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Find Out What Causes Your Facial Redness — and How To Get Rid of It

We all love a healthy amount of blush, but what if your flushed complexion isn’t from makeup? Facial redness is widespread, and while everyone’s had a few blush-worthy moments, redness can be caused by more than embarrassment. 

It’s important to understand what causes your facial redness so you know if it’s something that requires medical treatment or just a little TLC. Keep reading for the causes of a flushed complexion and how to get rid of redness on your face.

September 15, 2022
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Woman with skin redness on her face
Table of Contents

What causes redness?

Finding the cause of your flushed face is the first step to getting rid of it. Here are the most common causes of facial redness.

Skin conditions

Redness on your face could be a symptom of other skin conditions that require specific treatment. Here are a few examples:

  • Acne: We’ve all had an annoying pimple that pops up at the worst time, and you may notice redness around the blemish. Pimples called papules are a great example of this — they look like inflamed, red bumps on your skin. 
  • Rosacea: Rosacea is very common and has no cure. Luckily, there are treatments to relieve symptoms. If you have red blotches on your face rather than a flushed complexion, it’s likely from visible blood vessels that accompany rosacea. Rosacea comes in waves, and a flare-up can be caused by spicy food, alcohol, sun, and exercise. Other rosacea symptoms include small pimple-like bumps, tender skin, a burning sensation, and eye problems.
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: Seborrhea is a common skin condition that causes a red rash on your face. Skin that’s affected by seborrhea could appear oily, dry, or scaly. Like rosacea, seborrhea can’t be cured, but there are treatments to help reduce discomfort and clear your skin.

Other causes

  • Alcohol or food: It’s not unusual to experience a flushed face when eating your favorite spicy food or having a drink. A flushed face caused by alcohol and certain foods is typical for people with rosacea
  • Exercise: Many people get a flushed face when they exercise. For some, even a brisk walk will provide you with a bit of nature’s blush.
  • Sun exposure: Sunburns are likely culprits for red skin. If your skin feels tender and painful after a day in the sun, you might have a sunburn. Don’t forget your favorite sunscreen next time — it’ll keep your face safe from sunburn-related redness. 
  • Over-exfoliation: Exfoliation can be a miracle worker for rough skin, but your skin could become red and irritated if you overdo it.
  • Sensitive or dry skin: Skin that’s easily irritated or dry may appear red and flaky.
  • Allergies: Contact dermatitis occurs when your skin has an allergic reaction to something touching it, like a new skincare product. Itchiness may accompany redness if you have contact dermatitis.
  • Genetics: If you notice your parents often have a healthy flush, your redness could be inherited.
Man in the bathroom applying skincare products to his face

How to get rid of redness

Don’t feel stuck with a red face forever — here are a few tips to help you cool your complexion and care for your skin:

  • Medical treatments: If you think your facial redness results from a skin condition, make an appointment with your dermatologist to get a diagnosis and proper treatment. Laser treatments are used on rosacea to relieve redness, and prescription creams help soothe flare-ups. Treatments for seborrheic dermatitis include barrier repair cream, dandruff shampoo, and medicated creams.
  • Cold compress: After a long workout on a hot day or a spicy meal, a red face is to be expected. To help yourself cool down and fade redness quickly, apply a cold compress, ice, or take a cool shower. 
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera is a sunburn-healing all-star, and for good reason. The plant has wound healing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an ideal candidate for soothing red skin.
  • Acne treatments: If your redness is caused by blemishes, gentle acne treatments are ideal for clearing your skin and reducing redness. Many acne treatments are available to help clear breakouts, and your dermatologist will help you find the right treatments, including over-the-counter or prescription. 
  • Face masks: Red skin caused by dryness will benefit from a luxurious boost in moisture to help soothe and nourish your skin. 
  • Makeup: If your redness isn't causing discomfort, use foundation or a tinted moisturizer to help reduce skin tone redness. If you have a rash or any pain associated with redness, we recommend keeping your skin makeup free to avoid making the irritation worse. 

How to prevent redness

Pro tip: it’s easier to prevent redness than to get rid of it. Here are a few tips to keep a flushed face away. 

Find out what triggers your redness

As you know, redness is caused by different factors. Pay attention to when your face looks red to know what to avoid. If spicy foods trigger your rosacea, avoid them. If you’ve got contact dermatitis, figure out what you came into contact with and avoid this substance in the future. 


Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays so you don’t get a painful sunburn anytime you want to enjoy the nice weather. Find a good facial sunscreen to incorporate into your daily skincare routine, and don’t forget to reapply. 


A good face lotion is essential for keeping your skin healthy. Look for ingredients like ceramides and glycerin in your moisturizers. Apply face lotion morning and night after washing your face with a gentle cleanser.

Simplify your skincare routine

You don’t need 15 products to have glowing, healthy skin. Sometimes, less is more. Too many harsh solutions can irritate your face, so create a simple routine with gentle but effective products

Exfoliate gently

It may be tempting to scrub away skin imperfections, but too much exfoliation causes irritation. 

Happy woman removing facemask

People also ask

How long does it take for facial redness to go away?

Some skin conditions, like rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis, have no cure, so flare-ups may be a consistent occurrence. If your redness is caused by exercise, it won’t take much time for your flush to go away. 

Can redness be cured overnight? 

Some forms of redness, like exercise-induced or food-induced redness, go away overnight. But every form of redness isn’t like this. We recommend using a moisturizing and soothing lotion before bed to increase the chance that your facial redness is gone by morning.

When is it time to see a doctor?

A flushed face shouldn't cause you pain. If your skin is itchy, burning, or appears to have a rash, you may want to make an appointment with your dermatologist. A dermatologist can help diagnose your redness and provide the proper treatment solution for you. 

Be gentle with your skin

Redness is very common, and there’s typically no cause for concern. If you experience discomfort with your flushed skin or notice other symptoms like a rash, we recommend speaking with a doctor to determine if there’s an underlying cause. Everyone has unique skin, so it may take trial and error (and patience) to find the best way to soothe your redness. In the meantime, check out reviews of skin-soothing products on Flip and enjoy being part of a community of folks dedicated to sharing the best products out there.

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