Everyone knows what the colour red signifies: Anger, heat and embarrassment, and if you battle with rosacea, these are probably things you’re all too familiar with. Yet it’s also the colour for ‘stop’, which is what this article is going to help you do if redness on the face is something you suffer with.
What is rosacea?
A skin condition characterised by red, irritated skin that flares up with certain triggers and can be caused by either genetic or environmental factors. Perhaps the worst thing about this chronic skin condition is in its unpredictability, which is why eliminating as many potential triggers as possible is so important.
There are four different types of rosacea:
The most common type, it is characterised by persistent facial redness and visible blood vessels on the face, neck and/or chest. Typical flare ups are hot and itchy.
Often associated with burning and stinging, this type is characterised by raised, pus-filled bumps which can cool down as quickly as they flare up.
The only type to thicken the skin and enlarge the sebaceous glands, resulting in redness around the nose. More common in men than women.
Located around the eyes, it comes with redness and itchiness, with more serious cases causing swelling and blurred vision.
How to get rid of redness
Choose skin products wisely
Rosacea often flares up from certain ingredients in skin care products, such as cleansers, moisturisers and makeup. Learning which are going to agree with you and which may cause redness is usually a process of trial and error, and dermatologists often recommend testing a new product on a small patch of skin for a few weeks before introducing it fully into your skincare regime. Similarly, you’ll also want to avoid ingredients that dry skin, such as alcohol, menthol, eucalyptus oil and fragrances. Mineral-based makeup is a good choice as it doesn’t contain additives or preservatives, whilst a silicone-based foundation can also help protect your skin. A yellow or green tinted base or mineral powder can work wonders too, for a short-term fix. The simpler you keep it, the safer it will be for your skin.
Cleanse and moisturise
Having said that, it is vital to both cleanse and moisturise regularly – twice a day – as this can help. Again, read the ingredients carefully before purchasing. Cleaning make up brushes and sponges is a must for everyone, but especially vital if your skin is prone to redness (although you might want to avoid brushes altogether as this can further irritate the skin.). Moisturising is super important as it can reinforce the skin barrier, preventing infection-related sensitivity and environmental stressors.
Use sunscreen daily
Yes, we know we might sound like a broken record, but we really can’t emphasise enough the importance of applying sunscreen every day.Whilst sunlight on the skin can be a trigger for many people with rosacea (the biggest one, according to a National Rosacea Society survey!), sunscreen can also contain ingredients that may also activate the condition, so make sure you’re smart about which one you use. We sell a range here at Lovoir Beauty that we’d be delighted to talk through with you.
Choose warm water over hot
Hot water not only dries out the skin but can also be a trigger for rosacea. You may also want to avoid excessive showering or bathing in general, too.
Rubbing or scrubbing your skin will just further inflame the condition, due to the friction involved. Using your fingertips when washing your skin or applying products is the safest option, followed by a soft cotton towel afterwards to pat your skin dry.
- Cucumber has been documented as a natural home remedy for facial redness for hundreds of years – dating back as far as 1649 in the writings of botanist, Nicholas Culpeper. Using it straight from the fridge will give an extra cooling boost, too.
- Ice packs can also help provide quick and cool relief when a flare up occurs.
- Oatmeal masks are another natural remedy that not only absorb oil but also have a moisturising effect on the skin.
- Manuka honey is much loved around the world for a multitude of health benefits – including anti-inflammatory properties, antibacterial effects and a moisturising boost. What’s more, the special honey is primarily produced right here in New Zealand!
- Peppermint, camomile and green tea all contain skin cell rejuvenating properties and can be used topically as well as ingested.
- Smoking should be avoided as it inhibits the body’s ability to provide nutrients and oxygen to the skin, leaving it more susceptible to sensitivity.
Avoid anything inflammatory, such as alcohol, spicy foods, tomatoes, caffeine and dairy foods, whilst fish oil supplements and cooling foods, such as apple, celery, cucumber and melon, can be helpful – along with probiotics. Read more about the importance of diet on the skin here.
Take a deep breath and smile – it can help reduce redness, especially when triggered by a nervous reaction.
Featured image: Erica Smit/Shutterstock