The 4 Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients You Need To Wave Buh-Bye To Redness

The 4 Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients You Need To Wave Buh-Bye To Redness Hero Image

Sometimes skin gets mad, and anything you do seems largely ineffective. When you suffer regularly from red, blotchy, sore, uneven skin, you're tempted to try anything to fix it. Even with the best products in the world, red-skin care is as much about vigilance as technique. Rosacea sufferers, for example, need to be religious in their sun protection, as exposure is a common trigger for flare-ups (the opposite is often true of classic acne, which tends to benefit from a little sun).

I would also be cautious with any retinol and exfoliants—anything gritty is a no-no. Mild AHA liquids, used only once or twice a week, are plenty. This is also just about the only time you'll hear me counsel against the use of face cloths to cleanse. Muslins are less abrasive and generally better on tetchy skin.

While the best thing you can do to combat irritated skin is to diagnose its cause, soothing it with natural ingredients can help an awful lot too. I've rounded up some of our very favorite ingredients for pacifying angry skin. What are your favorites? We'd love to hear your suggestions, too!

N is for niacinamide.

Niacinamide is a water-soluble vitamin that is also known as nicotinic amide, the amide compound of vitamin B3. Naturally occurring, it can be found in foods such as meats, nuts, and mushrooms. It's a popular topical ingredient due to its ability to treat problem skin conditions with minimal side effects. Thanks to an anti-inflammatory action, it is particularly effective for conditions such as acne and hyperpigmentation and in the repair of sun-damaged skin.

Which products can I find it in?

To get your fix try La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo[+] ($78), Gia Naturals Niacinamide Serum ($15.95), or Oskia RenaissanceBrightlight Serum ($104).

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O is for oatmeal.

Oatmeal is basically oat groats that have been ground, steel-cut, or rolled. Colloidal oatmeal, which is the form most often used in skin care, is produced when oats are finely ground to be more easily mixed with a liquid or gel. As well as being used extensively in food, oatmeal—and particularly colloidal oatmeal—is mostly used in skin care because of its soothing, calming, and gentle exfoliating properties. Oats contain a range of minerals, vitamins, and lipids as well as avenathramides, which have been found to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Which products can I find it in?

Try Tatcha Indigo Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder ($15), Antonia Burrell Luminous Light Polishing Powder ($56), or Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion ($6.99).

Q is for quercetin.

Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables (like kale, tomatoes and berries) as well as some leaves and grains. It helps to give plants their vibrant colors! In skin care, quercetin is skin-soothing and anti-inflammatory. For that reason it is used to stimulate repair, and because flavonoids have antioxidant functions, quercetin is also often included in products targeted toward fighting free radicals that can damage the skin.

Which products can I find it in?

Try Ren Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist ($33), or Korres Quercetin and Oak Anti-Ageing Night Cream ($43).

G is for green tea.

Antioxidant polyphenols found in green tea leaves, have established the plant as a true powerhouse, proven to protect from sun damage and inhibit the enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, as well as reduce sebum production, inflammation, and bacterial growth in acne-prone skin. Green tea has long been touted as a potent yet gentle antioxidant that's suitable for all skin types (making it a great alternative to potentially sensitive-skin-irritating vitamin C). Matcha boasts these benefits and then some—think of the vitamin-packed powerhouse as a highly concentrated, souped-up version of green tea.

Which products can I find it in?

Plant Matcha Antioxidant Face Mask ($24), Alba Botanica Green Tea Eye Gel ($14.47), or Sunday Riley Martian Mattifying Melting Water-Gel Toner ($85).


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