For the imperfect Fashion lover.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Sensitive Skin | 7 ways to help with Redness

Fake Fabulous | 7 ways to help with facial Redness

Having sensitive skin is certainly no laughing matter!
Skin that is prone to ferocious flare ups can be very embarrassing, as well as uncomfortable and unattractive.

Not to mention very expensive.

I have spent a small fortune over the years, trying out creams and various other products, in an attempt to find decent skin care that does not irritate my face.

Personally, my redness ranges from a burning/tingling "nippy" feeling to swollen, bumpy, spotty and downright frightening!

I have even been a dark purple shade once or twice.

{I was terrified my face would never calm down on one occasion}

Over the years, anyone who suffers from redness and sensitivity, tries to work out what their 'triggers' are.
Then we try to avoid them... which is not always easy.

My 3 main redness triggers:

1. Alcohol

This is the main one, for me, and very annoying.

My face can flare up after just a few sips of certain wines (or beers) and people assume that I am drunk!

Luckily, not all drinks do this, but there seems to be no definite pattern to my irritation.
Which is a shame, as it stops me being able to avoid certain brands or types of drink.

{I am glad to say that most cocktails don't make me flare up, and I do make a mean margarita!}

2. Certain Cosmetic Products 

(especially those containing SPF)

The annoyance of wasting money on a face cream is almost as bad as the misery of receiving a beautiful skincare gift set (from a friend) only to have to donate it back to that friend.

The worst offenders (for me) are...


I can't use any of them.

I also have a huge list of other, cheaper, brands.
{So many mistakes}

I am an optimistic person, which is great for many aspects of life, but not so great for curtailing my enthusiasm for trying 'new' products...
This one could be the one!

Even products marketed at sensitive (or redness-prone) skin make me flare up when they contain a high SPF.

3. Changes in Seasons.

Changing seasons can really aggravate my skin.
My entire body feels like it is irritated, sore and itchy.

I have to wear plenty of cream (all year round) and protect it (physically) from the cold wind and frosty conditions, in Winter.

Other Triggers:

  • Sun exposure
  • PMT, Menopause or other Hormonal imbalance
  • Spicy food
  • Emotional stress
  • Hot baths or showers
  • Air conditioning/heating

7 Ways to Help with Redness

1. Avoid touching your face

Try not to touch your face.
It is easy to fall into a habit of resting your hands on your chin, or rubbing your nose, etc.
But, it is a habit your MUST break.
Touching and rubbing your facial skin (with your hands) causes friction and deposits bacteria onto your skin.
Neither of which are good.

2. Cleanse your skin thoroughly, but gently

Cleaning your skin is important, especially if it is sensitive and prone to irritation.
I always do a double cleanse (at night).
Once, with a gentle makeup remover.
Then again, with either a cleansing balm or a face wash, depending on my mood.

I never wash my face in the morning.
Just a spritz of water, or alcohol-free toner, and a layer of moisturiser.

3. Don't rub

Vigorous rubbing is the worst thing to do to your already aggravated skin.
Whatever you do to your face, do it gently.
Rubbing can cause broken capillaries to develop.
I have a lot of them around my nose, as a result of years of nose-blowing and rubbing.
{An unfortunate symptom of hay fever... mine was very bad when I was younger}

You could try applying moisturisers (and other products) with soft makeup brushes if your skin is particularly delicate.

4. Avoid your triggers (if you can)

Obviously, you want to enjoy life, and sometimes it is worth a little redness for a nice glass of wine!
But, if you know that a certain food/drink/product is going to cause you problems, it makes sense to try and find an alternative.

5. Natural is not always best!

So-called 'natural' products are not always the best for your sensitive (and redness prone) skin.
Some products marketed as natural contain essential oils.

I love essential oils (especially lavender) and appreciate that they smell fantastic as well as having wonderful properties.

If you are sensitive, lavender oil can be the worst thing for you to put on your face.
I flare up, badly, if lavender oil gets onto mine.
Although, other oils (such as germanium) are fine.
Always do a patch test (if possible).

{Please Note: I have included a link to the Liz earle cleanser (below) but I can't use this on my face (it flares up). However, I can use it as a brilliant eye makeup remover...go figure!!}

6. Keep it simple

If you are regularly reacting to moisturisers (and other products) try to find formulations that have as few ingredients in them as possible.
You may need to do a bit of research, but they are out there.
{The Body Shop and Avene have great sensitive ranges}

Less is more when it comes to ingredients and controlling redness.

7. Protect your face

Always wear moisturiser.
Wear a hat and large sunglasses in the summer.
Wrap up with a scarf, in winter.

