As someone who has always been prone to blushing, I never really identified rosacea as a problem for me until I moved to London, and since then I’ve been reading plenty of articles with steps to reducing rosacea. Rosacea, or facial flushing, is when your cheeks, nose or other parts of your face are constantly red – you may have raised, itchy bumps or pustules and broken capillaries, or you may just flush red with certain ‘triggers.’ Luckily, there are some steps to reducing rosacea that are easy to do at home, and they really do help.
1. Stay Cool
This is my number one way to reduce facial flushing. If I’m hot or stressed, my flare-ups get worse. If I open a window, put a fan on or remain calm, it’s much less noticeable. Out of all my steps to reducing rosacea, this is probably the one which has worked best for me, and it could help you too.
2. Know Your Triggers
Most people have ‘triggers’ which can cause flare-ups. For me, it’s cheese, pate, alcohol and mushrooms, although spicy food can sometimes be a pain too. I notice if I eat a lot of these things I’m unusually flushed, and sometimes it takes hours or even a day or two to go down. Alcohol constricts the capillaries in your face and can cause flushing even in those without rosacea, so I try to drink as little as possible. If you think something is a trigger, cut it out for a few days and watch to see how your skin reacts, then slowly reintroduce it. Sometimes, you can get away with eating small quantities of the food!
3. Use Vitamin E
Vitamin E oil is my savior. I only started using this a few months ago and the difference it has made to my skin is phenomenal! The one I use is blended with wheatgerm oil for a lighter finish, but you could use pure Vitamin E too. A drop or two blended lightly across your problem areas at night is ideal and could help reduce redness. It definitely makes your skin softer and smoother, so makeup is easier to apply, and it’s evened out my skin tone. I also haven’t had any irritation since I started using it, and it’s so cheap as a tiny bottle lasts ages!
4. Be Gentle to Your Skin
All those harsh scrubs and home facial peels are not for rosacea prone skin. You’ll irritate your face and could cause even more damage. If you need to exfoliate, many people find a home-made honey, sugar and olive oil scrub works well – I use Michelle Phan’s recipe, which you can find here: michellephan.com. It will leave your skin looking a little red, but used once a week before bed, you’ll wake up to flake-free skin. Try using gentle, soap-free cleansers or mild facial wash with no added nasty ingredients, and pat dry gently.
5. Support Your Skin from within
There are some foods which can strengthen your skin from within, and antioxidant rich foods are good for this. I love sweet potatoes, which always seem to banish my breakouts. I find if my skin is clearer, I treat it more gently, which in turn aggravates my rosacea less. Try spinach, broccoli, red, green, yellow and orange peppers and other brightly colored fruits and vegetables. A word of warning though – acidic fruits such as limes and lemons can make rosacea more noticeable in some people, whilst tomatoes are another known trigger, so tread carefully!
6. Cut out Processed Foods
Processed meats and pates might be tasty, but they could be triggering your rosacea. Many processed meats contain sodium nitrite, which I’ve found gives me headaches and also rosacea flare ups. Try to limit your intake of these foods or cut them out completely and see if you notice a difference in your skin.
7. Limit Your Makeup
Heavy foundation can hide rosacea and acne, but you know it’s not good for your skin. A light layer of foundation just blended in the areas where you need redness coverage, and a little concealer are your best bet. If you’re working to heal your skin in other ways, you should find you can wear less makeup most days, and you might even feel confident enough to go without altogether – lucky you!
Rosacea can be really embarrassing, making you feel like you don’t want to leave the house, and it can affect your self-confidence too! For anyone who’s suffering from rosacea, I hope these tips have helped even in a small way, and would love if anyone else could share their tips that have helped them to cope with managing flare-ups.