Rosacea is a lot more common than you might think. According to the NHS, one in 10 people in the UK suffer with the skin condition. Beauty blogger Rose Gallagher has written openly about her own experience to help ease the stigma around rosacea. Some of the most popular questions include what causes rosacea flare-ups and how can you cover them up without causing further irritation? We asked the experts for some helpful pointers…
WHAT IS ROSACEA & WHAT CAUSES IT?
Rosacea is a skin condition characterised by flushing, continual redness and visible blood vessels. Your skin often feels dry, tight and bumpy. Women aged between 30 and 60 are three times more likely to develop rosacea than anyone else. While the exact cause is unknown, there are several possibilities. “Rosacea is often caused by underlying inflammatory and bacterial factors combined with your skin barrier being compromised in some way,” explains aesthetic doctor and brand founder, Dr. David Jack. Flare-ups are often a result of abnormalities in your blood vessels and this can be triggered by lots of different things, including the sun, cold weather, pollution, stress, alcohol and coffee. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help, starting with a good skincare regimen. Always patch test any new formulas as rosacea makes skin ultra-sensitive and compromises the barrier function.
CHOOSE YOUR CLEANSER WISELY
Like with all skin types, cleansing both morning and night is essential, but take extra care says Kendra Flockhart, Education Executive at Darphin. “The cleansing process has to be done very gently using fingertips only. Avoid using wash cloths, sponges and cleansing devices as these manually exfoliate and are too harsh for delicate skin,” she says. “Always rinse with lukewarm water as extreme temperatures could irritate the skin too.”
Choose a creamy cleanser formulated for sensitive skin, such as Kate Somerville DeliKate Soothing Cleanser, £34.00, which is great for repairing and reducing redness. We also love Darphin Intral Cleansing Milk, £32.00 as the creamy formula has a gentle cooling effect on your skin. The peptide and ceramide infused cream helps to remove makeup and lift away the day without causing any irritation.
STOCK UP ON ANTI-INFLAMMATORY INGREDIENTS
“Focus on treating the inflammation and repairing your skin’s barrier with targeted ingredients such as azelaic acid and niacinamide,” advises Dr. Jack. “They both have excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and can also help repair the natural barrier. My Dr David Jack Face Paints Blue, £139.00 uses azelaic acid alongside soothing ceramides. As well as a calming and hydrating blend of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 to really help redness.”
DON’T OVERLOAD YOUR SKIN
Avoid overloading rosacea-prone skin with too many products as this can cause irritation. Try a gentle serum as the light texture and concentrated ingredients can help to nourish and rebalance. Odacité Ca+C Sensitive Skin Serum Concentrate (Camelina + Chamomille), £35.00 is great for combatting redness and helping to heal thanks to its soothing formula of camellia oil and chamomile. We also love Ren Clean Skincare Evercalm Anti-Redness Serum, £36.00, which takes down redness as well as boosting your skin’s natural tolerance to daily stressors such as pollution and free radicals. If you want something for a little extra hydration, Kate Somerville DeliKate Recovery Cream, £69.00 is worth the investment. The balmy texture melts into skin and soothes any dry, sore patches. We’ve found that it’s particularly good for soothing sun burn too.
ALWAYS WEAR SPF
The sun is a big trigger for rosacea, so wearing an SPF everyday is an absolute must. Opt for a sunscreen that has been specifically formulated for sensitive skin as they tend to be fragrance and chemical-free. Ultrasun Face Mineral SPF50, £26.00 is a good choice. It’s lightweight and infused with antioxidant-rich ingredients to supercharge the protection. Likewise, Ultra Violette Clean Screen Sensitive Skinscreen SPF 30, £32.00 is formulated to suit even the most sensitive of skin and leaves no white cast.
CONSIDER A SUPPLEMENT
Another issue rosacea sufferers face is thinner capillary walls underneath the skin. These often flare up and become more visible. MSM (a bio-available form of sulphur) actively helps to thicken these delicate capillaries and works to build an antioxidant (known as glatathione), which rosacea sufferers are known to be deficient in. Try upping your levels with Oskia MSM Bio-Plus, £64.00. “Like all supplements, don’t expect miracles immediately as skin turnover takes between six-to-eight weeks. But your skin will gradually become calmer, stronger and more comfortable,” says Georgie Cleeve, founder of Oskia.
DISGUISE ROSACEA WITH CC CREAMS
To disguise redness, it’s worth investing in a CC Cream as these offer the coverage of a lightweight foundation and the skin soothing benefits of a moisturiser. Erborian CC Red Correct, £18.00 is a firm favourite and Rose Gallagher swears by the power of IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream Original SPF50+, £32.50. For more insider tips and tricks, you can read our guide on disguising redness here.