Exactly Why Your Skin Gets—and Stays—Red, Plus the Best Anti-Redness Tips
Too-rosy cheeks and sensitive skin happen to the best of us. Here’s what Lancôme Scientific Director Veronique Delvigne says to do about it.
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When redness is short-lived, it can be charming. Some examples: blushing at a joke, or the unavoidable burning cheeks you’d get in middle school after spotting a crush across the room. But when your skin is constantly rosy, that’s an entirely different thing. Redness that lasts more than a few seconds is typically one of the many signs of sensitive skin. So what causes it? We chatted with Lancôme Scientific Director Veronique Delvigne about why redness and sensitivity occur and exactly what you can do about it. Read on for her anti-redness tips and discover Lancôme’s best anti-redness serum to reduce redness on your face.

Lancôme: Why and when does skin redness appear?

Véronique Delvigne: Redness is your skin’s answer to aggression. It can be an internal issue, such as bad diet or spicy food, or external—for instance, pollution, climate change, or the use of aggressive products. Think of redness as your skin’s warning signal that something is wrong.

Lancôme: Is there anything you can do to reduce redness?

VD: We recommend changing out your nighttime serum for Advanced Génifique Sensitive , which has skin-soothing ingredients like probiotic fractions and antioxidants, as soon as you start to notice redness and sensitivity.

Lancôme: How can you tell if the source of your redness is sensitive skin versus another skin issue?

VD: If your redness isn’t going away, you should make an appointment with your dermatologist. Skin conditions like rosacea need to be taken care of by a doctor.

Lancôme: What are some of the other signs of sensitive skin, other than skin redness?

VD: Sensitive skin isn’t always visible, but you can feel it. It’s uncomfortable. Your face could feel irritated all day long. It can even be itchy, and sometimes result in dryness in addition to redness.

Lancôme: How common is skin sensitivity and redness?

VD: It depends on the country, environmental conditions, and daily life. Around 55 to 60% women admit to having sensitive skin, and an extra 20 to 30% of women have reactive and uncomfortable skin days. At Lancôme, we call them ‘bad skin days.”

Lancôme: What’s the best way to treat sensitive skin and bad skin days?

VD: Sensitive, reactive skin has multiple causes, so you will need to act in many ways. Avoid spicy dishes, be sure to get enough sleep, and choose skincare products and a routine that prevents and corrects sensitive skin, like Advanced Génifique Sensitive .

Lancôme: Do you have any makeup tips for covering up redness immediately?

VD: The easiest way to conceal redness on your face is by neutralizing it with a green color; green neutralizes red! Teint Idole Ultra Wear Color Corrector in Green can be used on top of redness. Take a small amount of the product, and apply it by tapping with fingers or using a thin brush to cover spots and small red imperfections. You can easily cover up the green by adding a touch of your regular concealer on top. It’s best to apply your foundation first and then cover any redness or imperfections with green and beige concealer. Applying foundation before concealer gives a more natural finish on skin, and you’ll use a lot less product. This is the Lancôme technique!

The Dos and Don’ts of Sensitive Skin

DO Look for Skin-Soothing Products

If your skin is feeling sensitive, swap out your usual face serum for a soothing alternative. Our best anti redness serum: Advanced Genifique Sensitive . It’s meant to be used for as an intensive, 28-day nightly treatment whenever your skin is being reactive. Also try the hydrating Hydra Zen Beauty Facial Essence , which has ingredients like moringa, rose, and peony extracts to calm skin.

DON'T Add Extra Hot Sauce

Spicy food can irritate skin further. Avoid peppers and hot curries and sauces if you’re prone to a red face.

DO Pass on the Heat

Too much heat can make redness and sensitivity even worse. In order to reduce the redness on your face, try to avoid saunas and steam rooms, and lower the temperature on your shower water. (Hot water also dehydrates the skin—another thing you don’t want to do if your skin is already sensitive.)

DON'T Over-Exfoliate

Exfoliating keeps skin healthy-looking, but too much of it can lead to a sensitivity outbreak. Limit scrubs and peels to two-three times a week, and take a break from intensely exfoliating active ingredients like retinol.

DO Cool Off Your Skincare

One hack for making your skincare even more soothing: refrigerate it. We especially love keeping moisturizing masks, sheet masks, face serums, and eye creams in the fridge to instantly soothe skin (and de-stress!).

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