KEEP IT CLEAR
Louise Whitbread considers these anti-redness skin products
Facial redness is a result of blood vessels dilating and causing blood to rush to your skin. It’s not uncommon and can be caused by a multitude of factors ranging from a reaction to certain foods and drinks or a skincare and make-up product to a change in your environment, such as extreme temperature changes if you go from indoors to outdoors on a cold day.
Rosacea is also a common skin-reddening condition that can produce small bumps, redness and visible blood vessels on your face, and can be triggered by seasonal weather changes, alcohol, stress and hormonal changes. But frustratingly, it can sometimes also be random. It’s particularly prevalent in fair skin tones and people with red hair, and can cause discomfort, swelling and dryness.
Generally speaking, there’s two options for tackling redness though; concealing or reducing. The former can be done with the use of colour-correcting products, soothing face mists or colour-changing make-up products that will temporarily reduce the appearance of a flushed or irritated complexion. Whereas the latter takes a more long-term approach.
A gentle skincare routine and regular use of SPF are two ways you can help reduce this. These can include cleansers, serums and moisturisers, designed for daily use in your skincare routine.
However, you should bear in mind that it will be helpful to keep your regime simple and pared back to avoid aggravating redness with an overly complicated list of products. Do this alongside medical advice from your doctor, reducing your alcohol intake and managing stress and you should see results in a matter of weeks.
How we tested
We’ve been putting a line-up of soothing products to the test, from lightweight serums to calming mists, to find quick fixes and long-term solutions to varying degrees of redness. We narrowed it down to the top nine, which we found relieved inflammation, moisturised and kept skin feeling cool and looking its best.
Ren evercalm redness relief serum £48, Ren Skincare
Ren has recently reformulated one of its most popular serums in its evercalm range and we’ve been impressed after using it for weeks in our skincare routine. It’s a lightweight cream that doesn’t absorb instantly, but after 30 minutes to one hour after application, we saw a decrease in redness every time. It’s a great long-term solution and quick fix for skin that’s suffered a reaction, taking away signs of sensitivity including tightness, burning and itching. Our skin felt and looked calmer after just the first use and, while it is one of the more expensive options in our list, if you’re looking to invest in a daily serum that will tackle irritation and redness all in one, it’s well worth the splurge.
SOS H20 day cream with SPF 30 £15.50, Amazon
This moisturiser is a great staple product which our tester has been using daily for the past three months. It does all the basics; hydrates, quickly absorbs and creates a smooth base for makeup. However, its sensitive-skin friendly formula soothes stressed skin and creates a protective, hydrating barrier in cold weather – we wore it everyday while on a skiing holiday with no redness. With regular use we also saw an improvement in texture, especially on our cheeks where our reviewers rosacea is most prominent. For less than £20 and available with next day delivery, we have no complaints about this rich, non-greasy cream.
Clinique redness solutions daily relief cream £47, Boots
Clinique’s redness solutions range is the OG of anti-redness skincare products, with a small line-up dedicated to calming complexions. This oil-free moisturiser is perhaps the most wellknown product and for good reason. It’s lightweight, improves blotchy areas and can be used all over your face, rather than just affected areas. You don’t need much either and, once applied, skin quickly begins to look more soothed with less visible redness. Simply use as you would any face moisturiser. It’s very simple to make it part of your daily skincare routine and it tackles dehydration and redness all at once. A great all-rounder if there ever was one.
Eucerin anti-redness soothing care £16.86, Superdrug
This is a much thicker consistency and a great moisturiser for dry or combination skin where your cheeks tend to be on the drier side. It takes a little longer to rub in so if you’re planning to wear make-up, we’d recommend letting it fully absorb and waiting five minutes before applying foundation to avoid any slip. The formula is rich in licorice extract and Symsitive, which soothes hypersensitive skin and calms any redness. The pump is a bit stiff but a little goes a long way and it’s a handy tube to have if your skin is prone to bouts of redness.
La Roche-Posay rosaliac micellar make-up removal gel £16.55, Amazon
A gentle, effective cleanser is the foundation for any good skincare routine, and this gel-based one from La Roche-Posay’s anti-redness range, rosaliac, is the best if you’re constantly trying to calm your skin down. Ideal for sensitive skin, it does a brilliant job at both removing make-up and cleansing skin. It’s not-sticky, instantly refreshing after a long day wearing a full face of make-up and leaves skin soft, smooth and less red. Basic but not boring, it’s so good, our tester is currently on their fourth bottle.
SkinCeuticals phyto corrective essence mist for sensitive skin £55, Face The Future
SkinCeuticals phyto corrective range is specifically designed to cater to reactive skin, and our tester is a fan of the hyaluronic acid serum gel in particular. However, its newest addition is this refreshing face mist which is a calming essence in a handy spray form. It visibly reduces redness, and soothes our tester’s rosacea when their skin flared up. Best of all it can be used in your skincare routine, or over make-up throughout the day to provide instant relief.
The formula is a botanical blend of cucumber, thyme, mulberry, olive and grapefruit alongside hyaluronic acid and glycerin, two high-performing humectants. It also comes in very handy to speed up your skin’s recovery following chemical peels or laser facials.
Dr.jart+ cicapair tiger grass camo drops SPF35 £35, Cult Beauty
This is a skincare-make-up hybrid product that can be used as a primer or an alternative to a full-coverage foundation. It’s part of the same cicapair tiger grass range as the TikTok famous colourchanging cream, except this has the fluid texture of a serum, making it better suited for oilier skin types. While it’s green upon application, it transforms into a sheer beige when massaged into skin, creating an even skin tone with a dewy finish. It takes just seconds to work, adds an instant glow and reduces redness better than any concealer we’ve tried.
Avène thermal spring water spray £10, Boots
This has been one of the most frequent skincare purchases we’ve made over the last decade and it rarely leaves our bedside. While it comes in very handy to cool you down during a heatwave, it’s the fastest fix when your skin has reacted badly to a new product or environment. When it’s feeling hot, tight or tingly, simply liberally spritz this continuously over a few minutes and it provides instant relief. It comes in affordable handbag-friendly sizes all the way up to a 330ml jumbo size spray, which will last you months, no matter how much you apply.
Erborian CC red correct £42.50, Spacenk
If you want to have a calm, soothed and even complexion, this is a winning product from the Korean skincare brand. It’s a green cream that adapts to your skin tone with a luminous finish that gently conceals inflammation, blemishes and dark circles, while being extremely lightweight. It’s ideal if you want to conceal any redness without wearing a lot of make-up. It also makes for a great base, as once massaged with your fingers, skin is left soft and smooth while pores appear smaller.
Buy now The verdict
We loved how fast-acting the Ren evercalm redness relief serum was, meaning it works well as a quick, almost instant fix, as well as a long-term solution for skin prone to redness. The texture is also fast-absorbing, lightweight and suitable for all skin types.
If you wanted something to wear in place of make-up or beneath it, then we’d highly recommend the Dr.jart+ cicapair tiger grass camo drops SPF35. The colour-changing formula from green to beige feels as light as air on the skin, and it does a fantastic job at evening out a flushed skin tone while adding a dewy glow.
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