When we have a skin concern, our first act is to hunt for strong, known actives to get the results but sometimes it can backfire. With active ingredients, you need calming and soothing ingredients too to keep a buffer for your skin. Calming ingredients can also fortify and strengthen your skin barrier. Yes, yes, we’ve been making a lot of claims here so let’s understand what they do and why everyone needs to place them in their vanity-
Why must you include a calming cream in your skincare routine?
Korean skincare swears by using calming ingredients in their routine to achieve glass skin. When we dug into it, we realised that it just makes sense to do so. Here’s why you should consider picking a calming cream-
1. Repair wounds
When you’re wounded, your skin tissue is damaged in that region. It tears and leads to inflammation which triggers the repair activity but in this whole process, it also signals the melanocytes to produce melanin that can protect the wounded region from UV rays. And that folks, is how you end up with a mark. So the idea is to reduce inflammation and yet heal the wound. Calming creams can reduce inflammation due to their obvious soothing properties and also contain nourishing properties which can heal your skin. If you have current acne or acne-prone, sensitive skin then you must swear by calming creams.
2. Strengthen the skin barrier
The skin barrier is the invisible shield that stays on your skin to protect you from external stressors. Having a strong skin barrier means happy and healthy skin. So what makes this skin barrier stronger? It needs Ceramides, Peptides, moisture, and soothing ingredients that can reduce inflammation. Calming creams are generally formulated with soothing and moisturising ingredients which are great for barrier relief. Learn more about the skin barrier here.
Calming creams would generally contain Rice water, Aloe Vera, Centella Asiatica, Calendula extracts, etc. All of them are great moisturisers and hence calming. Moisturiser especially for acne-prone skin and those who have open acne wounds can be tricky. But a safe bet for them is a calming cream.
4. Even-tone skin
We’ve heard of actives like Vitamin C, Retinol, Azelaic Acid, Arbutin, etc to solve many skin puzzles and get bright, even-toned skin. But you must meet calming creams if you want baby soft, even-toned skin. Calming creams can aid your skin barrier which leaves your skin healthier and resistant to damage. To get even-toned skin, you must first remember to protect your skin from damage which is exactly what calming creams do.
5. Prevent ageing
Calming creams deeply moisturise your skin and provide your cells with a cushion to protect themselves in case of UV rays, dirt, etc. All of these external stressors will not just cause you temporary chaos but also leave a mark forever. They can speed up ageing by signalling inflammation in your skin which leads to fine lines, wrinkles, sagging, etc. A simple way to understand it is to notice how your skin looks after it has healed from a burn wound. You can prevent this if you include a calming cream.
Which are the top ingredients that can calm your skin?
There are many ingredients out there which can soothe your skin but here are some easily available ingredients that you can consider trying your hands on-
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera gel is known to soothe sunburn, minor burning wounds, cuts, inflammation, etc. It has 99.5% water and 0.5% is packed with amino acids, Vitamins, Polysaccharides, minerals, etc. This is a staple for those with sensitive and dry skin, especially during summers. Learn more about Aloe Vera here.
2. Centella Asiatica
It is also known as ‘Cica’. This star is a soothing and healing ingredient. Thanks to the potent actives and Antioxidants in it. They have been widely used in Korean skincare. If you have a compromised skin barrier due to which you’re breaking out then Cica is your answer. It used to be known for culinary and medicinal purposes and then it was adopted in skincare. Learn more about Centella Asiatica here.
Sublime recommends One Thing Centella Soothing Cream. They understood the assignment well. If you’re looking for a good Cica-based cream then your search ends here.
It is also known as Vitamin B3. It can repair your barrier, boost hydration, and soothe your skin. It is one of the actives that can work on all skin types including those with Rosacea and acne. Pairing Niacinamide with other actives can give you brighter skin. Learn more about Niacinamide here.
Sublime recommends Suganda 10% Niacinamide Serum. It is a simple and effective formulation that does its job fine!
4. Green tea
Green tea has polyphenols which have Antioxidants and hence possess anti-inflammatory and healing properties. It is used to heal your skin after being under the sun. One of the key constituents of Green tea is Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which makes the tea so beneficial to the body and skin. Next time when you drink Green tea, don’t throw those bags. Instead, press it on your face!
Sublime recommends Plum Green Tea Renewed Clarity Night Gel. If you have oily and acne-prone skin then this gel will not only soothe your skin but also exfoliate and nourish you due to the presence of Glycolic Acid and Argan oil along with Green tea.
Chamomile has this particular agent called alpha-bisabolol which does wonders to your skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties with no irritation. The plus point is if it is in higher concentration then you can smell the soothing fragrance. For those with skin conditions like eczema, dryness, redness, etc, Chamomile is perfect. Learn more about Chamomile and the reason why everyone is so obsessed with Chamomile tea here.
Sublime recommends Beplain Chamomile PH-Balanced Lotion. This could be the perfect moisturiser to slap on your skin after you’ve come back home on a harsh sunny day.
It is known for its moisturising and soothing properties. It can be synthetically or naturally sourced from plants or snails too. It can be paired with active ingredients to improve their results and also acts as a buffer to prevent adverse effects. Learn more about Snail Mucin here which has Allantoin in it.
Sublime recommends Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. It is perfectly lightweight so for summers, this could be your best friend!
It is Vitamin B5 and is water-soluble. It is a natural humectant and hence aids in dramatically improving the skin barrier. It can give you a more supple appearance. Panthenol can be paired with any active ingredient just like any other soothing ingredient. Apart from skincare, they can also be used in hair care.
Sublime recommends Neemli Naturals Moisture Boost Concentrate. It has 2% Hyaluronic Acid + D Panthenol so if you need deep hydration then this is your perfect match.
Honey is a natural humectant with antiseptic properties. It is used to heal wounds, treat scars and suit all skin types. If you have a bad tan then you can get rid of it by mixing Honey with Aloe Vera or Rosewater. It’s filled with Antioxidants and so your body too can benefit when taken orally. Learn more about Honey here
Sublime recommends One Thing Propolis + Honey Extract. This is a great toner to fill in your AM and PM routine. You can even carry it in a spray bottle to refresh your skin while you’re out.
Who must include a calming cream in their skincare routine?
Calming creams are for all. From babies to adults, everybody needs calming cream. However, those with an active lifestyle or strong activities in their skincare routine, must not skip it all. None of your expensive skincare juices can work till the time you don’t have a healthy skin barrier which is possible only when you have soothed skin. Some of the skin concerns that specifically need calming cream are:
- Acne Scars
- Compromised skin barrier
What can you pair with a calming cream?
You can pair almost anything and everything with a calming cream. If your concern is dryness then use Ceramides, humectants, occlusives or emollients with calming cream. If you have strong active ingredients like Vitamin C, Retinol, Azelaic acid, Kojic acid, etc then you need to add a calming cream to mitigate the skin’s response and let those actives do their job.
Calming creams are not so popular but it is about time that one pairs them with active ingredients to see the right effect of actives on the skin minus the side effects. Calming ingredients like Honey, Aloe Vera, Propolis, Chamomile oil, Green tea, Snail Mucin, Panthenol, etc have a great effect on your skin barrier. So if you want healthy, flawless skin, you know what you need to add to your routine!