This is Part 3 of my 5 Part Rosacea Blog Series. In this article, I give you my supportive Rosacea Skin Care Tips to create a supportive skin care routine that helps minimize rosacea flare-ups and maintain remissions. It has worked for many thousands of my dermatology patients.
- In part 1 of the series I provided an overview of rosacea.
- In part 2 I described the symptoms of rosacea in detail.
- In the final articles of this series I discuss my dermatologic approach to rosacea treatment, including skin care, medicines, lifestyle recommendations and procedures.
All of the information comes from my dermatology practice. I’ve helped a lot of people with their rosacea over the years and I’ve learned a lot in the process about this very temperamental skin condition. I also have mild rosacea myself. This gives me the added ‘opportunity’ to understand the frustrations of this common skin condition from the inside out.
Before discussing skin care it’s important to know that, complexions with rosacea are usually very sensitive.
To find the right products for your rosacea prone skin you first need to understand that when you have rosacea your facial skin is is sensitive. That is because your skin barrier is not as strong as normal and things penetrate your skin more easily. As a result, your rosacea may be easily provoked by anything that irritates your facial skin.
- Most acne products, anti aging products and alcohol containing products are irritating.
- Some botanical products, such as those with tea tree oil or rosemary may also irritate sensitive rosacea skin.
Having rosacea doesn’t mean you can’t ever use these types of products, it just means that you have to ‘sneak up’ on your skin with them; only using them when your rosacea is controlled and your skin barrier is pretty well healed. Also, you want to select lower strengths and begin with less frequent applications or potentially irritating products. The minute your rosacea starts to flare-up you have to stop using anything even slightly irritating and go back to gentle, rosacea-healing skin care until your skin calms down again.
Whether your rosacea is active or in remission, your skin is still sensitive and needs carefully selected skin care to prevent rosacea flare-ups. Some skin care products can actually help control rosacea. A lot of other products aggravate and trigger it. Knowing what to use on your skin and what to avoid will give you some measure of control over this common and frustrating skin problem.
What are my Top Specific Skin Care Tips for Rosacea-prone Complexions?
The basic steps for any complete skin care regimen are: cleanse, correct hydrate and protect. For each of these steps I’ll explain what I’ve found to be the best type of skin care products for acne rosacea. I’ll also tell you what types of products to avoid.
The Best Skin Cleansers for Acne Rosacea
The obvious goal when you cleanse your skin is to remove excess oil, dirt, previously applied products and debris. It’s also an opportunity to deliver medicine to help control and treat your acne rosacea. What many people don’t realize is that skin cleansing is also potentially risky for rosacea because many skin cleansers contain harsh ingredients that are irritating for rosacea prone skin.
You need to be very particular about your cleanser if you have rosacea. The most effective and the safest cleanser I’ve found for rosacea is Calming Zinc Soap. The 2% pyrithione zinc in this product helps to control pityrosporum yeast germs and possible also demodex mites, both of which may be increased in number in the pores of people with rosacea. For the rare person allergic to pyrithione zinc, I recommend a non-foaming glycerin cleansing product such as Whole Foods 365 brand glycerin bar soap, Toleriane Cleanser or Neutrogena Extra Gentle Cleanser.
Almost all people with rosacea prone skin need to avoid potentially irritating ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and glycolic acid. Only if you have the most extremely oily skin should you use foaming cleansing products with the harsh sodium laurel sulfate type of ingredients. Lastly, I don’t recommend that you use facial cleansing wipes because they leave a chemical residue on your skin; I prefer rinsing cleansers off the skin with water to minimize oil-removing chemical residue, and to better prepare your skin for your next important skin care step.
What is my top skin care ‘treatment’ routine to help ‘correct’ the skin problems of acne rosacea?
I always recommend that you apply your most important therapeutic (correcting) products immediately after washing and before applying any products with a thicker consistency like moisturizers. I’ve found that for rosacea control, calming products are a key therapeutic skin care step. The most effective contain high concentration pharmaceutical grade green tea antioxidants. In my opinion, the best of the best green tea products is Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy which also contain the important ingredients caffeine and hyaluronic acid.
