If you have sensitive skin, winter-chapped cheeks, a ruddy complexion or a dermatological condition such as rosacea, you know the beauty dilemma that comes with facial redness. The skin on your face, especially around the eyes, tends to be thin, delicate and more prone to irritation and redness than the rest of your body.
Fortunately, you can soothe facial redness with a combination of calming skin-care products and clever cover-up — leaving you with a glow that says "healthy," not "lobster." If you do have a dermatological condition, considering consulting a healthcare professional before testing any new facial products.
Wash your skin with cool water and fragrance-free cleanser, then pat on a lotion with licorice-root extract, ginger, rose, feverfew or cucumber. These ingredients have all been shown to soothe irritated skin, and lotion provides a protective barrier against dryness, wind and other irritants.
Don't rub your skin, which can make redness worse, and keep your facial products in the fridge. The added coolness will help soothe irritation and redness.
Apply zinc-oxide or titanium-dioxide sunblock over your face, neck and other exposed skin daily — even when it's cloudy outside. Over time even mild sun exposure damages skin and makes sensitivity, rosacea or a ruddy complexion worse. Choose a formulation of at least SPF 30 that's designed for sensitive skin.
Test new facial products on a small portion of the skin before you apply them over your entire face. If you notice any burning, stinging, itching or other irritation, rinse immediately with cool water.
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables, heart-healthy omega-3 fats (salmon is an excellent source), and steer clear of spicy foods. The mouth-burning properties of spicy foods can cause your skin to flush, too. Fruits and vegetables have high water content to avoid dehydration, and omega-3s have anti-inflammatory properties.
Avoid alcohol, particularly red wine. Alcohol is dehydrating, and dehydrated skin is more prone to irritation and redness. If you have rosacea, alcohol — especially red wine — can cause a flare-up. Drink water throughout the day to avoid dehydration.
Pat a creamy, hydrating concealer or foundation that has yellow or pale-green undertones over red skin. Yellow and green are opposite on the color wheel to pink and red, so applying tinted foundation will help neutralize redness. Gently pat the product onto the skin to blend. Apply in natural light and use sparingly to avoid obvious green or yellow splotches.
See a Dermatologist
Consider visiting your healthcare professional if redness persists or is accompanied by breakouts, flaking or other symptoms. You may have a underlying condition that would benefit from additional medical treatment. For rosacea, consult with your doctor about a topical antibiotic containing metronidazole or sulfacetamide.