Is your skin all angry at you right now?
Maybe you used a skincare product it doesn’t like. Or you’ve stayed in the sun a little too long. Or you’re dealing with another rosacea outbreak.
Whatever the reason, your skin is now a big, red and inflamed mess.
Don’t worry, I’m here to help. Here are 9 ingredients that’ll soothe the irritation and bring your skin back to normal:
1. Aloe Vera
You must be living after a rock if you don’t know aloe vera is super soothing. When I was younger and didn’t yet know the importance of sunscreen, aloe vera was my go-to on those rare occasions I got sunburnt. But it’s good for all kinds of irritations.
Aloe vera works because it has glycoproteins that help speed up the healing process by reducing pain and inflammation, and polysaccharides that stimulate skin growth and repair.
But if the aloe vera you use hasn’t been properly processed, its soothing properties go out the window. Always check the label to make sure your lotion uses cold-processed aloe vera derived from the whole-leaf.
Where to find it: Skinfood Aloe Vera 93% Soothing Gel ($8.00)
A form of Vitamin B3, niacinamide is still the underdog of the vitamin world. And that totally sucks because it’s an amazing multiatasker everyone should include in their skincare routine.
Niacinamide treats acne, fades hyperpigmentation, and improves skin’s barrier function and elasticity. But, to go back to the point of this post, niacinamide also has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe irritations and relieve the symptoms of rosacea.
Related: Is Niacinamide A Skincare Do It All?
3. Avena sativa (oat) extract
Oats are one of the best things you can put on your skin. I kid you not. Oats (you’ll find them hiding under the name Avena sativa on the label) are super soothing.
A 2002 study found oats can reduce skin irritations caused by contact with a high dose of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. SLS is one of the most irritating things you can put on your skin. If oats can soothe that, they can soothe everything.
Where to find it: Eucerin Eczema Relief Body Cream ($10.49) and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Oatmeal Mask ($24.00)
Did you know your skin fancies a cup of tea, too?
Green and white tea are both rich in epigallocatechin gallate, a powerful antioxidant that does double duty: it stimulates collagen production and soothes irritations.
FYI, you can go with black tea as well but I wouldn’t. It has the smallest amount of epigallocatechin gallate so it won’t work as well.
5. Vitamin C
But, some forms of vitamin C have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, too. For example, 5% Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate reduces inflammation caused by acne. That’s the kind of vitamin C you want to go for.
PS. Vitamin C also boosts collagen production and fades hyperpigmentation.
Where to find it: Dr Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum ($95.00)
Related: Forms Of Vitamin C Used In Skincare
6. Zinc Oxide
Zinc Oxide is my fave UV filter. Why? It’s the only UV filter that protects from ALL UV rays on its own!
Plus, it’s super gentle. Not only it doesn’t irritate skin like most other UV filters tend to do, it also acts as an anti-irritant. You can use it to treat various forms of skin irritation, including diaper rash.
Yep, it’s safe enough for babies, too. That’s how gentle it is.
7. Licorice extract
Where to find it: Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief Serum ($34.00)
8. Salicylic Acid
Salicylic Acid is an exfoliant. I usually recommend it to oily skin because its gets inside the pores and unclogs them from within. Bye bye pimples!
But it’s good for sensitive skin, too. Salicylic acid is a relative of aspirin so it has anti-inflammatory properties, too. It can reduce inflammation related to acne, rosacea and “other superficial inflammatory disorders”.
Where to find it: Paula’s Choice Calm Redness Relief 1% BHA Lotion Exfoliant ($27.00)
9. Chamomile extract
Chamomile is another old wives’ remedy.
Chamomile works because of bisabobol and chamazulene, two compounds with anti-inflammatory properties.
But be careful! If you’re allergic to chamomile or any other plant in the daisy family, you can get an allergic reaction instead!
Related: What Does Chamomile Do For Skin?
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How do you soothe irritated skin? Share your tips in the comments below.