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How do I get Rid of a Red Complexion?

By M. Wolters
Updated May 21, 2024
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Getting rid of a red complexion often depends on the cause of the red skin itself. For temporary redness, drinking lots of water, using cosmetics without any perfumes or additives and applying cooling cucumber slices are easy ways that you can reduce redness and create a clear complexion. A red complexion can often be the chronic skin condition rosacea. The cause of rosacea is not known, but there are certain things that seem to aggravate it. Medication and lifestyle changes are often necessary to create a balanced complexion if you have rosacea.

Temporary redness in the complexion can come from a number of factors. Sunburned or windburned skin often appears red and inflamed. Relieving this redness is often as simple as waiting until the skin heals itself, but for faster results, you can apply cucumber slices to inflamed skin to help cool the skin and reduce redness. Another easy way to soothe skin and reduce redness is to apply a washcloth soaked in milk to the affected skin. The vitamins, fats and proteins found in milk can calm red skin and speed up healing time.

If your red complexion isn’t this easy to heal or soothe, there could be something else to blame. Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness in the face and often causes small red bumps on the chin, nose, cheeks and forehead. Rosacea is a progressive condition, meaning that it gets worse over time if it is not properly treated.

There is no way to completely eliminate rosacea, although the symptoms can be diminished with a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Prescription treatments can come in the form of topical or oral antibiotics, benzoyl peroxide or isotretinoin. All of these treatments are used to reduce inflammation and help correct a red complexion.

Lifestyle changes are often necessary if you have rosacea. The best way to tone down a red complexion is to avoid anything that causes a flare-up in the skin. This can include extreme wind or temperatures, alcohol, hot drinks and even the sun. A sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher is extremely important if you suffer from rosacea.

It is a good idea to avoid cosmetics or facial lotions with additives or perfumes in them when dealing with rosacea. There are many cosmetics available in stores that are completely noncomedogenic, meaning that they won’t clog oil and sweat glands, leading to a more balanced complexion. Cleansers for a red complexion can also be helpful. An extremely gentle cleanser made for sensitive skin will help reduce any symptoms of rosacea.

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Discussion Comments

By anon994941 — On Mar 18, 2016

Getting about 10 minutes of sun a day helps me. When I get a light tan my complexion clears up nicely. You don't have to sit out and roast without sunblock, just 10 minutes of raw sunlight and give aloe vera a try.

By turquoise — On Sep 17, 2013

When we were kids and got sunburnt, my grandmother would apply plain yogurt to relieve the burning and pain. It would also do wonders for the redness. It doesn't smell great, but it's worth it.

Of course, nothing beats a good sun protection cream. But when I have sun burns, I still use this remedy.

By burcinc — On Sep 17, 2013

@donasmrs-- There are tinted primers that you can apply under your foundation to fix your complexion. Get a green tinted one because green is the opposite of red and they will balance one other out.

Covering up is fine, but I would urge you to continue treating your rosacea because that's the best way. Plus, people with rosacea have sensitive skin and using too many products can make it worse in the long-run.

By donasmrs — On Sep 16, 2013

I have rosacea and I think I've come to terms with the fact that I can't get rid of red cheeks. Now I'm trying to figure out how to best cover it up.

I do use hypoallergenic foundation sometimes but the redness is still apparent. What else can I do?

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