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A Simple Guide To Understanding Facial Redness

Here we explore what causes facial redness and how to build a skincare routine to treat it

Melody CarlRenude Skin Expert
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A Simple Guide To Understanding Facial Redness
Written byMelody CarlRenude Skin Expert
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Why do we experience facial redness?

There are many factors that can cause temporary facial redness: a change in temperature, emotion or another contributing factor that most people experience at some point. It is when your facial redness becomes chronic and lasts more than 2 weeks there may be an underlying reason such as a medical condition or allergy that needs to be investigated. 

What can cause facial redness?

Inflammatory skin conditions

Rosacea, eczema, acne, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, dry skin, and allergic reactions are a few of the inflammatory skin concerns that cause redness from inflammation. These conditions and the redness that comes with them can be treated with professional advice, proper skincare and occasionally a prescription from the doctor.

Overuse of retinol and other exfoliating skin treatments

We love to exfoliate the skin and the radiance it reveals. The benefits of regular exfoliation include a reduction in visible pore size and acne spots, a brighter complexion as well as anti-ageing benefits. The key to achieving these benefits is to balance the use of these exfoliating agents with what your skin can tolerate. Everyone’s skin is different, and if your bestie can use retinol every night with no redness but you can only use it 2x a week that’s completely normal.

When the skin becomes red and inflamed from over-exfoliation you are actually damaging the skin barrier. This damage can lead to infection, scarring and premature ageing of the skin. Listen to your skin when using exfoliating agents, it is not a one size fits all, it’s about balancing your skin so you reap the benefits without any side effects.


This is a temporary condition which appears when exposure to the sun’s UV rays exceeds the skin’s natural protection abilities. This redness (erythema) is a sign of damage to the skin. This can be caused by tanning beds and sun lamps as well. Not only does sunburn cause redness it is also uncomfortable and can sting, or cause swelling and premature ageing in the skin. It is best practice to reapply your sunscreen every 2 hours during sun exposure, and avoid direct exposure to the sun during peak hours of 11am-3pm. 

Spicy food and alcohol

Yes, unfortunately, your fave spicy curry and adult beverage can be causing your skin to experience temporary redness, as well as aggravate the inflammatory skin conditions mentioned above. There is an enzyme that our bodies produce to break down alcohol called ALDH2. If we do not produce enough ALDH2 to process the alcohol, acetaldehyde from the alcohol in the drink will build up in the body and cause facial redness. The spices in spicy food when ingested cause a heat reaction in the body. This reaction will dilate your blood vessels, increasing the blood flow in the body and can cause or worsen facial redness. 

Weather changes

The weather affects our mood, our plans and our skin. The sun and wind can cause a burn, the heat can cause flushing and going from the cold outdoors to the warm cosy home all cause the skin to become red. Sunscreen will protect you from UV rays and a thick layer of moisturiser can support as a barrier from the elements of mother nature. To minimise this cold to hot flushing of the face you can wear a scarf around the lower part of your face to keep your face from being exposed to one extreme temperature to the next. 

What are the best skincare ingredients for redness?

Azelaic acid works in the skin by decreasing the inflammation and redness in the skin for rosacea and treating acne by killing bacteria by decreasing the build-up in the pores. Azelaic acid is also great for sensitive skin types. 

(See Renude-Approved Products Containing Azelaic acid)

BHA or salicylic acid works as an anti-inflammatory agent in the skin by relaxing the skin’s inflammatory reaction and calming down the redness. Sensitive skin types need to introduce BHA to the skin slowly to avoid any potential irritation.

See Renude-Approved Products Containing BHA (Salicylic acid)

Niacinamide hydrates the skin by increasing the production of natural lipids which strengthens the skin barrier. It is also a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties that will dramatically reduce redness. 

(See Renude-Approved Products Containing Niacinamide)

Luckily all 3 of these active ingredients can be used together. The niacinamide can be used in the morning and the BHA with azelaic acid at night. Your skin concern may not warrant all 3 ingredients but it is always good to know what you can mix. 

Interested in receiving a personalised routine to target facial redness?

At Renude we combine knowledge and hands-on experience to tackle any skin concern. Our experts are in hand to support you on your skin journey and make sure you are choosing the best products for your unique skin. To work with one of our expert team, start your skin consultation today.

Melody CarlRenude Skin Expert
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