Skin Redness – 7 Reasons Your Skin Is Red And Sensitive And How To Fix It

Skin redness is a common and frustrating skin condition that can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. It may be due to a simple reason, such as a rigorous workout or worse, something more serious, such as a skin condition. Whatever may be the cause of this skin redness, identifying it is important.

image of one woman, the image is split down the middle. The left hand side shows the woman with red, sore skin, whereas the other side appears clear.

Appropriate treatment follows the proper identification of the cause. In fact, many of the causes of skin redness are treatable with DIY home remedies. If the reason for your skin’s redness does not require medical attention, then use the home remedies given in this article.

These simple remedies will help to calm and soothe your skin to alleviate the redness. So, read on to know the solution to your skin redness problems!

What is Skin Redness?

Skin redness is when the skin on any area of the body develops a light pinkish-to-red colouration. The redness can be spread out over an area or even be in the form of red dots on the skin.

Essentially, skin redness develops when trigger factors or irritants cause inflammation. The inflammation is present under the skin’s surface. This, in turn, causes an increase in blood flow in the capillaries to repair the skin inflammation. As a result, the skin develops a pink/red colour.

The skin inflammation and redness is often accompanied by additional symptoms.

woman with red hair and freckles smiling whilst looking down

Suggested Article: 7 reasons your skin is red/sensitive and how to treat it.

Other symptoms and drawbacks that come with skin redness

An additional drawback of the skin becoming red and flushed is the effect it has on collagen. The inflammation disrupts the collagen production process. Which means that the natural ageing process speeds it up. In most cases, the redness of the skin is temporary and reduces with good skincare and home remedies.

But, it is also important to understand when to not take the matter lightly and consult a doctor. If you experience any difficulty in breathing or extreme pain, get medical attention as soon as possible. Loss of consciousness, redness around the eyes that is affecting vision, and redness due to animal bites required immediate medical treatment as well.

Some other common symptoms include the following:

  • Flushing
  • Skin bumps
  • Tenderness and/or skin becomes warm
  • Itching
  • Dry skin patches on the face
  • Hives or rashes
  • Blisters or sores

What causes skin redness?

The list for the causes of skin redness seems rather endless. But, we have highlighted the top common causes for you below.

1. Acne

Pimples and the associated inflammation often causes red dots on the skin. Thankfully, these spots do fade away as the acne heals in most cases.

2. Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema

This usually appears as an itchy rash, with skin redness that develops rather suddenly on the skin. The skin also appears scaly or raw with blisters developing often.

Note: Dry skin patches on the face often are due to atopic dermatitis.

a woman pictured with no makeup and skin conditions surrounding her in little bubbles.

3. Contact Dermatitis

Exposure to allergens causes this type of dermatitis. This kind of allergic reaction developed is characterized by skin redness and itchiness.

It is commonly caused by ingredients in skincare and hair care products, plants, fragrances, etc. Essentially, the skin sensitivity is higher towards harsh ingredients.

4. Seborrheic Dermatitis

While this affects the scalp mostly, it can also cause red rashes to develop on the face. Furthermore, the skin can be dry or oily in these patches.

5. Rosacea

Skin redness and rosacea are symptoms, especially among people, who have a lighter skin tone. Facial redness and flushing are common with bumps, dryness, and skin sensitivity. Essentially, Rosacea comes and goes in phases, with every day triggers causing relapses.

6. Sunburn

Sun exposure for longer durations causes sunburn. This then leads onto redness of the skin along with increased skin sensitivity as well. Additionally, there could be pain and swelling too.

Note: Mild to moderate sunburns also cause the skin to become dry and peel.

the back of a woman on a beach, with her sunburnt shoulder displayed with clothing having left an outline.

Suggested Article: Sunburnt Skin: How to Cover Sunburn with Makeup.

7. Skin Infection

Infections of various types lead to the development of rashes and itching at the affected site. Skin redness is often seen in conjunction with these. Additionally, bacteria, fungi, viruses or parasites – any microorganism can cause the infection.

Apart from these routine and common reasons for skin redness, other causes are plenty.

