The Complete Guide on How To Get Rid Of Redness From Acne


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In line with our vision to be your best source for all things skin-related, we’ve made you a detailed guide on how to get rid of redness from acne. This article will answer your questions on why your acne is red and what can you do to resolve it. We believe that with this guide, you can easily remove the redness of acne and feel comfortable in your own skin.


Ever since I started university and grew stressed, breakouts suddenly peppered my skin.

It would have been fine if all I had to deal with were the zits, as I can either treat it as it is or conceal it on my lazy days.

What was not fine though was that my face suddenly reddened.

Not the kind of red you get with the blush of love or even with a few shots of alcohol: my acne suddenly decided it was high time for me to be tender and red.

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Why Does Acne Redden?​

I also asked myself this question. Isn’t it enough that I already have acne? Does it really have to be red and super visible?

With the skin being the largest organ in your body, it is quite sensitive to dirt and can reflect the condition you are currently in.

For instance, if you are sleep-deprived or dehydrated, your skin may look dull, dry and crepey.

Now, the skin’s biggest and most common issues are acne, oily skin, rosacea, and blackheads and whiteheads, though that definitely isn’t all of the problems.

With acne leading the list, it is natural that about 80% of people aging 11 to 30 have it.​

Acne is normal, and some consider it a phase of life. I too went through that acne phase.

But when my acne became tender and red, I knew this was something I couldn’t ignore. When your acne is red you also deal with swelling, tenderness, and even itchiness.

Inflammation is a sign that your body is defending you against foreign substance inside the body. It is similar to you having a fever. Your body heats up as a defense to fight off the harmful virus or bacteria that invaded your system.

When inflammation occurs, you know there’s an internal fight between the foreign substance and your body's white blood cells.

Inflammation can cause your skin to breakout; these pimples may then worsen and become red, tender, and even itchy..

How Did I Get This Itchy And Red Acne?​

Contrary to popular belief though, bacteria (Propinabacterium Acnes) doesn’t actually cause acne.

An excess of this bacteria though can lead to severe acne, redness, and inflammation, as more of these bacteria clog your pores and hair follicles, forcing a "breakout."

Interestingly, excess P. Acnes can be triggered by unexpected factors. These factors are mostly stress-related or due to the food you eat.

So basically, acne, including the redness and tenderness, can be caused by your stress levels and food intake.

What Food Causes Acne Redness And Inflammation?​

If you have severe cases of acne redness, you might want to consider bidding these food groups goodbye.

These foods are mostly part of our everyday diet – which is why it is not a surprise that acne redness is common.

No worries, you can eat these food again once the inflammation subsides – but for now you might want to think twice.

Cause #1 - Your Dairy​

For someone who heavily relies on fresh milk and cheese for her everyday survival; this knowledge hit me the hardest.

Apparently, there are some substances in dairy products that may be behind your acne redness.​

Around 10% of adults are lactose intolerant, meaning dairy products do not sit with them well.

However, most of us may have a hard time digesting casein which is a protein found in a kitchen staple - fresh cow's milk.

If you are one of those who cannot digest casein well, your body, particularly your immune system, may get defensive and cause inflammation. This inflammation can cause you to breakout.​

Another ingredient that may be the culprit behind your breakouts and red zits are the hormones testosterone or androgen.

The male sex hormones testosterone and androgen are known to bind up with your sebaceous glands.

These hormones, especially androgen, can also be responsible for producing a thick type of sebum. This sebum in turn will clog your pores and ta-da, breakouts, extreme redness and tenderness combo.

The other hormone, testosterone, is known to stimulate the oil glands in our skin.

By now you might have connected the dots and know that what causes pimples are clogged pores and hair follicles all because of oil.

Now, dairy products does not always equal acne breakouts.

The best you could do is to remain watchful. Try stopping dairy in your diet altogether and watch out for a positive result.

If the pimples and their redness subside, then we can now say that the dairy products might have been the culprit.

Cause #2 - Sugar​

A diet rich in sugar may also do wonders, not for the benefit your skin, but to worsen your breakouts and skin conditions.

Now sugar does not cause acne per se. Like dairy, sugar has materials that may be causing you grief.

First, sugar can trigger inflammation and this in turn can trigger your breakouts.​

Aside from this, sugar, through glycation, may cause your skin to look dull and crepey. This is something you don’t want to bother with, especially if you have your plate full with your zit problem already.

Also, a diet full of sugar can make your body insulin-resistant.

When the amount of sugar causes your insulin-levels to rise, it may trigger not only diabetes, but also your oil glands.

