Diet and rosacea

Alkaline diet of lemons and berries

Everyone knows that diet plays an important role in keeping your skin looking and feeling fresh. As the old saying goes: you are what you eat. What that means is that if you put good things into your body, it will thank you for it. Constantly eating takeaways and junk food won’t do your body any favours in the long term as I’m sure we’ve all heard before. Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies and is one of the areas which definitely appreciates good nourishment. What we put into our bodies is directly reflected in our skin. This is especially true for the rosacea sufferer.

If you suffer from rosacea, what you eat is super important. We need to avoid flushing and flare-ups wherever possible. Controlling rosacea is all about avoiding external triggers such as UV light as well as avoiding internal triggers ie. certain ingredients, foods and drinks. When we become aware of what causes flushing we can actively avoid it. The tricky part is that this differs for everyone. Your face flushes as a result of the small blood vessels dilating beneath the skin. This is what causes the signature redness associated with rosacea and in time can become visible broken veins.

So what foods should we be avoiding? The golden question. As mentioned, this differs for everyone. But there are some more common, widely noted foods known to trigger rosacea in many. Some people might only have a reaction to one or two foods while others react to a whole range. The trick is to keep a food diary.

Common rosacea trigger foods

There are certain foods which tend to come up time and time again as an issue for those with rosacea. Have a read through the list, you might recognise some of them. They’re also good ones to keep in mind and monitor in the days following eating any of them. The list was compiled from patient histories of rosacea sufferers by Dr. Jonathan Wilkin and produced by the National Rosacea Society in America. It’s a list of the most common food triggers which can bring on an episode of flushing.
  • Liver

  • Yoghurt (exception: Greek yoghurt)

  • Sour cream

  • Cheese (exception: cottage cheese)

  • Chocolate

  • Vanilla

  • Soy sauce

  • Yeast extract (exception: bread is OK)

  • Vinegar

  • Eggplant

  • Avocados

  • Spinach

  • Broad-leaf beans and pods including lima, navy or pea

  • Citrus fruits, tomatoes, bananas, red plums, raisins or figs

  • Spicy foods 

  • Thermally hot foods

  • Foods high in histamine

Other foods to avoid with rosacea:

  • Sugary foods

  • Starchy carbs

  • Greasy or fried foods (aka junk food)

It’s not only foods that can cause issues either. No, no. Drinks can be the culprit too.

Drinks to be cautious of when you are a rosacea sufferer:

  • Alcohol. Especially red wine, beer, bourbon, gin, vodka or champagne

  • Hot drinks such as hot chocolate, coffee or tea

  • Fizzy drinks

  • Sugary juices

Rosacea friendly diets

Let’s get it clear from the start - we’re not suggesting that you take on any extreme or fad diets here with the aim of losing weight. “Diet” culture is toxic and should be a thing of the past. Fad diets don’t do anyone any good in the long run and cause way more harm than good. Fad dieting culture has been a source of pain and is to blame for the eating disorders that soared a few years ago. But did you know that there are a couple of diets out there that are especially good for rosacea? Healthy ones! Think about looking into the Alkaline Diet or the Paleo Diet and maybe giving it a go for a couple of weeks. 

Alkaline diet for rosacea

This diet aims to find the ideal balance between acidifying and alkalizing foods. It greatly reduces the acid load which helps to reduce the strain on the body’s acid detox systems e.g. the kidneys. The alkaline diet is typical in Mediterranean countries and coincidentally there appears to be less cases of rosacea there.

Examples of alkaline foods: 

Almonds, apples, bananas, beets, berries, broccoli, cantaloupe, cauliflower, celery, chestnuts, cinnamon, cucumber, curry, kale, lettuce, onions, peas, peppers, spinach, grapes, melon, lemon, peach, pear, watermelon, tofu, sea salt. 

You might notice some contradictions here. Curry, peppers and lemons for example are potentially triggering foods. But they still do fall under the category of alkaline foods. If you’re trying the alkaline diet, adjust it to exclude your personal triggers. 

I made a video a couple of years back of an alkalising drink that you can make from standard ingredients in your fridge. Click the link if you want to check it out.

Paleo Diet 

This is probably the healthiest way you can possibly eat but it’s a tough diet to follow. It is called the ‘paleo’ diet because it’s how palaeolithic humans ate before there were ever processed foods, refined sugars etc. It consists mainly of fruit, veggies, nuts, roots, and meat. It steers clear of dairy, grains, sugar, legumes, salt, coffee, alcohol and processed oils. 

Cooling foods

In ancient times, traditional Chinese medicine used specific foods to balance the body’s ‘yin’ (cold) and ‘yang’ (hot). Cooling foods are known for healing the body of excess heat and toxins. These foods are suitable for a range of conditions such as excess perspiration, constipation, red eyes, red face, headaches, heartburn, inflammation, rosacea and more. There is a long list of cooling foods which can be found here including the likes of celery, cucumber, apple, lemon and watermelon. 

Please remember that we at Finca Skin Organics are not doctors or medical practitioners, just fellow rosacea sufferers. I, Finola, have had rosacea for years and dedicate a lot of my time into research around every element of the condition. We always advise first seeking your doctor’s advice for proper diagnosis and prescribed medication if applicable.

All Finca Skin Organics products are made using a minimal, plant-based ingredients list and formulated by me, a rosacea sufferer.

The Finca Skin Organics range has undergone a Harley Street clinical study. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin significantly improved. 

View the entire range of Finca products here or find out what subtype your skin is.

When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone. It’s always best to talk to your dermatologist first and work out your treatment plan together.

If you have any queries regarding your rosacea or how to use our products get in contact with us, we'd love to hear from you.

With love from Ireland, 

*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use.

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