Soothing Serums to Help You Fight Cold Weather Redness
Along with cozy sweaters, red wine by the fire, comfort foods, and warm tea, winter also comes with a slew of not-so-fun complexion woes, like chapped skin and red cheeks. We're not talking about a cute, refreshed, just-in-from-the-cold flush, either—skin often reacts to gusty winds and icy cold temperatures in a ruddy, inflamed way. Luckily, there are ways to protect your face from the harsh outdoor (and indoor!) elements. That's right—drying artificial indoor heat can also wreak havoc on your skin, too.
Using humidifiers can help; so can drinking lots of water. But using topical skincare products is also key when it comes to healing and protecting your skin from winter-related redness. Enter serums—boosters that deliver targeted, concentrated ingredients to your skin. They're a critical step in defending your face from the above aggressors, so long as they're packed with the ingredients necessary to do it. A few to look out for? Niacinamide is a winter mainstay; it's a form of vitamin B that helps reduce redness and prevent moisture loss (luckily, it's also a common ingredient in everyday moisturizers). Humectants like glycerin and hyaluronic acid are also beneficial for chapped, irritated skin, since they attract moisture from the air and lock it into your face for long-term moisture (they'll also help keep your skin barrier strong!). Soothing, anti-inflammatory botanicals are also amazing (natural) ingredients that can help reduce redness. Look for aloe, algae extract, and evening primrose oil, among others.
A great bonus to using an anti-redness serum? They can also ease redness and inflammation from active skin conditions, like acne; many are non-comedogenic for exactly this reason. Whatever your skin type, from dry to oily, you can surely benefit from adding a calming serum during the cold months. Ahead, some of our favorites.
Those with oilier complexions will love this product, since the gel formula adds light—read: not greasy—hydration, while calming the skin with nourishing botanicals.
Shop Now: Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Gel, $67, dermstore.com.
Dr. Jart's entire Tiger Grass line fights flushed cheeks, and this serum is no exception. Tiger Grass is a plant (otherwise known as centella asiatica) that calms redness and strengthens the skin's barrier over time. You'll see an instant evening in tone when you put this on.
Shop Now: Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Serum, $46, sephora.com.
For those with highly sensitive, rosacea-prone skin, this serum is a must-add to your routine: It's packed with naturally soothing ingredients like caper and algae extracts, and bisabolol (a derivative of chamomile). Plus, it's non-comedogenic, and paraben- and fragrance-free.
Shop Now: PCA Anti-Redness Serum, $65, dermstore.com.
SPF is important to wear year-round, winter included—especially for those who are prone to redness, as ultraviolet light can make it worse. This Avene formula contains SPF 25 to protect skin from sun damage and, best of all, reduces redness on contact.
Shop Now: Avene Antirougeurs Day SPF 25, $37, dermstore.com.
If you've just returned from the ski slopes and have wind-chapped skin, apply this soothing serum. It's lightweight and contains hyaluronic acid to moisturize dry complexions. (It's also great to use on sunburned skin, but we know you're not planning on getting sunburned any time soon.)
Shop Now: Murad Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum, $60, dermstore.com.
We love the texture of this soft, milky serum, which contains soothing algae extract and willow herb to prevent free-radical damage and fight redness.
Shop Now: Exuviance Antiredness Calming Serum, $72, ulta.com.
This milky serum feels just as soothing as it looks. It's packed with hyaluronic acid and wild herbs to protect skin from redness, and as a bonus, rice protein adds a bit of firm, plumpness to the skin.
Shop Now: Ren Clean Skincare EverCalm Anti-Redness Serum, $50, sephora.com.
First Aid Beauty
Colloidal sulfur helps prevent redness, while ginger reduces current ruddiness; aloe calms, and a blend of antioxidants help protect the skin from environmental aggressors.
Shop Now: First Aid Beauty Anti-Redness Serum, $36, sephora.com.
Niacinamide is one of the most effective ingredients for decreasing redness immediately, and 10 percent of this serum's formula is composed of it. A slew of additional moisture-binding humectants round it out, so you really can't go wrong with this one.
Shop Now: Marie Veronique Soothing B3 Serum, $90, marieveronique.com.