10 best anti-redness products that colour-correct, soothe and hydrate inflamed skin
Whether you have sensitive skin prone to irritation, suffer from a skin condition such as rosacea or eczema, or simply have commonly occurring redness around the nose or cheeks that you’d like to colour-correct, you can apply the same principles – and products – to help alleviate it.
Look for light, simple, sensitivity-friendly products that have an immediate cooling effect on the skin, calm inflammation and stinging, and help moisturise to improve texture and relieve any tightness.
French pharmacy brands such as La-Roche Posay, Bioderma and Avene are particularly good for such things and are reasonably priced, too.
While skincare products will deliver immediate results, the difference is mostly felt over time with continued use; for a quick fix, we’ve also tested some make-up solutions that use green pigment to tone down redness.
All these products have been tested over the course of at least two weeks, all applied morning and night (apart from the make-up correctors), by testers who vary from having rosacea to simply having a niggly bit of flushing, and have been assessed for both short-term relief and long-term improvement.
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La Roche-Posay rosaliac anti-redness serum: £12.33, Escentual
A brilliant product that gives results far beyond its modest price-tag might suggest, La Roche-Posay’s fragrance-free serum reduces redness and moisturises too, improving the appearance of bumps. It contains ambophenol, which works to reduce the size of inflamed blood vessels.
Murad sensitive skin soothing serum: £49.50, Murad
This, from the brilliant dermatological brand Murad, contains hyaluronic acid to soften and bind water to dry, tight skin, lecithin to strengthen the skin’s barrier and soothing chamomile and arnica. It’s a clear, gel-like serum that absorbs immediately, leaving no residue behind.
Bioderma sensibio tolerance cream: £16, Look Fantastic
This is a fragrance-free, lightweight, cushioning cream that offers immediate relief to inflamed, hot skin and is gentle enough to suit pretty much everyone. It’s also a winner for soothing sunburn. Use it twice a day as a moisturiser; we love it layered over La Roche-Posay’s rosaliac serum.
REN evercalm anti-redness serum: £34, REN
We love REN for its gentle, failsafe formulations, and the evercalm range is one of its stars. The serum contains milk proteins, seaweed and arnica extracts to calm and reduce inflammation, and it packs a good moisturising punch, too. It has a very light texture and absorbs straight away, and we saw long-term improvement as well as short-term calming.
Clinique redness solutions day relief cream: £31, John Lewis & Partners
The moisturiser from Clinique’s redness solutions range is quite thick and creamy in the pot but melts away easily on the skin; it feels super nourishing and doesn’t leave any residue behind. It is cooling and calming, giving near-instant results, and also improves the skin's texture, dryness and reduces flare-ups over time.
Avene antirougeurs jour redness relief cream: £14.50, Look Fantastic
Antirougeurs is a light, simple moisturiser that relieves tightness and helps settle irritated, inflamed skin. It has a small amount of green pigment to immediately balance out redness and contains SPF20, which might not be high enough for many, but, as the sun is a well-known trigger for rosacea, it can’t hurt.
Darphin intral redness relief: £56, Space NK
This, from Parisian skincare brand Darphin, is instantly cooling and refreshing on application and reduces redness and irritation overnight. It’s a serum, so we recommend following up with a moisturiser. Darphin’s offering is lightly fragranced, so might not be appropriate for really sensitive skin.
Smashbox colour correcting primer in ‘adjust’: £28, Boots
Colour-correcting products work on the principle that complementary colours neutralise each other, hence why you get purple shampoos to balance out yellow brassiness in blonde hair (in fact there’s also a purple version of this product to correct sallowness). For a quick-fix, Smashbox’s green primer tones down redness and mattifies too, but most will still want a foundation over the top.
Estee Lauder double wear custom coverage colour correcting duo: £24, Look Fantastic
A more targeted application of the same principles as the Smashbox primer, this has two formulas to choose from: one that is drier and slightly more paste-like to dab onto smaller areas of redness, spots or broken capillaries, and a lighter, more fluid one that can be applied to larger areas. The result is a more even-toned finish; it worked brilliantly on the redness around our tester’s nose.
Herbivore jade facial roller: £26, Cult Beauty
If the cause of your redness is irritation, heat and/or inflammation, a jade roller is cooling and calming. They also help the absorption of other products, so use one with a serum or moisturiser from this list or roll over a sheet mask for a longer pampering session.
The verdict: Redness solutions
La Roche-Posay’s serum is far more effective than its reasonable price suggests, while Clinique’s redness solutions moisturiser is a reliably good purchase. For immediate colour correction, try Estee Lauder’s double-formula wand.