Regardless of type or tone, your skin can be affected by redness, inflammation, and irritation. Inflammation in the skin occurs when something in our body's natural immune response goes awry. This could be caused by bacteria, viruses, injury, irritating products or ingredients, or a compromised skin barrier. Along with skin inflammation or inflammatory skin conditions such as rosacea and eczema come dryness, redness, itching, and swelling.
Keeping a simple skincare routine that focuses less on exfoliation and more on moisturizing and calming can do wonders to treat inflammation and avoid redness. But what ingredients should you be looking for to combat these visible signs of irritation and sensitivity? We've done the research for you and compiled this list of soothing, replenishing ingredients that will calm redness, irritation, and inflammation so your skin can stay healthy.
Odds are you've probably used aloe vera in the past to soothe sunburn or other irritations, and the same logic can be applied to your skincare. Aloe vera (though you might see it on the ingredient list as aloe barbadensis) contains vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. These nourishing compounds soothe, hydrate, and moisturize the skin, preventing transepidermal water loss, treating inflammation and redness, all while cooling the skin.
Ceramides are essential to a healthy, intact skin barrier. Ceramides are fatty lipids found between skin cells that work to keep the skin barrier structure held together. When our skin doesn't have enough of these lipids, our skin barrier becomes compromised, and we then experience the onset of dryness, irritation, redness, cracking, itchy, and so on. Ceramides in your skincare ingredients can thus prevent and treat inflammatory skin conditions by enhancing and repairing the skin barrier.
Oats are a beloved, natural ingredient that has been used for centuries to soothe irritation. Packed with powerhouse compounds such as beta-glucans (sugars with natural emollient properties) and avenanthramides (a potent type of antioxidant), colloidal oats are an excellent ingredient for those with eczema or a compromised skin barrier.
Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, is a phenomenal ingredient for preventing and treating skin sensitivity. Niacinamide boosts hydration levels, protects ceramides, repairs a damaged skin barrier, treats inflammation from acne or rosacea, and is gentle enough to calm redness on even the most sensitive skin. The best part? Niacinamide is an ingredient that works well with virtually all other ingredients and products in your skincare routine.
Licorice root extract is known for its skin-soothing abilities, primarily due to its concentration of the antioxidant glabridin. Licorice extract and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds brighten and protect the skin, all while soothing redness, inflammation, and itching.
We all know that sipping on green tea throughout the day can supply our bodies with a healthy source of caffeine and antioxidants, but did you know that these same properties can benefit red, stressed-out skin? Green tea is packed full of antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce irritation, redness, and puffiness. Green tea is especially great for skin that's been out in the sun too long due to its abundance of free-radicals that fight sun-damage.
Centella asiastica, also known as tiger grass, is one of the best ingredients to calm redness. This plant extract is also anti-inflammatory, so not only will it neutralize redness, but it will also soothe, hydrate, and protect the skin barrier from damage.
Enjoying a hot cup of chamomile tea at night can calm your mind and prepare you for bed. Likewise, chamomile extract in your skincare products can soothe inflammation and redness. Research has found the compounds and antioxidants within chamomile to treat eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and milder forms of skin irritation.