At best, a rosacea flare-up can leave you looking sunburnt, or like you went a little bit too hard in your hot yoga class. At worst, it can leave you with rough, swollen skin, and a strong desire to lock yourself in the bathroom and stay there.
Unfortunately, it’s not really known exactly what causes it, nor is there a hard and fast cure for rosacea—Shoshana Eisner, a pharmacist and sensitive skin expert who created QED Skincare specifically for people with sensitive skin conditions like rosacea, told us that, “Rosacea is a very common skin condition, and often the stress of redness, flaky skin and itchiness itself makes the rosacea worse. Finding products that are super-gentle on the skin and offer maximum hydration is so very important to manage these sensitivities.”
If you’re struggling with the condition, whether it’s a new development or a condition you’ve been dealing with for yonks, here are some tips on how to treat rosacea.
Moisturise Well And Often
According to Eisner, the secret to preventing rosacea flare-ups and speeding up their healing is maximising hydration inside and out. Finding the right moisturiser is crucial—you want something that won’t aggravate your sensitive skin but will provide deep hydration, like QED's Deep Hydration Face Cream ($46), or Dermalogica's Intensive Moisture Balance ($71). Don’t just moisturise once a day and leave it at that—double up and even carry a moisturiser with you, along with water to hydrate from the inside out.
Use The Right Water Temp
Goldilocks was really onto something—like her, you should avoid washing your face with steaming hot or ice-cold water, and instead adjust it to something just right. Eisner even suggests using cleansing products that don’t need water at all, as it can be stripping—try QED's no-rinse cleanser ($48) instead, or use a micellar cleansing water like this Clarins number ($46) for sensitive skin.
Whatever products you’re using, do it with a delicate touch. Use soft cloths like a Face Halo ($30) to gently remove makeup, and apply all those moisturisers with a gentle hand. Vigorous scrubbing isn’t going to do you any favours, so quit trying to rub off the rosacea with sheer willpower and be gentle on your cheeks.
Find Your Triggers
It’s not just about how to treat rosacea: stopping it before it begins is just as important. Esner lists stress, chilli, dairy, alcohol, sun exposure, dramatic temperatures and even irritating cosmetic and laundry ingredients as common triggers for rosacea, so keeping a food/skin diary might help narrow it down. Keep an eye on particular ingredients in your makeup and skincare in case you start noticing a correlation and, as always, wear a hat and sunscreen every day.
If you are suddenly dealing with a severe flare-up, don’t panic. An ice pack in a cloth placed on the affected area can help to calm and soothe, and some people swear by using ice wands, like this facial massager by Aceology ($64) on the daily.
Chat To Your Doctor
When all else fails, it may be time to book a doctor’s appointment. For severe cases of rosacea, treatment may include antibiotic creams and other prescription skincare products.
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Image credit: Ksenia Varapaeva
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