A red face is often associated with being embarrassed or feeling too hot. However, there are times when your skin flushes red as a result of a medical condition or due to your beauty regimen. But, rather than simply trying to hide your red face with heavy makeup, it’s best to get to the root cause of the problem so that you can take steps to beat it for good.

Common causes of facial redness

Redness on the face is caused by a number of medical conditions. Some of the most common include rosacea, atopic dermatitis, seborrhea, and acne. Meanwhile, your own actions can play a role, too. Things such as exfoliating too often, using topical retinoids, applying products full of allergens, and using products for other skin types can all heighten facial redness. Therefore, the key to combating your facial redness is to figure out the cause of it. You can do this by simply reviewing your beauty routine, the products that you use, and by educating yourself on the risks that come with every product you slap on your face.

Steer clear of troublesome ingredients

Many beauty products contain benzoyl peroxide. Individuals who have acne tend to pile on benzoyl peroxide due to its pimple-fighting abilities. However, it’s also known for causing red skin as it strips oil from it. Dermatologists, therefore, recommend using it sparingly or using an alternative, such as thyme, instead. Research has found that thyme is more productive than benzoyl peroxide as an acne treatment, so it’s worth making the switch.

Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is also found in abundance in beauty products. But, it’s also renowned for causing red and irritated skin, as well as causing underlying medical conditions, including rosacea and eczema, to flare up. Meanwhile, alcohol in skin care products products can also cause tight, red skin. So, it’s a wise idea to avoid products containing ethanol, denatured alcohol, methanol, and benzyl alcohol, among others.

Change your makeup routine

Makeup is an instant and quick-fix solution for anyone with skin redness. If you’re not already using mineral-based makeup, then it’s the way to go, according to a number of professionals, including esthetician Renée Rouleau who says, “Mineral powders like a BareMinerals generally work better than liquids, as they’re far less irritating.” Board-certified dermatologist, Cynthia Price, M.D. agrees and advises that the calming ingredients in mineral makeup, including iron oxides, zinc, and mica have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Avoid hot water and steam

The steaming water in baths and showers typically results in facial redness in people who are already susceptible to the condition. This is because the protective oils and moisture in the skin are diminished when they’re exposed to hot water. As a result, rosacea, eczema, and acne tend to worsen. In addition to avoiding hot baths and showers, saunas, steam rooms, and facial steamers should be avoided too due to their extreme temperatures.

Exfoliate wisely

Exfoliating is a crucial part of everyone’s skin care regimen. However, if you do it too often it’s easy for your skin to become damaged and for redness to occur. It’s therefore, best to exfoliate just once a week initially and cut back if you experience facial redness. You should also ensure you moisturize your face after exfoliating with a moisturizer free from benzoyl peroxide, SLS, and alcohol.

Go natural

Just like thyme, there are other raw ingredients which boast anti-inflammatory benefits and which play a part in eradicating facial redness once and for all. Aloe Vera and green tea have both been proven to reduce redness, so it’s worth adding these two products into your daily regimen. Additionally, a cucumber facial mask can work wonders. Manuka honey is also somewhat of a super cure for facial redness and is able to heal acne, and repair and hydrate the skin.

Use medications as advised

If your skin redness is caused by a medical condition, you should always take your doctor’s advice and treat it using the appropriate medications. Topical steroids may need to be used for a short period of time to get on top of conditions such as eczema, before switching to less harsh hydrocortisone creams. It’s also crucial that you take into consideration your skin type. For example, dry skin isn’t going to respond well to products which are designed to dry out the skin further. So, ensure you read the labels closely before buying any products to avoid making your facial redness worse.

Facial redness can be problematic for the millions of people it affects. If this is a problem which is impacting you, be sure to look into the causes of it and take action to prevent flare ups by avoiding problematic ingredients, showers and baths which are too hot, and extreme exfoliation routines.