By Mera Tabarruk
Rosacea effects around 45 million people around the world, and while it affects so many, it’s rarely spoken about. Below we’ve got expert tips to manage rosacea with Biologi’s Dermal Specialist Lucy Macdougald.
WHAT IS ROSACEA?
Rosacea is a skin condition that presents itself as ‘flushed skin’, often appearing on the cheeks, with many sufferers also experiencing small bumps and even broken capillaries. Rosacea can manifest at any time, but many women experience the onset of rosacea during pregnancy, while others find their existing condition exacerbated during pregnancy or after childbirth. Some women also report that hot flushes experienced during menopause can also trigger its appearance.
Rosacea falls under the banner of ‘sensitive skin’ which refers to an underlying skin condition that is usually caused by a genetic predisposition (usually inherited). It is often the result of a defect in the skin’s epidermal lipid barrier layer (the protective layer) which then causes irritants, and allergens to penetrate the skin and cause various reactions. A disturbed epidermal lipid barrier is an important component in several inflammatory skin diseases including rosacea, and also conditions like atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.
HOW CAN YOU TREAT ROSACEA?
Sensitive skin is not something that can ever truly be fixed as it is genetic, however there are treatment options which can relieve the symptoms of skin conditions. Whilst these skin conditions may be genetic, they can also be a response to food intolerances, or an autoimmune condition. You may be born with a skin condition, or it may develop over time. A skin condition will possibly respond to medication and can be managed using the right skincare products.
Unfortunately, there’s no ‘cure’ for rosacea caused by changes in hormones, however avoiding various triggers like red wine, spicy food and extremes of heat and cold may help relieve the symptoms and appearance.
It is particularly important for rosacea sufferers to identify and avoid lifestyle and environmental factors that trigger their irritated skin. Knowing what the triggers are will obviously help a person avoid them and keep the symptoms at bay. Also be mindful of any products which could be irritating your skin and causing rosacea to flare up. Unfortunately, many products designed to treat sensitised and sensitive skin can be those which cause the most damage. Adding toxins and emulsifiers to an already damaged barrier function will do nothing to treat the problem and can actually make it worse.
BE GENTLE WITH YOUR SKIN
No matter how irritated your skin might feel, it is always important to treat it gently. Avoid any skincare products that contain harsh ingredients like alcohol and fragrances and try not to rub or touch your face too much. Most people don’t realise that their hands can carry a variety of dirt, residue, germs or bacteria which can easily be transferred onto the face and exacerbate any skin sensitivities.
PROTECT YOUR FACE
Always ensure that you protect your skin from the daily elements, especially the sun. All people, but particularly rosacea sufferers, should apply sunscreen daily and wear protective clothing. Appling sunscreen that’s a broad spectrum to block UVA and UVB rays is especially important if you are using any topical medication for your rosacea as your skin could be particularly sensitive as a result.
USE NATURAL PRODUCTS
If you suffer from rosacea it is incredibly important that you avoid any products that contain alcohol or other skin irritating ingredients. Instead consider applying pure plant extracts that contain ingredients that will sooth skin and reduce redness. Firstly, we recommend Biologi’s new Bc Refresh Cleanser as a great natural cleanser alternative that will not only gently cleanse skin, but build antioxidant protection, strengthen barrier function and promote a healthy skin microbiome. Biologi’s Bc Refresh Cleanser is free from synthetic foaming agents that can traditionally strip pores and leave the skin feeling tight. Instead, the revolutionary cleanser relies on a non-irritating, single-plant ingredient to gently purify even the most problematic of skin types. Secondly, we recommend applying a serum that keeps skin hydrated but will help to reduce any redness. Biologi’s Bf Restore Face and Body Serum is also an incredible option because it is calming, hydrating and contains Tryptophan which helps to strengthen the skin and lock in moisture while assisting in restoring the skin’s barrier function.
LOOK AT WHAT IS HAPPENING INTERNALLY
Whilst the root cause and cure for many skin conditions can be particularly hard to determine, our internal health can often play a large role. Try to subscribe to a natural and nutritious diet that is high in an anti-inflammatory food, such as the Mediterranean diet, which has been reported to help some people suffering from rosacea.
SEEK AN EXPERT’S ADVICE
Rosacea can be a distressing skin condition that can affect a person’s self-confidence and emotional state. If your rosacea is making you feel anxious or embarrassed, seek an expert’s advice. See a skin specialist who can help you to get to the root cause of your skin condition and also prescribe medication which can help to ease the symptoms. A skin specialist may also recommend some procedures to treat rosacea, such as lasers or dermabrasion. If your skin condition is affecting your emotional wellbeing, consider speaking with a psychologist.