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How to reduce redness and soothe inflammation

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How to reduce redness and soothe inflammation
Written byPippa HarmanCo-Founder Renude
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Redness on the skin is associated with a number of common skin conditions including rosacea, eczema and acne. These are all inflammatory skin conditions, and the associated redness that comes with it is typically a sign of inflammation in the skin. Find out more about facial redness in more detail and find some of the Renude approved skincare products, used in the routines built by our experienced aestheticians. 

What are the different conditions associated with redness?

Rosacea: Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that can cause redness, visible blood vessels, and bumps on the face. It is more common in lighter skin tones, and often develops in our thirties, although it can be visible before this. 

Inflammatory acne: Acne that presents as inflamed papules or pustules (small red bumps with pus at a centre) is also known as Papulopustular acne. This can occur at any age but is most closely associated with life stages where hormones are in flux - puberty, pregnancy and menopause being common ones.  

Eczema: Eczema is a condition that can affect the face and body, categorised by extremely dry skin which lacks natural lipids. This results in an impaired barrier, which makes skin more sensitive as potential irritants can penetrate more readily, which exacerbates the condition further. This can occur at any time, but commonly first appears in childhood. 

Damaged skin barrier: This is where the external skin barrier is out of balance, lacking natural lipids and becoming dry. This is linked to other conditions like eczema, but also happens very often on its own. This can be down to our environment (think cold, harsh winds, or air conditioning), excessive washing (most of our hands during 2020), or the overuse of exfoliating skincare.   

Is your facial redness caused by inflammation?

Skin redness and inflammation go hand in hand. In most chronic skin conditions like rosacea, acne and eczema, increased inflammation is a key feature of flare ups. In the case of a damaged skin barrier, these cracks in the skin will allow more irritants (e.g. active ingredients in skincare products), allergens and pollutants to penetrate, making inflammation worse. The initial damage to the skin barrier may not be caused by these external aggressors, but they can certainly make things worse. 

Can all facial redness be treated with skincare?

In some cases, redness and irritation on the skin can be temporary and will go away on their own or with a simple barrier repair routine. However, in other cases, redness may be a sign of a chronic (i.e. long-term) medical condition that requires ongoing treatment. Rosacea, for example, is a chronic condition that can be managed but not cured. The key to managing chronic redness is to develop a skincare routine that soothes and calms the skin, as well as managing associated lifestyle factors that can increase inflammation in the body.

Tips on how to avoid flare-ups of inflammation

Keep your skin cool

Heat can exacerbate facial redness, so it's important to keep your skin cool. Use cool or lukewarm water when washing your face, and avoid hot showers and baths. Applying a cool compress to your face when needed and keeping out of direct sun can also help reduce redness and soothe irritated skin.

Keep a skin diary 

A skin diary is where you can log how your skin is feeling daily, along with any key lifestyle factors that may be affecting it, such as: hormones, diet, sleep and stress levels. To avoid flare-ups of inflammation, it can be helpful to identify and avoid any triggers, so keeping a skin diary is a great tool for understanding any patterns for your own skin. 

Consider your diet 

Diet can play a role in facial redness, particularly for individuals with certain conditions like rosacea. While the exact mechanisms are not fully understood, some foods and beverages are known to trigger redness and inflammation in the skin.

For example, spicy foods, alcohol, and hot beverages such as coffee and tea are common triggers for facial redness. These foods can dilate blood vessels in the skin, leading to redness and flushing. Additionally, some individuals may be sensitive to histamine, which is found in fermented and aged foods like cheese, wine, and vinegar, and can trigger redness and inflammation in the skin.

On the other hand, a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods, proteins, and healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids may help to manage facial redness and inflammation. It is important to note that everyone's triggers and sensitivities are different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Wear Sunscreen 

Wearing sunscreen is important if you have facial redness for several reasons. Sun exposure can worsen redness and inflammation in the skin, especially in those with sensitive skin or conditions like rosacea, due to the fact that the skin on our face is much thinner and more sensitive compared to the skin on our body. UV radiation from the sun can cause damage to the skin cells and trigger the production of inflammatory molecules, which can lead to facial redness and irritation. By wearing sunscreen, you can help protect your skin from UV damage and prevent further inflammation. Look for a physical sunscreen or mineral sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen which may cause some irritation. 

Renude recommends: Heliocare - Mineral Tolerance SPF 50

Some medications and skin care products used to treat redness and inflammation can increase the skin's sensitivity to the sun. For example, retinoids which are commonly used to treat acne and as a tool for reducing signs of skin ageing, can make the skin more susceptible to sunburn.

Wearing sunscreen helps to protect the skin from sun damage. Although people with all skin tones can develop rosacea, eczema and acne, rosacea is more common in people with paler skin who are also at higher risk for developing skin cancer due to a relative lack of protective melanin. By wearing sunscreen, you can help reduce your risk of sun damage and protect your skin from premature ageing.

Keep your skin routine simple

If your skin is prone to facial redness or sensitivity, we’d recommend keeping your routine simple. Include ingredients which support the natural skin barrier like humectants to hydrate (e.g. hyaluronic acid, glycerin), lipids to strengthen (e.g. ceramides, cholesterol), and emollients to nourish the skin (e.g. squalane, jojoba oil). Take extra care when introducing any stronger ingredients such as exfoliating acids, retinoids and vitamin C - always patch test on the wrist or behind the ear, or even better, speak with a professional before introducing them into your skincare routine. 

Renude Skincare recommendations:

Speak with a Renude aesthetician to create a personalised skincare to suit your needs, the following products are just a few of our favourites for managing redness and sensitive skin:

  1. Avene - Tolerance Extreme Gentle Cleanser - This gentle cleanser is specially formulated for sensitive skin and can help remove dirt and impurities without irritating the skin.
  2. Avene - Cicalfate Restorative Cream - This restorative cream is designed to soothe and protect irritated skin. It contains Avene’s proprietary Thermal Water as well as a combination of minerals which help to reduce inflammation and promote healing.
  3. Eucerin - Anti Redness Concealing Day cream SPF 50 - This day cream is formulated with green pigments that help to neutralise visible redness while providing broad-spectrum SPF 50 sun protection.
  4. Eucerin - Ultrasensitive Soothing Care - Normal to Combination skin - This moisturiser is designed to soothe and hydrate sensitive skin. It contains a combination of soothing ingredients that help to reduce inflammation and prevent irritation.
  5. SVR - Sensifine Nutri Baume - Designed specifically for hypersensitive skin, this formula contains just 10 ingredients and has been clinically shown to soothe skin after 1 application.


Rosacea: Types, Causes, and Remedies (

Pippa HarmanCo-Founder Renude
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Pippa HarmanCo-Founder Renude
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