If you’ve found yourself here, chances are you’ve probably already got a decent understanding of what rosacea is. To give a quick refresher in case you are newly diagnosed or looking on behalf of someone else: rosacea is a common condition that affects the skin by causing redness and visible blood vessels (rosacea subtype 1) and/or small acne-like bumps (rosacea subtype 2). It mainly affects the face (particularly the cheeks and nose) and can come and go.
Rosacea is said to affect 1 in 10 Americans and it was estimated that 415 million people worldwide suffer from it. A long-term condition that can affect anyone, it’s more prevalent in women but tends to be more severe in men. Fair-skinned people are more likely to have rosacea and it’s most common in those over 30. It’s quite prevalent in Ireland, the UK, the US and the Nordics. As it stands there’s no known cure, but thankfully there are effective ways to manage the symptoms.
This is the inspiration for today’s blog. As there is no cure for rosacea (only treatment and management) it’s good to have some general guidelines to follow. We’ve put together a list of five of the top tips that you should be living by on a daily basis!
Make sure you’re cleansing regularly for subtype 2 rosacea and very gently for subtype 1 rosacea
Washing your face when you have rosacea can be a mission within itself. Knowing which cleanser to use, the proper way you should be doing it along with the fear of worsening painful skin can be off putting. According to dermatologist Mark Dahl, generally people with rosacea prone skin aren’t cleansing enough. We get this. Your skin is already hot and irritated and you don’t want to add more fuel to the fire.
Well, if you’re rosacea subtype 2 avoiding cleaning from time to time you’re not doing your skin any favors. Cleansing the face twice a day (morning and night) is a must. It helps to remove oil, dirt and any unwanted irritants that will cause more harm in the long term.
The type of cleanser you use can affect your rosacea, so be cautious. Always avoid harsh cleansers and astringents as they will have a negative effect. It’s also good to avoid cleansers which are supposedly good for acne (even if you have type 2). Ingredients that are good for treating acne can worsen your rosacea, such as retinoids and salicylic acid. Instead opt for something mild and rosacea friendly.
When it comes to the best way to cleanse, apply the cleanser gently with finger tips in circular movements. Rinse using lukewarm water and make sure you thoroughly remove the cleanser. The last step is to pat your face dry with a clean cotton towel. Always remember - scrubbing has no place in a rosacea skin care routine!
This might seem like an obvious one but is surely worth a mention. Moisturizers create a barrier between skin and irritants and can help to keep your symptoms at bay. Whether you have dry rosacea (subtype 1) or oily rosacea (subtype 2), moisturizing is still a key part of any skincare routine. It helps to hydrate by trapping water in the skin which in turn minimizes irritation and makes the skin feel comfortable. A good moisturizer will also maximize the results from your treatments.
You want to make sure that you’re picking a rosacea friendly product here. Choosing the wrong moisturizer can do you more harm than good. Take a look at one of our previous posts which highlight some of the worst ingredients for rosacea. Opt for something that’s oil free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic. And as always the rule of thumb is the less ingredients the better. If you haven’t found something that works for you yet, take a look at our Moisturizing Balm which was made by me (a rosacea sufferer), for rosacea sufferers.
Know your triggers - and avoid them
There are many factors that contribute to rosacea flare-ups. Simple things like what we eat, temperature, exercise, skincare routine, and stress all play a part. These factors are called triggers and once you know your personal triggers you’re one step closer to controlling your rosacea.
Triggers are a personal thing. What causes one person’s rosacea to flare up can be perfectly fine for another. It’s all about knowing what’s best for you. The early days of a diagnosis are the hardest. You need to spend time learning what is going to cause havoc on your skin, and at times it feels unfair.
Most common triggers:
Certain foods. Common ones are spicy food, sugar, alcohol and citrus fruits. There are actually a lot of foods which can impact rosacea which you can read more about here.
