Rosacea is a chronic vascular condition, and it normally happens to women between the ages of 30 and 60, but it can happen to anyone at any time. Rosacea normally presents as redness and flushing of the skin.
Typically, rosacea has a lot of triggers even if you have a good skincare routine in place. So, having a quick list of do’s and don’ts is good. Keep in mind though rosacea is very individualized to each person. So, some might benefit from these tips and others might not, but these are some general guidelines.
When it comes to rosacea, the best option is avoiding fragrances and essential oils. And since rosacea-prone skin can have a damaged barrier, you also don’t want to use drying ingredients like benzoyl peroxide. Benzoyl peroxide is normally used in the treatment of acne, and it decreases oil. But, for rosacea-prone skin, this can exacerbate the condition. You also want to avoid ingredients like camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol because they can overly irritate the skin. Physical scrubs are also not the best option.
Antioxidants help to defend the skin from damage. Vitamin C is a great antioxidant, but Cassandra would avoid using a vitamin C that tingles. Vitamin C can be irritating for rosacea, but there are forms of vitamin C that are at lower concentrations, and there are also vitamin C esters. These tend to be better for sensitive skin. Vitamin C esters are oil-soluble, and they seem to be tolerated better by the skin. okay. We also love our B vitamins like niacinamide and panthenol. These aren’t going to cure rosacea, but niacinamide can help the skin create more ceramides, something the skin naturally needs.
In addition to being antioxidants, green tea and caffeine are topical vasoconstrictors. Vasoconstrictors reduce the appearance of veins. In rosacea, telangiectasia or broken blood vessels are a huge part of rosacea so using a topical vasoconstrictor could truly help.
Rosacea-prone skin normally includes a damaged skin barrier and dryness. So, ceramides, hydrators, shea butter, and caprylic triglycerides are very good. You could even look for occlusive barriers such as dimethicone or petrolatum within overnight masks. Hydrators are good too.
When it comes to hydration, we have to talk about hyaluronic acid. A lot of people with rosacea like hyaluronic acid. But, some people with rosacea and sensitive skin find that hyaluronic acid doesn’t work for them. Some dermatologists say HA is not a match for rosacea, and some say it is. So, it depends on the person. If you’ve found HA to be irritating, cut it out of your skincare routine.
On the other hand, there’s glycerin. Glycerin is a wonderful humectant too, meaning it pulls water into the skin and holds it there. Amino acids and peptides are also fantastic too because they keep hydration in the skin. These are all great choices for rosacea, but currently, none have been proven to treat rosacea. Nevertheless, they are still helpful.
Azelaic acid and SPF
Azelaic acid and SPF are a fantastic combo for rosacea. Specifically. azelaic acid works wonderfully for papulopustular rosacea. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, this is safe to use too. Azelaic acid helps rosacea-prone skin to be less reactive, and SPF protects the skin from UV radiation.
Another common treatment for papulopustular rosacea is adapalene gel. There was a study that showed a decrease in papulopustular lesions upon using adapalene gel. However, there was no difference in erythema or redness. So, for people with papulopustular rosacea, adapalene might be helpful. See if azelaic acid and SPF helps first though.
If you’ve tried everything, talk to your dermatologist about adding a retinoid. Normally, if a dermatologist is prescribing a retinoid for rosacea, it’s because they’ve already taken you through topical antibiotics such as tetracycline, metronidazole, and erythromycin. Those are going to come first before prescription retinoids.