Skin irritation and redness can be caused by a variety of things: a simple shave, friction from a face mask, or a skin condition like eczema or rosacea. Here are some skincare tips on ways to help reduce discomfort and help soothe your skin.
If your skin is sensitive in any way, then you might be hesitant to try new products or unfamiliar ingredients. Sensitivity can be caused by a variety of factors ranging from a simple shave to a new overnight retinol cream.
You might also naturally break out more easily than others, or react harshly to the beating sun and cold, dry winds. Even a sweaty workout can leave you reddened and irritated. Some people may only notice irritation or redness with specific products or behaviors, and are able to isolate the sensitivity. Perhaps it’s an allergy or even a particular condition, like eczema or rosacea. The common thread here is that living with sensitive skin stinks—but only if you haven’t found a soothing, lasting solution.
For that, here is more insight on why skin reacts like this, as well as how you can reduce redness and irritation with your own grooming regimen...once and for all.
why is my skin red?
There is no universal cause for sensitive skin. It is different from one person to the next, and the term “sensitive” can mean many things as it pertains to skin. It’s not just allergies or skin conditions that causes sensitivities; it could be momentary stress, seasonal dryness, a dull razor, poorly-pH-balanced skincare products, and many more.
People with otherwise “normal” or non-sensitive skin might only experience irritation from shaving. That’s understandable, given that you’re dragging a sharp blade (or five) over your skin, opening the pores, creating tiny micro cuts, and shaving away the top most layer of cells. It’s wise to have a redness-fighting product for this alone. (More later on that.)
There are harsh products that you might use in one-off situations, too, which can lead to irritation in otherwise balanced skin. Exfoliating serums, peels, gritty scrubs, retinol, and more—these are all effective products that often can make skin more sensitive.
It is commonly believed that people with sensitive skin often have a weaker skin barrier than others, and fewer ceramides in the skin to shield against toxins and harsh ingredients. These ceramides also preserve the moisture levels inside the skin, so a lack of them encourages dryness and sharp reactions to many common skincare ingredients, the weather, or even one’s own salty sweat.
How to prevent redness and skin irritation
Try the following things in order to reduce and prevent redness. There is often no single, universal fix, so it’s important to pinpoint when your skin reacts inversely, and adjust your regimen accordingly.
1. Seek Soothing Ingredients: In addition to applying ceramide-rich products, people with sensitive skin should also prioritize ingredients that soothe or calm on contact, like cactus extract, aloe vera, cica (tiger grass), calendula, chamomile.
Also Read: Skincare Benefits of Cactus Extract
2. Shave Smartly: If you shave your face, then it’s important to practice a careful, hygienic shave routine, and to always use fresh, sharp blades as well as pre- and post-shave products that ready and treat the skin. For example, a good pre-shave oil or lotion will create a thin layer over top the skin, to prevent micro cuts and razor drag. A post shave will quickly soothe, disinfect, and shield the vulnerable, freshly-shaved skin from irritation. You might also consider switching to an electric shaver, which won’t break the surface of the skin and can minimize reactions.
3. Never Forget Sun Protection: SPF is more imperative than ever for people with sensitive skin, and not only as part of a summer skincare regimen. So, get a soothing daily moisturizer—again, with a calming ingredient like cactus extract, which Cardon uses in all of its products. Make sure the moisturizer has SPF of 30 or greater. (Cardon’s SPF 30 daily moisturizer checks all the boxes.) You need to use SPF daily, in order to block the sun’s damaging UV rays. Secondly, this moisturizer will shield your skin against environmental toxins like smog and smoke, which can dry out, irritate, damage, and age the skin.
4. Avoid Harsh Products: You should also avoid especially irritating skincare products, like harsh exfoliants, cleansers, and high-grade retinols. Sometimes, the skin can adapt to these products and reduce its sensitivity to them, but other times, they leave you rashy, pained, and peely. Retinol in particular can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun, which means it might cause more damage than good—whereas it’s designed to reduce signs of aging and reduce acne. As for cleansers, find something that is gentle on skin, and that works hard to remove impurities and unclog pores without deploying any harsh chemicals or drying ingredients into the sensitive skin barrier. That’s something Cardon prioritized when engineering a gentle and purifying clay cleanser. By keeping pores clear and preserving moisture levels, it helps prevent acne as result of clogging or over dryness.
5. Preserve Moisture: Look for products that boost and preserve moisture levels, especially while you sleep. Cardon’s gel moisturizer utilizes cactus extract while also fortifying the skin’s moisture barrier functions—so that it keeps skin hydrated and prevents toxins from getting in. It also helps expedite any healing while you sleep, so that you wake up with fresh, clear skin.
6. Talk to a Doc: The most important thing you can do, however, is to speak with a board-certified dermatologist about your own specific condition. Advice is never universal when it comes to skin sensitivities. And, while it’s always important to use calming, SPF, and moisture-preserving products, there may be secondary things to consider that are contributing to your own case. You might also discover an underlying condition, like rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, chronic acne, or others. These are not things you can diagnose on your own, so it’s imperative to establish a cadence with your board-certified dermatologist.