I consider these three ingredients natural remedies for the treatment of rosacea. In fact, this cream is so soothing that I advise my patients to apply it first, and to apply any prescription topical medicine for treating their rosacea on top of their Green Tea Cream. The Green Tea Cream helps to soothe facial inflammation from seborrheic dermatitis and sun damage, and many people with rosacea also have these two skin problems as well. I’ve never found a skin care product that was even remotely as effective as Green Tea Antioxidant Skin Therapy so it is the cornerstone of my rosacea skin care regimen. I consider it therapeutic.
The combination of Calming Zinc and Green Tea Antioxidant Therapy can be found in my Redness Relief Kit.
Why it is so important to pick the right face cream to moisturize your rosacea-prone skin?
Providing the correct level of hydration for your rosacea prone skin is important for preventing rosacea flare-ups. Unlike regular acne (acne vulgaris), acne rosacea is not worsened if you apply oil containing moisturizers to your skin. In fact, it’s important that you pick the right moisturizing product for your skin based on your moisturizing needs because properly hydrated skin is less prone to rosacea flare-ups.
If your skin is excessively oily chose an oil free product such as Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Oily to Normal Skin, and apply it where you skin runs dry such as along your jaw bone.
If your skin is dry, chose a more richly hydrating product, perhaps one with an oil ingredient that has an elegant and light feeling. The top choice in my dermatology practice is the Daily Moisturizing Face Cream for Dry to Normal Skin.
Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream, Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion or any other oil containing moisturizer that you like. An entirely natural product option is my Natural Face and Body Lotion.
As I’ve mentioned before in my general skin care advice, your moisturizer should ‘dial in’ the moisture your skin needs; properly hydrated skin is less prone to irritation, and thus rosacea. But moisturizers provide no ‘magic’ beyond hydration, regardless of product claims. I recommend that you apply your moisturizer after your treatment products and before you sunscreen. Make-up, if you use it, goes on top of your other skin care products and as the last thing that you apply to your skin.
What are the best sunscreen to protect rosacea-prone complexions?
Sunscreen application is a critical skin care step for anti-aging skin care and healthy skin. Plus, some people find that sunlight triggers their rosacea to flare. Sunscreen products, however, are tricky because I’ve found that many ‘chemical’ sunscreen ingredients irritate rosacea, causing flair ups.
I recommend that my rosacea patients use sunscreens made primarily with mineral zinc oxide as the active sunscreen ingredient. This is because the mineral products seem less likely to aggravate their skin. In my opinion, the mineral sunscreens also provide the best, most broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection for wrinkle, sun spot and skin cancer prevention.
All of the sunscreens that I sell have worked well for my rosacea patients. (Click here to view them). Apply your mineral sunscreen after the therapeutic and moisturizing products because the sunscreen ingredients are designed to sit on top of your skin bouncing off the sun’s rays.
In my practice, the top sunscreens loved by my patients with rosacea are:
Know that many sunscreen products are capable of acting like a moisturizer, whether the product label mentions it or not. If your skin doesn’t feel dry after the Green Tea Cream then you may find that your sunscreen product provides all the additional moisturizing hydration that you need and you can skip the moisturizing step mentioned above.
Make up, if you use it, is applied on top.
To Summarize my Rosacea Skin Care Tips:
- I recommend only nonirritating skin care products.
- 2% pyrithione zinc and Green Tea Antoixidant Cream with high concentration, stable, pharmaceutical, pure green tea antioxidants plus caffeine and hyaluronic acid are key elements of my rosacea skin care regimen
- I have my patients apply medicated prescription products after their Green Tea Cream
- The right moisturizing face cream is used to ‘dial in’ proper hydration because dry skin predisposes to rosacea flare
- Mineral sunscreens for sun protection are best
Please know that I also constantly update my complete Rosacea Information on my Advice Pages where you can find everything all in one place. Click here for my Dermatologist’s Rosacea Advice Pages.
My 5 Article Series On Rosacea Skin Care Tips:
Rosacea Skin Care Tips From My Dermatology Practice (this article)
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