Acne is a technically ‘incurable’ skin condition that plagues all kinds of skin types at every age, and comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are the everyday comedones, the deep and painful cysts, the whiteheads, the blackheads, and everything in between. It can be a huge detriment to self-confidence, and can feel like the end of the world when it flares up, especially on a big day or date night. If acne’s got you down, remember you’re not alone, and that the poreless skin you’re seeing in ads is an airbrushed fiction: we’ve all got pores, which all get clogged sometimes.
That said, there are actionable steps you can take to dial back one of the peskiest symptoms of acne. We’re talking about redness.What Causes Redness?
Redness and discoloration that you typically see around pimples are the result of an increase in localized blood circulation caused by acne inflammation. There are different types of acne, and inflammatory acne usually indicates that you’re dealing with a strain caused by bacteria on the epidermal layer (as opposed to hormonal imbalances or overactive sebum production).
Regardless of the specific form of acne you’re dealing with, all blemishes generally provoke a reaction that includes swelling and redness in the affected area. What starts as a tiny pore blockage (a combination of oil, dead skin cells, and bacteria) becomes a breeding ground for acne causing bacteria, which inflames the pore, resulting in pressure being exerted onto the pore wall. This process then provokes your body to send white blood cells to the area in an attempt to fix the problem. At this point, redness and irritation develop in all of their glory.How to Reduce Redness of Acne
Decreasing redness can be one important prong of attack in battling your acne on a day to day basis. You can approach the problem through combining quick fixes with long term preventative care.Wash Your Face (Gently)
For an emergency quick fix redness buster, start by washing your skin with a super mild cleanser–nothing with fragrance, sulfates, or potentially irritating acids. A must-have option here is Puristry’s Nopal Cactus Cleanser, a super skin-kind formula that contains healing and brightening yuzu citrus. Yuzu has a high vitamin C content, which battles discoloration and dark spots through naturally boosting collagen production in the skin, meaning restored cell turnover and new pigmentation.Apply a Cold Compress
Post-cleanse, apply an ice pack to the red and inflamed area. Make sure you wrap the ice in a clean towel–you don’t want to accidentally exacerbate the irritation with dirty ice cubes. Apply it to the area for ten minutes, then take a five minute break, then do so again for another ten minute stretch. Ice works to cool and narrow blood vessels and bring fluid to damaged tissue, and can be an important tactic in battling a pimple for short term results.Natural Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients
Instead of a cold press, try keeping sliced cucumber discs in your freezer. Apply to inflamed areas as you would an ice pack: you’ll get the benefits of cold compression, plus the vitamin C and caffeic acid present in cucumbers, both of which help soothe epidermal irritation and reduce swelling.
For longer term care, it’s essential to be using natural, topical anti-inflammatories that keep your skin soothed and hydrated every day. We’re currently loving aloe, turmeric, and cucumber for their anti-redness benefits. Aloe vera is a tried and true plant-based natural inflammatory, acting as a humectant that injects vitamin rich H2O into your epidermal layer, plus delivers a soothing and cooling sensation. Turmeric is another plant based anti-inflammation staple, with its wound healing properties, and rich storehouse of anti-inflammatory polyphenols. Cucumber water is an ultra cooling hydrant, full of Vitamin C for brightening and antioxidant packed beta carotene. For serious redness busting, incorporate these three ingredients into your weekly routine.Calm Down Your Skin
Our final piece of advice? Find a soothing daily toner with a formula that relies on flower and plant hydrosols. Hydrosols, or floral waters, are produced through distilling fresh leaves and flowers in H2O. The resultant aromatic waters are full of microbeads of healing essential oils. Applied topically, they deliver the properties and benefits of the vitamins housed within the original plant’s cellular composition, plus the added benefit of hydration, which delivers the active ingredients into the deepest layers of your skin.
We’re currently loving rose water, for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties and antibacterial benefits, and calendula hydrosol, for its complexion balancing and evening effects. Puristry’s Flower Water Toner is a dreamy everyday tonic for inflamed acneic skin, with a formula that features both rose and calendula, plus super soothing vegetable glycerin. Vegetable glycerin is a natural humectant that soothes irritation and acts as a barrier safeguarding your skin against the elements–key for dialing back redness. Use this product both morning and night to seriously pump the brakes on red and inflamed acne, and other minor skin irritations. Pro tip: give your skin a drink of this formula before you go in with the cold press. You can even use it to spot treat pimples with a cotton swab.
Armed with these tips, you’ll be banishing redness in no time, and making inflammation a thing of the past. Remember to avoid skin care products that’ll further irritate your skin, and look for ingredients that naturally offer redness relief. The key is to target your problem at its root, and once you reduce inflammation, the redness should quell and leave you with peace of mind.