What is Rosacea?

In a few words, Rosacea is a common skin disorder that causes redness on the nose, cheeks, chin and forehead.  It can also appear on the chest, back, neck and may even affect the eyes, causing irritation and a bloodshot appearance.  Sometimes, small pustules form resembling a blotchy appearance and the nose can become enlarged, appearing red and bulbous – this is more common in men than women.  Over some time, the condition may worsen so our aim is to help you to identify it yourself as it’s important to begin managing the condition at an early stage for the best outcome.

What causes it?

The cause is not known although there are a few theories which indicates that there may be a variety of different causes – this, in our opinion, being most likely as Rosacea seems to appear in a variety of ways as we will describe for you below.  Other than a possible genetic link, one theory is that rosacea may be due to a disorder of the nerves, veins and arteries, another points to a lowered immune system in the skin and another study showed that there is an increase in the number of skin mites called Dermodex living in rosacea skins. Like it or not we all have Dermodex in our skin – but don’t worry they’re microscopic!

Are you at risk?

While the majority of people don’t realise they have Rosacea, it is a condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 people here in the UK and most people have never even heard of it!

Risk factors (although in our experience not exclusively so) are fair skin types, in the age group 30-50 and more commonly affecting women than men.  Other contributory factors include excessive exposure to sunlight, stress, alcohol and hot drinks – especially those containing caffeine.

Is there a cure?

As yet, Doctors have not found a cure for Rosacea, however the condition can be managed effectively and kept under control with certain treatment and medication where required.

Clearly it is best to avoid known triggers, such as alcohol, spicy foods, caffeine and hot drinks where possible.

In the case of pustular rosacea, often described as, ‘acne rosacea’, where the skin appears blotchy with tiny pus filled spots, your GP may prescribe any one of the following NHS recommended creams or gels such as Metronidazole cream or gel, or Azelaic acid cream or gel.  Oral antibiotics may be given to help clear severe cases.

What’s the solution?

Here are our top tips:

Cleansing – For every day use, we recommend a gentle, cleansing wash from one of our ranges such as Medik8 Gentle Cleanse, Guinot’s Lait Hydra Sensitive or Guinot Lait Hydra Fraicheur. These non-foaming cleansers will leave the skin feeling fresh, clean and comfortable.  Follow with a splash of Guinot Lotion Hydra Fraicheur to restore the correct PH Balance to the skin prior to adding hydration.

Medik8 Gentle Cleanse

Use a Hyaluronic Acid serum or spritz such as Medik8’s Hydr8 B5 or Guinot’s Brume Mist Hydra Beaute both morning and night to keep the skin well hydrated – like a drink of water from the outside in. Hyaluronic Acid will plump and firm the skin as it binds water to the cells and enables them to function optimally.  The Brume Mist Hydra Beaute is great for travel and easy to pop into your hand luggage.

Guinot Brume Hydra Beaute

Moisturise BUT don’t overload the skin with oil and keep it simple…advanced anti-ageing type creams will often aggravate. Rosacea skins often feel dry and so there is a tendency to apply a rich cream to compensate. This too is not a good idea as an overly heavy cream will typically exacerbate Rosacea conditions.  We love Guinot’s Crème Hydra Sensitive for use both morning and evening.

Try to avoid prolonged sun exposure as symptoms often worsen in sunlight. When out and about, use a Mineral Powder sunscreen or lightweight Physical Sunscreen with a minimum SPF30 – Physical Sunscreens work by using minerals to reflect harmful rays away from the skin thereby keeping the skin cooler (think about the way that light reflects away from snow). A cooler skin will result in less long-term capillary damage. Our favourites are Medik8 Physical Sunscreen SPF30 – £34 and the handbag sized mineral powder Brush-On-Block SPF30 which is water resistant and priced at £28 with refills at £15.

Brush On Block SPF 30

Try Skincare supplements such as those from our Advanced Nutrition Programme Range. Understanding that the appearance of Rosacea is thought to be influenced by our immune system, it would seem appropriate to keep the gut healthy and balanced. We recommend skin health inducing probiotics such as Skin Youth Biome to help maintain the right balance of good bacteria within the skin and balance moisture levels.  Skin Vit C, which along with immune boosting Vitamin C, contains both Hesperedin and Rutin known for their anti-inflammatory actions within the skin to help combat signs of excessive rosiness.  Alternatively, try the Advanced Nutrition Programmes, Accumax capsules which contain a combination of Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Vitamin A to promote skin health with the benefit of anti-ageing – like using Retinol from the inside out! For those who don’t know about the benefits of using Retinol, we will be explaining more about it’s amazing anti-ageing benefits in another article.

Treatment options such as Shortwave Diathermy can reduce the number and appearance of dilated capillaries – we have lots of happy clients who have excellent results with this method. Skin Peels – Azaleic Acid is known to be effective at controlling rosacea as are LED Light therapy treatments.

Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Youth Biome

Stress Less! Take some time to unwind with a short walk, meditation, run, yoga or any other activity you enjoy that makes way for some, ‘head space’. We love the ‘Calm’ App available on both Apple and Android

Avoid foods that release histamine into the blood as histamine is a stimulant. Histamine is the substance that is released into the bloodstream that results in an allergic reaction.  Common histamine inducing foods are tomatoes, spinach, cheese, chocolate, citrus fruits, yoghurt and avocado – as I write, I realise most of these are on my personal yummy list!

Mineral Make-up is best for coverage and care. In extreme cases you may want to opt for a green tinted primer to tone down any areas of excessive redness although a light touch is important as although the green tint will cancel out the rosiness, it can look a bit, ‘ghostly’ if applied too heavily.  Again, try to stay away from oil-based products.  We love Jane Iredale’s Mineral make-up range which has a range of skin loving Liquid Mineral foundations which have spheres of pure mineral pigments suspended within a hyaluronic acid serum so offering both coverage and hydration within one product – what’s not to love? Alternatively, the Jane Iredale PurePressed Base powder foundations with an SPF20.  In a Rose Gold coloured compact (refillable and purchased separately) they are a glamorous addition to your make-up bag and great for touch-ups on the go.

Jane Iredale Pressed Mineral Foundation