Do I Have Rosacea or Just Red Cheeks?

Redness makes a cameo in many hoomans’ skin story. It's completely natural, typically painless but some find it a little annoying – we get it. When redness crops up it can be hard to make heads or tails of the cause. After all, lots and lots of stimuli can trigger redness... Maybe the weather was a bit nippy, you’ve got a post-Pilates flush, or noticing the effects of going to town with an exfoliating acid.

For some this erythema (read: redness) just won’t disappear and that’s because of rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition. Rosacea is a super common skin disorder that affects 10% of hoomans – so, rest assured you’re never alone in any skin woes.

How can I tell if I have rosacea?

Facial redness is a shared symptom of hoomans with rosacea and those with a tendency to blush easily. The biggest difference is that rosacea sufferers will experience persistent redness across the cheeks and nose that’s spurred on by a trigger. Everyone’s skin is triggered by different stimuli but repeat offenders tend to be hot baths, alcohol, especially red wine, super spicy foods, and the weather (hot, cold, or windy).

Rosacea is most common in fair-skinned hoomans and unlike just having red cheeks, rosacea sufferers can have visible red, spidery veins (aka capillaries), bumps and pimples that manifest in the same area and don’t clear, skin thickening (typically around the nose), and dry, sore eyes with visible blood vessels.

These symptoms can range from mild to severe and are categorised under four types of rosacea: erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (redness and blood vessels), papulopustular rosacea (redness with bumps and pimples), phymatous rosacea (skin thickening) and ocular rosacea (which affects the eyes).

Your redness could signal sensitisation, not rosacea. That means your skin barrier has been weakened and become more permeable by a trigger – think along the lines of using too many active skincare ingredients at once or having a reaction from an allergen. A permeable skin barrier means precious moisture can escape (hello, dehydration!) and harmful irritants can enter and wreak havoc in the form of inflammation... Et voila, facial redness!

Many find that skin sensitisation manifests as red splotches with itchy, burning sensations. The key to reducing the redness is as simple as listening to your skin’s needs and paring back your skincare until the sensitisation passes.

More nerdiness: Why Your Skin Needs Fats

Skincare for rosacea

If you think you have rosacea, we’d always recommend that you book an appointment with your GP. You can share any symptoms you’re experiencing, and they’ll be able to advise on diagnosis and treatments.

Rosacea is chronic inflammation of the skin which means that it can’t necessarily be cured. The good news? You can absolutely take the edge off symptoms when following a soothing, protective skincare regimen and the advice of your doctor – as well as treatments if prescribed. Naturally, it’s smart to avoid known rosacea triggers but no harm done if you indulge in a cheeky veggie bhuna (no judgement here!).

Cleanse + balance

Cleansing in in the AM + PM is essential, but you don’t want to risk stripping your skin when you have rosacea. Skingredients PreProbiotic Cleanse is a creamy, lightweight cleansing lotion that’s super gentle on inflamed skin with the brawn to remove any SPF and makeup, including eye makeup.

PrePro, aka the purple one, contains oligosaccharide (a skin-soothing prebiotic) and lactobacillus (a probiotic) which work in harmony to nourish the microbiome, our skin’s ecosystem of bacteria. It also contains gluconolactone (a polyhydroxy acid) which gently exfoliates the skin to unstick dead skin cells. Polyhydroxy acids are humectants, which means they pull moisture from the air into the skin to hydrate and retain moisture.

Soothe + protect inflamed skin with botanical extracts

Skin inflammation equals redness which makes soothing ingredients with anti-inflammatory qualities a smart skincare choice. Skingredients Skin Veg is a hydrating hyaluronic acid pre-serum that’s like a super juice for your skin with fruit, veg and botanical extracts galore. Breaking it down, Skin Veg, aka the green one, contains liquorice root extract, green tea extract, and aloe vera extract to help calm inflamed, red skin.

