Struggling with sensitive skin that’s prone to extreme redness and inflammation? Plagued by the constant feeling of burning or stinging skin that is likened to having sun or wind burn all the time? If your highly reactive complexion has left you desperate for relief yet you don’t know where to start, read on to discover our top skincare hacks for this super sensitive skin type… Affecting over 400 million people world-wide according to the most recent studies (you’re not alone), rosacea is a skin condition caused by excessive inflammation and vascular dysfunction. This means that the capillaries on the face become enlarged and cause frequent blushing and redness, particularly on the cheeks, nose and forehead. Unfortunately, managing this skin condition can be a challenge since what triggers skin redness and inflammation in one person may not trigger it in another. Indeed, there are many other skin disorders often misdiagnosed as rosacea and vice versa, leaving sufferers at a loss as how best to care for their skin. However, all is not lost and there are things you can do (and not do) to alleviate your symptoms and keep your reactive skin under control.
CARING FOR HIGHLY SENSITIVE SKIN
- Use a gentle cleanser morning and night. Getting into a regular routine will really help you to manage your skin and using the right products will help you avoid flare ups or worsen the condition further. A soap-free cleanser with a pH of 5 is best. Rinse with lukewarm water (not hot) and wait for your skin to dry completely before you put on makeup or other products.
- Take good care of your skin. Avoid rubbing, scrubbing or massaging the face.
- Protect your face from wind and cold. Using a scarf to cover your face will help to protect your skin. Just make sure that the material touching your face is not made of wool or a fabric that feels rough to the touch, as these fabrics can irritate the skin.
- Change your skincare products. Look for products that are specifically formulated for redness-prone or sensitive skin containing antioxidants, bisabolol, panthenol, mallow and allantoin, as these products usually help calm and soothe the skin. Also, products that can strengthen the skin barrier (like niacinamide or unsaponifiable oils) can be real game changers for rosacea sufferers. Azelaic acid (also known as Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate) works as a natural antibiotic and could be used as a green alternative to metronidazole gels (dermatologists’ first choice).
- Wear sunscreen. Choose a natural sunscreen packed with soothing zinc oxide that will protect your skin without aggravating it. However, keep your time sunbathing time to a minimum as rosacea is very often aggravated by sun exposure.
- Eat a rainbow diet. A very colourful diet with plenty fruits and veggies provides much needed antioxidant protection.
- Stay calm. Stress can aggravate rosacea as it increases production of cortisol, the main stress hormone. Cortisol has an inflammatory effect on skin and can contribute to flare ups. Reduce your stress levels by using daily management practices such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Gentle exercise can also help regulate cortisol levels.
- Keep a diary. You might find that keeping a record of the things that trigger your rosacea helps you to manage flare ups.
WHAT TO AVOID
- Be ingredient savvy. As rosacea can be easily aggravated by commonly found skincare ingredients, it is especially important to get the correct information and make the right choices. It’s best to avoid harsh exfoliants or soaps, alcohol containing toners, astringent formulas or products that are rich in fragrances, menthol, witch hazel, eucalyptus oil, camphor, clove oil. Even some laundry detergents can aggravate this skin condition.
- Avoid extreme temperature changes. Excessive climatic shifts including high heat (such as sunbathing, saunas, hot baths/showers and hot drinks), strong winds, extreme cold and high humidity can all aggravate sensitive skin.
- Keep make up to the minimum. Although make up comes in handy to cover the excessive redness, some pigments can cause a flare up. We always recommend you do a small skin test on your upper arm before wearing any make up products.
OUR BEST SKIN CARE PRODUCTS FOR ROSACEA
Ready to build your ultimate rosacea calming regimen? As a natural skincare product formulator, I often get asked which of our Twelve Beauty products are suitable for rosacea sufferers. The good news is that all our range has been carefully designed with extremely sensitive and highly reactive skin in mind. Here are our top rosacea-friendly products that customers have had great results using: Purifying Cleansing Beauty Cream: A gentle soap-free product ideal for rosacea as it minimises the harsh effects of cleansing and gives the skin back one of its main components, squalane. Ultra Revitalising Elixir: The pH of this product stimulates the activity of the enzymes responsible for the production of ceramides, making this product a must for highly sensitive skin types. Intelligent Frontier Facial Oil: A stronger barrier means that skin is naturally less vulnerable to factors that trigger rosacea. This oil improves the skin’s protective barrier function. Nutritive Repair Emulsion: Strongly recommended for rosacea sufferers as its ingredients are known for their soothing and calming effects on irritated skin, infusing hydration and antioxidant protection. Rapid Eye Treatment: We love this product for managing rosacea as its proven to reinforce the blood vessels and stimulate micro circulation. Ideal Rebalancing Level Serum or Ideal Moisture Level Serum: These lightweight wonders provide long lasting hydration and elasticity, something which rosacea sufferers are in desperate need of.