The Best Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients To Calm Reactive Skin

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Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients

Anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients are like a bucket of cold water for inflamed skin. Whether you’re dealing with chronically inflamed skin from rosacea or atopic dermatitis, or a sudden inflammation from breakouts, or irritation, anti-inflammatory ingredients are a sincere “there there” for the skin. They provide instant relief for the skin that’s on fire, which, coincidentally, is what inflamed skin looks like.

Inflammation is your skin’s response to a “disturbance” from the inside or the outside. Unprotected sun exposure, an irritating skincare product, or an allergenic substance are common causes. These factors trigger your skin’s immune response and cause inflammation, which looks like red, swollen areas on the face that can itch and burn.

That’s why they’re a must for people who have chronic inflammatory skin conditions. Because your skin is always on the edge, ready to get all red and itchy. For people with sensitive skin or rosacea, it’s incredibly easy to trigger the skin, which already has a chip on its shoulder.

The other day, I was about to do my skincare routine. I was in the middle of washing my face when I realized that I’d already cleansed my skin. My ADHD is on fire these days. After rinsing off, there it was: a raised, swollen bump on my left cheek that was burning and itching at the same time.

But here’s the thing, when not taken care of, inflammation stops being the result of something. And it starts being the cause of something. Chronic inflammation can lead to hyperpigmentation (i.e., post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), and premature aging.

So if you know the cause of your inflammation, you need to eliminate that too. Besides calming the skin with anti-inflammatory ingredients, address the cause of inflammation as well. That’s the key to prevention.

The Best Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients

Find below the best anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients to care for irritated, inflamed skin.

Vitamin C

A powerful antioxidant, we’re familiar with how anti-aging, skin-brightening, and collagen-producing vitamin C is. But vitamin C is an amazing anti-inflammatory ingredient. Vitamin C neutralizes free radicals caused by sun exposure or pollution.

Elements like these cause inflammation on the skin, which leads to sunburn, compromised skin barrier, and in the long run, wrinkles. By interfering with the process, vitamin C works amazingly well to prevent and reduce inflammation on the skin. And it’s not just for sunburn. Vitamin C soothes redness on rosacea skin as well (1).

Green Tea

Green tea owes its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to certain compounds it possesses. These are called phenols. You literally can write a whole book on phenols, subgroups of phenols, their subgroups, and the individual compounds. That’s how rich green tea extract is.

Catechins, in particular, are the reason why green tea is so effective in protecting the skin against UV damage and inflammation. When applied to the skin, green tea soothes the skin, reduces redness, irritation, and swelling (2), making it one of the best anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients.


Among skincare ingredients, aloe vera is probably the one that has no mystery attached to it. You can literally watch it in action when you apply the gel from your aloe vera plant.

Aloe vera forms a very thin layer on the skin, which increases moisture retention. But because it’s packed with compounds like vitamins and minerals (3), it’s an effective ingredient to reduce inflammation from sunburn and irritated and sensitized skin.


One way or another, we’ve all heard that oatmeal is the antidote for red, dry, and itchy skin (4). Oatmeal, being the easiest DIY mask you can try at home, is a lifesaver for people with sensitive skin and rosacea.

Just like green tea, oatmeal is rich in phenols, which makes it a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient (5). It soothes the skin, calms inflammation, and eliminates redness on the skin.

Centella Asiatica

Centella Asiatica, sometimes referred to as gotu kola, or cica, is a widely known wound-healing agent. Even if you’re not familiar with the plant, you must have heard of the ointment Madecassol. It’s usually prescribed for irritated skin or sudden rashes. And its name comes from the compounds found in Centella Asiatica.

Centella asitacia is rich in madecassoide a.k.a asiatic acid (6). It’s an anti-inflammatory skincare ingredient that not only reduces redness but also increases moisture in the skin. Plus, it’s an amazing treatment for atopic dermatitis (7).

The Best Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Products

Products with anti-inflammatory ingredients can help you with chronic or sudden inflammation. Add the most convenient one into your skincare routine to manage redness, irritation, and sensitivity. From serums to creams, find below some of the most effective anti-inflammatory skincare products.

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream - Best Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients

Dr. Jart has a whole collection formulated around Centella Asiatica. And they’re incredibly helpful for people with rosacea to fight inflammation and redness. This face cream is going to put out that fire. Whether you’re dealing with post-shower redness or an annoying rosacea flare-up, apply the cream on clean, dry skin to reduce redness instantly. The cream moisturizes the skin with the help of panthenol (vitamin B5), which happens to be soothing for the skin as well.