Your oil glands are capable of producing excess oil, and this can block your pores and hair follicles which will definitely mean a breakout.

Cause #3 - Refined Carbohydrates​

Your favorite box brownies or muffins can be the culprit behind the redness of your acne.

As these prepared batters contain not just the ingredients, but a load of preservatives to keep your pastries “fresh,” it is no surprise that you may be eating food with substances that can trigger inflammation.

Refined carbohydrates also include a whole lot of sugar and a glycemic rich diet can mean dry skin, inflammation, and eventually acne breakouts that are shockingly red.​

Foods that Help Get Rid of Acne Redness

If there is food that triggers inflammation and your oil glands to act up and result in a breakout, there is also food that will help you prevent the redness and zits.

Bonus: all accessible and tasty food, too!

1. Eating Fish​ Helps Reduce Inflammation

Fish, particularly salmon, tuna, and sardines are all yummy - and healthy!

These fish are all good sources of fatty acids such as omega 3 and omega 6. These fatty acids aren’t bad for you; they help your heart and your skin.

The fish oil and fatty acids are known to help reduce inflammation. Reduced inflammation means less breakouts and less breakouts mean a lesser chance of you getting all red like a spotty tomato.

2. Eating Nuts​ is Another Great Option

The minerals zinc and selenium are good sources of anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.

A good source of these minerals is cashews, so why not add it to your daily diet?

Aside from zinc and selenium, nuts can also provide you with vitamin E, manganese, potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron - all good minerals for the body and your skin.

Vitamin E alpha-tocopherol is a common component in beauty pills for good reason. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help you with free radical damage skin problems such as acne, dullness, and crepey skin.​

Potassium also plays a role in helping you get rid of acne and its redness.

Aside from regulating your blood pressure and keeping other minerals balanced which keeps your body systems healthy and functional, potassium helps keep bacteria and fungi at bay.​

This means you get a deep cleansing to prevent future clogging and breakouts and possible acne redness.

3. Cucumbers and Watermelons​ Also Help

Why are cucumbers and watermelons good foods for the summer? Because of these fruits are rich in water.

A lot of skin problems are caused by the dryness of your skin. Aside from drinking water, eating food rich in H20 will help you get hydrated.

Watermelon is 92% water making it the perfect snack on hot summer days or post-workouts.

However, water isn’t the only good thing in watermelons.

The benefits of watermelon in regards to skin starts with its being an antioxidant, as it is rich in lycopene like the tomato. It helps repair the damage brought on by free radical cells and as a bonus is also good for the heart.​

It is also rich in potassium and magnesium.

I already told you about the wonders of potassium, but magnesium can do wonders too!​

It doesn’t do anything to target acne per se, but it helps fight the underlying causes of acne such as a possible insulin-resistance, inflammation, even sleep deprivation and stress.

As for cucumbers, there is a solid reason why it is a staple in spa and beauty magazine photos.

Cucumber is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Through cucumbers your acne and its redness will reduce and even be prevented as well as some of the other common skin problems you might have.​

How To Get Rid Of Redness From Acne

Aside from watching out what food you take in, you were also given the choices of food you can eat.

Basically these “good foods” all do wonders behind-the-scenes to keep you hydrated, cleanse clogged pores, protect you against bacteria and fungus or against inflammation.

But in the battle of getting rid of the redness, is food the only way?

No, it’s not. You actually have a lot of options!

In your quest on how to get rid of redness from acne you can choose to do the following as well:

1. How To Reduce Acne Redness Fast With Ice​

Think of the times you have had a sports injury, or any injury for that matter. It was tender to touch, swollen, and red.

And your pimple? Tender to touch, swollen, and yes, red, too.

If you put ice onto your injury to reduce the three “conditions,” then you can do that to a pimple, too. Ice helps relieve inflammation by reducing blood flow in a particular area so as to get rid of your pimple’s swelling and redness.​

Using ice can also reduce the tenderness and possible itchiness brought about by the redness from your acne as the cold temporarily reduces any nerve activity making you feel numbness.

Take note of this though: hold the ice next to the spot for 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off only.

Too much exposure to the ice can lead your already reddish pimple to inflame more, so be mindful.

2. How To Reduce Redness Of Acne With Eye Drops​

Now, you might ask me why should you put a product made for your eyes on a pimple.

Well, it is the fastest way to get results as it was made to reduce the redness or soreness of your eyes.

For pimples however, take note that this is a temporary fix. Dab a couple of drops on your pimple, let it dry and apply concealer if you want to.

