6 Products Beauty Editors Reach For When Their Skin Is Red & Angry

Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Your face is like a toddler. To wit: It needs lots of coddling, and even if it's generally well-behaved, it will inevitably throw a tantrum. Usually when you least expect it. You know what we're talking about: You get the same brow wax you've been getting every couple of months for years without issue, but suddenly, this time, you've got two burning red welts above your arches. Even the smallest thing can set off mild-mannered complexions, like sleeping on a hotel pillowcase. Then, there are the times when you're the instigator, like when you absentmindedly pick at a bump all day at your desk.

When sensitivity strikes, no matter what the cause, it's important to have at least one surefire fix — a gentle product with a simple, natural ingredient list that calms like a pacifier — in your medicine cabinet. Ahead, six Refinery29 beauty editors share their number-one skin soothers.
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Megan McIntyre, Beauty Features Director

"I used to be the kind of person that avoided anything that said 'nourishing,' 'quenching,' or 'rich' like the plague. Then I went on Accutane. My skin went from oily and blemish-prone to looking like I got caught in one of the shamals I'd experience from my youth spent in Dubai. That is to say, chapped, gritty, battered, and hella painful. So I dug down deep in our beauty closet and uncovered this gem from organic brand Pai.

"The line is formulated specifically for those with sensitive skin, rosacea, or contact dermatitis. A layer of this on my face in the evening, post-cleansing, offers instant soothing and calming, which then transforms in the morning to soft skin that's diminished in redness (even those annoying post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation marks are less noticeable) and doesn't sting or feel scaly. I already know this is going to be my savior come winter, when that indoor heat starts sucking the moisture out of my skin."

Pai Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream, $55, available at Shen Beauty.
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Alix Tunell, Senior Beauty Editor

"I really appreciate simple products with straightforward marketing: 'This thing will do this.' Which is why I immediately took this calming oil home when it landed on my desk during a week when my skin was particularly inflamed. The concentrate is packed with soothing antioxidants like raspberry stem cells, algae extract, and pomegranate extract, and it takes my redness down a few notches within a day — whether I pat it on by itself or mix it in with my moisturizer."

Aveda Tulasāra Calm Concentrate, $59, available at Aveda.
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Cat Quinn, Beauty Director

"Yes, this mask has a crazy-soothing, cooling effect that coddles my skin when I've treated it like crap. But it's cracking open the weighted glass jar, inhaling the rose scent, and carefully spreading the indulgent, petal-infused gel across my face that's the most calming part of the whole experience."

Fresh Rose Face Mask, $62, available at Fresh.
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Maria Del Russo, Beauty Editor

"I wouldn't categorize my skin as sensitive, but it is super-reactive. I'm one of those girls whose face is red for hours after an eyebrow wax, and whose skin gets angry after a particularly rough exfoliant. So when I need to calm things down, I spritz this stuff on liberally. It instantly takes the pink away and leaves my skin feeling refreshed and chilled out. I even carry a smaller bottle in my bag during the summer — that's how great it is."

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist, $35, available at Sephora.
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Samantha Sasso, Beauty Assistant

"I don't wear this on a regular basis because it doesn't have the SPF in it that I need, but it's amazing when my skin is irritated, itchy, broken out in hives — insert just about any problem. It's so lightweight and goes on so smoothly that I feel like I can really pack it on throughout the day."

Glossier Priming Moisturizer, $25, available at Glossier.
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Mi-Anne Chan, Beauty Writer

"When my skin is irritated and not feeling its best, I try to keep things really simple. I'll just smooth a few drops of Trilogy's Rosehip Antioxidant plus oil all over my face, and leave it at that. It's a product that I trust will bring my skin back to a balanced state — and never make it worse before making it better."

Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+, $44, available at Trilogy Products.
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