What is it?
Rosacea is a skin condition characterised by flushing, continual facial redness, visible blood vessels, and dry, tight, unevenly textured skin. Women between 30 and 60 are three times more likely to develop rosacea than anyone else, and the NHS estimates that it affects one in ten people, so if you’re suffering, you’re not alone.
What causes it?
While the exact cause is unknown, there are several possibilities. Although often believed to be a hereditary condition there is evidence to suggest some flare-ups are a result of abnormalities in the blood vessels of the face or even microscopic mites and certain types of bacteria. What is well established though, is that rosacea has different triggers – everything from sunlight, cold weather, stress, pollution, alcohol and caffeine – for different people. Happily, according to rosacea sufferer and founder of skincare brand Oskia, Georgie Cleeve, “there are methods to keep it under control and reduce the redness, and sore itchy, bumpy skin associated with it.”
Rosacea makes skin ultra-sensitive and compromises the barrier function, so the bottom line is be gentle with your skin, patch test everything, and speak to your GP for advice on managing symptoms. What is essential, is to cleanse skin morning and night to remove impurities, but as Kendra Flockhart, Education Executive at Darphin says “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, and “always rinse with lukewarm water as extreme temperatures could irritate the skin”. Choose a creamy cleanser formulated for sensitive skin and try to avoid harsher formulas and ingredients including acids and alcohols that can act as triggers. Darphin’s Intral Cleansing Milk helps reduce redness and works to repair the skin’s natural barrier.
Exfoliation is great at improving skin texture, and helping to smooth the characteristic bumps of rosacea, but scrubs and strong acids are too harsh. Instead look for gentle fruit enzymes, such as pumpkin or papaya instead; Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel is gentle enough to use twice a week.
Avoid overloading rosacea-prone skin with too many products, but do trial a gentle serum as the light texture and concentrated ingredients can help to nourish and rebalance. Ren Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum is specifically formulated to offer extra help in combating irritation, redness and dehydration, and it protects from pollution – a potential rosacea trigger. If you need to soften and soothe, Darphin Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum contains chamomile to calm and grape seed extract to nourish.
Hydration is Key
It’s essential for rosacea sufferers to keep skin hydrated as this helps to maintain the skin’s own moisture barrier, which in turn works to protect and prevent symptoms from worsening. Kendra recommends Darphin Intral Redness Recovery Cream, “as it is light in texture, provides excellent hydration and protection and uses a natural ingredient called green-hued mica, which helps to instantly camouflage the appearance of redness.” Another great way to give skin a nourishing dose of moisture is with an all-natural, non-irritating facial oil. Unlike usual however, apply to skin before you shower, as the oil will repel water and steam and help keep fragile skin safe in a nourishing cocoon. We like the ultra-gentle Odacité Ca+C Sensitive Skin Serum Concentrate.
From The Inside Out
One of the issues facing rosacea sufferers is thinner capillary walls underneath the skin on the face, which then often flare up and become 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; to up your levels try Oskia Pure MSM Supplement once a day. “Like all supplements, don’t expect miracles immediately as skin turnover takes between 6-8 weeks, but skin becomes calmer, soothed, stronger and more comfortable,” says Georgie.
To counteract the redness characterized by rosacea, look to incorporate green-tinted colour-correcting products into your makeup routine. Algenist’s Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops contain green microalgae dunaliella salina, which work in synergy with pigments to help neutralize the appearance of redness. We also like Becca Backlight Targeted Colour Corrector in Pistachio as it gives skin a lit-from-within radiance while helping to tone down redness.
A big trigger for rosacea is sunshine, so ensure you always have a hat to hand on sunny days, and find a sunscreen that doesn’t aggravate symptoms. As Virginie PR manager at Algenist explains “opt for sunscreens with physical sun blockers such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, instead of chemical sunscreens.” Good options to trial are Hampton Sun Age-Defying SPF 50 Mineral Crème as it is fragrance-free and chemical-free, while Darphin Intral Shield SPF50 contains mineral filters and was created to support and protect sensitive skin.