How to manage your rosacea
As rosacea doesn’t have a cure, it’s something we have to live with and manage the best we can. It sounds scary but treatments, skincare and management techniques are so evolved these days.
This means that although it’s a nuisance, we can still enjoy life and live relatively pain free, while keeping the appearance of symptoms to a minimum. I’ve said this in so many of our blogs before but I’ll say it again - you’re absolutely not alone in this. 1 in 10 Americans are said to have rosacea and it affects a lot of people of northern European descent.
I have spent endless time and money figuring out the best ways to manage rosacea myself, so I have put together this guide to help you deal with your rosacea.
Should you wear makeup if you have rosacea?
Coming to a point of acceptance can take some time. But you’ll get there and it’s all part of the journey. Having said that, although we come to accept our rosacea and maybe even embrace it, there are times we do want to cover it up, and that’s ok too.
We do our best to control our flare-ups but sometimes it’s out of our control when factors like weather or stress come into play. So I’ve put together some tips and tricks for those days when you want to keep the appearance of redness or pimples and pustules, at bay.
You can take a number of medical or skincare measures to prevent rosacea. Sometimes, despite your best effort, a flare-up can sneak up on you. During those times, make-up can help you boost your confidence and improve your appearance.
Start off the day with good skincare
Before even thinking about the make-up itself, kick off the process with a gentle cleanser and moisturiser. Be very gentle with your skin. Face cloths can be harsh on the skin and your fingers can sometimes carry unwanted oils and bacteria. So it might seem obvious, but wash your hands first before touching your face.
My rosacea is mainly subtype 1. In my own routine, I tie back my hair and wash my hands with a mild soap (unscented). I then splash lukewarm water on my face. Then, I shake my Finca Skin Organics Calming Serum 1 and apply a couple of drops to my wet face. I let it sit for a few seconds before applying my Moisturising Balm. Then, of course, I apply my SPF; I use Finca Skin Organics Tinted Sunscreen.
Subtype 2 rosacea is a bit different. Don't forget that it's an underlying oily skin condition. So a splash of water isn't going to cut it. Use a cleanser formulated for normal to oily skin. Generally, you apply the cleanser with your fingers in a circular motion and then wash it off with warm water. Pat dry with a cloth. Don't rub, always be gentle. Treat your skin like silk.
Look closely at ingredients listsWhen it comes to skincare and make-up, the rule of thumb is the less ingredients, the better. This is due to the fact that the less ingredients there are, the easier it will be to figure out what is causing you irritation if you notice it’s not suiting your skin. Plant based and organic ingredients are generally best, but of course anyone can have an allergy to a particular ingredient, including natural ingredients. As a rule, don't use essential oils in your skincare. Skincare for rosacea should be as mild as possible.
Don’t skip the SPF
This is one that doesn’t just apply to this list, but should be something you’re doing anyway. Make sure to apply SPF underneath your makeup after completing your skincare routine. This will help avoid adding any more redness to your skin in case of sunburn. Better yet, use a tinted SPF to further reduce redness before applying makeup. We've got you covered if you're looking for a good one that has both a physical sunscreen and a tint, plus minimal ingredients, check out our Finca Skin Organics Tinted SPF 30+.
It comes in two shades for most skin tones. For men, why not try a tinted sunscreen? It will help to reduce any redness. It just takes some practice!
Always patch testMake sure to test new products on an area which isn’t your face (think your neck, arm or elbow). This will ensure that your skin doesn’t react to it, and if it does it won’t be visible on the test area. If any irritation or sensitivity occurs, give it a miss.
Go for greens
No, we’re not advising you to eat your veggies for breakfast here. Although eating your greens is always good advice. What we mean by this is that green is a great color to neutralise red tones. So opting for a concealer and/or primer with a green tinted base is a good way to go.
An added bonus of going for a green tinted primer is that it will also make your makeup last longer. It’s a win-win. If you don’t already have one, take a look at our Finca Skin Organics Anti-Redness Primer. It has a short, plant-based ingredients list too with no essential oils or perfumes.
