Fix Red Skin For Good With These 7 Tips From The Pros

Photo: Maja Topcagic

Whether you’re experiencing red skin for the first time or it’s something you’ve dealt with your whole life, red facial skin can be a real bummer. It can interfere with self-confidence and in some cases is even linked to social anxiety. And that’s no good! While some redness is genetic, there are measures we can take both internally and externally to help alleviate it.

We spoke to top holistic esthetician and health coach Britta Plug, holistic dermatologist Dr. Cybele Fishman, and green beauty expert and celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno, who constantly advise their clientele on how to alleviate redness—all with different approaches.

Here are seven natural remedies to reduce redness straight from the pros:

1. Skip foaming cleansers with detergents and disruptive preservatives.

Typically, redness is an indicator that the skin’s natural barrier has been compromised, Plug said. "We want to support a healthy and strong barrier as much as possible, but preservatives like parabens sometimes act like an antibiotic killing the skin’s natural flora." Detergents like sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate can strip especially sensitive skin of its barrier, so avoid these if you’re experiencing redness. Dr. Fishman agrees, adding that foaming washes can be irritating. "Creamy cleansers or cleansing oils are better," she said.

2. Forgo spicy foods.

Spicy foods can contribute redness to skin, Plug said, who is also a licensed holistic health coach and understands the effects food has on skin.

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3. Try a DIY face mask with organic yogurt.

Katey Denno recommends trying a DIY mask using organic yogurt. If you’ve ever experienced an intensely spicy dish, you know that drinking water only makes it worse. Dairy is what cuts the flavor of spice, thanks to the molecular structure of casein. The enzymes in yogurt can help renew the skin while the natural fats nourish it.

4. Experiment with removing caffeine from your diet.

Another recommendation from Plug is to watch your caffeine intake and experiment with removing it altogether, because it can be inflammatory for some people when ingested. Pro tip: I tried this a while back to great effect.

5. Add skin-nourishing supplements to your routine.

Plug said her clients have experienced positive changes when they add omega-3 and probiotic supplements. "So often people with skin redness will have some digestive problems," and a probiotic will help with this. Omegas help to soothe the system from the inside out, calming inflammation, which can sometimes result in less red skin. Of course, always ask your doctor and derm before changing up your routine.

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6. Try a K-beauty-inspired mask.

Dr. Fishman said that Korean beauty masks are often so effective because they have hydrating and anti-redness ingredients in them. "Look for one with ingredients like glycerin and sodium hyaluronate—or hyaluronic acid."

Other ingredients that can be helpful in reducing redness include "green tea, caffeine, bisabolol (a chamomile derivative), and others," she said.

Denno recommends two redness-reducing masks—the organic beautifying face mask and organic universal mask—from Dr. Alkaitis. "Put them on in the morning before your makeup," she said.

7. Stay hydrated.

You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. Staying hydrated will help keep the skin’s hydration levels high, which makes it more resilient to environmental stressors.

How to conceal redness—a makeup artist explains.

If your redness persists, fear not. Green beauty expert and makeup artist Katey Denno has recommended a two-step routine and products that are especially helpful when it comes to dealing with red and irritated skin. First, try a soothing face oil followed by a clean, nontoxic foundation with very few ingredients. The less it has in it (especially along the lines of fragrance), the less likely it is to irritate the skin.

"I also like to use a really soothing face oil—the vitamin C elixir one from Jenette All-Natural Skin Care (which is super-soothing for all causes of redness) first, and then use my clean fingers to work Kjaer Weis foundation on top, because there’s a good amount of pigment and not a lot else to irritate," she said.

Denno also loves foundations by Vapour Organic Beauty. "They were formulated by Kristine Keheley, who told me that she suffers from rosacea and is always trying to formulate to treat and cover her own redness," Denno said. They’re her go-to.

When it comes to concealers, though, she’s a bit more skeptical. RMS "Un" Cover-Up is her recommendation because it has a lot of coverage and coconut oil base, but it can be too heavy for some acne sufferers.

At the end of the day, red skin may simply need a break. "In my experience, people who are prone to redness typically are doing too much and need to do less," Dr. Fishman said.

If you’re looking for another anti-redness skin care step, try antipollution skin care.

Ready to learn more about the four diet & lifestyle changes you can make TODAY to eliminate chronic inflammation? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Dr. Vincent Pedre.

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