How to Get Rid of Acne Redness

How to Get Rid of Acne Redness

Want to minimise the redness that comes with acne as fast as possible? We’ve been there, too, and have a few “instant-relief” hacks up our sleeve that can help. Here’s your quick and easy guide to soothing skin and toning down acne redness (quite literally) on the spot.

Hack 1: Calm Skin with Soothing Ingredients

A pimple is red because it’s irritated, so it stands to reason that anything you can do to soothe skin is going to help visibly minimise the redness.

Our trick? Spot-treat the area with salicylic acid, which has research proving that its soothing, anti-redness properties can help the pimple go down. Then follow up with a formula that features skin-calming extracts such as oat, willow herb, and licorice, all found in our CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum. This combination can bring instant redness relief.

Hack 2: Get the Red Out with Visine®

Really short on time? Saturate a cotton swab with Visine or other “redness-relieving” eye drops (not artificial tears or eye drops for dry eyes) and hold the swab on the affected area for 30 seconds or so. It’s an off-label, temporary solution, but anecdotal evidence shows that it works for some people (including a few of our Paula’s Choice staffers who swear by it when they’re in a pinch). If you already have Visine® or something similar at home, it’s worth a try!

Hack 3: Colour Correct and Conceal

Last, but not least, try neutralising reddened blemishes with a green colour corrector product, like Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid. You’ll need to top it off with a medium-coverage concealer for a natural skin tone effect, but together, this duo can cancel the red right out.

Above all else, make sure you treat your skin as gently as possible, by using fragrance- and irritant-free products that won’t make redness worse.

Looking for more than a quick fix? Get our expert advice on the best way to get rid of acne blemishes in our article here.

References for this information:

Phytotherapy Research, February 2014, pages 159–166
Fitoterapia, October 2013, pages 160–184
Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery, 2008, pages 170–176


About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!