Rosy cheeks are one sign that winter is here. Why do we see an increase of skin redness during cold months? Rosy skin has multiple different causes, including acne, windburn, sunburn, spicy food, hot water, hot flashes and more serious skin conditions like rosacea on face.
We know—quite the list. But a very common cause is just simple skin irritation, often caused by dryness. Hence why your lips get chapped during the winter, which we recently covered in a separate post.
What causes redness on face?
Because there are so many potential causes of facial redness, it’s difficult to pin-down one general way to reduce it. It’s important to consider the cause to your own skin redness, because that will impact how to reduce it. If you suspect that you may have rosacea, perioral or seborrheic dermatitis (basically a red, bumpy rash), red blotches on skin, or hives, seek the advice of a dermatologist before treating yourself.
Overall though, the name of the game is soothing. At the end of the day, skin redness is an irritation caused by some stimulant, be it hormonal or environmental. Some people’s skin is more sensitive than others, because just like other parts of the body, our skin is an organ unique to us.
Some people have to be careful about the amount of products they apply at once, and others can load up. We can’t stress it enough—keep your own skin preferences in mind when seeking out treatments!
Your products themselves may be what are causing you redness. Ingredients like alcohol, benzoyl peroxide, and acids like alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy are used for fighting acne, but can also be very irritating for people with sensitive skin. Even natural ingredients can cause problems, with some like walnut shell (often used as an exfoliant) too harsh for the skin and are known to cause microabrasions on the skin’s surface.
Sometimes, you may want to use every product possible just to get rid of the problem. However, more of a skin care product doesn’t mean it will work faster, as reducing redness can be a long process. Adding many similar products together also doesn’t work, and may even cause more redness. Instead, pick a few quality products and stick to them.
Treatments for redness
The same kind of ideas we addressed in our winter lip care post apply here. Because of the cold weather, your skin may be dried out and its natural defenses like sebum down. So it goes that the first step in reducing redness is by keeping yourself hyrdated (by drinking plenty of water!) and skin moisturized. You should also be using a heavier moisturizer than your spring/summer one to defend against the dry air and cold.
Using a gentle cleanser, like our Deeply Cleansing Milk, will also help. Though exfoliants with beads or foaming may feel like they’re cleaning deeper, a milk cleanser with emollients does just as good a job without including damaging or drying ingredients. Learn more about how milk cleansers work here.
Aloe vera may be the most well-known soothing ingredient and is widely available from specialty shops to your local drugstore. However, make sure to read the formulation, because many products claiming to be aloe vera gels only contain slight amounts of it. Better yet, skip the store and production and make your own at home. Aloe vera is a very easy to take care of house plant, and you can cut the leaves off as needed to make your own gel.
Other treatments that you may have at home include oatmeal, cucumber, chamomile, lavender, green tea, and honey. What this broad range of natural products all contain are high amounts of anti-inflammatory properties that cool the skin and reduce swelling. One thing to avoid is witch hazel, which although is often touted as a cure for redness, actually is irritating and drying for most skin.
If you’re looking for a more long-term color correction, look for a product like our Facial Recovery Elixir. Not only does this product contain ingredients like Tamanu oil that helps repair skin irritations like those microabrasions we talked about earlier, but it also contains Sandalwood oil, which is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness from rosacea and other conditions. What’s great is that the same fatty acids and other components that fight inflammation also are anti-aging in nature. Two for one!
Remember, for the most part, facial skin redness is temporary. Try and take it as a sign to kick back and take a break.