These include:

  • Heat rash
  • Psoriasis
  • Folliculitis
  • Ringworm
  • Allergic reaction to medications or drugs
  • Insect and animal bites or stings
  • Cellulitis
  • Thermal burns
  • Chemical burns
  • Shingles
  • Scarlet fever
  • Angioedema
  • Thrombophlebitis
  • Bone infection
  • Osteosarcoma

How you could be making your skin worse

Recurring blotchy red skin is a sign of heightened skin sensitivity and skin inflammation. You may not realise it but many items your skin comes in contact react as irritants. They aggravate the skin easily making your skin redness worse.

Common Triggers:

  1. Cleansing products that make the skin dry
  2. Hard exfoliating tools such as a stiff-bristled brush
  3. Rough ingredients in scrubs like apricot kernels
  4. Skincare products like toners and astringents that contain alcohol
  5. Witch hazel
  6. Essential oils like lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, and eucalyptus essential oil
  7. Fragrances in skincare and other products (commonly labelled as parfum)
  8. Harsh treatments for thorough exfoliation like microdermabrasion
  9. Unsafe ingredients in products (sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium Laureth sulphate, and ammonium lauryl sulphate)
  10. Chemical dyes

What to Avoid:

Avoiding these ingredients, especially when you suffer from skin redness often, is great to prevent the condition from becoming worse. So be sure to use skincare and other products that are free from these.

Products labelled as 100% fragrance-free are a safe bet when the fragrance is a trigger for your skin redness. Additionally, spicy foods and alcohol consumption are also responsible for making your red skin worse. They should be avoided too.

close up of a person using a small cleansing pad on their red cheek.

Suggested Article: Here’s How Stress Affects Your Skin and How to Reduce the Effects of It.

How to Prevent Skin Redness

Avoid Products and Skincare Practices That Can Trigger the Redness

The various products mentioned in the previous section can trigger or worsen an existing condition of skin redness. So, avoiding them is definitely going to help your skin. By keeping them out of your routine, the prevention steps for skin redness has already begun.

Suggested Article: Skin Icing: Why Freezing Your Face Could Be The Answer to Radiant Skin.

Use Soothing Skincare Products

Apart from avoiding these triggers, there are other ways to prevent skin redness as well. These prevention tips for redness on the skin mostly involve using the right products with the most appropriate ingredients in your skincare routine.

The skin’s barrier is compromised during the inflammation. So, using the right skincare products repairs this barrier and improves skin health.

As mentioned above, avoid products that contain harmful chemicals, parfum/fragrances, and alcohol as much as possible. Read the labels before purchasing any skin or hair care product in order to match your skin’s sensitivity. Products that contain anti-inflammatory components and antioxidants enhance the repair process and reduce skin inflammation. So, pick items that contain such ingredients along with soothing and skin calming ones.

Chamomile, honey, green tea, white tea, oats, calendula, aloe vera, ceramides, and hyaluronic acid are some ingredients to look out for.

Suggested Article: Radiant Skin: Makeup and Skincare Tips for Luminous, Glowing Skin Inside Out.

Keep Your Skin Hydrated

Your cleanser needs to be non-drying in nature so choose a water-soluble one or a creamy cleanser that has moisturising agents in it.

Additionally, refrain from using bar soaps to prevent skin redness from the dryness. And always, always, always apply a moisturiser after rinsing your face! This is because dry skin patches on the face are irritated easily and, therefore, become red. Prevent this by using a nourishing moisturiser twice a day or even more often, if needed.

woman smiling whilst holding a small pot of moisturiser.

Apply SPF

If you are going to be stepping out of the house, do not forget to apply sunscreen. Sun damage is a common trigger for skin redness and sunscreen can be of great help here.

Use one with SPF 30 or more about 20 minutes before you go out.

In the evenings, rinse your face to remove all possible irritants and pollutants.

Suggested Article: How to Choose the Right Sun Protection for You.

Use a Serum

Add a serum or facial oil to your nightly routine. Doing so will provide the extra hydration and nourishment that your skin needs. However, make sure you are picking ones meant for sensitive skin.

Support these skincare steps with the best prevention tip for skin redness – drinking ample water throughout the day!

a woman applying facial oil to her cheek.

Suggested Article: Facial Oils for Every Skin Type.

Home Remedies to Treat Skin Redness

When the skin redness is due to a serious condition like burns or infection, medical treatment is required.

But when minor and temporary triggers cause the redness, home remedies can be used to reduce redness on face and other areas. These remedies can also be used to treat skin redness seen due to rosacea and other skin conditions.