Green tea extract is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant – so, basically a true rockstar ingredient when it comes to rosacea. To get all nerdie, green tea extract inhibits inflammatory cells (aka the cells that bring about redness and irritation) and getting rid of reactive oxygen species (aka radicals that harm healthy skin cells).

Liquorice might remind you of your granny, but when applied topically liquorice root extract is a healing hero that’ll reduce inflammation and soothe irritation. A study testing the efficacy of a liquorice root derivative on female individuals with rosacea found that it improved facial redness after 4 weeks. Liquorice root extract is also a powerful antioxidant that inhibits damage to skin cells from free radical activity.

Finally, Skin Veg also contains aloe vera extract: an ingredient with anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Notably, a study conducted on rats with second-degree burns found that aloe vera decreased vasodilation (aka the dilation of blood vessels which makes skin appear red) which could help in the treatment of rosacea.

More nerdiness: The Botanical Ingredients That Work

Protect skin from UV rays

A survey conducted by National Rosacea Society found that 81% of patients with rosacea noticed a flare-up of redness after sun exposure. So, don’t be a skin sinner... every hooman must apply a daily broad-spectrum SPF and that includes those with rosacea. The Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++ uses zinc oxide, a physical SPF filter, that’s suitable for the most sensitive skin. It’ll “shield” skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, HEV light emitted from screens, infrared, and pollution.

Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++, aka the orange one, also contains niacinamide (aka vitamin B3) which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory because you really can’t have enough of either, in our nerdie opinion. It'll also increase ceramide synthesis which helps to bolster the skin barrier and protect our skin’s supply of moisture... but more on this next.

Skingredients Skin Good Fats

Fortify the skin barrier + prevent dehydration

Did you know it's common for hoomans with rosacea to have a wonky skin barrier? Sadly, that comes with its own set of challenges in the form of irritation and dehydration. Let us explain! A trigger weakens the skin barrier to the point that it becomes more permeable which allows irritants to enter and wreak havoc, and precious moisture to escape through a process called trans epidermal water loss. That’s when moisture escapes through our epidermis, aka outermost layer of skin, to the atmosphere.

A nourishing, barrier-repairing balm such as Skingredients Skin Good Fats is the answer to dehydration. It contains skin-native ceramide NP and niacinamide (remember them?) to fortify the skin barrier and support moisture retention. Ceramides are fats, otherwise called lipids, which make up the skin barrier and act like “superglue” keeping skin cells in place, while niacinamide stimulates increased ceramide synthesis to strengthen the skin barrier.

Fancy a lil fun? Then take our Skin Quiz to unlock your unique Skingredients recipe! If you need extra guidance, pop us a message via Live Chat (you'll find it in the bottom right hand corner) or email at hello@skingredients.com.

References

Abokwidir, M., & Feldman, S. R. (2016). Rosacea Management. Skin appendage disorders, 2, 26–34. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1159/000446215.

Emer, J., Waldorf, H., & Berson, D. (2011). Botanicals and anti-inflammatories: natural ingredients for rosacea. Seminars in cutaneous medicine and surgery, 30, 148–155. Retrieved from: from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21925368/.

Schoelermann, A., Weber, T., Arrowitz, C., Rizer, R., Qian, K. and Babcock, M. (2016), Skin compatibility and efficacy of a cosmetic skin care regimen with licochalcone A and 4-t-butylcyclohexanol in patients with rosacea subtype I. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, 30, 21-27. Retrieved from: https://doi.org/10.1111/jdv.13531.

Somboonwong, J., Thanamittramanee, S., Jariyapongskul, A., & Patumraj, S. (2000). Therapeutic effects of Aloe vera on cutaneous microcirculation and wound healing in second degree burn model in rats. Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand = Chotmaihet thangphaet, 83, 417–425. Retrieved from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10808702/.

Sunscreen For Rosacea. National Rosacea Society. Retrieved date 20th May 2021, from: https://www.rosacea.org/patients/skin-care/sunscreen-for-rosacea.

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