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What Causes Redness?

And more importantly, how can you extinguish it?
What Causes Redness?

Feeling the heat of red and inflamed skin makes it hard to keep calm and carry on. Dermatologist and pharmacist Dr. Howard Murad knows that emotions as much as the environment and lifestyle can trigger this frustrating skin response. That’s why identifying its triggers (plus a little help from his new stress relief cream) can help keep skin soothed and even improved.

What stresses my skin?
“Lifestyle, environmental exposure, and your skincare routine can stress your skin and result in redness and sensitivity,” says Dr. Murad. Why? “Because our skin is incredibly self-sufficient and a master of healing and recovery. But when stress enters the picture, skin’s fragility is exposed. All these factors can impact skin’s health, renewal, and recovery processes.”

Here’s a few things that can stress your skin and trigger redness:


  • Poor rest, emotional stress, fatigue, and/or burnout
  • Emotional extremes
  • Digital stress (such as blue light from extreme screen time, increase in virtual exposure)


  • Too much time in the heat, sun, wind, or water
  • Redness and rashes from allergies
  • When your skin suddenly reacts to a product it normally loves (because skin might be more fragile when it’s stressed)
  • When your skin reacts an ingredient that it doesn’t like


  • Overdoing it with peels, exfoliants, lasers, cleansers, and/or high-powered ingredients
  • Underdoing it by skipping your hydrator or moisturizer, or not following a regimen

How can stressed skin look and feel?

  • Irritated
  • Red
  • Puffy
  • Tight and dry
  • Tingly
  • Reactive
  • Flaky
  • Rough with uneven texture
  • Exaggerated furrows/expression lines

How can redness be treated?
“By treating skin from the inside out,” says Dr. Murad. “This means eating your water by choosing water and nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables that nourish the body and help keep your skin healthy, being kind to your mind by participating in stress-relieving activities, awakening your body with exercise, and nourishing your skin with a soothing regimen that includes a stress relief cream.”

Intense Recovery Cream is Murad’s richest cream to date. This stress relief cream comforts, relieves, and encourages recovery of super stressed-out skin. After 4 weeks, 88% agreed that their over-stressed skin looked relaxed (calm) and 100% agreed their skin felt soothed.

“We created Intense Recovery Cream to deliver what helps today’s skin look and feel healthy in a modern world. It relieves visible symptoms of skin stress, delivers quick comfort, strengthens the barrier, calms irritation, and boosts skin’s resilience so skin can recover and come back stronger.”

Another cult favorite is Murad’s Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum, loaded with hydrating hyaluronic acid to restore critical moisture as lecithin, chamomile, and arnica improve skin moisture and suppleness. For a double dose of skin soothing benefits, apply Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum and follow with Intense Recovery Cream to lock in essential moisture.

As Dr. Murad says, “Stress is a fact of life. Looking stressed is not.” There is hope for skin showing the signs of redness. As you determine what works for your skin, remember to be gentle and patient throughout your journey.

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