium oxide and antioxidant vitamin E to protect the skin from external stressors. It absorbs quickly without irritating the skin and dries to a natural-looking, matte finish.
*We consider ingredients to be naturally derived if they retain more than 50% of their molecular structure after being processed from a natural source.
I. Nisbet, S J et al. “Clinical and in vitro evaluation of new anti-redness cosmetic products in subjects with winter xerosis and sensitive skin.” International journal of cosmetic science vol. 41,6 (2019): 534-547. doi:10.1111/ics.12559