Do you suffer from redness and facial flushing? Does it get you down, make you feel less confident, or even make you hide away? Do you find you feel like you need to use lots of make up to disguise it?
We are often asked how to help irritated skin, and to treat conditions such as Rosacea. Rosacea is a topic we have addressed in newsletters and blogs before, but since it is such a common concern, with millions of people suffering from it, we have decided to put together a guide. We hope this guide will help to explain the symptoms, and causes of Rosacea, and suggest tips which could reduce it. You may also wish to to view our full collection of skincare products design to soothe red skin by clicking here.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest, and back can be red all the time. But Rosacea can cause more than redness with many other associated signs and symptoms such as broken capillaries, acne, thickening of the skin, burning or stinging, and even eye irritations. You can read more about the different classifications of Rosacea here. Symptoms can be triggered by many things and, unfortunately, can vary so considerably between individuals that it can be very difficult to identify the exact cause.
Main causes of Rosacea
Environmental Factors - Hot weather, humidity, extreme cold or harsh winds can exaggerate the condition.
Dietary Causes -
Alcohol - A recent study showed alcohol consumption increases the chance of developing Rosacea
Certain foods - Spicy food, dairy, or even citrus may also make things worse
Food additives - MSG, Sulphites, and preservatives may exaggerate symptoms
Stress - Stress can be a major factor in a number of skin conditions and is considered a major cause of Rosacea. Anything which places undue pressure on you can be considered stress, and may impact your skin.
Sun Exposure - Skin prone to Rosacea is not happy in the sun. Sun, and exposure to UVA and UVB rays can make the condition far worse.
Fragrances and perfumes - Scent can increase redness and irritation. Artificial scent is a prime cause but some natural scents and essential oils can be a causal factor too.
Physical exercise - Extreme physical exercise can exaggerate and prolongue symptoms of Rosacea.
What can we suggest to help relieve the symptoms, and hopefully make you stop feeling like you have to hide away? Here are our top ten tips:
- Protect your skin from damaging UV rays. UV rays are the number one cause of Rosacea flare ups. Use a broad spectrum good quality facial SPF (have you tried ours) all year round. In high summer use a hat and stay out of direct sunlight.
- Keep a food diary. Diet can have a huge impact on Rosacea. Whilst it is not the only cause, controlling the intake of the foods which are thought to lead to flare ups can help keep redness under control. Common triggers are spicy food, alcohol, and caffeine but each person will have unique triggers they should avoid. Keep a food diary and note the appearance of your skin each day, or consider intolerance testing, which may identify foods you should avoid.
- Consider the environment around you. Extremes of temperature and pollution can aggravate Rosacea. Hot weather, cold winds, high humidity, and urban pollution can all be problematic. Keep cool, avoid steam, wrap up against cold winds, and protect from pollution.
- Manage stress levels. Stress is known to exaggerate skin concerns. Use stress management strategies and take care of your whole self. Sleep, eat well, exercise, and consider including meditation or breathing exercises in your daily routine. All will help.
- Keep well. Being unwell can show on your skin. Fever, coughs and colds, high blood pressure, and serious illness can cause Rosacea flare ups. Occasionally long term medication can affect the sensitivity of your skin. If you take medication and suffer from redness discuss it with your GP and explore alternatives. Consider taking multivitamins to keep well especially those with vitamin C and Zinc.
- Wash your make up brushes. In an independent survey of 1000 people 44% said they had never cleaned their make up brushes! Several studies have shown that make up brushes can be contaminated with dangerously high levels of bacteria, and in some cases carried more bacteria than was found on a loo brush! Clean those brushes to prevent skin irritations and redness flare ups.
- Go make up free. Consider having a break from make up and see if your redness comes down. Some ingredients in cosmetics can cause irritation. If you have a break from make up and your skin improves reintroduce your products one by one to see which ones cause a flare up. You may be able to identify key ingredients to avoid.
- Avoid scent. Scent can be a major cause of skin irritation. Stop using perfumes and avoid facial, body, and bath products that are highly scented. Even some essential oils can be irritating to the skin.
- Alter your exercise routine. Exercise is reported by many Rosacea sufferers as a cause of flare ups. But don’t stop exercising! It is essential to your stress management and overall wellbeing. Instead alter the way you exercise. Consider short blasts of high intensity work outs rather than prolonged sessions. Avoid working out in a stuffy hot room, but instead make sure the gym is well ventilated and ideally air conditioned. Try using a beauty mist to keep cool during classes. Try swimming. AND always keep hydrated. It is essential to keep your water consumption up.
- Skincare. Products can help, but choose carefully. Use products which are free from known irritants. Avoid highly scented products and make sure you select those suited to sensitive skins. Keep your routine simple – “less is more” – and do not chop and change your products or over stimulate your skin. When applying products be gentle. Do not rub your face, or use harsh exfoliators or scrubs, and when cleansing with water avoid extremes of temperature - use hand warm water and a soft cloth. Resist the temptation to wash you face when in a power shower. The strong jets can cause sensitivity and redness to flare. Seek advice as to the best products for you. Our soothing Anti-Redness Serum contains a botanical complex clinically proven to calm and protect sensitive, and regularly receives 5 star reviews, you can find our more about it on our website and shop all products to help with redness here.
Controlling Rosacea involves looking at all aspects of your lifestyle. Follow these tips to help keep your skin calm. Don’t be disheartened or allow it to upset you. You are not alone. In fact, you are in good company with film stars, princes, and presidents reportedly suffering too. Friend of the ARK brand Lisa Faulkner recently discussed her battles with the condition and luckily had some success with the ARK Anti redness serum which you can see more about here.
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