April 29th, 2020
April has been designated as Rosacea Awareness Month by the National Rosacea Society in the US, with the aim of educating us all about this chronic but treatable skin condition.
We speak to a skin care expert for their advice on what causes the condition and what can be done to treat it. We also feature some products that may help with symptoms.
What is rosacea?
It is a common skin condition usually occurring on the face, which predominately affects fair-skinned people aged 40-60. It is more common in women, but when affecting men it can be more severe.
Rosacea tends to affect the cheeks, forehead, chin and nose and is characterised by persistent redness (caused by dilated blood vessels), small bumps and pus-filled spots, similar to acne. There may also be uncomfortable inflammation on the surface of the eyes and eyelids.
What triggers it?
Although it’s not known what causes the condition, triggers include alcohol, caffeine, exercise, extreme temperatures, hot drinks, spicy foods and stress. It can also be sun sensitive and can worsen with age, especially if left untreated.
Suffers can often misdiagnose themselves as suffering from acne, due to the spots, so it is always recommended that you speak to your GP or a dermatologist if you have symptoms. Products designed for acne and blemishes could make rosacea symptoms worse.
What self-care can I practice?
Award winning facialist and skincare expert Lisa Franklin, began developing her own skincare line after researching how to deal with her own rosacea, and she recommends the following four steps to deal with any flare ups. We share a selection of Lisa’s products and others designed to help alleviate symptoms.
1. Cool Tools
Rose quartz facial tools are ideal for skin conditions such as rosacea because it’s so cooling on the skin. It will regulate your skin and help instantly calm any redness – Lisa recommends for an extra cool hit try popping it in the fridge for 15 minutes before you use it!
2. Heal From Within
Look for nutrients in your diet that help strengthen the immune system and guard against inflammation. Lisa advises that rosemary, being naturally high in carnosolic acid, will help to combat free radicals (one of the main causes of DNA damage) and reduce rosacea flare-ups.
3. Treat Your Skin Gently!
Avoid touching your face too much, cleanse with warm or tepid water and use cleansers and concealers developed for sensitive skin. Don’t rub or scrub skin when cleansing as this can make rosacea worse. Use a soap-substitute or emollient as these are usually gentler on the skin than traditional soap.
Murad Prebiotics 4-in-1 Multi-Cleanser (£38) – a gel-to-oil, makeup removing cleanser that nourishes with prebiotics to balance the skin’s microbiome and strengthen the skin barrier. It actually infuses moisture into 15 layers of the skin. Available from murad
SVR Laboratories Sensifine Ar Micellar (from £5) an anti-redness cleansing micellar water that gently removes make-up from the face, eyes, and lips while also soothing and relieving high colour. Available from uk.labo-svr, lookfantastic, feelunique and beautyexpert.
4. Don’t Forget Your SPF
Apply products that help limit and protect against UV – the fragile capillaries of rosacea sufferers can be easily damaged by UV and infrared, resulting in thread veins and reddened skin. Ensure your product has an SPF of at least 30 and reapply regularly when outdoors.
SVR Laboratories Sensifine AR Crème SPF 50+ (£17) has an Ultra-high UV protection and is an excellent redness-reducing soothing sun cream. This is the first anti-redness and anti-relapse skincare range to have a heat-regulating effect. All products in the range instantly calm sensations of overheating and redness while delivering gradual and long-lasting soothing freshness. Available from uk.labo-svr, lookfantastic, feelunique and beautyexpert
In addition, use a kind moisturiser
Gentle, unperfumed serums and moisturisers are best for skin that is sensitive.
Lisa Franklin Clinic Privé Nº2 Serum – Clear + Restore (£65) restores the balance between hydration and sebum production to help reduce inflammation and blemishes. Effective in the treatment of acne and rosacea, key ingredients include copaiba, acai and andiroba along with tamanu oil. These reduce inflammation, heal blemish lesions and have anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic and anti-inflammatory benefits. Available from lisafranklin.
Murad Sensitive Skin Soothing Serum (£52)– formulated with super hydrators that hold up to 1,000x their weight in water to ensure supple, soft skin with reduced sensitivity. Chamomile extract and Arnica calm the skin to reduce dry, tight, inflamed skin. Available from murad.
Crystal Clear Skin Booster Shot – Redness Erase (£49.99) Powered by high doses of stabilised vitamin C, endothelyol and bisabolol, the Redness Erase’s 5 in 1 active is scientifically proven to wipe out redness, inflammation and rosacea caused by heat, cold, acne or excess skin flushing. Apply the serum to your skin beneath your usual moisturiser or make-up, or add to your current moisturiser. Available from crystalclear.
Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel (£50) – an intensely hydrating, oil-free water gel that contains revolutionary Hydration-Release Technology that locks moisture into skin for up to 5 days. A blend of peptides, vitamins and minerals strengthen the skin’s barrier. Available from murad.
Make up can help particularly if you are self-conscious about your symptoms, but use foundation and concealers that are designed for sensitive or red skin. These quite often have a green base to counter-effect the redness.
The Lisa Franklin Pro Effect Luminescent Base (£70) is a must for any rosacea sufferer’s makeup routine. The award-winning mattifying serum contains both rose quartz and rosemary leaf extract to soothe, alongside many other nutrient-rich botanicals that help reduce inflammation and redness with a flawless, matte finish. As well as increasing skin luminosity and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this serum also limits the amount of UV radiation from penetrating the skin, complementing your sunscreen. Available from lisafranklin,
What else can I do?
- Consider the lifestyle factors that can worsen rosacea and avoid them; a written record of your flare-ups may help.
- Some rosacea patients may benefit from the use of skin camouflage to help hide excessive redness. A skin camouflage consultation can be discussed with your GP or dermatologist.
- Unless they are specifically recommended to you by your dermatologist it may be best to avoid some treatments for acne, as they can irritate skin that is prone to rosacea.
- Do not use topical preparations containing corticosteroids, unless specifically recommended by your dermatologist as these may make rosacea worse in the long run.
- If your eyes are affected, do not ignore them – consult your GP, dermatologist or an ophthalmologist.