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I am getting better and better at not seeing red. A long-time rosacea sufferer, I have been keeping it under control pretty well in the past few years and looking back at older posts on my rosacea strategies, gives me a pleasing feeling of realizing that I have come up with a much improved arsenal. Also as April has been Rosacea Awareness Month, I have been trying out some new products and I want to share the results of my current tests as well as my tried and tested rosacea solutions.
I’ll cut to the chase: if I do have a flare-up (increasingly more seldom) and need a quick fix, I reach for Exederm ($15). Although this is marketed for eczema sufferers and is approved by the National Eczema Association, it works for rosacea and acne breakouts too. It does have 1% hydrocortisone, so it should only be used for flare-up control. The good thing is that it works pretty fast so I don’t need more than a couple of dabs and have consistently found it to be gentle and non-irritating.
Obviously, we’d all rather not use steroids and, happily, researchers seem to be getting closer to understanding the root cause of rosacea. Interestingly, recent science points to vitamin D being helpful for rosacea. I take a daily vitamin D supplement by Suntegrity ($29), as it has additional antioxidants, especially astaxanthin, that may also boost skin health. You could also see if topical vitamin D helps in the form of the Dr Dennis Gross Active Vitamin D Serum that Nisha wrote up in an interesting review.
Red LED light — such as Truth in Aging's Truth Renew Ultrasonic & LED Anti-Aging System ($109 in the TIA shop) — is a great help against rosacea as it helps against in inflammation. And if you want the nerd’s explanation, it’s all about something called TNF-a. TNF-a (tumor necrosis factor) stimulates many of the cytokines and enzymes involved in the inflammatory process and in the tissue destruction caused by rosacea. Therefore, decreasing TNF-a levels should theoretically help.
So what about those anti-redness beauty products. Well, I have been trying a couple of new ones. Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer ($65) is a new product that boasts something called NeuroMed Complex that promises to neutralize redness, restore skin clarity and relieve irritation. I used it daily for a month and found that it did deliver but not spectacularly. Ironically, it didn’t do much at all to reduce redness, but it did make my skin look and feel smoother. I think the positive results are probably due to the high squalane and glycerin content (both are moisturizing and glycerin also exfoliates. There are two actives in Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer that rosacea types should have on their radar as they may control the skin’s inflammatory responses: palmitoyl tripeptide-8 and eperua falcata bark extract. Unfortunately, here they are buried amongst various chemical pegs, stabilizers, emollients and preservatives that would deter me from buying this product (I was given Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer as a free sample).
I have been getting some good results with a new find, a toner from Sevani called Advanced Complexion Corrector ($39 in the TIA shop). This claims it will reduce the appearance of wrinkles, brown spots, rosacea and even resistant acne, as well as improving the skin’s texture. Although I am a new Sevani convert, I didn’t hold out much hope for this against redness. Much to my surprise its vitamin B based formula with willowbark and green and red tea, actually does take down redness and improves the skin’s texture. A review of this will be coming soon.
In the meantime, some rosacea-calming products that have stood the test of time include:
Your Best Face Balance ($45 in the TIA shop). This formulated (at a most reasonable price, I must say) to control breakouts, calm irritation and regulate shine – all without drying out the skin at all.
Dr Haushka’s Rhythmic Conditioner for Sensitive Skin. These little ampoules include borage, which German researchers have shown can reduce redness. Used over time, the skin looks less red and broken capillaries diminish.
E’shee Serum Cellular Repair ($179 in the TIA shop) also works very well for me – indeed it is one of the best solutions for broken capillaries and general redness that I have come across. Although witch hazel, a dominant ingredient, is often contra-indicated for rosacea, a good quality formula without alcohol, should actually be a skin soother. The key active here, FGF-1, is an anti-inflammatory.
RMS Beauty Un-cover Up ($36 in the TIA shop). A dab of concealer is for me a daily essential. I love Un-cover up and I think it actually calms my skin down as well as camouflaging it. And I'm not the only one. RMS founder Rose Marie Swift told me that she has had a lot of feedback from happy customers who believe that Un-cover Up, with its all natural formula, has helped their rosacea.
Ingredients in Skinceuticals Redness Neutralizer: aqua (water/eau), squalane, glycerin, isopropyl lauroyl sarcosinate, undecane butyrospermum parkii butter (shea butter), tridecane peg-100 stearate glyceryl, stearate peg-20 stearate ammonium polyacryldimethyltauramide / ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl taurate, bisabolol, butylene glycol, caffeine, caprylyl glycol, carbomer, cetyl alcohol, dextrin, disodium edta, eperua falcata bark extract, farnesol, palmitoyl tripeptide-8, panthenol, pentaerythrityl tetra-di-t-butyl hydroxyhydrocinnamate, sodium benzoate, tocopherol, triethanolamine, xanthan gum, zinc gluconate