Rosy cheeks are cute. Dealing with rosacea, however, is not. If you’re suffering from the common skin condition, you’re not alone. More people than ever are voicing their experiences on social media in a sign of solidarity for those suffering from it and to raise awareness of what the skin condition actually entails.
Red, sore skin, unexplained flare-ups and an on-going battle with skincare are just a few of the things those battling rosacea face on a daily basis. And that’s just on the surface. Let’s just say, when you feel like any slight embarrassment is met with the fiery-red flush that conceals your face, you start to avoid certain situations and this could even lead to feelings of anxiety.
We’re told there’s no cure – rosacea begins at birth and follows you through life, but is that really true? Does it only affect those with fair skin? And what ingredients aggravate or calm rosacea?
When it comes to your skin, it’s understandable that you want to know what’s in your products. If you’ve been taking a closer look at your ingredient labels, you’re likely finding it to be a long string of unfamiliar words. We’re here to help you decipher that list and what words you should be looking for.
What Is Rosacea & What Signs To Look Out For?
It is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition which usually occurs on the face and can affect all skin types. It may also manifest itself as persistent redness, blood vessels and spots which can look similar to acne, although the two should not be confused.
There are 4 main symptoms that help identify if you are suffering from rosacea –
- Persistent flushing of the face, most likely around the nose and cheeks.
- Thread veins and visible blood vessels which need laser treatment to remove.
- Red spots which contain pus, easily misdiagnosed for acne.
- Thickening of the skin; visible bumps.
Although, it is not completely known what causes the condition, there are certain triggers that contribute to make it appear worse such as alcohol, coffee and spicy foods. In some cases, the individual can be sensitive to the sun and find that going from a hot to cold temperature, or vice versa, can trigger flare-ups. Then again, some find exposure to sun actually helps reduce the inflammation.
That said, if you don’t have the opportunity to consult a dermatologist or are curious as to what you should be putting on your skin – look for these ingredients in your products!
There has been evidence of barrier deficiency in rosacea and the importance of integrating OTC skincare products into treatment. Ceramides help to repair and strengthen our skins’ barrier, making it a must for rosacea. If your skin feels dry and flushed no matter what lotions, potions and unguents you throw at it, you may be lacking in an important skincare ingredient: ceramides.
Camillia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea)
We know that drinking green tea is widely practiced throughout the world. A cup of warm green tea with its light soothing taste and aromatic scent relaxes the body. Dermatologists say because of the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, Camellia oleifera is appropriate for skin of all types, especially with sensitive skin like rosacea or eczema. Apply a dime-size amount in the palms of your hands to create a thin spreadable layer to a cleansed face and reap its benefits.
This naturally occurring acid has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, both of which are extremely helpful for calming rosacea flare-ups and treating severe acne, quotes Emily Wood, MD, a board certified dermatologist with Westlake Dermatology.
This star ingredient is well researched for its versatility in skincare. It is not only used to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and acne but is also a star ingredient to treat rosacea. Niacinamide assists the barrier function of the skin, which is important in rosacea because it is easily susceptible to irritation. Studies suggest that Niacin increases the production of ceramides, preventing water loss in dry, compromised skin (a.k.a rosacea).
Who isn’t familiar with the calming effects of Aloe! And, of course this could be your best friend for rosacea too. The most obvious way to use Aloe is to topically apply (Slather) it on affected areas. Look for products containing Aloe Barbadensis Gel or Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice as they can soothe, stimulate repair, and even reduce the pain.
This active ingredient, which comes from the chamomile flower, helps reduce redness and irritation during a flare-up. Since bisabolol originates from chamomile, it possesses many of the same qualities, including helping with inflammation. Unlike many chemical ingredients used for rosacea, bisabolol is a naturally occurring oil, non-toxic and tremendously soothing for sensitive skin.
The NO-NO Ingredients
- Glycolic, lactic or salicylic acid
- Benzoyl Peroxide
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
- Witch Hazel