If you’ve noticed a red flush to your cheeks, acne, dryness, skin sensitivity, and visibly broken blood vessels that branch across your face, you may be suffering from rosacea (pronounced roh-ZAY-sha), an all-too-common chronic skin condition that affects nearly 14 million Americans. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, rosacea is believed to be genetic, and tends to affect women between the ages of 30-50. And while many will suffer from a multitude of rosacea symptoms, keep in mind that there are different subtypes of rosacea—so some may experience only redness and sensitivity, while others struggle with acne and flaky skin.
But thankfully, rosacea isn’t life-threatening, and although it is difficult to treat, rosacea doesn’t severely affect your physical health (phew). However, it can wreak havoc on your mental and emotional wellbeing. Similar to acne, a flushed, bumpy complexion may lead to feelings of frustration, low self-esteem, embarrassment, social isolation and depression. In these cases, it’s extremely important to seek medical attention ASAP, because treating the signs and symptoms of rosacea has been shown to improve quality of life.
And speaking of better quality of life, I have some good news! By tackling common rosacea triggers, you can significantly reduce the number of flare-ups your complexion receives on a daily basis. Keep scrolling for a few quick tips for treating and caring for your rosacea-prone skin:
Take Care While Cleansing Your Face
Avoid scrubbing or using harsh physical exfoliants at all costs. Instead, use a gentle cleanser designed for those with sensitive skin, like a cleansing balm or cleansing oil. My all-time favorite is Cerave hydrating cleanser. Oh, and remember to rinse your face using lukewarm water only!
Hydration is Everything
Keep your skin hydrated! Use a moisturizer that helps to repair the skin barrier and lock in moisture. Need a hand? Look for one with ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
Steer Clear of These Rosacea Irritants
Check the label! Avoid products with ingredients that might irritate your skin, like silicones, fragrances (including essential oils!), alcohol, glycolic or lactic acid, sodium lauryl sulfate, menthol, or urea. These pesky irritants are hiding in all kinds of skincare, including cleansers, toners, serums and moisturizers.
Leave These Products High and Dry
As in, avoid products that will dry out your skin, such as chemical exfoliants, toners or astringents. In general, let the motto “less is more” be your guide, and only use products that are considered gentle (psst...refer to the list of no-no ingredients above!). Pro tip: if you’re dying to try out a new product, always test something on your arm before applying it to your face.
Avoid These Common Triggers
Hey, I get it—everyone is different when it comes to rosacea flare-ups. What triggers one person may be perfectly fine for another. However, there are some pretty common culprits to steer clear of. Some examples of triggers include harsh skincare products, the sun, extreme heat and cold, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol and stress. That being said...
Keep a Journal to Log Your Flare-Ups
It’s super helpful to keep a journal for at least two weeks to log your flare-ups. This way, you’ll understand your own personal triggers—some may be from the list above, while others may be totally unique to you. Once you identify what triggers your rosacea, do your best to avoid these so you can prevent them whenever possible.
How to Prevent Rosacea Flare-Ups
All in all, caring for your rosacea-prone skin will take time, patience and experimentation. However, there are a few tried-and-true methods to preventing rosacea flare-ups as often as possible:
- Apply daily sunscreen
- Find ways to help reduce stress, like meditation or exercise
- Avoid hot showers and use lukewarm water while cleansing your face
- Be aware of your consumption of alcohol, caffeine and hot beverages
- Be aware of foods that trigger your flares and try to avoid them, if possible
- Look for skincare products designed for those with sensitive skin
- Avoid extreme heat and cold environments
Do you suffer from rosacea? Leave a comment below giving us your best tips for caring for your skin!