Inflamed and irritated skin that is tinged an angry red can be caused by practically anything.

You might be using the wrong products or living in a country where the climate can be harsh and unkind. It may also be that you’re feeling an unusual amount of emotional stress, causing it to manifest on your face. Sometimes, the cause of a breakout may even be beyond anything you can do something about. Your genes, for example, can play a part in whether you have more or less sensitive skin than most.

However, there’s no need to despair and further stress yourself out over the condition of your skin.

Whatever the reason is, there are quick and easy solutions to calm your irritated skin down.

These solutions include the following:

1. Review Your Routine

Breakouts can often occur when you introduce a new skin care product to your routine. It can also happen as an adverse reaction to new makeup or skincare products. You can prevent this from happening by checking the ingredients list before buying or trying something out. If you’ve already bitten the bullet, immediately discontinue using the product, whatever it is. Chances are, there’s something in that particular formulation that isn’t quite agreeing with your skin. And no, regularly using it anyway in the hopes that your skin will acclimate to the product as time goes by is not a great idea.

Your skin’s natural pH level should be around 5.5, which means that it’s slightly acidic. Using products with a high pH level can destroy your skin’s natural moisture barrier, causing it to become dry, rough, and irritated. From here, you’re a half-step away from the growth of acne-causing bacteria. Test your new toners and cleansers for their pH level when possible, or do rigorous research on the internet about your skin type and the ingredients you need to steer clear of.

2. Stop Picking at Your Skin

Actually, stop touching your face. Imagine all the things your hands and fingertips come in contact with: your phone, money, doorknobs, your computer keyboard, food, subway handrails, just to name a few. Now imagine how much bacteria is on all of those things. Do you want all those nasty stuff on your face, of all places?

If you’re acne-prone, picking at zits can be the absolute worst thing you can do. Sure, it can be satisfying, but touching the spots can lead to further inflammations and can spread the bacteria to the otherwise unaffected skin. If you have a pimple, resist the urge to pop it. Instead, use a solution on the affected area. These kinds of solutions contain powerful clearing ingredients that soothe irritated skin and form a protective film around the affected spot, shielding it from irritants. Just apply the solution to the skin, wait for it to form a film, and remove it once it totally dries up.

3. Take a Deep, Relaxing Breath

Ever noticed how your skin goes haywire every time you feel stressed? Any sort of loss or trauma doesn’t only take a toll on you emotionally, it can manifest physically as well. This is due to an increase in the production of our stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. This disruption can lead to irritated skin or a sallow complexion, dark circles, wrinkles, and age lines.

Calming yourself down is the easiest way to get your skin to calm down, too. Once you’ve taken a breather or a short R&R and your hormones get under control, you’ll notice a marked improvement almost immediately. You can give your skin a boost by DIY-ing some homemade facial masks: look into blueberries, milk, and witch hazel, which all contain brightening and nourishing vitamins that your skin will soak up like a sponge.

If your skin happens to feel dryer than usual, try mashing up some oatmeal with honey and egg whites. Reduce your dark circles with a couple of green tea bags – used is fine, drink the tea then allow the bags to cool before placing them on your eyes. If you can spare the time, book a calming facial at your favorite spa and let your worries dissipate for the hour. You’ll walk out looking much more refreshed after.

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