Look For These Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients If You Have Sensitive, Rosacea-Prone Skin
Skin inflammation can happen to anyone, especially if you’ve been out in the sun for too long or experimented with a few too many new products. But for those with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin, inflammation can be a regular occurrence. This biological immune response activates when the skin or another internal organ perceives a threat. Skin inflammation can be triggered by a number of factors, including UV light, allergens, bacteria, stress, or harsh products.
Acute or chronic inflammation can not only cause skin barrier stress, swelling, redness, sensitivity, etc., but long-term inflammation can seriously impact the overall health and youthfulness of our skin. Internal and external factors that trigger skin inflammation can come and go. Those with skin conditions like rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis are more susceptible to inflammation triggers such as stress, allergens, and extreme temperatures.
Signs of Skin Inflammation
- Redness or skin flushing
- Pain or itchiness
- Increased sensitivity
- Acne breakouts
How Do Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients Work?
In addition to avoiding potential triggers, sensitive skin types (or anyone dealing with a bout of inflammation) should use anti-inflammatory skincare products to pacify present inflammation and prevent future flare-ups. Anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients get the skin back to its normal state by inhibiting the body’s response to inflammatory triggers.
Some of the most effective anti-inflammatory ingredients are those found in nature, which already possess a strong resiliency to stressful environmental conditions such as UV light, wind, and weather. Harsh exfoliants and fragrances can be irritating for inflammation-prone skin, so keep these ingredients at a minimum in your routine.
If there is one anti-inflammatory ingredient you need more of in your skincare routine, it’s antioxidants. These inflammation-busting compounds fight free radical damage and other triggers that lead to an inflammatory response. They also help treat existing signs of sensitivity, such as redness, and speed up skin healing. Look for plant botanicals as well as vitamins C and E in your skincare products.
This newly popular skincare ingredient is infused with antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, and loads of vitamins—all of which provide a soothing effect for sensitive skin. Compounds, such as fucoidans, found in certain algae extracts have also been found to have an anti-inflammatory effect and can even relieve symptoms such as itching or stinging.
Aloe vera is a skin-soothing ingredient we all know and love. Its cooling gel reduces itchiness, redness, and irritation while supplying the skin with moisture, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Azelaic acid is a natural form of dicarboxylic acid synthesized from barley and wheat. It’s a dermatologist-recommended ingredient for a multitude of reasons. For one, it helps target acne, discoloration, and skin imperfections. Azelaic acid is also safe for all skin types, especially for rosacea-prone skin, as it helps treat redness, sensitivity, and bumps associated with rosacea.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis), also known as pot marigold, is a flowering plant native to the Mediterranean region. The plant’s extracted oil is beloved for its skin-soothing benefits. In addition to curbing inflammation, it strengthens the skin’s defense against irritants, relieves skin discomfort, and reduces trans-epidermal water loss.
Green tea is a skin-soothing ingredient with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Extremely high in polyphenols, it supplies antioxidant protection against known rosacea triggers and pacifies inflammation. Because it’s so gentle, green tea is an ingredient even the most sensitive skin types can use.
Minerals are essential for so many essential skin functions, including healing and repair. Critical minerals such as magnesium, selenium, manganese, potassium, zinc, and copper curb inflammation by soothing skin irritations, reducing redness, minimizing swelling, maintaining the skin’s pH levels, preventing dryness, and accelerating healing.
Omega Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acids are necessary for keeping skin healthy, and it’s obvious when you’re not getting enough of these fatty acids in your diet (hello, skin dryness, scaliness, and irritation). If your skin sensitivity symptoms include chronically dry or flaky skin, incorporating omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids into your skincare routine can help soothe some of that inflammation. Look for safflower, grapeseed, sunflower, chia, evening primrose, and rice bran oils, which are high in omegas. Other products may label them as linoleic acid (omega-6) or linolenic acid (omega-3).
Instantly recognized by its sunny yellow pigment, turmeric has been used for thousands of years in Eastern cultures and is known for its potent anti-inflammatory effects. Its primary active ingredient, curcumin, has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant properties that can treat skin conditions triggered by an inflammatory response. This includes acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and atopic dermatitis. Curcumin can also help moisturize the skin and support skin barrier function.
Try: Jan Marini Luminate Face Lotion MD (uses Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, a colorless, non-staining turmeric)
Witch hazel is a natural astringent boasting tannins and gallic acid, compounds that contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to protect stressed skin and restore balance. In addition to taming redness and inflammation, witch hazel cleanses away excess oil and promotes a clear complexion.
Okay, sunscreen isn’t an anti-inflammatory ingredient per se, but it is a must-have product for all skin types, especially those with sensitive skin. Since sun exposure is a common trigger for rosacea flare-ups or increased sensitivity, using sunscreen in your skincare routine will help keep inflammation at bay. Reach for a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, ideally with mineral titanium or zinc oxide filters since these are less irritating for sensitive skin.