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So, You Have Rosacea? Do This, Don’t Do That

When you look in your bathroom mirror, your cheeks have a rosy glow... Not the kind that people get when they step out in a brisk wind (though your skin may turn bright red then, too), and not the kind that arises when you run into your long-time crush. No, your red cheeks have another cause entirely, and it’s not pleasant.

Rosacea is a widespread skin condition, with research indicating that as many as 415 million people worldwide may suffer from the issue. Though there’s no precise cure, the good news is that you can control your symptoms: by avoiding triggers, following Rosacea skincare Do's and Don'ts, and getting the right treatment.

The Do's of Rosacea Skincare

You’ve probably figured out by now that you have triggers that make your skin angry, causing your symptoms to flare. 

No one had to tell you that red wine and spicy foods cause flushing on your face, but your skincare routine can also have a big impact on whether you go out this Friday night or stay in. 

Boost your confidence and let your face shine — in a good way — by adopting the right rosacea skincare routines.

Take It Easy

Go easy on your skin. Be gentle when applying makeup or cleaning your skin. Even though a typical skincare routine often involves exfoliation to fight clogged pores, aggressive exfoliation may be a bad idea for rosacea sufferers. Your skin is sensitive, and exfoliants are anything but gentle. Cleaning your face with a washcloth or facial sponge can also exacerbate your condition if they’re too rough.

One more thing: refrain from scratching or rubbing your face. This is a hard one, as one of the rosacea symptoms for some people is itchy skin. It takes some mental fortitude, but avoid scratching; you can try lightly tapping your face where the itch is, or apply gentle pressure with your fingertips. This can help ease the discomfort without worsening your symptoms.

Use Rosacea-Friendly Skincare Products

Your skin is quick to let you know when you’ve used a product you shouldn’t have. It displays its anger in new bumps, spider veins, and red patches. It may itch and burn more. 

Many women who suffer from rosacea think they shouldn’t wear makeup, but, if you choose the right products, your skin may thank you for it. Just because your skin is picky doesn’t mean you can’t use anything on it. You just have to be as picky as your skin. Choose skincare and cosmetic products made for sensitive skin, with fewer ingredients, no added fragrances, and those that are non-comedogenic.

Opt for mineral-based products, as these tend to contain ingredients that can reduce inflammation. If you wear foundation, try finding one that includes sunscreen. 

Test It Out

This can be a trial-and-error process, and you likely won’t know what works for your skin (or doesn’t) until you give some products a try.

When you have rosacea, figuring out what products you can use on your skin is challenging, even when they’re made for sensitive skin. Not everyone reacts to the same ingredients in the same way, and you’ll have to be your own guinea pig. Approach new products with caution. In other words, don’t go slathering that new, awesome-smelling moisturizer all over your face.

Test it out first.

Apply a dab of the new stuff to a small section of skin, but not in the central area of your face where your symptoms might be worst. Pick a spot that’s close to where your rosacea breaks out. Be warned: it might feel just fine at first, but don’t take that as immediate proof that all is well. It can take up to 72 hours for the negative effects of a new product to show up. If you don’t notice an increase in burning, itching, redness or bumps in that time, you’re likely good to go with your new product.

Keep the Sun Off Your Face

The sun is no friend to rosacea. Sun exposure is one of the leading factors contributing to rosacea flare-ups. In a National Rosacea Society survey, 81% of respondents indicated that the sun was to blame for their flare-ups, significantly higher than any other trigger except for emotional stress (79%) and hot weather (75%).

While your triggers may not be the same as the next person’s, most people pay the price for letting the sun in, especially in the middle of the day, when exposure is most direct. Make putting on sunscreen a daily habit, no matter what time of year, but make sure it’s a product that doesn’t also cause you trouble. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30.

Keep Your Face Moisturized

Apply a gentle moisturizer every day, even if rosacea makes your skin feel oily. Sounds counterintuitive, doesn’t it? The thing is, moisturizer can help your skin feel less irritated because it traps water, keeping it hydrated. It may also work in coordination with prescribed rosacea medications to reduce your symptoms. You’re probably better off using a cream instead of a lotion, as lotions are more likely to contain ingredients that irritate.

Still, this is a good example of that trial-and-error process: you may need to evaluate what works and what doesn't in terms of rosacea moisturizers.

The Don’ts of Rosacea Skincare

The Don’ts of rosacea skincare are hinted at above, but there are a few specifics that haven’t been addressed yet. When choosing a skincare product or cosmetic, stay away from those containing the following ingredients:

  • Alcohol
  • Witch hazel
  • Fragrances
  • Camphor
  • Mint
  • Menthol
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Propylene glycol
  • Benzol peroxide
  • Salicylic acid

Take care with that hairspray bottle, too. Hairspray may make your hair look great all night, but it won’t do the same for your face and can exacerbate rosacea symptoms.

Another important tip: avoid hot, hot water. Even though a hot shower may feel great and you may think hot water makes your skin cleaner, hot water (and hot weather) are frequently bad news for rosacea.

It can be a challenge to keep track of all of the rosacea skincare Do's and Don’ts, and finding out what works best for you is often a bit of an experiment. Fortunately, when it comes to prescription, medicated treatments, researchers and doctors have done much of the work for you. 

Nava MD takes an individualized approach to rosacea treatment based on your symptoms and condition. We provide customized prescription treatments designed to address your symptoms, using a combination of proven rosacea-fighting ingredients like ketotifen, niacinamide and metronidazole. 

Begin your journey to improved skin with a free consultation, customized prescription treatments (if appropriate), free shipping, and the help of a licensed dermatologist at your fingertips. Get started yourself by clicking here.

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This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice.
Consult a healthcare professional or call a doctor in the case of a medical emergency