Recently I’ve spoken to several fellow rosacea sufferers who’ve asked how I got my skin so clear, so I thought I’d do a post on it. Please keep in mind that my rosacea is mild-to-moderate and that we all have different skin types, so what works well for me may not work well for you.
That being said, these are all incredibly gentle products, so I can’t see them hurting anyone. They just may not be as effective as they’ve been for me. I also use other products in conjunction, but these are the mainstays I’d recommend to everyone. And while I received one of these products to review, I’m not sponsored by any of the following companies and genuinely love the products.
Step One: Cleanse
For this step, I often use the Earth Science ADE Creamy Cleanser, which is formulated for dry/sensitive skin. Now I do have incredibly oily skin most of the time, but because I have eczema in addition to rosacea (won the genetic lotto, didn’t I?), I always go for anything made for sensitive skin. This contains fruit oils, so it does have a mild fragrance. If you’re sensitive to that, skip this one and go to my next choice.
If my skin is particularly flaky and/or evil (say, around that time of the month), I switch to the Shiseido Ultimate Cleansing Oil, which is fragrance free and safe for all skin types including hypersensitive. Yes, even oily. Here’s the deal, oily-skinned gals: when you strip the oils from your skin, it responds by creating more oil, which makes you break out more. Sucks, huh? Avoid cleansers with stripping agents like SLSs, as they create the dreaded rebound effect.
Step Two: Treat
Like many who have rosacea, I also get good, old fashioned acne. I steer clear of salicylic acid, because no matter how awesome it is for breakouts, it eats my skin alive. I rely on La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Duo, which I find much gentler on the skin. Just don’t use it every day unless you only use it as a spot treatment or unless your dermatologist has given you the go-ahead. I find it too drying for all-over daily use, but that’s the eczema. It limits me.
You may have a prescription for something like MetroGel to treat your rosacea. I have a tube of it in my drawer, but while I have my flare-ups under control without the use of the prescription, I’m going to leave it alone so my skin doesn’t get used to it and refuse to respond if the flare-ups do get bad again. Sometimes oral antibiotics are prescribed, and those help, but be sure to be gentle on your stomach if you're taking them. They can lead to upset tummies and (ugh) yeast infections.
Step Three: Moisturize
One of my all-time favorite products is the Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief (whew! mouthful of a name, no?), which I refuse to be without. This soothes everything from a rosacea breakout to sunburn. It’s very thick, so a little goes a long way, but I use this when my skin is especially parched.
My daily moisturizer is actually the Antipodes Divine Face Oil*, which is a blend of avocado and rosehip oils. Rosehip oil is being recommended more and more for rosacea sufferers, and I can see why. The oil is so hydrating that I don’t need to add anything else to my face afterward, but it doesn’t just sit on the skin and look greasy. I use three drops at night and one in the morning so I don’t get too shiny.
Step Four: Protect
Big shocker, guys! I’m about to harp on sunscreen again! Seriously, wear your damn sunscreen. Your face will thank you, especially if you have rosacea. Sunburn is one of the worst triggers, meaning your face will red and sore from a flare-up on top of being red and sore from a burn. Not cool. Why would you do that to yourself? Just use sunscreen. Make it a part of your morning routine like brushing your teeth.
I use the MDSolarSciences SPF 50, which was created for rosacea sufferers. It’s never broken me out. It’s not chalky, and it has a pretty matte finish, so you won’t look like an oil slick by noon. I just love this stuff, and I think you will, too.
As far as other tips, find out your triggers. Common ones include stress, chocolate (noooo!), red wine (gaaah, why?!), and spicy food. Basically every food I love, but thankfully they aren’t my triggers. Whew! Just pay attention to what you’re eating and drinking when you break out. Take notes. Every little bit helps.
So that’s it for now. These are just my suggestions. I hope they help some of you.