Physically protecting your face really helps.

Wearing makeup can help too.
A thin layer of well applied, good quality foundation provides more protection.

{Check out this online tutorial with fantastic Makeup}

Over to you...
Do you react to any brands, or specific products?
What are your 'triggers'?

Please share your story in the comments, or contact me.




  1. My skin is also prone to redness, especially in winter and when the temperature changes bluntly (as when I go out in the cold leaving an over heated place). I have more or less your same triggers, anyway I have been using Clarins products and they are ok on my skin. I agree with you about lavender oil ! Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion & beauty blog

    1. I am sorry to hear you suffer as well Vale.
      And, I am very curious as to what products you can use from Clarins?
      I am always willing to try new things.
      You are right about the temperature changes...Central heating into the chill of a winter's day is a killer!
      Thank you for your comment.
      You are so well know for your flawless face that this gives me hope!! :oD

  2. My face & skin used to be much more sensitive when I was younger than it is now. I have no idea why?
    But I'll hypothesize and say that my stress is much less now and I eat very little processed food. I also don't work out as strenuously and thus don't sweat as much (I believe in a kindler, gentler work out---although I do sweat a bunch in hot yoga---but it's only maybe once a month)
    Could it be part of it? That is what is quite frustrating. Our bodies are so different from one another, that what works for one, isn't necessarily good for another!!
    Bummer about the alcohol----we enjoy a glass of wine almost every night!

    1. It is a bummer Jodie, but I still take my chances with a glass at dinner time! :oP
      You are right about stress...I get red lumps on my face in hard times.
      The working out and processed food sounds logical, it must have an affect in one way or another.
      We are all so different, that is why I was hoping for comments like yours... to find out what other women were experiencing. So, thank you!! XXX

  3. I have very sensitive skin. Truly. It will turn beet red and splotchy at the drop of a hat. I don't cleanse with soap. When I don't wear makeup (which is often) I just splash some cool water on my face and I try to avoid agitating it by over cleansing. I can no longer drink any alcohol (yes that is me weeping) due to allergies. The sun is horrible for my skin.

    When I workout my skin is red/purple for a good couple of hours. Broken capillaries? I got 'em! Whatareyagonnado?


    1. Oh Suzanne...that sounds awful.
      I would never have guessed.
      The whole 'cleansing' issue used to be really bad for me. I also did not wash my face (I still don't in the morning) But, these gentle cleansers and barely agitating has really helped. Coconut oil works well too, for a gentle massage.
      Thank you for sharing your experiences....maybe one of my margaritas would work for you?? :oP XXX

  4. My skin is very sensitive too! I can only use Clinique products and have not found yet a foundation were I don t pimples from. I also get very red from wine(not the Pina collada😉) and spicy food and these days the Hot flashes!👹👹👹

    1. Nancy, that sounds miserable! I agree about the clinique products...well, only the dramatically different moisturiser in my case. That is a great product for putting onto angry skin. (I always have a bottle)
      Although someone once told me that clinique can sensitise the skin to other products and cause allergies. I am not sure if I was entirely convinced as she worked for another company!
      Anyway, is it not better to just use what works?
      Booo to the red wine/red face situation....but Yay!!! to Pina colladas!!

  5. My skin is very sensitive too! I can only use Clinique products and have not found yet a foundation were I don t pimples from. I also get very red from wine(not the Pina collada😉) and spicy food and these days the Hot flashes!👹👹👹

  6. I can recommend London based skin expert Caroline Hirons' blog. Her advice has helped me immensely. Although I do not myself have redness issues, she has addressed those issues (among others) on her blog. She has lots of articles that give step-by-step, very detailed and very specific, advice on how to treat different skin problems. She's an expert on knowing which ingredients you may need to avoid.

    I am not related to or connected to Ms. Hirons in any way shape or form. I am merely a happy reader of her blog.

    1. Thank you Riley! I had a look and I really like her style of writing. I was intending on having a quick look but I got lost in her site for a while! :oP XXX

  7. Very interesting article with a lot of very usefull tips.
    Thanks a lot for sharing.
    Consulenza d'immagine
    Consulente di immagine

  8. Whatever you're doing to care for your skin is paying off beautifully Samantha. You look lovely.
    Can I assume that all of you who are having concerns have consulted with a dermatologist? With so many products on the market these days (especially for anti-aging) a dermatologist might be crucial to finding what really works

    1. Thank you Judy, my skin can be hellish at times. Especially during hormonal fluctuations or after eating "crap" food. I read somewhere that skin can be sensitised without appearing red and angry, then suddenly flare up. Skin is such a delicate subject! :oD XXX


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