Frustrated by redness and skin irritation caused by rosacea? You’re not alone! While it’s ideal to talk to a dermatologist first about your rosacea, some skin care tips may help.
What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a common skin condition that affects millions of people throughout the world. It is characterized by persistent skin redness, flushing, and sometimes even acne-like bumps on the face. While the exact cause of rosacea is unknown, it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Identifying and avoiding triggers can significantly improve your rosacea symptoms. Spicy foods, hot beverages, alcohol, extreme temperatures, and some skincare products are common triggers. Keep a diary to track your flare-ups and note any potential triggers. By eliminating or minimizing exposure to these triggers, you can help prevent future episodes of redness and irritation.
In addition to avoiding triggers, check out these 6 tips to calm your skin.
1. Look For Products For Sensitive Skin
As you’re shopping for skin care products, one of the best ways to know if a product will be safe for your skin is to look for the word “sensitive” or “for sensitive skin.” Rosacea is a condition that causes inflammation when certain triggers appear, so if you have rosacea, you have sensitive skin. Products made for sensitive skin are less likely to spark an annoying flare-up.
This does not mean that everything marketed for sensitive skin will be safe for your skin; it simply means that it is more likely to be safe. Everyone’s skin is different, so there isn’t a way to make blanket statements about what will and won’t irritate your skin.
2. Use Gentle Cleansing Techniques
One of the most important steps in managing rosacea is to adopt a gentle cleansing routine. This might arrive as a surprise, but cleansing should never irritate your skin. Avoid using harsh cleansers or scrubs that can irritate your skin a lot more.
First, be sure you’re using a gentle cleanser that’s hydrating and sensitive skin-friendly. Second, use only your fingertips to dampen your face, apply the cleanser, massage it in, and rinse off. Ditch the washcloth or other applicators as these can contribute to irritation. After cleansing, wipe your face dry with a clean towel rather than rubbing it dry.
Follow each cleansing with any treatment serums, and then finish up with a moisturizer. Complete your morning routine with sunscreen and you’re ready to take on the day.
3. Become Besties with Your Moisturizer
Apart from sun protection, people who have rosacea need to focus on moisturizing. Moisture in your skin is essential for your skin’s natural protective barrier which blocks out irritants. The more fortified that barrier is with an effective moisturizer, the better your symptoms are likely to be.
Keeping your skin well-hydrated is crucial in managing rosacea. Look for moisturizers that are oil-free, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free. These types of moisturizers are less likely to clog your pores or trigger any flare-ups.
Apply the moisturizer to your face and neck twice a day, after cleansing or applying any treatment serums. This will help soothe and protect your skin, reducing redness and irritation. Follow with sun protection during the day, or leave as the last step at night.
4. Take Sun Protection Seriously
Sun protection is essential for everyone, but it is especially important for persons with rosacea. Sun exposure is one of the top triggers for rosacea symptoms. Look for a sunscreen containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide that is:
- SPF of 30 or higher
- Unscented or fragrance-free
It’s also a good idea to reduce your time spent in direct sunlight. On days when you’re spending time outside, try to stick to the shade as much as possible. A wide-brimmed hat and large sunglasses can do a great job of reducing the sun on your face.
5. Have Calming Products On-Hand
Much of managing rosacea comes down to discovering and avoiding your triggers. You could be the most vigilant skin care steward in the world, though, and from time to time, your triggers will be unavoidable or your skin will react to a new trigger you didn’t know about. It happens. When those outbreaks occur, try to be prepared to reduce the inflammation.
Having soothing products at home, like a redness reduction cream, can help in desperate times. Look for products with green tea extract, calming creams, or soothing face masks. If cold isn’t a trigger for you, you can also use ice packs to reduce inflammation.
6. Keep an Off-Limits List
Everyone with rosacea has different triggers that will spark their rosacea symptoms, and the only way to know what those are for you is through trial and error. That is why keeping a list is beneficial.
First, make a list of ingredients that aren’t rosacea-friendly – those that are likely to irritate your skin when used in skin care products. This may include:
- Glycolic acid
- Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS)
- Lactic acid
Second, make a list of products that have irritated your skin in the past and add to it whenever you find something new that’s incompatible with your skin. Keeping track of this helps you find patterns and learn how to keep your skin cool as a cucumber.
Keeping Your Skin Happy with Rosacea
As you are probably aware, rosacea is a chronic condition; it may ebb and flow over time, but there is nothing you can do to make it go away. The best you can do is keep your symptoms to a minimum; the suggestions above can help. Put these recommendations to use and see what a difference they can make in giving you clearer, calmer skin.
While these tips can provide relief for many individuals with rosacea, it is essential to consult a dermatologist for a personalized treatment plan. They can prescribe topical medications or oral antibiotics to manage severe symptoms. Additionally, they may recommend laser therapy or other advanced treatments for severe cases.