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How to Reduce Facial Redness

Tired of looking like you’re embarrassed—or worse, drunk—24/7? Here are some easy ways to make your cheeks less rosy.


  • Step 1: See a dermatologist See a dermatologist to make sure the redness isn’t a symptom of disease or a skin condition like rosacea or telangiectasia. You could also simply have a naturally ruddy complexion.
  • Step 2: Clean with oats and tea Wash your face with a cleanser that contains oat extract, which is an antihistamine, or green tea, which can help reduce the capillary dilation that leads to blotchy skin.
  • Step 3: Use the right moisturizer Use a moisturizer containing feverfew, an herb that helps lessen redness.
  • Step 4: Use the right makeup Women can downplay a ruddy complexion by applying a primer followed by green-tinted foundation. The primer helps the makeup adhere to the skin, and the green tint camouflages redness.
  • Step 5: Milk it Calm redness from wind or exertion by soaking a washcloth in ice-cold milk and laying it on your face for 10 minutes. The milk’s proteins, fat, amino acids, and vitamin A all help reduce redness.
  • TIP: If your face becomes beet-red after exercising and stays that way for hours, take an antihistamine after you finish your workout.
  • Step 6: Use this emergency fix If you have a special event that a blotchy face is threatening to ruin, apply some one-half percent hydrocortisone, which is available over the counter. It will temporarily reduce the redness. Just don’t do it often or it will thin your skin.
  • Step 7: Try a trick Try this trick: Put an ice cube in your mouth and press it against the roof of your mouth. Receptors that respond to cold constrict blood vessels in your face, which is enough to reduce redness for some people.
  • TIP: Hot foods—both temperature-wise and spice-wise—and alcohol exacerbate facial ruddiness by dilating blood vessels.
  • Step 8: Have a photofacial Ask a dermatologist about a 'photofacial,' a procedure that reduces facial redness by zapping the red pigment in blood vessels under the skin’s surface with a high-intensity light pulse.
  • FACT: Princess Diana suffered flare-ups of facial redness that some believe were the skin condition rosacea.

You Will Need

  • A dermatologist
  • Cleanser with oat extracts or green tea
  • Moisturizer with feverfew
  • A washcloth
  • Cold milk
  • A photofacial
  • Makeup primer
  • Green-tinted foundation
  • Antihistamines

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