By Joanne McGregor- Skin Care Enthusiast
Rosacea can be a terribly frustrating skin condition. It is hot, sensitive, itchy; flare-ups can happen unpredictably and products that promise help often prove to be a part of the problem.
There is no cure for Rosacea so the goal is to keep the skin calm and soothed as much as possible. A professional facial treatment can be a great way to indulge in some relaxation and self-care to help with this goal and offers an opportunity to explore new products or services without spending a lot of money.
First things first, for severe or extremely reactive cases of Rosacea, it is best to consult with a Dermatologist before beginning any professional treatments. More severe Rosacea can often be mistaken for Acne and the approach to these 2 conditions are vastly different so it is ideal to have your skin assessed before exploring treatments. Secondly, understand your triggers: stress, heat, alcohol, certain foods (dairy, sugar) and avoid them as much as possible 1 – 3 days before your facial.
A Rosacea facial should focus on reducing redness and soothing inflammation. Avoid a treatment that offers exfoliation (scrubs or chemical peels and ingredients such as Retinol or Glycolic Acid) and look instead for anti-inflammatory ingredients like argan oil, green tea and resveratrol. A mineral-based SPF should finish (and be used daily!) to protect and cool the skin. (Chemical sunscreen can irritate rosacea prone skin).
If steam is used, ensure it is a cool steam because hot steam can worsen facial redness. Avoid essential oils that can irritate rosacea prone skin- especially peppermint, eucalyptus and rosemary. There is nothing wrong with some lavender essential oil diffusion therapy in the room- but not to your skin- to de-stress and relax.
If you are getting a treatment at a Medi-Spa or Cosmetic Dermatology clinic, a higher concentration application of Azelaic Acid might be an option available. This fantastic (and underused ingredient) helps diminish textural issues associated with Rosacea without the heat and agitation of traditional exfoliating ingredients. It can also help even skin tone and smooth skin.
At-home skin care routine steps should encourage and continue the theme of calm, soothed skin. Don’t do anything crazy, rough or drastic to your skin. If you start new skin care products- start one at a time. Be cautious of completely changing your current skincare routine all at once. Doing this can be jarring to your skin, especially if it is sensitive or out of balance (which is how a lot of Rosacea patients can describe their skin) and can create an intense reactive state. The strongest reactions to skincare products I have seen in Rosacea patients have been when 4-6 new products were introduced all at once and it was completely overwhelming. Getting home with beautiful new skincare products can be exciting - and who wouldn’t want to dive right in! – but it’s best to start slowly. Consider a full skin care routine personalized for your rosacea prone skin (cost savings are often built in) but start each product separately within a few days of each other. Begin products from least active to most active (this will depend on your products and your Aesthetician or Medical Provider will be able to help).
Overall, to maintain results from your rosacea facial, know that it is a process. There are fantastic and effective products on the market and the right steps are out there for you even if it takes a few tries to find them. Stay calm and be kind to your skin.