What is an Anti-Redness Serum and When Should You Use One?

An anti-redness serum contains ingredients to help soothe, moisturise and relieve redness in the skin. Used as part of your daily or weekly (depending on the active ingredients in the serum) an anti-redness serum could improve the texture of your skin, any discolouration and redness as well as the evenness of your complexion.

What Causes Facial Redness?

Facial redness is one of the most common complaints when it comes to skincare. Your skin can go red for a number of reasons; sun damage, acne and rosacea being the most common of these.

Sun Damage

Sun damage is one factor that is easily avoidable and should be avoided at any given change, sun damage cannot be undone and can cause you to age prematurely and puts you at higher risk of skin cancers such as melanomas and blind cell carcinomas. With proper coverage with sunscreen and donning a hat and sunglasses, you can drastically reduce the likelihood of skin redness resulting from sun damage, and keep your skin looking youthful at the same time.


Rosacea (ro-zay-she-uh) has no definitive singular cause, however, some people believe it is due to abnormalities with the blood vessels directly under the surface of your skin. Rosacea is most common across your nose and along your cheeks, though it can also creep down to your décolletage, causing redness in that area too.


Acne is a little harder to tackle. Acne is a skin condition where your pores become clogged with sebum and oils and causes blackheads, whiteheads or pimples (which can become cystic). Acne can be due to genetics, a poor diet, not being hydrated enough or most commonly, hormones. Acne can cause your skin to swell and go red and become irritated, this can cause embarrassment and self-esteem issues.

Allergies and eczema can also cause facial redness and should be seen by a certified dermatologist.

Rosacea Vs Red or ‘Rosy’ Cheeks

Rosacea and red cheeks are similar in the way that they both make your face appear flushed. They go hand in hand, and quite often you’ll find if you frequently experience the ‘joy’ of having rosy cheeks, you may have some degree of rosacea on your face.

Scientists and dermatologists worldwide are still trying to pinpoint what it is that actually causes Rosacea. It’s been suggested that broken capillaries under the surface of your skin are to blame, others have said that having abnormalities in the blood vessels is what actually causes it. All that is certain is that the blood vessels, primarily in the face across the nose and cheeks, cause that area to become very red and sometimes even sensitive to touch.

Rosacea can be triggered by heat, as the heat expands the blood vessels and increases blood flow to the area making your skin appear more flushed or red. It can also be triggered by fragrance and dehydration. Keeping your skin cool and hydrated is the key to reducing rosacea flare-ups, but even still your skin will still be a beautiful shade of pink which can get quite frustrating to wear all day.

Potentially Irritating Ingredients

Ingredients in skincare and makeup such as fragrances and alcohol can cause facial redness to be exacerbated. Exfoliants such as AHA and BHA chemicals, which are great for cleansing, can cause your skin to become red as well, as they’ve just microscopically removed dead skin cells from your face. These substances cause the skin to dry out and become irritated and red, so if you’re thinking of using the lovely rose-scented moisturiser because it’s “extra soothing”, don’t. You’re only going to make things worse.  

Prevention Vs Cure

If you can prevent it, you won’t need to cure it. There are some things you can do to reduce your chances of having skin redness. Some things are out of your control, rosacea and allergies for example, however, there are some things you can prevent such as sun damage, and to some extent acne.

Sun damage should be a thing of the past. With tan in a can, why do you need to unnecessarily put your skin health at risk? It is your largest organ, it should be very well taken care of. Skin cancers such as melanomas and blind cell carcinomas are far more serious and unfortunate possible byproducts of unsafe sun exposure, however, we’re talking skin redness here. When you’re exposed to the sun with no coverage (either physically or with sunscreen, ideally both) the sun’s rays penetrate and quite literally burn your skin. This irritates your skin, causing it to swell and become red. Put your sunglasses on, chuck on a hat and sit in the shade. You won’t need a cure for your redness then.

Acne is more difficult to predict because it can be caused by genetics, a poor diet, not being hydrated enough or most commonly, hormones. Taking hormones out of the picture for a minute… keeping yourself hydrated and maintaining a healthy diet and keeping your skin clean, you can give your skin the best fighting chance to reduce acne and in turn reduce any residual redness. If this doesn’t work, it might be best to speak to a dermatologist who can help you out with treatments to help aid your acne.

The Role of Hydration

Ahh, hydration. Hydration is so very important for the health of your skin. As previously mentioned, your skin is your largest organ. If all the layers of your skin were laid flat, they’d take up 7 full-sized tennis courts. That’s a lot of skin. A lot of skin means a lot of hydration.

Drinking your 8 glasses of water a day is important, but so is surface hydration. Using a moisturiser that is full of hydrating ingredients (which we’ll go into shortly) can penetrate the skin from a cellular level, making your blood vessels not work as hard to move blood and fluids around your body, and thus reducing redness in your face.  

Ingredients to Look For

So, what are these hydrating ingredients you ask?

You’re looking for deeply hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid which works actively at a cellular level to moisturise, glycerine which helps to attract water to your skin, lanolin to lock in moisture and vitamin E to protect your skin from the surface.

When you’re looking to purchase a moisturiser for your skin, the one you use on your face should be different to the one you use on your body. Why? Because the skin on your face is more fragile and generally more sensitive than the skin on your body. You can slather fragrance pretty freely on your legs and arms, but I wouldn’t recommend doing the same for your face.

Alongside the hydration, you should look for ingredients that will help with your skin barrier and protect it from irritants. The most common of these is niacinamide, which is a form of B3, which is great for cell production.

Should You Go Organic?

Organic natural skin care is full of antioxidants, is naturally fragranced and is all around better for your skin surface because they’re not full of additives. That being said, it also generally doesn’t work very well because there are no active ingredients in it to go deep into your skin. Finding organic skincare with active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid would be much better for your skin. It combines the goodness of natural ingredients, with science-backed ingredients to support the natural ones. You’re also less likely to react to it because it is natural and organic, no reaction means fewer chances of attracting redness.

Niacinamide Benefits

Niacinamide is an amazingly underrated skincare ingredient. Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, also known as Niacin, and helps cell generation and protein production to help protect the skin and lock in moisture.

Niacinamide has so many benefits; it builds keratin which is what keeps your skin firm and healthy, it minimises inflammation on the skin (so would help greatly with redness) and can even out your complexion, it is known to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and can regulate oil production too. It’s an amazing ingredient to add to your skincare regime if you haven’t already.

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