Skin Redness: Causes and Remedies

redness to skin

Skin Redness: What are the causes, remedies, and recommended ingredients?

Skin redness can feel embarrassing and can make us feel very self conscious when we go out into the world, trying to exude confidence. There can be many reasons why you have redness to your skin, ranging from health issues to something as simple as a reaction to a jewelry item or medication. We’ll cover the most common causes and solutions here. There are many effective remedies probably available in your own home to combat the effect of skin redness.

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Skin Redness: Some Common Causes

Overuse of Harsh Soaps and Detergents. Harsh detergents and soaps can strip the natural oils and invisible protective layer from our skin, not only leaving it vulnerable, but also causing the skin to reacted adversely. We often forget, but our skin is a living organ that requires certain conditions to function in a healthy way. If you feel that your skin is suffering from the effects of harsh detergents and soaps, give your skin a break entirely from any cleansers or products for a couple of days and only consider using a simple means of hydration, like pure aloe or a light layer of jojoba oil.

Rosacea. This is a common skin condition that can come and go in cycles, and can be triggered by a number of things, like: spicy, foods, hot drinks, cinnamon, chocolate, citrus or tomatoes. Avoiding these foods as well as alcohol, and direct sunlight, is a great way to lessen the blow of an outbreak.

Shower or Bath Water that is Too Hot. Water that is too hot can not only adversely effect the skin by scalding the surface, can also strip the skin of essential natural conditions that support a healthy skin environment. It's always best to bathe or shower with water that is warm but not too hot.

Keratosis Pilaris. This skin ailment is fairly common and harmless, and is often affectionately referred to as KP. KP can be managed with the right ingredients and products, but there is no cure. Often, KP disappears after the age of 30. Keratosis Pilaris is a build up of keratin, a hard protein on the skin, creating hard bumps of roughness. Regularly exfoliating can really help ward off the appearance of KP bumps, as well as some very helpful ingredients, like coconut oil, which contains lauric acid (great for gently removing cell build up). Other ingredients options that have been known to help: apple cider vinegar, yogurt, and olive oil.

Razor Bumps. Razor bumps are ingrown hairs, stuck underneath the skin, forcing the hair to grow inside the follicle thus creating an irritated bump. You can help prevent these by keeping pores and hair follicles clear in between shavings. Using exfoliating creams or treatments, as well as a exfoliating skin daily in those trouble spots to help keep them clear and free of the formation of more razor bumps.

Contact Dermatitis. This is caused by your skin coming in contact with an irritant, just as the name suggests. The cause of contact dermatitis can range widely, from coming in contact with latex, nickel, poison ivy or poison oak, or perhaps a solvent - like drain cleaner, detergent, bleach or various types of fuel. To treat, cleanse the area thoroughly with warm water and mild soap, consider adding a protective layer of coconut butter or shea, and also consider taking an oral antihistamine, which can help alleviate the symptoms significantly.

Atopic Dermatitis. Atopic dermatitis is fairly common and usually develops in early childhood. It is more common in people who have a family history of the condition. Some other symptoms might accompany atopic dermatitis, like asthma or hay fever. Some measures can be taken to prevent outbreaks and lessen the impact of the outbreak itself. Keeping skin clean and moisturized, not using hot water to taking long showers, taking a periodic bleach bath, and avoiding certain foods, like hot drinks, alcohol, and chocolate.

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Skin Redness: Effective Remedies

Cold compress. Cold temperatures help limit blood flow to an inflamed or irritated area of the skin. If you apply ice or cold water to skin redness, it can help reduce the redness, and well as any swelling that might be prevalent. For redness that covers a larger area of the skin, it might be more beneficial to take a cold shower or bath, perhaps adding some ice, which should provide some relief.

Epsom salt or Dead Sea salt. Magnesium salts have been found to improve the skin barrier function, help the skin retain moisture, and reduce inflammation. Bathing in the Dead Sea has been used for centuries to heal skin ailments. A 2012 study of Dead Sea bathing combined with sun therapy showed good results for atopic dermatitis.

Oat bath or facial. Oats contain anti-inflammatory and redness reducing substances such as linoleic oil, oleic acid, and avenanthramides. These substances reduce the body’s level of cytokines - proteins secreted by cells that can cause redness and inflammation.

Apple cider vinegar. A 2018 study showed how apple cider vinegar helped reduce inflammation-causing bacteria: E. coli, S. aureus, and C. albicans. The study found that in laboratory cultures, apple cider vinegar was extremely effective in limiting the cytokines that produce inflammation, thus helping reduce redness to skin.

Fresh aloe vera. Aloe contains vitamin B-12, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, C, E, and essential fatty acids. It also contains enzymes, carbohydrates, and sterols, which are all proven to help reduce redness and irritation of the skin. Many grocery stores and health food stores carry whole aloe leaves in their produce section, which is the best option when looking for fresh aloe vera.

Baking soda. The chemical makeup of baking soda acts as a buffer, keeping the surface of your skin in stable acid-alkali balance. For this reason, baking soda may sooth your skin, putting the skin’s pH into proper balance and therefore reducing redness and irritation.

Coconut oil. The medium-chain fatty acids in virgin coconut oil are thought to have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties – thus making it a great choice for reducing skin redness and irritation. A monoglyceride formed from lauric acid in coconut oil has been found to be antibacterial. Lauric acid makes up about half the fat content of coconut oil.

Tea tree oil. Tea tree oil has been proven to help correct bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal infections of the skin, if you believe this is the culprit of your skin redness. Be sure to mix the tea tree oil with some skin safe carrier oil – like coconut oil or olive oil. Applying tea tree oil directly to skin can increase redness and cause even more irritation, but a diluted version can do wonders.

Skin Redness: Ingredients that Help

Aloe. Using aloe can bring on significant relief and healing. Use an aloe product that does not contain harsh chemicals or preservative, as some do.

Apple Cider Vinegar. Diluted apple cider vinegar can help restore moisturize levels to dry skin red spots. Adding a small amount to your bath is highly beneficial.

Chamomile. Using chamomile for dry skin red spots can help alleviate and heal the skin, while providing some important anti-inflammatory qualities.

Coconut Oil. It's true that coconut oil has earned the reputation for being somewhat of a "cure all", and for the most part it is true. Using coconut oil on dry skin red spots can help hydrate, soften, and ward off infection because of it's anti-inflammatory qualities.

Epsom or Dead Sea Salt. Using Epsom or Dead Sea salt on dry skin red spots can help heal and protect. Magnesium, an ingredient in Epsom and Dead Sea salt, has the ability to strengthen the lipid barrier of your skin. This is a great addition to add to your bath when you're looking for some additional relief.

Oatmeal. Studies have shown that extracts from oatmeal have anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Oatmeal has been a long standing remedy for dry, irritated skin, and for good reason. You can make your own salve by mixing oats with coconut oil or a combination of some of the ingredients we've listed here.

Tea Tree Oil. Using tea tree oil has been shown to heal dry skin red spots and irritated skin in general. It's healing ability is well known, and it can alleviate itching and irritation.

Our Intense Hydration Cream is entirely plant derived with the most moisturizing ingredients on the market:


Redness to the skin can be very discouraging, but with a little time and effort, you can reduce redness effectively.

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Jeanette @

I'm a formulator and skin care expert, wife, parent, and fur baby mom. I specialize in active ingredient research and studies, and share that information with you via our blog and products. Please reach out anytime you have questions!

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