Glossier Super Glow Vitamin C + Magnesium Serum

Glossier Super Glow Vitamin C + Magnesium Serum

This one is a vitamin C serum to boost radiance. But it’s specially formulated for sensitive skin types and made with a stable, non-irritating form of vitamin C. Its alcohol-free, fragrance-free formulation is perfect for caring for the skin without irritating it. Plus, it has sunflower seed oil, which is super replenishing for the skin. It comes in handy to help repair the damaged skin barrier, which is common on inflamed skin.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Wild Oat Hydrating Toner - Best Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients

An incredibly gentle formula, this toner is going to make all the difference in your skin. Apply it as the first step in your routine after you clean your face. It’ll eliminate redness and sensitivity. And you can comfortably layer your serums and moisturizers on top. It’s made with oatmeal as well as soothing honey. And it also has hyaluronic acid and squalane to boost moisture and green tea extract to calm inflammation.

Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum

Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum - Best Drugstore  Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients

Similarly, this is also formulated around oatmeal for its calming benefits. The serum works as an instant rescue to soothe irritation and redness. In addition to oatmeal, it also has feverfew extract, which is another anti-inflammatory ingredient. The formulation is fragrance-free, which is great when you have reactive skin. You can hydrate your skin, manage your redness, and reduce irritation all thanks to its oatmeal-packed formula.

Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence

Amorepacific Vintage Single Extract Essence

This is an excellent anti-aging essence to repair the damaging effects of free radicals. Its minimal formulation helps green tea thrive. Whether you’re dealing with sun damage and looking to ward off free radicals, or just trying to keep inflammation and breakouts at bay, this Korean essence literally infuses the skin with green tea essence. It can be an addition to your anti-aging skincare routine. It can also be the star of your routine if your skin is too sensitive for heavy actives like retinol.

Laneige Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask

Laneige Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask -  Best Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients

When you’re dealing with inflammation, whatever the cause, a face mask can be of great use. Because masks get to work instantly and do what they’re supposed to do. With that in mind, you can try this anti-inflammatory face mask. It’s actually an overnight face mask, but it doesn’t need all night to work. It’s made with compounds derived from Centella Asiatica to care for inflamed skin. But it also has soothing panthenol and hydrating squalane. The fragrance-free face mask, when you use it as an overnight mask, helps you wake up to a fresh, rested, and calmer complexion.

Skinfix Barrier+ Nutrient Water Misting Tonic

Skinfix Barrier+ Nutrient Water Misting Tonic

Similarly, face mists are easy to use, convenient, and a must-have anti-inflammatory skincare product. They’re so handy because you can keep them with you wherever you go when your skin is acting up. And this soothing face mist contains panthenol, aloe, cucumber, and allantoin to calm the skin. And it packs coconut water, rose water, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and quench the skin. It’s an on-the-go lifesaver for any kind of inflammation you’re dealing with.

Bloomscape Hedgehog Aloe

Bloomscape Hedgehog Aloe - Best Anti-Inflammatory Skincare Ingredients

There is no shortage of aloe vera skincare products. But here’s the thing, most of them are around 95% aloe paired with some other botanical. Why not just cut the middleman and go directly to the source? That’s when you can get the whole thing in its most nourishing, isolated, and effective form. Just cut out a small part of the plant and rub the gel on your skin. Here’s another thing. You know how we’re always told to avoid keeping plants in our bedrooms because they suck up the oxygen. Well, aloe vera is recommended by NASA as a plant to keep in the bedroom. It purifies the air and helps you sleep better. Using the plant helps your skin and improves your sleep quality.

So these are some of the best anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients and anti-inflammatory skincare products. If you haven’t found a product you like here, just look for those anti-inflammatory ingredients when choosing your creams or serums.

Read Next: The Best Skincare Products For Rosacea


  1. Telang P. S. (2013). Vitamin C in dermatology. Indian dermatology online journal4(2), 143–146.
  2. Koch W, Zagórska J, Marzec Z, Kukula-Koch W. Applications of Tea (Camellia sinensis) and Its Active Constituents in Cosmetics. Molecules. 2019; 24(23):4277.
  3. Surjushe, A., Vasani, R., & Saple, D. G. (2008). Aloe vera: a short review. Indian journal of dermatology53(4), 163–166.
  4. Kurtz, E. S., & Wallo, W. (2007). Colloidal oatmeal: history, chemistry and clinical propertiesJournal of drugs in dermatology : JDD6(2), 167–170.
  5. Pazyar N, Yaghoobi R, Kazerouni A, Feily A. Oatmeal in dermatology: A brief review. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2012;78:142-145
  6. Gohil, K. J., Patel, J. A., & Gajjar, A. K. (2010). Pharmacological Review on Centella asiatica: A Potential Herbal Cure-all. Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences72(5), 546–556.
  7. Sun, B., Wu, L., Wu, Y., Zhang, C., Qin, L., Hayashi, M., Kudo, M., Gao, M., & Liu, T. (2020). Therapeutic Potential of Centella asiatica and Its Triterpenes: A Review. Frontiers in pharmacology11, 568032.
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