This post has been updated – see our 2013 Five Best for Broken Veins
Telangiectasia (a.k.a. spider veins and broken capillaries) are dilated small vessels near the surface of the skin. Typically they are caused by sun exposure, inflammatory conditions (such as acne or rosacea), alcohol and aging. Mine (confined to a small patch on each cheek) are likely the result of all of the above and I am always on the look out for ways of treating broken capillaries. I’ve had some success and feel, for the first time, confident enough to select the best products for broken capillaries. The quest, like all others, will continue, but for now the Five Best for treating broken capillaries or thread veins are:
Planetary Formulas Horse Chestnut Cream ($10.99). If you are on a budget and are looking for a good treatment for broken capillaries, give this a try. It didn’t do wonders for me, but with a whopping 20% horse chestnut extract, this has to be one of the bargains of the decade. Horse chestnut trees (particularly the seeds) contain a saponin called escin. This is supposed to strengthen veins and capillaries by blocking an enzyme called hyaluronidase, which can breakdown of proteoglycans (part of the structure of capillary walls). There is butcher’s broom, which contains chemicals that attach to and strengthen blood vessels. There are parabens, most everything else is good. Read more on Planetary Formulas
Prana AU 24K ($96). When I first tested this serum, which has flakes of real gold in it, I was looking for its effects on skin firmness and wrinkles. I was pleased on both counts. Then I discovered that it did a very good job of diminishing broken capillaries and veins and calming inflamed skin – and I am currently using it with that as my primary focus. Gold is an anti-inflammatory, so it may be due to that, although the aloe vera base and vitamin B12 may also help. An anti-aging bonus is provided by peptides. Read more
E’shee’s Clinical Esthetic Cellular Repair Serum ($179 for .34 oz in the TIA Shop). That’s more than $500 per ounce! It’s less than gold, which hovers around $1600 per ounce, and it’s still cheaper than going to a laser specialist to treat broken capillaries and veins, rosacea, and deep wrinkles, which this serum does wonderfully. E’shee features the cutting edge key active FGF 1 (a Recombinant Human acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor) and really works at repairing broken capillaries and in collagen production. See my video on E’shee’s serum and how a little goes a very long way.
Dr Hauschka Rhythmic Conditioner ($89.95). This potion is designed for sensitive skins, prone to react unhappily to chemicals, break out with rosacea or couperose, or get red and irritated. That’s a pretty good description of my skin and I have found that it has calmed patches of red skin and broken capillaries. A key active is borage (in a “rhythmitized dilutions”, of course). Researchers in Germany recently found that borage and flaxseeds reduce wrinkles and, specifically, redness. Read more
Osmotics Anti-Radical Age Defense ($111). Personally, I am allergic to this, which is a source of great frustration since I’ve given it to several friends who have great results with it. It is especially good at diminishing thread veins and has all but eliminated them for one friend (who had them all her adult life). There are some good anti-aging ingredients as well, such as carnosine. So if you are not overly sensitive and don’t mind formulas that are not all natural, then this is definitely worth a try.
Ingredients in Planetary Formulas: Horse Chestnut Seed/Bark Extract (Standardized to 20% aescin), Butcher’s Broom Leaf Extract, Witch Hazel Bark Extract, White Oak Bark Extract, Myrrh Gum Extract, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Purified Water, Aloe Vera Gel, Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (Emollient), Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Methyl Glucose (from Sugar Plant), Lecithin Phospholipid, Jojoba Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Natural Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Sorbic Acid (Preservatives)
Ingredients in Prana AU 24K: Purified Water (Aqua), Certified Organic Aloe Vera Gel, Cyanocbalamine (Vitamin B12), Sodium Hyaluronate, Ginseng .Green Tea, Marine Collagen, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3, Pentapeptide-18, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Dexpanthenol (Vitamin B), Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Pycnogenol, Centella Asiatica, Chamomile, Genuine German Gold, Allantoin, Chitosan
Ingredients in E’Shee Cellular Repair Serum: Aqua, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Distillate, Propylene Glycol, 1.3 Butylene Glycol, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Glycerin, Morus Alba (Mulberry) Extract, Tinocare GL, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethanolamine, D-Panthenol, Lactic acid, Carbomer, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol, FGF 1 (Recombinant Human acidic Fibroblast Growth Factor).
Ingredients in Dr Haushka Rhythmic Conditioner: Water (Aqua), Fragrance (Parfum), Borage Extract (Borago Officinalis) (in rhythmitised dilutions), Matricaria Extract (Chamomilla Recutita) (in rhythmitised dilutions), Rose Hip Extract (Rosa Canina) (in rhythmitised dilutions), Southernwood Extract (Artemisia Abrotanum) (in rhythmitised dilutions), Witch Hazel Extract (Hamamelis Virginiana) (in rhythmitised dilutions), Veronica Officinalis Extract (in rhythmitised dilutions), English Oak Extract (Quercus Robur) (in rhythmitised dilutions), Pearl Powder (in rhythmitised dilutions), Malachite (in rhythmitised dilutions), Sodium Chloride
Ingredients in Osmotics: Purified Water, Vegetable Squalane, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Xanthan Gum, Tripeptide-1, Glycerin, Citrullus Lanatus Fruit Extract, PEG-20 Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Soybean Sterol, Squalane, Vitamin E Acetate, Ubiquinone 50, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanol, Carnosine, Ceramide, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Linoleic Acid, Allantoin, Stearic Acid, Carbomer, Diazolidinyl Urea/Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Disodium EDTA, Tromethamine.