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"My, what rosy cheeks you have" is something I hear on a near-daily basis this time of year. My skin is always a little on the pink side (full disclosure: I have never, in my life, worn blush — it would be overkill), but when the temperatures plunge and the wind kicks up, my usual flush transforms into stubborn redness. Here's what I've learned is a foolproof way to fight it. To see the rest, just keep reading.
1. Cleanse gently. Now is not the time to go all hard-core with your skin care. Wash your face with a cleanser for sensitive skin, meaning one that's free of fragrances, alcohols, and preservatives. Eau Thermale Avène Extremely Gentle Cleanser For Intolerant Skin is a good one. Once a week or so, I also use a mask designed to reduce inflammation: In and Out Different Beauty Sensitive and Reddish Skin Mask contains gingko biloba leaf, an antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory compound.
2. Don't scrub. Who doesn't love the way their skin looks and feels after they exfoliate? Since most scrubs are too abrasive for me, I use a peel with lactic acid — Philosophy The Microdelivery Mini Peel Pads, which also contain anti-inflammatory teas.
3. Block the sun. This rule applies to everyone — redness or not. But it's particularly important for those of us who have it, no matter the forecast. I've found that a chemical sunscreen can irritate and burn my sunscreen, so I look for formulas with mineral UVA/UVB filters, like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Burt's Bees makes a great one.
4. Moisturize like a banshee. Dryness doesn't do you any favors. But neither will an ordinary face lotion. Dermatologist Leslie Baumann recommends creams that combine skin-protecting antioxidants with caffeine: "It restricts blood vessels far more gently than hydrocortisone, which actually makes the vessels larger in the long run," she says. (Clinique's Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream is one such formula.) Feverfew (found in Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 30) and licorice root (found in Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Night Creme) also work.
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