How to Minimize Redness in the Skin – Tips and Tricks

Makeup & Beauty Tips on How to Minimize Redness on the Skin

Share your best tips and tricks for minimizing, correcting, or camouflaging redness in the skin!ย  Feel free to share your experiences, how you mastered techniques, or what you struggle with.

My Tips

  1. I don’t actually have too many tips, as I don’t suffer from too much redness in the skin so I haven’t had to deal with it personally to a great degree. ย I get some around my nose and sometimes on my cheeks, and for me, light-medium coverage foundation usually covers both significantly. ย Otherwise, green is known to mitigate redness, and I remember having a green concealer once upon a time.
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My redness is allover and reactive so I can’t go in with a green corrector to fix it. Instead I used full coverage foundation to mask it out or olive tone primers like Smashbox’s and BB creams Like Missha Perfect M to cancel that out. There also a new product from It Cosmetics called Bye Bye Redness which is an olive base corrector for the skin that dose work really well but leave your skin looking naked.

I flush really easily. If I’m too warm, my skin gets red. If I’m too cold, my skin gets red. If I’m tired… you get the idea.

Some primers have pigment that helps cancel redness or unwanted pigmentation in general. Stila has a nice one that also looks cool because it has colours swirled in it. Honestly, a good quality primer will tend to calm the skin on its own, even if it doesn’t have pigments added.

I also find it helps to spritz my skin with a cooling/ calming toner of some sort and to let it seep in for a couple of minutes. Mac’s Fix + is good for that (although I liked the lavender-scented one the best, but it was limited). Skyn Iceland has a mist/ spray that I’ve been using that seems to wake both me and my complexion up.

If nothing else helps, I apply a little more concealer than normal under my eyes and smooth the extra product down over my cheeks. I don’t want a lot of concealer buildup, just a little boost for the foundation. And, yes, wearing a shade of green that complements the skin can help as well.

I suffer from redness a lot due to having sensitive, acne prone, and fair skin. I was in denial over what causes my redness, but I found switching to a basic regiment (gentle cleanser, treatment, moisturizer) and switching to very basic and alcohol and fragrance-free products (I am loyal to CeraVe now with a few Paula’s Choice products here and there) my redness has calmed down A LOT. I was under the impression that my redness was solely due to my acne, which a majority of it was, but I found the redness went down considerably when I switched to gentler products.

As for makeup, I found yellower makeup does a better job of minimizing redness than green. Green tones gave my fair skin a unnatural greenish cast no matter how little of it I used. I also stay away from blush for obvious reasons, though bronzers do a good job of further masking redness.

Wow–it’s like you read my mind! These would be my recommendations! Even the Cerave and Paula’s Choice! I’m going to elaborate and add some other tips:

1) Splash cool (but not too cold) water on your face–especially at the beginning and end of face washing. This helps reduce redness. Never use hot water to wash your face if you can help it.

2) Eliminate skin irritants in skincare & makeup products bc redness could be an inflammatory reaction from irritated skin. Irritants include ALL essential oils (so that means no lavender oil for your face folks), botanical extracts, fragrance, too much alcohol, or eczema-causing preservatives like methylisothiazolinone. Your skin might be uniquely sensitive to things other people aren’t–like vitamin C, vitamin E, witch hazel, cucumber, aloe vera, surfactants, licorice root, or silicones.

3) Find simple & gentle skincare: Calming or anti-inflammatory ingredients like green tea, aloe vera, cucumber, oatmeal, allantoin, salicylic acid, apricot kernel oil, etc. are helpful for reducing redness. Just beware if you’re allergic to these ingredients.

4) For makeup, green AND yellow makeup is a great idea for redness–though I only use both together for VERY red patches/spots. Apply one layer–only add more if needed. Blend, blend, blend! I follow these steps:
a) primer, b) green corrector (one layer at a time, c) setting powder, d) yellow concealer, e) setting powder.

5) A yellow-toned bronzer is a great idea. Beware of red-toned bronzers.

6) Beware of your tools. My skin gets irritated from the slightest scratchiness in brushes. I love sponges for this reason.

I totally agree. Gentle and alcohol-perfume-paraben free products really help calm down the skin. e.g.REN, Darphin
And also what I eat really affects the sensitivity and rednes (plus acne) on my face
e.g.too much caffeine, sugar, fat

I have severe issues with redness – a Sephora CSR once walked up to me and asked me what I did to my skin to make it so irritated like that, which made me extremely irritated at him, since my skin has always been this way – which have gotten a little better since I started using a clay mask a couple times a week. I was using a full coverage foundation prior to this, but I just very recently got the courage to try a yellow-leaning tinted moisturiser instead. It seems to tone down some of the leftover redness. (At least it does in the mirror.)

