Do you find yourself wondering why your skin is red much of the time? Not red, like "I just worked out in Zone 4 for 60 minutes red", but rather a red that doesn't go away after you have recovered and gone on with your day.
Maybe you're also wondering why your skin seems more 'sensitive' than it used to? Like it's in a semi-irritated, it might flair at any moment, state?
Through the years, many Fitness Instructors and work out members have shared this dilemma with me, and I recently suffered from this plight myself.
There is a reason for the redness/irritation, a couple causes and lots of solutions:
By the time we've gotten red and irritated, we've 'irked the merkel' as we call it in the beauty business. Simply put, our merkel cells are responsible for sensitivity. Once the merkels are upset, they take awhile to calm down. More on how to calm the merkel in a minute.
Either OVER cleansing: the over cleanser is vigilant about removing every ounce of sweat and bacteria from their face and would not consider leaving the gym without showering. 3 classes...3 showers. No time for a shower- the over cleanser will run to the maintenance department, grab the rubbing alcohol and some cotton balls and wipe the sweat off their face! Too much cleansing/cleaning/rubbing/scrubbing (especially with harsh products) can really rile up the merkel.
Or UNDER cleansing: eh- a little sweat never hurt anyone! Besides, sometimes the salt from their face tastes good. Leaving salt/sweat and environmental pollutants on our skin throughout the day, and especially overnight (please no- not overnight!) can make even the nicest of merkel's upset.
You get the idea.
Calming the merkel. But how you ask? It's really pretty simple. Keep your skin clean (i.e. gently cleanse after every workout) with products that have worked well in the past in calming your skin and use them faithfully for 60-90 days. Steer clear of products that contain alcohol, abrasives (exfolliants), vitamin A derivatives, fruit acids, etc. And use sunscreen. Introduce something new only when your skin is completely calm for at least two weeks.
I had to start fresh. Because I was starting a new account position with Clarins USA, it made sense for me to try the Clarins product line. I started using the Water Comfort One Step Gentle Cleanser at the gym - Mint for oily, Peach for dry and Orange for all skin types. It's so easy because no water is needed and it's cleanser and toner in one step. I just packed some cotton rounds in my gym bag. I used Gentle Foaming Cleanser at home- with Tamarind for oily, Cottonseed for normal/combination and Shea Butter for dry skin types. This cleanser foams up really nicely with water and so little is needed. I think this tube is going to last me a lifetime!
Okay, now I needed a serum and moisturizer. I used Clarins 'Gentle Protocol' consisting of Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate, Gentle Day Cream and Gentle Night Cream. The Gentle products have Licorice and Lavender in them to calm and sooth. There is no anti-aging in the Gentle products, so after 90 days of calm, normal looking skin, I was thankful to move on to a heavy hitting anti-aging regimen!
Another product used faithfully during my red, aggravated phase was Adjust Foundation Corrector by smashbox. This fabulous green primer adjusts redness and smooths skin beautifully. The magic ingredient is Japanese Grass. You can use it alone, or as a foundation primer. I don't wear foundation when I teach, but I do often brush on some mineral powder. The two together hide redness and irritation so I felt confident when in front of a group.
I'm not saying whether I was an over, or under, cleanser, but I definitely had an 'irked merkel'!
Now that my skin is no longer red and irritated, the Skin Beauty Repair Serum is still a staple in my house. It is 90% essential plant extracts (licorice, lavender, avocado) and is very healing for burns and ouchies.
*I receive no compensation from anyone for writing this, including John :). If I do in the future, I will happily reveal that information. You can reach me: email@example.com
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Amy…..I thank you for these insights.
Until we moved to Boston a few years back, I hadn’t given tremendous though to taking care of my skin (or hair) I did a bit o’ moisturizing on a reasonably regular basis and that worked just fine, TYVM.
That first Winter I got a real wake-up call. The weather was so bitter cold and the air so dry that I swear I would wake up in the middle of the night just to slap some moisturizer on my face so I could get back to sleep.
I have to say that I’m now totally divorced from product names but what you have here looks totally fine as far as my knowledge base goes. I do an *oil* regimen (coconut) first and then a top coat of something like an Alba scent free product.
Then I have a gin & tonic.
Choose whatever you think might work
Thank you for reading and commenting Viv!
I can empathize with waking up in the middle of the night with the ‘depleted uncomfortable parched’ face feeling. I finally kept a jar of moisturizer by my bed until I figured out my skin was not only dry but dehydrated too. I don’t know how that can be when I drink at least 96 oz. of water a day but it’s true.
Coconut oil has so many benefits doesn’t it? Not to mention, I LOVE it on popcorn- John and the girls do too. Carly uses it to condition her hair on occasion as well.
I like Alba products too! Which ones do you like in specific? I have tried, and like very much, their moisturizing sunless tanner (not scent free however!) I’ve been buying the Alba products via internet through Puritan’s Pride whenever they have a sale and free shipping.
Love the nightcap :). Always a good way to end the day. In your medical opinion, would vodka & soda work as well as gin & tonic?