Red in the face? Try these. 

By Melanie Rud
August 25, 2020
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There’s no shortage of things that can cause unwanted facial redness. Blemishes often come first to mind—those red, inflamed, even painful pimples. More widespread flushing might be a result of skin irritation, which again, can be caused by any number of factors. Everything from using too much of a powerful skincare ingredient (we’re looking at you, retinol) to over-exfoliating to even something as simple as cold, dry weather can leave you red in the face. And then there are the more chronic conditions—rosacea, eczema—that result in more of a perma-flush. It’s undoubtedly important to get to the bottom of what’s causing the redness and address the root issue, but, while you figure that out, it’s nice to be able to reach for a product that can help tamp down flushing, fast. Here, 10 skin-calming, redness-relieving products that do exactly that.

1

$11, ulta.com

As the first step in your skincare routine, cleansing is the perfect opportunity to set yourself up for success. If you’re dealing with redness, that means choosing a face wash that’s next-level gentle and won’t cause any irritation. This drugstore staple fits the bill. Soap- and fragrance-free, it’s choice for sensitive complexions, and also boasts feverfew, a plant-based ingredient that’s known for calming skin and reducing redness. But don’t worry, it still foams up beautifully and leaves your skin feeling fresh and clean.

2

$59, dermstore.com

Dermatologists often recommend this mask for use after procedures that can leave your skin super-red, think lasers and peels. It uses a blend of calming botanical extracts (cucumber, thyme, olive), along with unique peptides that immediately reduce that hot, flushed feeling that comes with red skin. Couple that with the cooling, gel texture and you’ve got yourself a surefire way to calm stressed skin in less than 15 minutes. 

3

$39, sephora.com

We know what you’re thinking—green makeup? But hear us out. Because green falls opposite red on the color wheel (remember that from elementary school art class?), it instantly neutralizes it. This primer looks green going on, but quickly disappears as you blend it in, tamping down redness in the process. Try it and prepare to be amazed by how much less foundation and concealer you have to use to hide red spots.

4

$6, sephora.com

This is one of our favorite brands when it comes to finding high-quality, proven-effective skincare ingredients—at unbelievably affordable prices. Case in point: This treatment, an effective option for all skin types. Niacinamide offers a litany of benefits, among them both anti-inflammatory and anti-blemish properties. Meanwhile, zinc is a top skin-calming mineral, and also helps balance out excess oil production. You can definitely use it all over, but it’s a nice option to simply spot treat blemishes too.

5

$10, amazon.com

This pick earns our vote for several reasons. One, it works to even out your skin tone and combat blotchiness both instantly and overtime; the subtle green tint neutralizes redness right away, while a licorice root extract leaves your complexion brighter and more even with continued use. It’s nice and hydrating, and even contains a dose of always-important SPF. And let’s not forget to mention the wallet-friendly price. 

6

$46, ulta.com

No matter whether your skin is oily and acne-prone or dry and stressed out, this lightweight lotion is a good option. It detoxifies and balances out your complexion, and is formulated to feel instantly cooling on contact, sweet relief for flushed skin. (The refreshing feeling also makes it ideal to use on hot summer days.) You can even store it in the fridge to further up the cooling sensation.

7

$34, ulta.com

This skincare-makeup hybrid delivers both treatment and coverage in one easy step. In the skincare department, you get a litany of calming, soothing, hydrating ingredients—aloe, colloidal oatmeal, and avocado, just to name a few. In the makeup department, you get a color-correcting tint that helps hide red discoloration, and works well on its own or layered under foundation.

8

$7, target.com

If you’re dealing with dry, red skin, reach for this cream nightly. It’s made for sensitive skin, with a deeply hydrating (and fragrance-free) formula that soothes and calms your complexion while you snooze. You wake up to softer, smoother, less stressed skin—what could be better?

9

$40, dermstore.com

While this is definitely a good serum for rosacea-sufferers, it works equally well for anyone looking to tamp down all-over redness, no matter the cause. Credit ambophenol, a plant-based ingredient that helps shrink down blood vessels, plus the brand’s spring water, rich in anti-inflammatory minerals. It’s alcohol-, fragrance-, and paraben-free, and has a featherweight texture that blends nicely into skin.

10

$53, amazon.com

In case you haven’t yet heard the news, wearing sunscreen every single day is an absolute, non-negotiable must. It’s especially imperative when you’re dealing with redness, since sun exposure (obviously) leads to even more redness. We’re partial to this pick for everyday use. It’s a mineral-based formula, which is less likely to cause irritation than a chemical one, choice if your redness is due to sensitivity. Plus, it delivers just the right amount of tint to help camouflage flushing, as well as a beautifully radiant finish.