As someone who has rosacea, I understand how frustrating the condition can be. While there is no cure, there are many ways to control it. Understanding what it is and what triggers it is the first step.
Rosacea is an extremely common, chronic inflammatory skin condition that causes redness and, in more serious cases, pus-filled red bumps on the skin. While rosacea can occur in anyone, it most commonly affects middle-aged women, and is more visible on those who have lighter complexions.
Rosacea is caused by abnormalities in the blood vessels, which result in flushing and persistent redness usually around the cheeks and nose. Flare ups can range from one day to one month, however, they usually last about a week. Although there is no one cause of this skin condition (many credit it to genetics), there are many things that can trigger a flare up.
Environmental factors including prolonged sun exposure, extreme heat or cold, and strong winds can exacerbate rosacea. Similarly, stress, heavy exercise, hot showers and certain foods can also contribute to flare ups.
Consuming alcohol and spicy foods raise our body temperature and dilate blood vessels, making the skin appear redder and causing a flare up. The same goes for refined sugars, some processed meats, and even high quantities of citrus fruits.
Many skincare products that use strong ingredients such as retinol, astringents, essential oils, strong acids, and high concentrations of vitamin C can also cause rosacea flare ups. Even some hair sprays, especially those containing alcohol, witch hazel, or fragrance are also secret triggers.
Wearing a daily SPF will help to protect your skin from the sun, keeping redness at ease. Vitamin E is also a great option, as it is a natural anti-inflammatory and will help repair damaged skin. You should also look to your diet to manage flare ups, because as mentioned, gut health is a large contributor to the skin’s appearance. Limit your intake of alcohol, spicy foods, and processed foods/sugars.
There are also many beauty and skincare products dedicated to reducing the appearance of rosacea. Because rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition, you should look for products that are formulated with gentle, soothing ingredients that aim to reduce skin inflammation. Below are a few products I recommend:
Biologique Recherche Serum Erythos - This product was specially made for skin that shows visible signs of rosacea. With its soothing ingredients such as white tea leaf extract + PP vitamin, this product helps soothe inflammation, calm rashes, and reduces redness.
Medik8 Red Alert Serum - This serum actively reduces the appearance of skin redness. It provides intensive calming relief for redness and flare-ups caused by skin hypersensitivity. It also helps to improve the lipid barrier of the skin, which visibly reduces the signs of soreness and surface irritation.
Dr. Barbara Sturm Calming Serum - This serum formulated with Sweet Almond Oil, Purslane, Vitamin E (among other ingredients), helps to rebalance and calm irritated skin, and helps reduce redness and burning. It also strengthens the skin’s natural defense.
Environ Colostrum Gel - This gel boosts the effects of the immune system, helping to restore skin from environmental stressors, as well as internal stressors, leaving skin smooth and soft.
Serum Colostrum - Containing milk proteins, this serum will help improve skin’s elasticity while also enhancing its natural defense mechanisms.