Rosacea is frustrating, it can be embarrassing, it triggers insecurities, extra time in having to get ready in the morning, and according to the National Rosacea Society, over 16 MILLION Americans have to deal with it. And that’s just in the US alone. How many TENS of MILLIONS of us in the world have to deal with it!?
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that causes bumps & redness on the face, usually on the cheeks & nose. It becomes more common with age, it can actually get worse if not properly treated & while there’s no “cure” for it, we can absolutely reduce its appearance & manage it so it doesn’t get more aggravated.
Here’s HOW TO MANAGE it:
1. Avoid the triggers:
– sun exposure
– spicy foods
– extreme heat or cold (that includes hot showers and ice baths)
– stress (which can cause flares).
2. Use only gentle cleansers that are fragrance-free & hypoallergenic. Detergent-based cleansers can strip the skin’s lipids & barrier protection.
3. Apply sunscreen daily, with an SPF 30 or higher. I can’t stress this enough! The sun is THE WORST external trigger that can aggravate skin conditions as well as prematurely age the skin, so if one reason doesn’t convince you, the other should.
What to look for in a sunscreen (according to the American academy of dermatology):
– look for Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, or both as the source of protection (avoid chemical sunscreens at all cost).
– NO fragrance (label may say “fragrance free,” but if it says “unscented” choose another sunscreen).
– Broad-spectrum protection (that means both UVA and UVB coverage).
– SPF 30 or higher.
4. Avoid products that contain Alcohol, Menthol, Camphor, Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, Urea & Fragrance.
5. Choose fragrance-free, mineral-based makeup. A green corrector before applying foundation can help disguise the redness.
6. Look at your diet (this is HUGE!)
Aside from avoiding spicy foods, alcohol & caffeine, it would be also wise to:
- Avoid common ALLERGENS like dairy, gluten, processed sugars & fried foods which often increase skin irritation & inflammation.
- Incorporate the anti-Inflammatory GIANTS: Garlic, turmeric, ginger, onion, broccoli and green tea in your diet, which help reduce inflammation. And again, Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition.
- Leafy greens and orange or yellow fruits contain carotenoid phytonutrients, which help reduce inflammation.
- Healthy fats: Olive oil, coconut oil & fish oils, avocado, nuts they can help naturally regulate hormones and digestive inflammation.
- Lean proteins: Eggs, grass-fed meats and wild-caught fish help reinforce the immune system.
HOW TO HELP CALM the skin:
Green tea cold compresses.
Green tea has many anti-inflammatory properties that could reduce redness & inflammation. I make about 4 cups worth of tea. I drink one, then refrigerate the rest for a morning compress-session, followed by an “end-of-day” evening session as well. Next day I repeat. Cold compresses are vasoconstricting, which means they constrict capillaries & blood flow.
Make sure to use a SOFT cotton cloth. Do this regularly to see better results.
Calming DIY mask.
Aloe Vera (ideally fresh from the aloe plant) & Honey (ideally fresh, organic, without any added sugar syrup, corn syrup or rice syrup). Additionally you can add or replace one or the other with cucumber (mixed in blender till mush).
Apply to affected areas & leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water (NOT hot or ice cold) & pat dry (don’t rub).
Aloe Vera is very useful for Rosacea skin, because it has anti-inflammatory effects while it helps relieve itching & burning in the affected areas.
Honey is perfect for Rosacea because it’s a natural humectant that pulls moisture from the air & into the skin.
Use a soothing, calming moisturizer & after spreading in over the skin, use controlled pressure to massage the skin with cold globes that will help calm blood flow & reduce redness.
Some favorites I have are: Aaveeno, Bioderma, Avene, Clinique, Ren skincare, Dr. Jart Cicapair line, EltaMD for sunscreen.
An additional option at night, is to mix 2-3 drops of chamomile, lavender, geranium or rose essential oils with Evening Primrose oil & either apply the mixture directly, mix it with your nighttime moisturizer or apply it on top, as the last step of the routine.
Evening Primrose has anti-inflammatory properties & thanks to the gamma-linolenic acid in its composition, it’s considered one of the BEST skincare ingredients for Rosacea skin.
Please always consult with a doctor. Give your skin the grace of properly caring for it. Find out if these remedies will work for you. Be gentle, be kind, less is more with Rosacea & should your doctor approve the above, try following as many (if not all :D) of the steps listed for a solid month and just see how your skin responds.