Photography: Emma Palmer
Rosacea is a lot more common than you might think. According to the NHS, one of 10 people in the UK suffer with the skin condition. Beauty blogger Rose Gallagher has written openly about her own experience. Yet, none of this really helps when you’re battling with hot, raging red, angry skin. We asked the experts for some helpful pointers.
What Is Rosacea & What Causes It?
Rosacea is a skin condition characterised by flushing, continual facial redness and visible blood vessels. Your skin often feels dry, tight and bumpy. Women aged between 30 and 60 are three times more likely to develop rosacea than anyone else.
While the exact cause is actually unknown, there are several possibilities. “Rosacea is often due to underlying inflammatory and bacterial factors combined with your skin barrier being compromised in some way,” explains aesthetic doctor and brand founder, Dr David Jack.
Flare-ups are often a result of abnormalities in the blood vessels of the face and this can be triggered by lots of different things including the sun, cold weather, pollution, stress, alcohol and coffee. Thankfully there are several things you can do to help, starting with a good skincare regimen. First and foremost though, as rosacea makes skin ultra-sensitive and compromises the barrier function, it’s always best to patch test any new formulas.
Choose Your Cleanser Wisely
Like with all skin types, cleansing both morning and night is essential but take extra care says Kendra Flockhart, Education Executive at Darphin. “The cleansing process has to be done very gently using fingertips only. Avoid using wash cloths, sponges and cleansing devices as these manually exfoliate, which is too harsh for delicate skin,” she says. “Always rinse with lukewarm water as extreme temperatures could irritate the skin too.”
Choose a creamy cleanser formulated for sensitive skin, such as Darphin’s Intral Cleansing Milk, which is great for repairing and reducing redness. We also love Kate Somerville DeliKate Soothing Cleanser as the creamy formula has a gentle cooling effect on your skin. The peptide and ceramide infused cream helps to remove makeup and lift away away the day without causing any irritation.
Stock Up On Anti-Inflammatory Ingredients
“Focus on treating the inflammation and repairing your skin’s barrier with targeted ingredients such as azelaic acid and niacinamide,” advises Dr David. “They both have excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can also help repair the natural barrier. My Blue Face Paint uses azelaic acid alongside soothing ceramides. As well as a calming and hydrating blend of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to really help redness.”
Don’t Overload Your Skin
Avoid overloading rosacea-prone skin with too many products as this can cause irritation. Try a gentle serum as the light texture and concentrated ingredients can help to nourish and rebalance. Odacité’s CA+C Sensitive Skin Serum is great for combatting redness and helping to heal thanks to its soothing formula of camellia oil and chamomile.
We also love REN’s Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum, which also takes down redness as well as boosting your skin’s natural tolerance to daily stressors such as pollution and free radicals.
If you want something for a little extra hydration, Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Cream is worth the investment. The balmy texture melts into skin and soothes any dry, sore patches. We’ve found that it’s particularly good for soothing sun burn too.
Always Wear SPF
As the sun is a big trigger for rosacea, wearing an SPF everyday is an absolute must. Opt for a sunscreen that has been specifically formulated for sensitive skin as they tend to be fragrance and chemical-free. Ultrasun’s Face Mineral SPF50 is a good choice. It’s lightweight and infused with antioxidant-rich ingredients to supercharge the protection.
Consider A Supplement
Another issue rosacea sufferers face is thinner capillary walls underneath the skin. These often flare up and become more visible. MSM (a bio-available form of sulphur) actively helps to thicken these delicate capillaries and works to build an antioxidant (known as glatathione), which rosacea sufferers are known to be deficient in.
Try upping your levels with Oskia’s Pure MSM Supplement. “Like all supplements, don’t expect miracles immediately as skin turnover takes between six-to-eight weeks. But your skin will gradually become calmer, stronger and more comfortable,” says Georgie Cleeve, founder of Oskia.
Opt For CC Creams
To counteract redness, there are several game-changing makeup must-haves you can try. Erborian’s CC Red Correct is a firm favourite. Don’t be alarmed by the slight green tinge. This is exactly what redness needs to help balance and even it out. For more insider tips and tricks, you can read our guide on disguising redness here.