This only dulls the redness of your pimple, but does not actually do anything to reduce the swelling.

3. How To Get Rid Of Acne Redness With Aloe Vera​

Aloe vera can also help you get rid of the redness from acne.

The glycol proteins in aloe vera reduces the inflammation of your pimple therefore addressing your concerns about red and swollen pimples.

Aside from this, aloe vera also has gibberellins and polysaccharides which help in the reduction of inflammation and redness.

As it is also an antioxidant, aloe vera can also help your skin rejuvenate, removing traces of dull, crepey skin.

4. How To Take Redness Out Of Acne With Aspirin​

Aspirin is used to treat pain, may it be mild to moderate. Aside from this, it is also used to to reduce inflammation.

Aspirin has salicylic acid. This acid is one of acne’s biggest enemies as it easily dries up your zit, exfoliates your skin, and even gives you deep cleansing to unclog your pores.​

How to get rid of redness from acne using aspirin? Just do it in the form of paste.

Crush about two aspirin tablets and add a drop of water until you have a paste like consistency. Put it on your face for 30 minutes to an hour, or until it dries.

5. How To Treat Redness From Acne With Tea Bags​

If you are an avid tea drinker, then put those used tea bags to work.

Tea has tannins in it, a biomolecule that reduces swelling. In fact, tea bags can also be used for your puffy eyes.​

To use tea bags, all you have to do is soak them in warm water for a minute, before cooling them and removing excess water.

Place it on your swollen, red zit and let the tannins seep in.

You can do this treatment daily if you like; that is, if you have a lot of tea bags to spare.​

6. How To Remove Redness From Acne With Acne Spot Treatment

Of course, scientific advancements can help you get rid of the redness from your acne.

Choose an acne spot treatment cream with pimple-fighting ingredients such as:

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Sulfur

Salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are two of the biggest enemies of acne.

The former is responsible for exfoliation and is also anti-inflammatory since it is used in aspirin.​

The latter however cannot exfoliate, but is an antibacterial ingredient.

Benzoyl peroxide, when used for skin care, can get inside your pores and kill any microbes and bacteria clogging that is making you breakout.​

It is also has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the swelling and redness of your acne.

Sulfur on the other hand, can also be useful in treating your acne.

Sulfur helps reduce the oiliness of the face through absorbing excess oil like a sponge. In this way, breakouts are prevented as the excess oil that can cause clogging is dried up.​

Aside from this, sulfur is also antimicrobial in nature, killing off the excess P. acnes residing in your pores. It is also effective against whiteheads and blackheads; basically anything blocking your pores and hair follicles.

As for possible redness and tenderness brought about by acne, sulfur is also anti-inflammatory, which is why it a common sight in spot treatments and spas.

Creams made up of these ingredients not only treat your acne, but they also help prevent future breakouts.​

7. How To Cure Acne Redness With Skin Care Products

Aside from all the treatments and diet watch, what you can do to help get rid of redness and to prevent more zits from popping up is to religiously follow a skincare routine.

It doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive; in fact, your routine can be basic and simple.

Always remember that your pimple is there because of your clogged pores and hair follicles. Therefore, what you can do is wash your face daily.​

Open up your pores first through steaming or using warm water, and then apply your trusted cleanser, foam, or soap.

Massage the face in circular motions and try to gently exfoliate as well. Also make sure that you don’t sleep with your makeup on.​

You do not want to clog your pores even more, so totally get rid of the foundation and concealer you applied. It doesn’t hurt at all to moisturize your face as well.

Drink plenty of water to ensure you are hydrated and apply moisturizer on your face daily.

Lastly, no matter how tempting, do not touch your zit or pop it.​

Why? For a lot of good reasons.

Your hands may be dirty, the bacteria in your acne can spread once popped, your skin will look even redder and healing time will be extended because you now have an open wound.

Basically, popping that zit may be pleasurable, but it would lead to a whole new set of problems afterwards.

The Bottom Line​

There you have it – a complete guide on how to get rid of redness from acne.

Having acne is enough for you to be self-conscious, but having a glowing red zit is another story.

Aside from you being self-conscious, this kind of zit is painful, itchy, and will definitely make you feel uncomfortable.

In dealing with the redness, you do not have to spend a lot. Most of the treatments are found in your kitchen already. Also, you could do precautionary measures to ensure you will never come face to face with this problem again.

I hope this guide will help you get rid of the painful and uncalled for redness from your acne so that the next redness you get is from something good - perhaps love, perhaps wine?​

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