The best way to learn what triggers you specifically is by keeping a rosacea diary. Here, you can track your daily activities, the weather and what you’ve eaten to start making connections when flare-ups happen. This needs to be a continuous effort as the more you do it, the more accurately you’ll be able to pin down the culprits.
Use SPF daily
It’s no secret that now we’re in the height of summer, covering up with a high factor SPF is a wise move. It’s pretty much essential to slather on the SPF every day. But when the leaves have fallen and the summer wardrobe is packed away, you might be tempted to also pack away the sunscreen. Here’s a tip which might be obvious to some: never ever pack the SPF away. There’s a misconception that sunscreen is only necessary when it’s warm out. This might just be the biggest myth of skin care there ever was.
Skincare experts recommend wearing sunscreen on exposed areas every day you plan on spending any time outdoors, especially if you have rosacea or facial redness. Wearing an SPF of at least factor 30+ sun, rain or snow is one of the best things you can do for your skin.
When it’s a hot day and you plan on being outside by the pool or at the beach, use at least an ounce of SPF on your body. This is around a shot glass full. Put it on half an hour before going outside and reapply every 2 hours. In the height of summer, try to limit your sun time between 10am - 4pm when the rays are the strongest.
We’re so passionate about this topic, we’ve dedicated a whole blog to it. If you’re interested in reading into the best sunscreens for rosacea (chemical vs physical, ingredients, the importance of broad spectrum etc.) then click here.
For these reasons, we have formulated our own tinted SPF 30 sunscreen which is physical, it sits on top of the skin, unlike chemical sunscreen which penetrate the skin and may cause irritation to sensitive faces.
Know your subtype
When you’re first diagnosed with rosacea, often you’ll be told it’s exactly that - rosacea. Nothing more nothing less. If you’ve got your diagnosis from a doctor opposed to a dermatologist they might not get down into the nitty gritty. Many doctors just put rosacea (and the treatment of) into one bucket which can be misleading.
Rosacea is well known to vary from person to person. No two people are the same. The symptoms and triggers of someone else with rosacea can be totally different to your own. This doesn’t make things easy when you’re trying to get a diagnosis. Well, try not to worry too much. Thanks to the decades of research undertaken by dermatologists and experts, rosacea has now been broken down into four main subtypes.
Knowing which one you’re dealing with is really important so that you can treat it properly. There is no one size fits all, as with the different subtypes there are different symptoms and different skin types. If you’re in the early days of your rosacea journey and are unsure which category you fall within, have a look at our blog explaining the symptoms and characteristics of each.
Choose rosacea friendly skin care products
There are thousands of brands out there trying to sell you products. The skincare industry in 2022 is worth a whopping estimated 163.5 billion US dollars. In this sea of products it’s difficult to know exactly what’s safe, effective and kind to rosacea prone skin.
You hear a lot about people simplifying their skincare routine, which is a good thing. Trimming the unnecessary products from your daily routine can be freeing. Going back to basics when it comes to your rosacea skincare routine is a safe bet. As long as you have a good cleanser, serum, moisturizer, toner (skip this step if you're not sure if the ingredients are ok in your toner- just use warm water), serum and SPF you’re good to go. You don’t need much more than that, other than your makeup (which of course you don’t need).
While it’s good to simplify your products list, an even better move is to simplify your ingredients list. Using the minimum amount of ingredients in each product you use is equally important. The rule of thumb is: the less ingredients, the better. This applies to both dry rosacea (subtype 1) and oily rosacea (subtype 2) skin sensitivities. If you want to dive deeper into some good ingredients to keep an eye out for, have a look at our recent blog post to get the low down.
This is really why we created the finca skin organics range in the first place. All of our products have one thing in common. They’re all 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.
So there you go, our top tips for dealing with rosacea whatever your subtype. Some of them might seem fairly obvious but we (or at least I) forget the basics sometimes. These are the bare essentials of what you should do, alongside your medication and treatment plan. Take steps in controlling your rosacea instead of it controlling you! If you have any other good tips which work for you, feel free to share them with us via email. Good luck!
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.