A couple days ago a friend commented that I should do a post about dealing with redness in the skin. Now that I think about it I can't believe I haven't already. I spend so much time dealing with redness on a day to day basis it would seem only natural to write about it. This is a fairly large topic so I'm going to break it up into two separate posts: preventing/treating redness and covering redness. Let's dive into treating it for today.
There tend to be certain triggers that set off redness. It may be the case that you can't do anything to avoid exposing yourself to these triggers, however there are some instances where they can be avoided. Identifying what sets you off is key. For rosacea, a lot of people react to spicy food, alcohol, stress and sun exposure. If you minimize your exposure to whatever is causing the problem, that's going to be the biggest thing you can do to help.
When your skin is red and irritated, it's really worth treating it gently and taking things back to basics. I'd forget about any fancy masks, any luxurious exfoliants and just pair everything down. Try to avoid skincare with any added fragrance (this includes essential oils). La Roche Posay, Cerave, First Aid Beauty, Paula's Choice and Clinique are all brands that tend not to add any fragrance to their products. It's also worth checking out the Paula's Choice list of Common Irritating Ingredients to Avoid.
Cleanser: Finding a cleanser that's gentle on the skin is hugely important. Generally that means avoiding anything that's soapy or foaming. A cream cleanser for the morning (something like The Body Shop Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser) and an oil based cleanser for the evening (something like the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm) would be ideal.
Toner: If you're using a toner, make sure to avoid anything with alcohol in the ingredients list, as it's a surefire way to dry out and irritate your skin. Salicylic acid, however, is a good ingredient to look for in a toner. It lightly exfoliates, while reducing inflammation. Though do avoid putting this on any especially dry areas.
Moisturizer: Moisturizer is also essential. Your skin needs a protective moisture barrier. The La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizer worked well for my skin. If you're experiencing more severe redness and chapped skin, La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume is a fantastic product. It really calms things down and repairs damaged skin.
SPF: SPF is important to wear even in the winter. Your skin may be experiencing irritation from sun exposure without you even realizing. A physical sunblock (containing titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide) is best suited for those with rosacea.
Specific Redness Treatments: Additionally, there are specific treatments targeted towards redness available on the market (such as the Avene Antirougeurs FORT concentrate). I've heard some people say they've had success with them, but I personally didn't notice a huge difference. I think you're better off investing your time in prevention... or lasers. Lasers fix everything.
That pretty well wraps that up. Keep it simple and gentle and I'll be back soon with tips on covering redness!