I’ve had plenty of experience with redness. I don’t have a simple solution, but what seems to work best for me is being gentle with my skin (not being overly aggressive with exfoliation and avoiding irritating ingredients like lemon, tea tree, lavender, alcohol, etc.). I’ve found simple ingredients to be best..20 different botanical extracts sounds good but it can increase redness and irritation. I use a Hadalabo toner and moisturizer (the hyaluronic line) along with La Roche Posay thermal water. I’ve tried a few brands but that thermal water is the best! It calms my skin tremendously and keeps my acne at bay. It sounds weird, but I’m convinced. Any time I stop using it my skin gets irritated and breaks out. I think it’s the selenium. It’s easy to get since Ulta carries it.

I’ll second those who have said that minimizing products really helps. Mornings I just rinse my face (no cleanser), moisturize and use sunscreen. I’ve been using vitamin c treatment in the mornings as well lately, but a pretty natural one, without much in it. Evenings I use coconut oil to cleanse (josie maran oil cleanser on occasion if I’m feeling like I need a deeper clean), put on a retinol, moisturize and go to bed. I never put hot water on my face. I try not to use too many extra products. My skin will still be red in the evening after I take my makeup off, but usually it’s calmed down by morning.

I have the smashbox green primer that I use sometimes – I guess it helps a little bit too. And I’m pretty sure I’d be in a yellow-based foundation anyway, but every makeup artist I’ve talked to about it also says I need the yellow specifically to counteract the red in my skin. So there’s that too.

first of all finding gentle products to use on your skin that don’t irritate it is one of the best things you can do. I also find that yellow based medium to full coverage foundations work best to cover redness. You also have to be careful when you apply foundation. Dabbing/stippling on foundation with a sponge will cause less irritation and redness than rubbing/buffing with a foundation brush. I would also stay away from scrubs, washcloths, or other abrasive products.

My biggest tip for redness is to go with YELLOW, not green. Yes, green will counteract redness on the colour chart, but faces are not truly blank canvases — we have skintones!

I find what works best for my redness is using a concealer of the same level (darkness/lightness) as my skintone, but with more yellow in it than my actual undertones. I get much better coverage with this than I ever had with a primer, and it doesn’t give that zombie-ish green cast that green colour correctors tend to create! ๐Ÿ˜›

I think first and foremost, we need to understand what is causing our redness so that we can treat it properly. If we’re simply irritating our skin by using too many harsh products, that’s an easy fix. As has been mentioned, simply switching to milder, more basic products can make a huge difference. The same goes for dermatitis caused by an allergic reaction. Eliminate the product that is causing the problem and the redness goes away. Unfortunately, though, a lot of redness has a medical condition at its root. If you’ve switched to gentler products and have tried to identify and eliminate anything which might be triggering an allergic reaction but to no avail, you should probably see a dermatologist. There are many skin conditions that have redness as a symptom. In my case, I have rosacea so I must be mindful of what I eat and drink and I avoid exposing the problem areas on my face and chest to sunlight. I also have an IPL treatment every six months which has proven to be so successful in keeping the redness and tiny bumps under control that I seldom have to worry about covering any of it up. In fact, most people are completely surprised when I mention that I have rosacea. For those very rare times when I do need a bit of camouflage, I agree with the ladies who favor yellow. Green just doesn’t work well on my fair complexion.

Such an excellent post. I searched for years to find the cause of my redness. One day at my dermatologist for some other issue, I asked her about my redness and she diagnosed rosacea. She put me on antibiotics for an extended period of time and advised no Sun or high level sunscreen. My computer won’t let me enter the 3 initials . I also use LA ROCHE POSAY ROSALIAC AT INTENSE (serum)) and gentle products with minimal additives. All my retinol products went to my daughter.
I’ve done quite a bit of reading on valid medical sites.if you have a significant redness issue, see a dermatologist as rosacea can get worse without proper treatment. It’s nothing to be afraid of and is not hard to treat.

