Here are ten top tips from a long term rosacea sufferer. All these tips are based on personal experience and there is no advertising or sponsorship benefit from any products mentioned.
- Know your subtype.
When you search for "rosacea" you need to be aware of your subtype before purchasing products. Essentially, there are 4 subtypes of rosacea of which the first three are more relevant for purchasing beauty products:
- Facial Redness - normally flushing, often responding to certain triggers like spicy foods and alchohol, etc.
- Bumps and Pimples - similar in look to, but different from, everyday acne.
- Enlargement or skin thickening on the nose
- Ocular rosacea - affecting the eyes.
You may have different symptoms which overlap, but defining your subtype early on, with the help of a dermatologist if necessary, will help you manage your condition and select the right products for you more effectively.
2. Don't panic buy online, and don't quit too soon!
It's easy to get sucked into the internet, full of promising products with glowing user reviews that speak of miraculous results. Take your time and do your research. Don't spend large amounts of money on a whim, only to throw a range of expensive products in the bin.
When you've settled on a rosacea skincare range, allow a reasonable time to see if it works for you. I once purchased a cleanser with licorice as a main ingredient which has anti-inflammatory properties. It didn't work straight away so I threw it in the cupboard. A few weeks later I ran out of other stuff so went back to it to use it up, and 2 weeks of this saw my face show a 50% improvement!
3. Fact check "super ingredients" in rosacea skincare.
Usually what happens is this. Some limited studies are published in an academic journal claiming an effect for one particular ingredient. For example, sea buckthorn is commonly added to rosacea cosmetics because it was found to be an anti-inflammatory. But just because your skincare range has a "super ingredient" doesn't mean it will work for you, especially if the product contains lots of other fillers or harsh ingredients.
4. Try Probiotics!
I've noticed with my own Type 1 Rosacea that taking a daily probiotic really seems to help, and this is consistent with studies that have shown a link between your intestinal gut flora and what's happening with your skin. Be patient though - allow a month or so for your body to adapt to taking a probiotic supplement.
5. Consider a juice fasting retreat or 5:2 juicing diet.
My own experience with a week long juice fast was a huge remission of my rosacea symptoms which lasted for some considerable time before slowly returning. If a fasting retreat is too much, consider a 5:2 diet where your fast days are fresh juices. It may be that giving your digestive processes a break helps your immune system and calms the inflammatory cycle.
6. Take Care of Yourself!
Yoga. T'ai Chi, Meditation, Counselling, Hygge. If you're suffering from rosacea, anything in your life which helps you feel less anxious and stressed, which connects you to something deep inside, will benefit you. Stop focussing in your face - focus on your life, and help put your face in perspective.
7. Avoid "micro brands".
If I could give fellow rosacea sufferers one piece of advice it would be this - avoid small, obsure brands of cosmetics that promise the world. You've been desperately googling rosacea solutions and find a small, badly packaged product made by a small outfit or individual which makes huge claims to be able to help, supported by lots of good reviews. Every single time I've gone down that route, what's turned up has been a badly blended series of random ingredients that hasn't helped at all.
8. If you can, pay to see a dermatologist (or book one via the NHS.)
A dermatologist can give you a proper diagnosis, and offer you pharmaceutical solutions if you want to go that route. £100 or so to see a dermatologist is a better investment than spending that amount online on an obscure skincare range. There are some promising products available this way, for example, Soolantra which targets the Demodex mites some research has found contribute to rosacea. Do your research though, and when offered any such product, check out other users' experiences and ask about side effects.
9. Find confidence in a cosmetic solution
I personally used Dermalex rosacea treatment for a while (available from chemists or online) which is a green tinted moisturiser that can make your face look less red. Don't be ashamed to find solutions that mask your symptoms to help you feel more confident and get on with your day.
10. It's not as bad as you think it is!
Sometimes, with rosacea, I have stood in front of the mirror in tears - when I could bear to look at the mirror, that is. Be aware that it's easy to believe that you have the worst facial condition in the world....but when you walk down the street, no one even notices it. I once forced myself to go to town for the day when I felt things were really bad, and at the end of the day, no one had seemed to notice my "horrible red face."
Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) happens when your anxiety about how you look is out of proportion to your actual symptoms. Check out the NHS guidance for BDD here. The best thing I did was go to a National Counselling Society counsellor for several sessions, which helped me see myself in a more positive light after having been down on myself with rosacea for a long time.