Discover the Power of Calming Creams for Soothing Irritated Skin

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Is your skin persistently irritated, red and sensitive? Well, calming creams may help the problem. We consulted with board-certified New York dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, to provide you with everything you need to know about calming creams and how they can help you achieve a soothed, radiant complexion. Whether you’re a skin-care enthusiast or simply seeking relief for sensitive skin, read on to discover how calming creams can revolutionize your beauty routine.

What is a calming cream?

As the name suggests, a calming cream is designed to reduce skin irritation and sensitivity by soothing the skin. “Calming creams help alleviate symptoms of itching, burning or stinging while also improving the appearance of redness,” explains Dr. Garshick. These creams are typically enriched with anti-inflammatory and moisturizing ingredients that work together to restore the skin’s natural barrier and promote healing.

What are the key benefits of using a calming cream?

According to Dr. Garshick, calming cream is ideal for anyone with irritated or sensitive skin or those dealing with a compromised skin barrier. It’s especially beneficial for individuals experiencing discomfort from conditions like eczema, rosacea or psoriasis, and for those whose skin is reacting to environmental stressors like harsh weather, pollution or allergens. “A calming cream may help reduce symptoms of stinging, burning or itching and visibly diminish redness,” explains Dr. Garshick. Additionally, if you’ve recently undergone a cosmetic procedure like a chemical peel, laser therapy or microdermabrasion, applying a calming cream can work wonders to soothe and speed up the healing process.

What ingredients should I look for in a calming cream and why?

When selecting a calming cream, Dr. Garshick highlights a few key ingredients to look for, these include niacinamide (vitamin B3), which acts as an anti-inflammatory, helps maintain hydration and shields the skin from environmental aggressors. Centella asiatica, which is rich in antioxidants and protects the skin from UV rays, pollution and stress, while also reducing redness by enhancing skin barrier function and locking in hydration. Vitamin B5 (panthenol) improves skin elasticity and smoothness by promoting cell regeneration, supporting the skin’s natural barrier, and providing anti-inflammatory benefits to calm and soothe irritated skin. Additionally, emollients like shea butter help to soothe the skin, and ceramides create a protective layer that locks in moisture, reducing dryness, sensitivity and damage.

Can calming creams be used on all skin types?

Yes. Calming creams can be used on all skin types and are especially good for those with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin, as their gentle formulations help to soothe and reduce irritation. Whether your skin is dry, oily, combination or sensitive, a good calming cream can help maintain a balanced, healthy complexion.

Can calming cream be worn under makeup?

Calming creams are versatile products that can seamlessly fit into your daily skin-care routine, even under makeup. “They not only soothe and calm irritated skin but also help to camouflage redness, providing a smoother and more even canvas for your makeup application,” says Dr. Garshick. By incorporating a calming cream, you can enhance the overall appearance of your makeup, ensuring it looks flawless and natural throughout the day.

Calming creams to try

1 / 8

La Roche Posay Cicaplast Balm B5 ($17)

This multi-purpose balm is suitable for the face or body and is formulated with a blend of key ingredients, including vitamin B5 (panthenol), madecassoside and Centella Asiatica, which helps to accelerate the skin’s natural healing process, making it ideal for repairing dry, cracked or irritated skin. 

la roche-posay cicaplast
2 / 8

Tatcha The Indigo Calming Cream ($92)

Enriched with natural Japanese ingredients like indigo and colloidal oatmeal, this rich, fragrance-free moisturizer is designed to soothe sensitive, irritated or reactive eczema-prone skin and protect against future flare-ups. 

Tatcha The Indigo Calming Cream
3 / 8

MZ SKIN The Calming Moisturizer ($205)

This nourishing daily moisturizer for sensitive, redness-prone skin is enriched with barrier-strengthening prebiotics and soothing plant extracts, providing long-lasting hydration, balance and instant relief.

mz skin calming cream
4 / 8

Tower 28 SOS Daily Barrier Recovery Cream ($24)

This lightweight nourishing cream is designed to repair and strengthen the skin’s natural barrier. Enriched with soothing ingredients like aloe vera, ceramides and green tea extract, this cream helps to calm irritation, reduce redness, and restore moisture to dry and sensitive skin.

tower 28 sos daily skin barrier cream
5 / 8

Dr. Naana Beauty Cocoa Barrier Cream ($75)

This new multi-functional daily hydrating moisturizer is enriched with a blend of powerful ingredients like shea butter, aloe and Ceramides, which work together to enhance and restore skin health by strengthening the skin barrier.

naana barrier cream
6 / 8

Avene Tolérance Control Skin Recovery Cream ($38)

This gentle, soothing moisturizer is specially formulated for hypersensitive and allergic skin. It provides intensive hydration while respecting the skin’s natural balance, helping to reduce skin reactivity and discomfort.

7 / 8

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream ($63)

This gentle oil-free moisturizer is designed to calm and soothe skin prone to redness and irritation without clogging the pores. Formulated with a blend of beneficial botanicals, it helps to instantly relieve redness while strengthening the skin’s moisture barrier over time. 

8 / 8

The Ordinary Soothing & Barrier Support Serum ($17)                                 

Formulated with key ingredients like Niacinamide and beta-glucan, this lightweight serum provides soothing relief from redness and discomfort and helps to enhance skin resilience.

the ordinary barrier soothing serum

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