I have been dealing with redness all my life as a result of allergies rather than acne. I’m also affected by weather, cold causing my nose to turn into Rudolph’s and heat causing me to flush from hairline to collarbone. Most of the time I only have to deal with the doll patches on the cheeks and a little around the nose and eyes. The best solution is medium to full coverage foundation or tinted moisturizer rather than color correcting green or yellow. The full coverage covers completely and the tinted moisturizer is sheer enough to let my natural “blush” clearly visible without having to use any real blush. Random red welts, hives, blotches, patches and scratches that appear throughout the day I just leave to nature and hope they fade quickly.

The best product for canceling out redness without looking like you are wearing a mask is YSL’s Teint Parfait. There are many colors to choose from, depending on your skin tone. I use No. 1 & 2. Just smooth it on after your moisturizer (and sunscreen) and voila, redness is cancelled out almost entirely without hiding your natural skin tone. You can apply foundation next if you wish or just go ahead with powder, blush or whatever you’d like to use. This is the best product I’ve ever used for this problem and I’ve tried a lot of things over the decades. It is different from a tinted moisturizer or light foundation or concealer. It’s unique, lightweight and very effective. No cakey buildup even if you apply foundation on top for a truly porcelain complexion. A little goes a long way and the tube lasts for months. It’s neither greasy nor drying. It’s just right.

I personally do not have any redness but as a makeup artist I would use Yellow Concealer to hide redness on clients. I usually would apply the concealer all over the cheeks like cat whiskers then apply foundation over it and the redness would disappear! Any brand works but my favorite and most inexpensive is Physician’s Formula. A creamy stick worn with a cream to powder works well.
Hope this helps!

My roommate swears by Bare Escentuals Redness Remedy, though I would not suggest it for fair or light skin tones, as the yellow may stand out over time. (She’s an NW25-30 for reference.) Within two weeks, she saw a definite reduction in the redness in her cheeks.

I get redness very occasionally in my cheeks from allergies, so I generally use a few swipes of a good concealer and gently spread it out over my cheekbones, gently patting it down to keep it from sheering out too much. Keeping mind that my redness is more of a flush – not extensive like, say, rosacia or something similar.

Taking proper care of my skin has helped a lot, though there is some kind of perma-redness on me.

Gentle products (First Aid Beauty Cleanser, Tri-Derma Facial Redness Repair Moisturizer, Evening Primrose Oil) and not using acne treatments that I had been using in the effort to stop the redness have made a huge difference.

Yellow tones are great for redness. I also use the green in the Coastal Scents Camo Quad that’s mostly beige with a hint of olive.

I’m going to suggest something kinda of crazy sounding, but if you’re very pale/fair, blue will cancel out the redness better than green. I found that green made me look a bit sickly, but a little bit of blue works well. Too much blue and I look ghostly. MUFE makes a blue primer that works and many mineral makeup companies do too.

Ah now here I can give plenty of advice… I have oily, acne prone, fair skin and I live in a place where the climate is almost constantly hot and humid YEAR ROUND. I’m hoping that when I move up north things will be different, but for now, I’ve had to come up with creative ways to calm down my skin. Here are some tips off of my head..

1. Put foundation in the fridge to chill. The chilled foundation instantly calms down any inflammation and imo just enhances the quality of a foundation altogether as well as prolonging it’s freshness.
2. Visine eye drops calm down the skin without leaving a greasy film or drying out the skin
3. Wash your face with warm water to open up the pores and then rinse with cold, cold water.
4. As mentioned in other posts, use gentle products and try to avoid facial scrubs. If you have to use them, find one that has very fine grains ( St. Ives Green Tea scrub works nicely ) or, my homemade coconut scrub ( mixing baking soda with coconut oil )
5. Aloe and witch hazel are great for calming acne prone skin. I use witch hazel as a toner because it’s alcohol free and naturally helps heal my acne

I have to agree with using foundations/concealers that lean slightly yellow. I have medium skin with lots of redness, and the green concealers never worked for me. I know green is opposite red on the color wheel, and in theory is supposed to cancel redness — but it didn’t work in my case (just made my complexion look sickly).
I have also switched to Cetaphil sensitive skin cleanser n and a gentle moisturizer. I do use Retin a every other night, but if my skin gets too inflamed, I take a little break from the retin a.

I have light (NW20) skin with a lot of redness from broken capillaries and acne scaring. A bit of green mineral powder corrector under Bare Minerals Summer Bisque concealer has been my solution in the past. I recently tried “Frisky Occitat ,” a light olive foundation from Meow Cosmetics and find a I get great, even-toned skin in one step. I love the versatility of mineral makeup. It’s super easy to apply just the right amount where needed, and to customize the colour for an even look.

