If you’ve found yourself here, you might have a feeling you’ve got rosacea. I’ve been there. Realising I’m blushing and red a bit more than the average person, wondering what on earth is going on. I first discovered I had rosacea back in my early twenties. People will tell you that it only affects those in their middle ages but it’s not always the case. Back then, it took a lot of books and research for me to get to the bottom of it.
My confidence was badly affected at the time. After speaking with my doctor, I was officially diagnosed with rosacea. I spent years trying every cream and serum I could get my hands on (and it was not a cheap process). I was getting desperate and my expectations were low. All I wanted was something that worked but I found it hard to navigate through long lists of ingredients which sounded super scientific. Long story short, I gave up and made my own products and that’s how Finca Skin Organics came about!
What is rosacea?So what exactly is rosacea? I won’t go into too much detail here as we have a separate blog covering the nitty-gritty of what rosacea is. But in short, it is a common condition that affects the skin by causing redness, visible blood vessels, and/or small acne-like bumps. It mainly affects the face, particularly the cheeks and nose and can come and go in terms of severity. It affects around 1/10 people and can be known as the curse of the celts.
What is subtype 1 rosacea?The official name is erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (ETR for short). It’s a mouthful, so it's better known as subtype 1 or type 1 rosacea. This is the form of rosacea people tend to picture when they think of the condition. Subtype 1 rosacea has overall redness, sometimes known as diffuse redness. You might also notice small red veins visible on the surface of the skin. You can find this “diffuse” redness on the nose, cheeks, forehead, and chin. If you want to dive deeper into it, learn about the signs, symptoms and causes of subtype 1 ETR rosacea here.
Rosacea treatments for subtype 1
There are measures you can take yourself to reduce your redness to some extent. For starters, redness can be reduced by losing weight (this only applies if you are actually overweight). Carrying too much excess weight isn’t particularly helpful for your rosacea. Another thing you can do is maintain a good (rosacea friendly) diet. This looks like plenty of green veg and alkalising foods, while keeping away from food and drinks high in histamines. Getting a humidifier is also a good one for keeping the redness at bay. You can find these online easily, but putting a bowl of water on the radiator will also do the trick.
Rosacea friendly foodsFood can be both a trigger and remedy for rosacea, depending on what you eat. Understanding what foods can actually help your rosacea is a great thing to know. I mentioned above that green veg is part of a good rosacea diet. Leafy greens in particular like kale, asparagus and lentils are really beneficial. Studies have shown that healthy fats might help manage rosacea symptoms. Some examples of healthy fats:
- Omega 3 high fish like salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel
- Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds and even peanut butter
- Olive oil
Prebiotics are foods which are high in certain fibres known to support digestive health. Good digestion is positive for your overall gut health, an important thing for rosacea. There’s a whole list of foods which are considered prebiotics including bananas, garlic, leek and onions.
It’s good to bear in mind that this is a high-level guide and not bible for everyone. What can help some sufferers, can actually be triggers for others.
When it comes to treating subtype 1 rosacea, you’re usually prescribed a topical drug rather than an oral antibiotic. This comes in the form of a cream or gel. Brimonidine (Mirvaso) and oxymetazoline (Rhofade) 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. You need to be applying these medications on a regular basis to maintain the improvements. They are good options for a big event or a night out for example. They’re not a long term solution as in general we don’t want these chemicals on our faces for prolonged periods of time.
Before undergoing any type of laser treatment, the skin needs to be as prepared as possible. In other words - well moisturised. Be careful of skincare with harsh ingredients. After treatments, only use high SPF moisturisers/sunblock. This is really important. There is no point spending hundreds of euros and then wasting it, by letting UV lights undo all the good work.
Laser therapy can be an option to treat your rosacea if you have visible blood vessels (spider veins) or thickened skin. This treatment can reduce and sometimes totally get rid of the spider veins. In addition to that, it can also reduce redness. It is recommended mostly though for the treatment of spider veins with the redness reduction being an added benefit. It’s probably not worth getting laser for redness reduction alone, as it will usually only reduce it by around 20%. When used to treat the visible blood vessels you can expect around a 50-75% reduction in their visibility. For thickening skin, a technique called laser resurfacing can be applied.
To treat blood vessels/spider veins the results usually last 3-5 years. The same veins don’t reappear, but new ones can show themselves by that point. Unfortunately, insurance rarely covers laser therapy as it’s seen as a cosmetic procedure.
Preventative SkincareMaintaining a solid skincare routine is one of the best things you can do when dealing with type 1 rosacea. While normal skin types can get by with skipping on their routine here and there, you really should be quite disciplined if you want to avoid flare ups. My advice would be to follow a routine like this:
- Wash your face with a gentle, mild cleanser for sensitive skin
- Use a calming serum after you wash in the morning and again at night
- Use a hydrating moisturiser to lock in the goodness from your serum
- Apply SPF every single day
- If you want to, use an anti-redness primer. A green tint usually balances out the appearance of redness.
- Check the labels of everything you put on your skin. A good rule of thumb: the less ingredients, the better.
I would advise you to do some research into the ingredients you decide to use on your face. It can take a bit of time for sure, but you want to have a good understanding of what everything on the ingredients list means.
At Finca Skin Organics, I have created a range of clinically proven, all-natural, skincare products that contain minimal, plant-based ingredients. Formulated by myself, a rosacea sufferer for those with very sensitive skin.
By avoiding the use of harmful chemicals and additives, the Finca products are designed to cleanse, protect and soothe while reducing the appearance of redness without creating further irritation. After using our products, 87% felt the appearance of their skin improved significantly*.
When in doubt, always refer to your doctor or dermatologist as the condition differs for everyone.
With love from Ireland,
*Clinical evaluation by Harley St. dermatologists on 23 subjects after 8 weeks of use.