Fall means dark lipstick, matte makeup…and the inevitable facial redness that comes from inclement weather. We can deal with a rosy flush….if it disappears after a few minutes, that is. Redness is one of our biggest beauty concerns come cold weather, and probably half the reason we slather on a bit too much tinted moisturizer in fall. But learning how to get rid of facial redness depends largely on what’s causing it. We spoke to a dermatologist to find out how it happens and what to do about it.
As the cold weather creeps in, your heater might take the chill off, but it’s also a big culprit behind your blotchy skin. You’ve got mixed feelings now, don’t you? “Heaters dry the air and cause the skin to rapidly lose moisture,” says Beverly Hills dermatologist, Dr. Michael Lin. “The dehydration of the skin breaks down the skin’s natural resistance to environmental allergens and irritants, leading to redness.”
The wind can do more damage to your beauty routine than messing up your blowout. Breezy weather can play a part in redness, too. “Factors, such as the wind, can irritate the skin by stripping the water and heat away from the skin via convection air currents,” notes Dr. Lin. “The physical pressure of the wind blowing across the skin can also damage surface skin cells.” Um, not great.
Getting temporarily red after a run is normal—and probably happened to all of us after a tough workout. According to our expert, physical factors like walking too quickly is a common cause of redness.
There’s a couple tricks to make redness less of an issue this winter. The easiest? Look to your freezer. No, seriously. That bag of peas can do way more than make a salad more interesting. According to Dr. Lin, using a bag of frozen vegetables (or just ice, if you’re out of produce) as a cold compress should be your first line of defense for fighting facial redness. “The cold causes the vessels to constrict immediately and reduce redness,” he says.
Another simple tip is to put your moisturizer in the fridge, believe it or not. “Apply it immediately after a flare-up to rapidly minimize redness,” explains Dr. Lin. “I use this technique with my Daily Hydrating Gel ($8, drlinskincare.com) immediately after laser and chemical peel treatments in my office.”
For windburn issues, he suggests treating it just like a sunburn by moisturizing and applying a product with aloe vera.
If you’re dealing with more serious issues like rosacea, Dr. Lin says that medical solutions like laser treatments could help remove the surface vessels on the skin that cause this redness. He also says there are oral prescriptions that may help, but of course you should talk to your derm to see what’s best for you.
You should also keep an eye on the ingredients in your skin care products, as some definitely won’t do you any favors. Opt for products that include soothing ingredients like ale vera and calendula, which he says when applied on a daily basis, will help control your redness.
What to avoid? Anything with alcohol! “These products will dehydrate the skin and strip the skin of its natural protective oils,” he says. “This makes the skin more susceptible to irritation, resulting in redness.”
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