Oats are soothing and calming for irritated and inflamed red skin. Furthermore, they also nourish and moisturise the skin too.

  1. Take a few tablespoons of ground oats or oatmeal.
  2. Add some water or milk to this, if you are not allergic to dairy.
  3. Mix well to obtain a paste of medium consistency.
  4. Apply this on the affected skin and leave the oatmeal pack on for about 15 minutes.
  5. Rinse the pack off with cool water.
  6. Repeat this twice a week.


The high water content of cucumber deeply hydrates the skin. Plus, its cooling and skin calming properties reduce redness on face easily. In addition, cucumber also improves the cell renewal process.

  1. Take a fresh cucumber and cut it in half.
  2. Grate one-half of the cucumber and apply this on the face.
  3. Keep this on the skin for 15 minutes and then rinse your face with water.
  4. Reapply the grated cucumber two to three times a week to treat skin redness.

array of cucumber slices with a small glass bottle, containing cucumber slices and water, along with cotton pads.

Coconut Oil and Yogurt

This remedy combats redness caused due to dryness and also smoothens out the skin bumps. Furthermore, coconut oil is an excellent skin moisturising agent. Where, on the other hand, yoghurt contains enzymes that improve the skin renewal process. Positively, it also gently exfoliates the skin.

  1. To one tablespoon of organic and unflavoured yoghurt, add a couple of drops of virgin coconut oil.
  2. Mix the two ingredients together well.
  3. Apply this on the entire face or on specific areas affected with redness.
  4. Let the yoghurt mask stay on your skin for 10 minutes or so.
  5. Wash it off with room temperature water.
  6. You can repeat this home remedy for skin redness twice a week.

Suggested Article: Blackheads: Natural Ways to Remove Them Once and for All


Honey has plenty of benefits for the skin. Where it contains healthy fatty acids and antioxidants it also reduces skin inflammation and nourishes the skin.

  1. Simply take some organic honey and apply it directly on the skin.
  2. Leave the honey on the skin for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse it off with tepid water.
  4. Repeat this every day until the skin redness reduces.

raw honey being poured onto a spoon and overflowing into a white bowl below.

How to hide Skin Redness

Many situations arise where you desperately want to conceal and hide any skin redness for a few hours. Here, makeup is your best bet in such a situation. But, you need to pay a little attention to the steps and the products that you use. This is because skin inflammation and sensitivity can be triggered further because of certain ingredients.

Note: Use makeup products meant for sensitive skin or those without possible irritants.

A step-by-step makeup routine to hide skin redness


Use a hydrating moisturiser to prep the skin before you start to apply any makeup. You can also use a face oil if your redness is accompanied by dry skin patches on the face.

woman applying moisturiser in front of a mirror.

Prime the Skin

To make your makeup last longer, use a primer. Applying a primer will also help to make the skin’s texture even and reduce patchiness once the foundation is applied.

Colour Correct

After the primer has set in for a few minutes, apply a green corrector (correcting concealer) on the red dots/blotchy areas present on the skin.

Start with a little and blend the green-tinted concealer using a brush or a blending sponge. Simply focus the blending on the red skin and not beyond it. The green tinge cancels out the skin redness and neutralises it.

Apply Foundation

Apply your foundation as usual on top of the green concealer. Be sure to choose a foundation depending on the coverage you are looking for.

Suggested Article: Find the Perfect Foundation for your Skin Undertone.

Use Concealer

The next step is to apply concealer on the usual areas that you to like to conceal and brighten, such as under the eyes. You can apply the concealer on the areas you put the green concealer on too, for extra coverage.

Set With Powder

If you do not have any dry skin patches on the face, use a translucent powder all over the face. The powder sets the foundation and concealers in place.

Use a Setting Spray

Lastly, use a mattifying makeup setting spray to lock the makeup in place. However, if you prefer a dewy look, use a hydrating mist instead.

Skip the foundation if you want a more natural look and just apply concealer. Be sure to apply it on top of the green corrector to even out the skin tone further. Also, the use of blush is best avoided when you have skin redness as your cheeks are flushed naturally. Emphasising this with a blush might negate the entire makeup application process.

To learn more about how to care for reactive skin types, click here to read our article on How to Use Retinol on Sensitive Skin Types. 

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