Those who struggle with rosacea know how challenging it can be to find sensitive and gentle skincare products that prevent symptoms, rather than triggering outbreaks.
Whether you’ve just been diagnosed with this skin disorder, or you regularly experience rosacea outbreaks, we’ve created a rosacea skin guide that’ll help you better understand this disorder, its common triggers, and what products and home hacks can soothe flare-ups.
first things first: what is rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disorder that occurs when groups of capillaries close to the skin’s surface become inflamed and dilated. It’s characterised by recurrent episodes of flushing, blotchiness, redness and small bumps on the face.
While various studies have shown that there is no cure, if rosacea is not managed in its earliest stages, flare-ups can contribute to longer-lasting symptoms, which can potentially trigger long-lasting skin damage — such as skin thickening, permanent redness and permanent visibility of blood vessels.
Early stage rosacea symptoms include flushing and the development of sensitive skin that's easily irritated by heat and active ingredients, resulting in redness, burning and stinging sensations. Due to the nature of this inflammatory skin disorder, rosacea can progress and cause more enduring flushing, the pronounced appearance of blood vessels, irritated eyes, acne, skin discolouration and textural changes.
understanding the different types of rosacea
There are four types of rosacea that affect the skin (most commonly the face, head and neck) — erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, papulopustular rosacea, phymatous rosacea and ocular rosacea.
- Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea – This type causes facial redness, flushing and visibly dilated blood cells, most commonly present on the cheeks, nose and forehead. This condition can progress without proper treatment, leading to long-lasting flare-ups covering a significant amount of skin. Individuals with this condition may also experience tingling, stinging or swelling, while others find that their skin begins to feel dry and scaly.
- Papulopustular rosacea — Otherwise known as acne rosacea, this type of rosacea causes facial redness, inflammation, visible spider veins, and acne-like breakouts — usually large and painful papules and pustules that develop deep into the skin. This condition can also cause sensitised skin that burns and stings, along with oily or dry patches that become thick and rough.
- Phymatous rosacea — This type of rosacea causes the skin to thicken and scar, creating bumps and lumps. While this disorder is rare and is more common in men than women and most commonly affects the nose, causing a bulbous condition.
- Ocular rosacea —This form of rosacea impacts the eyes, causing redness and inflammation inside the eyes, on the eyelids, and around the delicate under-eye area. Those who struggle with ocular rosacea commonly experience watery, burning and irritated eyes, along with increased sensitivity, photosensitivity and even blurred vision.
rosacea skin guide — discover dermatologist-recommended rosacea skincare
While there is no known cure for this common inflammatory skin disorder, maintaining the right rosacea skincare routine will reduce outbreaks, help manage and control symptoms and provide skin with targeted, yet gentle ingredients, that soothe inflammation and irritation.
Ready to get your rosacea symptoms under control? Along with avoiding potential triggers, start by incorporating these soothing, redness reducing, professional-grade products into your everyday skin regime:
preventative measures to manage rosacea triggers
- Identify your rosacea triggers — Spicy food, alcohol, food allergies, and extreme heat or cold are commonly reported as triggers for rosacea flare-ups. Recent research has also shown that emotional and physical stress can trigger rosacea flare-ups via the nervous system. Paying close attention to what triggers your rosacea outbreaks can help you manage symptoms in the long run — keeping a skin diary is a good way to discover your core triggers. A dermatologist will then be in the best position to provide professional medical advice and diagnosis.
- Choose the right makeup products — Selecting the right makeup will prevent the risk of regular rosacea flare-ups or further aggravation. Invest in multifunctional products that are mineral based and free from fragrances. When selecting a foundation, opt for a pressed powder over a liquid formula, as the latter can clog pores and exacerbate rosacea symptoms. If you have signs and symptoms of ocular rosacea, select an ophthalmologist-tested, fragrance-free eye makeup product that’s packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients. When in doubt, read the label; avoid makeup containing alcohol and artificial fragrances and stick to simple formulas infused with calming ingredients.
If you’re on the hunt for a primer that provides light coverage and luminosity, look no further than Dermalogica’s Skin Perfect Primer SPF30. Not only does this velvety formula smooth fine lines, brighten and help support skin firmness, but it contains Broad Spectrum physical protection to shield against sun damage. Perfect for everyday wear, it can be applied over your moisturiser and before your foundation.
- Daily SPF application is essential — While daily sun protection is vital for every skin type, those with rosacea need to be particularly vigilant as we know that the sun is considered a top trigger for flushing and the worsening of other rosacea symptoms. Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 is a physical zinc-based sunscreen containing antioxidants that defend against free radical damage and environmental aggressors, along with soothing botanicals. Safe for all skin types, this easy-to-apply, mineral sunscreen blends without leaving a white residue on the face. For those with sensitive skin, a physical SPF is the recommended alternative to a chemical SPF that may cause irritation and further exacerbate sensitivity.
- Always read the product label — Before purchasing any skincare products, scan the list of ingredients to ensure it’s free from alcohol, artificial fragrances and skin-irritating ingredients. When you invest in Dermalogica’s professional-grade skincare solutions, you can rest assured that every product in the range is free from artificial colours and fragrances, mineral oil, lanolin, S.D. alcohol, parabens and microplastics.
- Pay careful attention to your diet — Many rosacea sufferers alter their diet to avoid flare-ups. Hot, spicy food or sauces, chocolate and tomatoes are commonly cited as foods that can trigger rosacea flare-ups, along with wine - particularly red wine. It’s worth reducing or eliminating these foods from your diet to assess if this has a positive impact on your rosacea symptoms.
discover professional-grade treatments for rosacea and other sensitive skin conditions
If you’ve been diagnosed with rosacea and are looking for products formulated for sensitive skin, Dermalogica can help. Drawing from extensive scientific research that has uncovered the common triggers behind sensitised skin, our expert team at the International Dermal Institute has been trying, testing and formulating our range since 1986.
Enriched with a combination of soothing botanicals and inflammation-reducing actives that accelerate relief, our UltraCalming range of products can help to calm irritation, soothe redness and provide skin with a healthy dose of hydration.
Not sure where to begin your search for skincare for rosacea? Take our professional skin analysis online to receive a thorough skin assessment, or book a free skin consultation with one of our qualified skin therapists — they will work with you to help you understand your rosacea triggers, before recommending products and treatments that will soothe and calm.We also offer PRO Calm - a comprehensive professional skin treatment designed to address a range of sensitive skin conditions. PRO Calm works in three phases — botanical actives soothe skin, while lymphatic drainage and pressure point massage help to calm a stressed nervous system. We follow up with LED light therapy to further reduce redness, while hydrating, balancing and restoring the skin barrier. You can book a PRO Calm skin treatment with your local professional Dermalogica therapist, or get in touch with our expert team if you have any questions.