The Friday Five: Dealing with rosacea

Beatrice Aidin talks us through how you can handle a rosacea flare-up, what can trigger the inflammation and the best products to treat it.

This week we are talking about Rosacea – those pesky red cheeks that haunt us in midlife.

But first, two things that pre-pandemic I’d never dream of doing: hunting around my flat for my HRT and trying to get on a Zoom. When the swirly ball of Mac-doom had stopped spinning we started talking about rosacea because mates and Noon readers keep telling me they are getting flare-ups of redness and spots. And I sympathise as I get it too.

So I called the brilliant facialist Abigail James for a briefing. (Abigail has written two best-selling books, most recently my well-thumbed The Glow Plan Face Massage for Happy Healthy Skin in 4 Weeks (£11.75, amazon.co.uk), last seen in my sitting room, though it seems to have eloped with my remote control and the HRT (a weird threesome). Oops, just found the latter in a kitchen cupboard next to the Sainsbury’s Red Label teabags.

So, in a segue worthy of The One Show rosacea shows itself with skin redness. “On the face, rosacea takes the pattern of a butterfly, on the cheeks, the nose, chin and sometimes the middle of the forehead,” Abigail told me who, by the way, looks after CHER’s skin, the ultimate Queenager!

Abigail says if it hurts or persists see a doctor. It’s no joke. Dr Tiina Meder who has a wonderful problem-solving skincare line, Meder Beauty, told me about an alarming study that found 50% of rosacea patients would be willing to trade one year of their life for an effective treatment.

According to the British Skin Foundation, the cause of rosacea isn’t fully understood.  But Abigail has seen that it is more prevalent in women with hormone fluctuations (yup that’s us). And if inflammation in the body is under control along with gut health it is easier to manage (what isn’t).

And wear sunscreen every day: “the sun can trigger a rosacea flair-up in 80% of people who have the condition,” warns Dr Meder (and I will be giving you my recommendations for SPF in a couple of weeks…).

So after exhaustive trials (you should see my flat, it’s like Boots meets Space NK), my top five rosacea soothing products are….

1. When my sister was a teenager, she had rosacea although we didn’t know the actual name of the condition.   Rose used a product that was bright green to neutralise redness and meant to be blended under foundation which she doesn’t do very well. So naturally we other kids called her the Incredible Hulk.   But had she had Rosalique 3 in 1 Anti-Redness Miracle Formula, her life would have improved.  The cream comes out green but when gently blended adapts to the skin’s natural tone:  magic I tell you, magic!  Rosalique covers up redness, reduces it after four weeks and also has an SPF 50. It’s so good I’ve sent some to Eleanor, Noon Founder.

Rosalique 3 in 1 Anti-Redness Miracle Formula £29.99, rosalique.co.uk

2. Eau Thermal Avene Tolerance Control Cleanser calms the skin and helps restore the skin barrier and even better won’t dry it out. Use it on dry skin and a cloth to remove. I love a good balm and flannel cleanse, but London tap water irritates my skin during a flare-up, so I spray on Avene Eau Thermale and use cotton wool to remove any debris.  Keep it on your desk and spritz regularly to keep skin calm throughout the day.  (And Boots currently has a three for the price of two for Avene products.

Avene Tolerance Control Cleanser £12, boots.com

Avene Thermal Spring Water Spray for Sensitive Skin £4.80 boots.com

3. If you love a face-oil as much as I do be careful. I’ve discovered this week that a rosacea face is NOT the place for essential oils. Willowberry Sensitive Face Oil is based on their hero and award-winning Nutrient Boost Face Oil which does smell divine, I know, but again is not your current answer. Instead, please be guided to Willowberry Sensitive Face Oil, the same formulation but redone to balance wobbly upset skin and soothe it. I’d say it was the topical equivalent of Magic FM.

Willowberry Sensitive Face Oil £26.99, Willowberry.co.uk

4. Who knew those marauding Vikings were onto something when it came to Rosacea? Turns out the crucial ingredient in Meder RED-APAX Concentrate is a unique extract of northern truffle; known for its pain-controlling effect since the Viking age.  It blocks heat receptors in the skin quickly reducing burning, redness and discomfort. Over a few weeks, the frequency and intensity of rosacea flare-ups will be reduced while the Red Apax Calming and Anti-Redness Mask are perfect for SOS situations – which Is why I am typing with one on right now.

RED-APAX Concentrate £90, mederbeauty.com

Use RED-APAX Mask £61 pack of five mederbeauty.com

5. According to Oodee, UK consumer research showed that 58% of people surveyed experienced a flare-up or irritation but 90% didn’t know which ingredients are causing it.  So, the first allergen-neutral skincare was created called Aurora Perfecting Serum; they describe it as radiance in a bottle and I would concur – it gives a good glow.

Oodee Aurora Perfecting Serum £65oodee.com

– Beatrice Aidin

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