Facial redness and irritation? What to do

Does your skin feel irritated, itchy, and inflamed? Don’t worry – this type of concern comes up a lot. So, we thought we’d bring up the topic again and share some easy tips to help! 
But before we jump into our tips, it’s important to recognise the possible triggers causing your irritated skin in the first place. By recognising and keeping a note of what triggers your skin, you can really help to avoid an uncomfortable flare up. Consider these... 

  • Does your skin feel tight and dry after cleansing? It could be that the ingredients you’re using just aren’t a match for your skin, they may be too harsh 
  • Does your skin feel inflamed and dry after exfoliating? It could be that you’re over-exfoliating (yes, it’s a thing!) 
  • Are you using a lot of ‘active’ ingredients in your skincare routine? Using too many actives at once (e.g. retinol, AHA’s, BHA’s vitamin C) without the proper care and repair follow up for your skin, can compromise your skin barrier and cause sensitivities 
  • Are there certain foods or drinks that seem to coincide with facial flushing? Alcohol is a big culprit here, as well as foods that have a higher acidic content – think spicy, citrus, and chocolate (ugh, all the good stuff!) 


Now let’s jump into the top tips to help you get some relief! 
Soothe your skin with a cold compress 

Grab some instant relief for your skin with a cold compress. Simply pop a wet muslin cloth into a resealable bag and put it into the freezer until cool. Then, simply lay down and relax with the cold cloth covering your face or just the areas of concern. Some cool cucumber slices over your eyes also work a treat and make for an added extra at home spa experience. The cold from the cool cloth and cucumber can help to soothe irritation and also work to reduce any swelling that may be occurring too (which is great for puffy eyes!)
Reduce inflammation internally 
Supplementing your skincare with internal ingredients that work to reduce inflammation can also help too – think garlic (yum!) ginger and turmeric. Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties and is especially great for targeting skin inflammation. We love a skin-loving ginger turmeric shot in the morning to get that skin loving goodness in. All you need is peeled lemon, turmeric, ginger and orange. Pop it all into a blender with some water, strain and you’re good to go! 
Get to know your skin 
We’d like to generally say, opt for gentle ingredients. However, everyone’s skin is unique – so narrowing in on ‘gentle’ ingredients doesn’t always cut it. Get to know your skin by patch testing a product on either your neck or the inside of your arm. If it’s a cleanser, apply it and wash it away as usual. For any other product, apply a small amount and leave it for up to 24 hours. Take note of what product you’ve applied, and wait to see the result. If there’s no redness, irritation, heat or flare up – this is great. If any of those symptoms do occur, you’ve got a product that includes ingredient/s that just aren’t suitable for your skin. So, eliminate this product from your lineup. We also talk about the best ways to introduce a new product into your routine here – you might find it helpful when starting from the start! 
Simplify your routine and repair your skin barrier, without the ‘actives’ 
Your skin takes about 28 days to regenerate itself... so simplify your routine for this length of time at minimum. By this we mean opt for gentle ingredients, put the ‘active’ ingredients (e.g. retinol, AHA’s, BHAs, vitamin C) and treatments aside, and keep your routine simple. A simple routine could include a cleanser, mask, toner and a moisturiser – we're focusing on restoring your skin barrier and promoting clean, balanced and nourished skin. This could look like: 

Exfoliate sparingly 
Allow your skin time to settle and heal, and then exfoliate sparingly (once or twice a week max). Particularly if you’ve been sensitive to exfoliation, look at a chemical peel to gently polish your skin for you, instead of a manual exfoliation like a scrub. We recommend Canvas: Resurfacing AHA & BHA Treatment  
When it comes to skin inflammation, it is important to note, that as with any skin condition that continues for some time, we suggest checking in with your GP or dermatologist, especially if redness or inflammation is combined with other symptoms. Sometimes a trickier skin condition like rosacea or dermatitis could be what is causing red skin and/or irritation and it may require a more intensive investigation and medicinal routine. 
And finally, remember, it takes time - the skin cycle lasts for 28 days, so give your skin time to repair itself and work on making some positive changes in the meantime.