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The Truth Behind Skin Redness

By: Cynthia Price, MD
Posted: June 27, 2014, from the July 2014 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 3 of 4

The overuse of aggressive topical products can often lead to acute and chronic redness, even if no known sensitivities or sensitive skin conditions exist. Additional lifestyle considerations for clients suffering from varying degrees of redness include avoiding spicy foods; hot liquids; alcohol and topical products containing alcohol; smoking; hot baths and showers; sun exposure; and high concentrations of aggressive topical ingredients, such as benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid. Clients experiencing redness should also consider drinking plenty of water; using only half the amount of laundry detergent that is recommended by the manufacturer; avoiding products with synthetic fragrances or colors; and applying an appropriate moisturizer immediately after showering.

Ingredients that reduce redness

Regardless of which condition is responsible for causing the redness, there are a handful of tried and true ingredients that can mitigate redness, including:

  • Ascophyllum nodosum extract from brown algae, which reduces VEGF and PGE2 expression when combined with Asparagopsis armata extract; and
  • Capparis spinosa fruit extract from caper bud extract, which inhibits the production of proinflammatory cytokines.

Additionally, corticosteroids may be used to reduce inflammation and soothe the discomfort that often accompanies erythema. As with aforementioned conditions, every client should use a broad spectrum SPF of 30 or greater every day. When it comes to skin conditions involving redness, the barrier function is often impaired, allowing for a higher risk of UV-induced inflammation, which can worsen many of the sensitive skin conditions skin care professionals aim to treat. This increased inflammatory response can further weaken damaged capillaries and lead to increased vasodilation. Proper UV protection can help mitigate these negative outcomes.

There are many causes of acute and chronic skin redness. As a skin health professional, it is imperative to identify the main cause of the redness; however, there are standards of care that are effective to minimize redness, regardless of its cause.



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