Herbs and Herbs: Top 5 things to avoid in a rosacea skincare routine…

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Me… minus the make up! I follow a really simple skincare routine that helps keep flare ups at bay.

DON’T EXFOLIATE THE AREAS WHERE YOU HAVE ROSACEA. Typically, rosacea appears on the cheeks, nose and forehead but it can vary from person to person. My rosacea is predominantly on my cheeks with a little bit on my forehead.  As tempting as it may be, exfoliating will not scrub away the redness or rosacea ‘spots’ you may have. In fact, it will only exacerbate the problem.  Exfoliating and scrubbing the skin will irritate and cause skin to flare up more. In some cases it can also break the little capillaries that lie under the skin too.  People with rosacea tend to have quite pale/ delicate skin and i’ve found over the years that the best thing we can do for it is to be gentle and use lots of soothing skincare that focuses on reducing inflammation and protects against the day to day stresses of life (weather, pollution, UV rays..)

AVOID SKINCARE PRODUCTS CONTAINING ‘ALCOHOL DENAT’.  It’s an ingredient used in lots of skincare (particularly in products aimed at ‘oily skin’) because it’s super effective at absorbing  oil and…well, anything on the surface of your skin really! Alcohol Denat helps to leave skin with that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling after cleansing. I noticed my rosacea would get really dry and itchy after using products containing alcohol denat, so I stopped and it helped!

AVOID USING WITCH HAZEL. As amazing as witch hazel is for spots, rosacea ‘spots’ are totally different and can not be banished using this ingredient. Witch hazel is an astringent and it is commonly described as an irritant for sensitive rosacea prone skin.

AVOID SOAP BASED CLEANSERS.  Soap, although cleansing, is not the best method of removing the day’s make up and grime from your skin. It effectively strips your skin of all it’s natural oils and I find that it leaves my cheeks feeling really dry, tight and inflamed.   As i’m sure you’re all aware by now, I am a BIG fan of oil based cleansing.  A tiny bit of coconut oil massaged into skin, gently removed with a damp cotton wool pad or flannel is such a lovely and soothing way to cleanse the skin…and although there is no soap involved it’s super effective and removing dirt and grime I promise!

DON’T USE AN OVER THE COUNTER SPOT CREAM. If you have the little red ‘bumps’ on your cheeks, don’t be fooled! These are not ‘spots’ or ‘pimples’ in the traditional sense and they can’t be treated in the same way as acne.  If you suspect you have rosacea (flushed cheeks that can be itchy with raised bumps) go see your doctor and they can prescribe you with a specific rosacea cream.  I use one called ‘Soolantra’ and it’s really amazing at taking down flare ups when they crop up.

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