Why is it that so many people see beauty imperfections as conversation starters?
Like the time I was minding my own business in the drugstore makeup section, deciding which lipstick to impulse-buy, when a lady came up and physically touched my red, un-makeup'd cheeks. She then let me know she had just the product to “fix me.” (Turns out she was a Mary Kay consultant, in search of potential customers.)
Or the first time I stayed away from home with strangers for college freshmen orientation. I took my makeup off, revealing my stressed-out red blotchiness. My roommate then asked how one could cover such imperfect skin so well. “It must take a lot of makeup.” (Eyeroll.)
Or the various friends who ask me about my general wellness when things are looking a little pink in the cheeks at happy hour. “I’m fine. It’s just five o’clock and my concealer is wearing off and why am I explaining this to you it’s annoying bye.”
And so on.
Rosacea is a bitch. While my case has become milder as I’ve gotten older, that doesn’t mean it won’t come flaring in, aggressive and angry, ready to ruin my day at any moment. It can be aggravated by anything, but mostly stress, hot showers, caffeine, alcohol, or hot weather do the trick. (Number one reason to love fall/winter: My skin looks so good!)
I’ve done the runaround with anti-redness products. I’ve slapped on green concealer more times than I can count, hoping one day it would actually cover redness rather than just make my face green.
Lucky for you, my fellow pink-cheeked goddesses, I have some wisdom on what products are actually worth your time (in any budget) to help calm that redness, and keep it that way throughout the day.
BIG BUDGET: PEVONIA RS2 COLLECTION
Using this line legitimately makes me feel like I am a queen or princess or president. Using it feels luxurious and important. And the best part of the whole shebang is that it’s worth every penny: this stuff works.
The line’s main ingredients are green tea, safflower seed oil and French rose: three ingredients that work together to calm, cool and sooth redness, while also fiercely cleansing (in a gentle way) to prevent breakouts. Oh, and did I mention this line smells amazing? I want it in perfume form so I can smell it all day long. Every morning, the second the cleanser hits my face, I instantly relax at the delicate, feminine scent.
The cleanser is used for the initial cleaning (without the filmy residue left by so many other sensitive-skin cleansers), the lotion is an alcohol-free toner that removes any lingering impurities, the concentrate is a lightweight gel that kills bacteria and continues to seal out redness, and the cream moisturizes while decongesting skin to leave your complexion soothed.
Don’t wanna dish out the cash for the full-size set, but want to try out this glamorous skincare line? Check out Pevonia’s Redness Skincare Solution Kit, $44.50, which includes everything but the concentrate in travel-size portions.
MID-RANGE BUDGET: VMV HYPOALLERGENICS RED BETTER LINE
First of all, VMV Hypoallergenics is an awesome company to begin with because they do their own research and subsequently publish their findings in medical journals, so you know your skin is getting legitimate care, with scientific evidence to back up its effectiveness. Their products are 100% free of harmful chemicals including dyes, fragrances, parabens, preservatives, etc., and nothing is tested on animals.
In addition to all that, this redness line rocks. While you won’t get the super-luxurious experience of the Pevonia, you will get 100% effective care for your redness.
The Red Better Cleansing Cream is an ultra-creamy, ultra-gentle facial cleanser that instantly calms my skin and prevents flare-ups throughout the day. The Red Better Therapy Moisturizer is ultra-hydrating without being greasy or leaving your skin feeling clamy. It goes on creamy, but dries quickly and leaves skin smooth and calm all day. These products also boast green tea antioxidants, and use virgin coconut oil (a natural anti-inflammatory moisturizer).
And the Spot Corrector? Amazing for isolated breakouts. Whenever I feel a pimple coming on, I apply some of that and it vanishes without the harsh chemicals that irritate my skin like other spot treatments. It’s perfect for sensitive skin prone to breakouts.
TIGHT BUDGET: ST. IVES GREEN TEA PRODUCTS
I love these St. Ives products because they work great and cost next to nothing. I usually get both the Green Tea Cleanser and the Green Tea Scrub, and then go back and forth between the two, as to not over-exfoliate my skin with too much scrubbing. These products use green tea, olive oil and olive leave extract to soothe redness and clear breakouts. They also smell amazing! (As you know, this is important to me.)
To moisturize on a budget after the green tea cleansers, I like the St. Ives Timeless Skin Facial Moisturizer. Even though it’s targeted at anti-aging rather than redness prevention, it’s formulated with safflower seed oil (like the Pevonia), which is great for soothing pesky redness. The moisturizer works great while still being lightweight, and minimizes the appearance of those fine lines we all hate.
Do you have issues with redness, or another annoying skin issue? What are your favorite products?