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Keep Calm And Reduce Redness

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You know what sucks about working out? Red face. I only recently learned that my face isn’t a fan of strenuous activity—four years of college spent in various seated and reclining positions and my skin glowed, blemish and rosacea free. I try to add a measly twice-weekly Pilates class into the mix? Boom: red spots and rough patches galore. Though I’m tempted to give up the exercise in favor of restoring my skin’s former glory, I have a vague (OK, not so vague) inclination that the responsible thing to do would be to keep the activity and treat the skin on its own terms.

The overwhelming answer to this dilemma is, ironically, rose. Rose oil can help reduce the appearance of broken capillaries (i.e. why you’re flushed) whether it's workout-related or simply genetic. Also, you will literally smell like a bouquet of roses, which is a nice post-workout treat. Another overarching theme here is green coloring, which is calming and color-correcting. And fun.

A note before we begin: If you’re suffering from full-blown rosacea, consult your dermatologist, who will probably direct you to one of a few effective Rx solutions (Metrogel and antibiotics are a pretty standard course of action). However, if you are one of the pale, often-flushed people who constantly hears “Are you OK?” while people consider your blushing face inquisitively, here’s hoping you leave this page less red than you started.

First step: get the grime off. For the impatient set, I recommend REN Clean Skincare Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Water, which is a three-fer: makeup remover, cleanser, and toner all in one. Easily swiped with a cotton pad, it pretty instantly relieves irritation without drying. Alternatively, a quick rub with a few pumps of the Av ène Antirougeurs Anti-Redness Dermo-Cleansing Fluid, followed up with a spritz of (refrigerated) mist, feels luxurious and is nice if you’re into the routine of it all.

Should you be fresh off your morning workout, first let me say, good on you. Secondly, wash your face and apply La Roche-Posay Rosaliac UV. It’s another three-fer, as far as I’m concerned: get your SPF, morning moisture, requisite green cream out of the way in one fell swoop.

Then we have the sit-and-marinate option: Fresh Rose Face Mask. I swear that it’s just crushed up rose petals and magic. Smear the brown goo all over your puffy face, leave for 10 minutes, and rinse away with cool water.

At night, I follow the mask with Darphin Intral Redness Relief Recovery Cream, which is green and smells like plants (though I’m not sure which plants). After a particularly bad experiment with a different regimen left me with frightening blotches up to my ears, I frantically applied this to calm the whole situation down to great effect. I figure if it can battle adverse product reactions, it’s strong enough to deal with comparatively low-impact, occasional exercise.

—Emily Ferber

Photos by Tom Newton.

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