For men, a green tinted concealer or primer can be a Godsend. The green tones down any redness. It's something that you can do for yourself and it will really help your confidence.
Application techniques matter
As we already covered in the first tip, a disinfected makeup brush is the best way to go when applying your foundation and concealer. You can buy antibacterial brushes or disinfect them yourself.
Regardless, always try to clean your makeup brushes between use. Sponges can be harsh and fingers can spread oil and bacteria. Keep your touch light and don’t rub too hard. Bumps, redness and spider veins can be hidden by dabbing and blending concealer over the affected area. Putting foundation on top will further even out the skin tone. But if you want a more natural look, then the Finca Skin Organics Tinted Primer will even out any redness and give you a natural look at the same time.
Less is more
When it comes to your eyeshadow and lipstick, opting for more neutral tones rather than bold, bright colors is the way to go. Stick to lipsticks that are close in shade to your actual lip color or go for nudes. Bright reds can draw attention to the redness in the skin.
When it comes to eye makeup both shadows and pencils, less pigmented colors can be less irritating. So again, neutral colors can work better. When it comes to blush, go easy on it or skip it altogether. As you likely already have a reddish undertone, blush can highlight this more than you want.
Be careful with your eyes
The skin around the eyes is the most sensitive for everyone. If you suffer with rosacea (particularly ocular rosacea) you need to be extra careful. Choose products designed for sensitive eyes and ophthalmology tested.
Top Tip: Don’t go for waterproof products (like mascaras and eyeliners) as these can be difficult to wash off. Mineral eye shadows are usually a safe bet for sensitive eyes related to rosacea. Mineral formulations in general (powders, foundations etc) are usually quite kind to sensitive skin, and cause less irritation. But it's trial and error.
For subtype 1 rosacea, mineral formulas can sometimes be drying so I would always see if you can get a sample before spending your cash. We have been through enough wasting of hard earned money on our rosacea journey.
Combatting flare-ups: subtype 1
I’m a believer in the saying “prevention is better than cure”. What I mean by this is that there are measures you can take to try and keep your skin looking its best before going for last minute solutions. Have a look at our overview on rosacea treatment for subtype 1 for long term treatment advice. There you’ll find our take on prevention, rosacea friendly foods, medications, laser and skincare. But even with the best skincare routine and diet etc, you can’t always prevent a flare-up. This is the nature of rosacea.
If you’re really looking for a quick fix before a certain event, there are some prescription drugs that you could ask your doctor about. They reduce flushing by constricting blood vessels. These are what I would consider quick fixes - meaning you can see results in as little as 12 hours but the effects are temporary. They are good options for a big event or a night out for example. Rosacea forums relate instances of whats called rebound flushing. So apply only as prescribed by your doctor and the leaflet given out with the medication.
Combatting flare-ups: subtype 2
The best way to avoid your subtype 2 rosacea from flaring up is knowing your own triggers and avoiding them when possible. Of course, you can’t avoid these things all the time. We’re only human! Figuring out what triggers you can be done by keeping a rosacea diary. This means monitoring your foods and activities and making links when you experience flare-ups.
The avoidance of certain environmental, food and skincare triggers is the first thing to think about to avoid those pimples and pustules popping up at inconvenient times. Depending on the severity/grade of type 2 rosacea you’re suffering from, there are different recommendations for treatments. No matter which grade relates to you, topical therapies are a common option to reduce symptoms.
Topical therapies might include:
- Azelaic acid (gel or cream) over the counter strength or prescription strength.
- Antibiotic gel or cream, prescription only
- Anti-mite creams for targeting demodex mites associated with subtype 2 rosacea.
The entire Finca Skin Organics range has been specifically formulated for sensitive skin including rosacea. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin improved significantly after using our products and 100% said their skin felt more comfortable*. We only use minimal, plant-based ingredients to avoid any further irritation to your skin.
View the range of Finca skin organics products here or find out what rosacea subtype your skin is.
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.