Since I have rosacea (and more recently eczema, yay :/ ), there are a few things that I do to combat redness:
1. Metrogel cream (prescription), which soothes the skin and helps during a flare up or helps prevent.
2. Paula’s Choice Clinical Advanced Redness Relief – which you apply with a cotton pad to your face and it helps to take the redness out.
3. I’ve tried green primers and so far they’ve not really helped me, but wearing a medium to full coverage foundation on the more red areas of my face is what I tend to do.
4. I use a moisturizing cleanser like Abbey St. Clare Aniba Cleanser, which minimizes irritation during cleansing.
5. Cut back on exfoliation and the Clarisonic. I can’t really do either more than once or twice a week or I’ll irritate my skin.

I am very fair with rosacea & super-prone to blushing (you should see me when I have to speak up in meetings…it’s become a ritual, watching me turn red). I use LORAC Oil-Free Neutralizer & it works wonderfully. I put it on under my tinted moisturizer since if I wear it alone it makes me look a little too colorless & it totally hides my redness. I was out somewhere once & felt myself blush so I looked in a mirror – nothing! Just make sure you put it on moisturized skin as it tends to dry a bit. A lot of steps, yes, but for something that works this well I don’t care ๐Ÿ™‚

I guess I don’t know what really constitutes “redness” as a problem. I have naturally red cheeks, but otherwise great skin. No breakouts, etc. and get compliments on my skin all the time. Why would I want to get rid of my healthy flush in order to put an artificial flush back on with blush?

A lot of people can have redness, not merely a lovely natural flush as you are lucky enough to have ๐Ÿ™‚ that is uneven, splotchy, etc. and may occur anywhere on their skin, not just their cheeks.

I have definitely decreased the redness around my nose, cheeks forehead following a simple skin care regimen. I only use a cleanser at night (i use Yes To Carrots cream cleanser). In the morning only splash with lukewarm water. I’ve been religiously using an alcohol-free hazel witch toner (Thayer’s). For moisturizer I mostly use By Nieves C Perfect Skin which is really a face oil blend. I find that using less products with fragrance, especially synthetic, has helped! If my skin is really dry I’ll use 100% camellia oil.

I’m very fair with cool undertones so my skin certainly errs on the red side. I’ve found that cleansing with an oil keeps my skin calm so I don’t need as much coverage in the morning. I’ve also been experimenting with Smashbox’s Color Adjust primer and found that it has nice texture and it does slightly reduce/cover redness even if I don’t apply foundation over it.

Bare minerals neutralizing primer seems to work really well for me. I was also using Cliniques redness solution and I switch between the two. The bare minerals is yellow and Clinique is green. For skin care products I use Korres and I definitely recommend their moisturizer and cleanser. For foundation I switch between a few but most prefer Mac face and body. It covers well and I typically put Mac prolongwear concealer where I’m most red (around the nose) just for added confidence my face will look fresh for the day :). Although my redness is still there these products help me keep it under control for the day.

I agree with most things that have been said here. I avid alcohol and fragrance. I always use a neutral to a sloghtly yellow foundation never something pink tone. I sometimes use a blue or green primer but I find it heavy I keep that for night outs.

I also have sensitive skin and rosacea – if you suspect that you might have a condition like rosacea it’s definitely worthwhile getting it evaluated.

Like many of the other ladies who’ve commented I found that simplifying my routine and using gentler products really helped my skin. I’ve used Purpose skin cleanser in the past and liked how gentle it was but I found that it didn’t seem to get my skin very clean. I had similar problems with Cetaphil. I’m currently using Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple and I love it. I’ve stopped using toners all together and moisturize with Aveeno (I use the one that’s marketed as “skin calming”) in the morning – it has SPF, which is very important if you have rosacea! – and Atopalm at night. I stay away from foundation and just use a Neutrogena tinted moisturizer.

I’ve also found that over the counter acne creams are a little too irritating for my skin so I usually try to calm any inflammation and developing pimples with tea tree oil and use the acne spot treatments as a last resort.

Good luck fighting the redness ladies!

for all you rosacea ladies – i have had it for about 15 years now. most people have no idea as i keep it under control. if you have Rx insurance, try out a sulfur based cleaner. mine is Plexion. there is also a sulfur topical lotion call Klaron. i forgot my plexion on a 3 day business trip once, and my cheeks looked like red sandpaper by the time i got home.

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