Living with a skin condition can be tricky.
I once read somewhere that over 70% of people living with rosacea struggle with self esteem.
This doesn’t have to be a feeling that lasts forever. I fast learned that the more you get to know your skin’s pattern of behaviour the more success you have in managing symptoms and controlling flare ups. As it is rosacea awareness month I thought i’d share some handy hints and tips on all things #rosacea… hope this helps 🙂
Avoid the sun when you can and always wear an SPF of 30 or higher
For most rosacea sufferers the sun can be a huge trigger for nasty flare ups and irritated skin. For that reason it is always a good idea to avoid direct sunlight on your face if you can. How? Wear a sun hat and shades and ensure you are wearing a high spf moisturiser daily. Annoyingly, some ingredients in synthetic sunscreens can trigger rosacea flare ups. I’ve experienced this first hand while using a cheap, over the counter suncream designed for the body. My face went all hot and tingly then really red and blotchy… great! The following spf moisturisers are specially designed for the face and have all worked for me. I would recommend: Skincueticals Brightening UV defense SPF 30 (they have just launched this in spf 50 too, so that’s good to know). Avéne Very High Protection spf 50 range is also worth a peek. I took the spf 50+ fluid with me to India last year and it worked a treat – zero sun induced flare ups! Finally, and this one is quite handy on holiday, the La Roche Posay Anthelios XL spf 50+ stick Now.. everyone’s skin is different and they might not work for all, but do your own investigative research and decide if you think they could be a match for you and your rosacea too.
Keep a food and drink diary to help track what might be causing flare ups
It’s not always a case of what we put on our skin that causes our rosacea to react. Unfortunately some foods and drinks – alcohol particularly (why?!) can be the root of the problem. I kept a food diary in the early stages of being diagnosed with rosacea. Lots of online research informed me that by doing so it could help me identify a pattern in what foods/ drinks were potentially causing my skin to flare up. I noticed that cow’s milk, cheese, very spicy foods and coffee were some of the main culprits. In terms of alcohol, I definitely notice my cheeks turn red and blotchy after one too many glasses of red or white wine.. DOH! I’m only human.. I drink a lot of matcha and green tea- both contain a high level of antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect and repair skin from damage. Can’t imagine life without coffee? Don’t worry.. green tea and matcha contain caffeine too, so you’ll still get that little boost. Just less jitters and rosacea flare ups!
Ditch soap based/ foaming cleansers for cleansing balms and milks
People with rosacea often have a disrupted skin barrier function and for this reason we need to be gentle in our approach to looking after our skin. Foaming cleansers can dry out the skin causing irritation and disrupting the skin barrier function further. Look out for cleansing milks and cleansing balms instead. You can even try good old fashioned oil based cleansing if you want to get back to basics. Olive oil and a warm wash cloth… simple! All of these methods can do the world of good for your skin. Hang on a minute. With no foaming agent or soap you may well ask how they are going to rid your skin of all the day’s grime and dirt? I hear ya. Don’t worry. Oil attracts oil. When you massage your cleansing balm/milk/oil (packed full of nutritious ingredients) onto the skin not only will they have a hydrating and softening effect but the ingredients are also ‘lifting’ and melting the make up, dirt, moisturiser and whatever else is on your skin. Then, using a wash cloth you physically remove the grime away in a few clean sweeps. Cleansing milks feel a little lighter on the skin. You may prefer these if you really cannot get on board with the idea of stickier feeling oils and balms (although i LOVE them). Gentle cleansing. It’s the way forward.
consider seeking expert advice
There are tons of articles out there on the internet and bloggers such as myself who try to provide little pointers here and there. It’s always great to feel part of a community and know that you’re not alone. Sometimes a trip to the dermatologist is what’s ultimately needed when things don’t seem to be working. Everyone’s skin is different and everyone will have slightly different triggers and forms of rosacea. If your skin is misbehaving and you feel a bit overwhelmed by it all, consider speaking to a skincare professional. They can look at your skin and discuss with you at length what options are available to you. There are topical lotions and gels available on prescription that can help calm flushing, papules and pastules. Soolantra and Finacea are two favourites of mine.
my favourite natural ingredients
Rose – extremely calming and excellent at reducing redness. Rose water is beautiful and feels lovely and cooling on irritated skin.
Lavender – eases inflammation and soothes skin. I use a couple of drops of lavender essential oil in my homemade face masks sometimes.
Chamomile – perfect to drink as a tea before bed to calm the mind and skin.
Pink Clay and Kaolin Clay – two very gentle clays that can be blended with water to form a paste. Popular for those with sensitive skin, they make excellent face masks that gently dissolves dead and dull skin cells without being harsh on skin.
Yoghurt – yes yoghurt! When applied topically the lactic acid that naturally occurs within yoghurt has a cleansing action and refreshes the complexion. It’s so gentle and skin looks glowy and feels soft and nourished after. Give it a go as a face mask, you won’t regret it!
Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog. I love hearing from people and discussing all things rosacea and skincare so feel free to message me via the blog or instagram