Here’s the second part of my ‘How To Treat Rosacea’ series. It’s been a long road for me, and I’d like to summarize all that I’ve learned and experienced. In part 1 I covered cleansing and exfoliation – both super important when dealing with rosacea, and yet somehow in the top ‘most likely to skip’ for rosacea sufferers, always down to the fear of aggravating the red skin beast. In part 2 I’m going to talk about moisturizing with rosacea and best ingredients for treating rosacea, as well as briefly talking about diet when you have rosacea symptoms.
If like me you are on the dryer side you can indulge in face oils to treat rosacea symptoms. Green tea (also known as camellia seed oil) is hailed as one of the key players in the battle against rosacea, while calendula and rosehip calm redness and heal the aftermath of rosacea acne explosion. I tend to use oils before bed as they do make my skin shiny. By morning I wake up almost bump and redness free, depending on whether I did something stupid the night before, like drank a can of soda with dinner.
Try Julie Hewett Camellia Oil. Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is also amazing. Tatcha rice powder, although unrelated to the green tea topic, is the stuff made in heaven. Try one for sensitive skin. I vouch you’ll love it. It’s so effective yet gentle, perfect exfoliator for rosacea.
MV Organics Pure Jojoba oil comes very highly recommended, and you can see what other rosacea targeting products they offer here. Completely organic and loved by celebs, it’s the one brand you have to check out.
Serums are a great way to moisturize if you are on the oilier side (or in the warmer climate). Just be sure to carefully read the ingredients list – you don’t want any essential oils, you want to skip alcohol, and for sure you can’t use any of the following: fragrances, lemon, mint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, tea tree oil, rosemary, witch hazel – as these are all irritants. If you think you’d rather switch to all natural skincare be doubly wary, “all naturals” always try to sneak essential oils in. FYI this is NOT a call to start using chemical bombs like Jeunesse on your face. This is probably cancer inducing stuff.
My favorite serum has to be Skin Inc. Licorice Serum Calm Irritated Skin. It has licorice (another wonder ingredient that’s great for calming rosacea) and green tea.
Brands to try
I’ve been loving Karin Herzog’s Vitamin H. It has been superb at calming my rosacea and keeping it under control. You can browse the site here: www.karinherzog.com. Full disclosure, the products are pricey but I got mine 50% off on sale at Space NK, plus Karin Herzog site tends to run promos so sign up for their newsletter to get exclusive deals.
My other favorite is Mario Badescu. They are very reasonably priced, made in NY, and are free of any nasties. Wonderful quality that delivers results. You can find some of the products they recommend for rosacea here: https://www.mariobadescu.com/Rosacea-Facts
Acid in rosacea treatment
The big thing that everyone’s (over)doing these days are acids. They are certainly helpful in some cases, and disastrous in others, and if you have rosacea symptoms you need to be extra careful. But believe it or not, even though the very word ‘acid’ might sound intimidating and like something your skin will totally hate, here is a list of acids that have been known to be helpful in treating rosacea. Ultimately, it’s down to your personal tolerance of these acids, but exercise caution in any case, and patch test before you slap acid all over your face.
- Glycolic Acid. Theoretically, glycolic acid has anti-inflammatory and keratolytic (skin clearing) effects. But while some people report tremendous success using glycolic acid to treat rosacea, others complained of burning and redness. Such skin deterioration is often due to the interaction between the glycolic acid and other ingredients in the product and your skin and not the glycolic acid itself. There are no glycolic acid products currently marketed for rosacea treatment, so you better go slow here. I recommend Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner https://www.mariobadescu.com/glycolic-acid-toner. Try also the highly acclaimed First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads http://www.sephora.com/facial-radiance-pads-P278317?skuId=1309608&icid2=products%20grid:p278317
- Lactic Acid (alpha hydroxy acid or AHA). This one could not be more controversial. While some sources say that this is THE acid to treat rosacea, others say that it actually causes rosacea. Who to believe? Only your own skin. First Aid Beauty pads from above contain Lactic Acid, so it could be a good place to start. Another treatment that received rave reviews is the Omorovicza Copper Peel, which is a two-phase peel containing copper and lactic acid http://www.sephora.com/copper-peel-P309217?skuId=1423987&icid2=products%20grid:p309217
- Azelaic Acid. Used to clear up bumps, lesions, and swelling caused by rosacea. There is increasing consensus that inflammation is a central process in rosacea as the most effective agents against rosacea appear to have anti-inflammatory properties. Azelaic Acid demonstrates significant anti-inflammatory activity, and is the one acid that is least likely to cause an adverse reaction. Try Rodial’s Super Acids Daily Azelaic Acid Serum. Word of warning, it does contain Alcohol Denat, which might irritate and dry out your skin, so get a sample first http://www.beauty.com/rodial-super-acids-daily-azelaic-acid-serum/qxp578954?catid=298245&N=0. For pure Azelaic Acid you’ll need to pay a visit to your dermatologist and get a prescription.
- Salicylic acid. Otherwise known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA, is a derivative of aspirin. Its main function is one of exfoliation, or removal of dead skin cells, which allows other drugs to penetrate the skin. It’s also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. You can try one of Paulas’a Choice BHA exfoliants http://www.paulaschoice.com/shop/skin-care-categories/aha-and-bha-exfoliants/ or my favorite Zelens Bio Peel Resurfacing pads http://www.barneys.com/product/zelens-pha–2b-bio-peel-resurfacing-facial-pads-503758253.html. Tip: they are about 30 bucks cheaper if you buy them in Europe, so put these on your list for when you travel outside USA.
While focusing on the topical issue seems obvious, any skin condition should be treated from the gut first, Whether it’s rosacea or acne or even loss of elasticity, turn your attention to what you eat. The secret is not in some fancy supplements, although these won’t go amiss, and not in sticking to a complicated and merciless diet plan. First and foremost, for any ages and skin types, make a large cut on these three: sugar, alcohol and junk food. Cut the cr*p. It’s that simple. And turn up consumption of these two: water and fiber.
Hope my notes were somewhat helpful. Please tell me in the comment section what worked for you in your fight with rosacea.