How to Calm Facial Redness

by Joshua Duvauchelle ; Updated July 18, 2017

If your face looks red or flushed, it can detract from your overall complexion and make your makeup look unnatural. Thankfully, facial redness is not a permanent skin condition. Several lifestyle changes and additions to your regular skincare routine can help correct and calm skin redness for a clearer, fresh-looking complexion.

Use facial skincare products that have not been formulated with irritating ingredients and chemicals, such as fragrance-free or hypoallergenic. Skin irritation can lead directly to inflammation and redness. Skincare expert Paula Begoun says some of the most common ingredients found in facial products that are excessively irritating include fragrances, alcohol, lavender and linalool.

Cool off. The University of Cincinnati says facial redness may be caused by heat stress, and recommends cooling down by going into the shade, turning on air conditioning or a fan, and drinking plenty of water.

Dab on a facial sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater. The sun can irritate and burn your skin, causing redness. For the best results, Begoun recommends using a sunscreen labeled for use on sensitive skin and made with a sunscreen ingredient such as avobenzone or zinc oxide.

Moisturize your skin regularly with a soy-based facial moisturizer, according to "InStyle" magazine's beauty editors. Dryness can cause redness or make redness worse. Additionally, the magazine says soy helps to "diminish skin redness and inflammation."

Brush on a color-correcting makeup product, many of which are designed to help camouflage redness. Begoun says yellow-toned makeup products are often designed to help target pink or red skin tones.

Talk to your dermatologist if skin redness isn't diminished using over-the-counter treatments. You may have a chronic skin condition or health problem that needs prescription treatment or a surgical procedure, such as a prescription cortisone cream.


  • The University of Michigan Health System says procedures offered through a dermatologist, such as a pulsed dye laser or a photofacial treatment, can help lower chronic redness such as rosacea.

Photo Credits

  • Jessica Isaac/Demand Media

About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.