Skin redness is among the top skin concerns those who read the Mask of Vanity blog write in about, and for OUMERE customers, it is one of the top issues they want fixed with their skin.
The reason why skin gets red is because you have blood in your body, and blood is red. But what causes the blood to rush to the skin in a way that causes noticeable redness is less straightforward. However, once you understand what makes your skin red, it becomes easier to fix the problem. But this is only true if your fix doesn't do more harm than good. The biggest issue in skin care is that 99% of skin care products on the market are highly destructive to the skin, and either create or exacerbate existing redness. It is for this reason why millions of "fixes" exist but a cure remains elusive.
Here I list the most common reasons I know that will biologically cause your skin to be red, and the OUMERE Labs tried and true methods for reducing redness.
1. Essential oils
Problem: Essential oils are a cytotoxic agent because they initiate the process of cell death by eating away at the plasma membrane of the cell. This is true for all cells in your body including skin cells, lung cells and brain cells. Essential oils in skin care or diffused in the air get into your skin and lungs and cause the microscopic breakdown of the cell. The results include skin breakdown, lung breakdown, seizures and death.
Solution: Removing all essential oils from your skin care routine and avoiding environments where essential oils are diffused into the air. Essential oil diffusion causes the cytotoxic particulate matter to land on your skin, and inhaled into the body causing damage to the lungs and brain.
Utilizing a proper skin care regimen that is essential oil-free will reduce redness and improve skin over time by strengthening the skin, reducing inflammation and promoting skin cell renewal.
OUMERE customer came to us with severely reddened skin from using skin care with essential oils and daily exposure to an environment containing an essential oil diffuser. Customer reported significant redness reduction and profound skin improvement after following the OUMERE sensitive skin routine for 6 weeks.
2. Foaming cleansers
Problem: Foaming cleansers strip the skin of their natural oils, which cause the skin to become dry, brittle, irritated and alkaline. When all of the above happen the skin becomes reddened and aged. The skin also becomes vulnerable to disease such as acne and contact dermatitis because it has lost its natural defenses and become vulnerable to pathogenic attack. We also have observed that for those with naturally oily skin, foaming cleansers cause the skin to become even more oily, which makes acne and redness worse because the body is now overproducing oil to make up for the oil that was stripped away from the cleanser. And the oil that the body has produced is inflammatory and comedogenic. The result is reddened skin with acne.
Solution: The key to proper cleansing is to cleanse without stripping oil while maintaining skin's pH. That means that the cleanser needs to not only be oil-based but slightly acidic to keep skin strong, hydrated and healthy. For those who are used to foaming cleansers, it will feel strange when first cleansing with an oil cleanser because skin will feel oily and not dry or "squeaky clean." But dry and "squeaky clean" means that the skin is becoming damaged with every use of a harsh cleanser. Skin should always feel a little dewy or oily because this is the feeling of healthy skin. After cleansing with the right cleanser for a month, you will see significant redness reduction, improved skin moisture and even a reduction in acne.
Cheek images of subject who used the OUMERE Oil Dissolution Theory Cleanser in the evening in addition to No. 9, UVR and Serum Bioluminelle. Subject reported mild reduction of redness after 7 days and significant redness reduction after 8 weeks. Subject also reported improved skin oil levels around cheekbone area and overall a positive feeling of skin hydration that lasted all day.
Problem: Stress can make existing skin redness worse because it causes the blood vessels in the body to contract. When blood vessels contract, blood does not flow efficiently throughout the body and as a result the heart has to pump harder to get the blood through. The result of constricted blood vessels is skin redness. Stress can also trigger rosacea flare ups and make any existing inflammatory issues worse.
Solution: If your skin appears to become red and warm seemingly out of nowhere, it may mean that you are experiencing elevated stress levels. The good thing is that this is a manageable fix and you can use the physical cue to understand how you are doing mentally. Skin usually will calm down within an hour of reducing your stress levels.
Problem: Makeup is a hotbed for bacteria and its application will trap heat and prevent the skin from cooling down naturally. If you are prone to skin redness, and you wear makeup such as concealers, powders, and foundations, the makeup is not only a cause for the redness, it is making your redness worse.
Redness reduction is not possible when bacteria is constantly being introduced to the area, skin cells are being broken by brushes and tools used to apply the makeup, heat is being trapped in the skin and the harsh ingredients (fragrance, solvents, emulsifiers, etc.) in the makeup break down the skin cells at the cellular level.
Solution: Redness reduction is possible when makeup is avoided. When you avoid using makeup, not only do you get to use a gentle oil based cleanser, your skin can breathe and heal itself from damage. Makeup-free skin doesn't need a harsh stripping cleanser to get clean. Makeup-free skin isn't constantly getting pulled on, tugged, and rubbed with tools for application. Makeup-free skin isn't exposed to harsh chemicals found in makeup. And makeup-free skin is free to let the right skin care do its work to improve redness.
5. Certain foods
Problem: Some foods can cause either an allergic reaction or just an inflammatory reaction that can cause skin to be red.
Solution: Avoiding some of the following foods can improve skin redness:
Spicy foods, foods containing nickel (grains, beans, soy, legumes), citrus fruits such as pineapple, tomatoes and chocolate.
It should also be noted that alcohol consumption can cause skin redness.
6. Harsh skin care treatments
Problem: When people become desperate for a skin care solution to a long lasting problem, they often believe that the harsher, the stranger, the more expensive the treatment, the better. But this could not be further from the truth. Every treatment we have seen at an estheticians office or dermatologists office has left the skin worse for wear and makes redness reduction even less possible. From microneedling, to microdermabrasion, to chemical peels to extractions, the skin becomes inflamed, red, and aged from these treatments. They offer no skin benefit and only harm the skin.
Solution: Proper skin care every day, sunscreen every day and avoiding harsh treatments that destroy the skin.
When looking for a fix for skin redness, the most important thing to keep in mind is that the goal is to make skin healthy. Skin becomes healthy by having a healthy body and mind. Great skin therefore is the result of a proper skin care regimen, healthy diet and avoiding harsh treatments that can harm the skin.
And Some skin will always have a bit of redness to it, and that is ok. Skin with a little natural redness just requires extra care to avoid the above mentioned items and adherence to the right skin care routine.
de Groot, A. C., & Schmidt, E. (2016). Essential oils, part IV: contact allergy. Dermatitis, 27(4), 170-175.
Mathew, T., John, S. K., Kamath, V., Kumar, S., Jadav, R., Swamy, S., ... & Parry, G. J. (2021). Essential oil related seizures (EORS): A multi-center prospective study on essential oils and seizures in adults. Epilepsy research, 173, 106626.
Wu, Y., OuYang, Q., & Tao, N. (2016). Plasma membrane damage contributes to antifungal activity of citronellal against Penicillium digitatum. Journal of food science and technology, 53(10), 3853-3858.