How to combat red skin caused by rosacea, dryness and more

By: Alexandra Donaldson

Getty Images Author: Canadian Living Credits: Getty Images


How to combat red skin caused by rosacea, dryness and more

By: Alexandra Donaldson
For many of us, skin redness is a fact of life, whether it’s due to sensitivity, a change in weather or being born with a ruddy skin tone. In our search for even-toned skin, we spoke to Charmaine Cooper, education manager of Dermalogica Canada, about how to tailor your skin-care regimen to combat redness.

If your red skin is caused by your natural pigment
Have you always had a ruddy complexion? It could be that your natural pigment is pink. Your central goal is to maintain moisture and oil levels so redness isn’t further exacerbated. “Include mild exfoliation in your skin-care regimen,” says Cooper. “This will remove dead skin cells that contribute to uneven skin tone.”

Along with regular exfoliation, choose products that provide both moisture and radiance. “Look for ingredients such as rice-bran extract and hyaluronic acid,” says Cooper. Also look for anti-inflammatories. Avoid anything harsh, such as astringent or alcohol, which will strip the skin of oil and contribute to blotchiness.

Skin care for ruddy skin
Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, $74, Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream, $68, Clarisea Instant Glow Powder Exfoliant, $18,

If your red skin is caused by skin sensitivity
The key to managing sensitive skin is to strengthen it by developing consistent and effective habits. Cooper recommends ensuring that your routine prioritizes restoring the skin’s barrier and keeping it calm and soothed, so look for products that contain vitamin E, aloe vera, chamomile or oatmeal. “These ingredients are ideal for healing and soothing the skin,” she says. Include a physical sunblock for added protection.

It’s also important to avoid aggressive exfoliants, including acids. “They’re often too harsh for the skin’s level of tolerance,” says Cooper. She also recommends washing with cool to lukewarm water—so cleanse your face at the sink, not in a hot shower.

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Skin care for red, sensitive skin
Cyberderm Simply Zinc Sun Whip, $38, Dermalogica Serum Concentrate, $74, Pai Chamomile and Rosehip Calming Day Cream, $64,

If your red skin is caused by winter dryness
If your skin only gets red in the colder months, it’s probably due to seasonal dryness. In wintertime, increase the oil and moisture levels in your skin by introducing a thick, rich moisturizer and incorporating a face oil or serum into your routine. “The idea is to create a barrier between the skin and the outdoor climate,” says Cooper.

Look for ingredients like evening primrose oil, lavender oil and chamomile extract, which heal, sooth, calm and deeply nourish your skin. Avoid alcohols and artificial colourants, which can cause irritation.

Skin care for dry, red skin
Weleda Evening Primrose Night Cream, $50, Fresh Rose Hydrating Face Serum, $65, Burt’s Bees Soap Bark & Chamomile Deep Cleansing Cream, $13,

If your red skin is caused by a medical condition
If you suffer from rosacea or eczema, you know all too well that those conditions can often only be managed, not cured. “Treat the skin delicately and optimize moisture levels,” suggests Cooper. “Focus on hydrating and soothing.”

Lavender, argan oil and peptides that fortify the skin (such as acetyl tetrapeptide and red hogweed) will help with soothing and calming while adding moisture. “It’s also critical to use a physical sunblock to shield the skin,” adds Cooper.

Skin care for eczema and rosacea
Josie Maran Argan Oil, $60, Province Apothecary Healing Eczema Balm, $16, Dermalogica Super Rich Repair, $106,

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How to combat red skin caused by rosacea, dryness and more