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Rosacea - tips for treatment and prevention

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April 9, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 8 Comments

April is National Rosacea month and, as a sufferer, I take a keen interest in understanding the underlying causes of rosacea what how it can be tamed. Over the years, I have found products and treatments that help keep my rosacea calm and, although I could never be said to have a porcelain complexion, there aren’t too many days when I see red. Here are some of the rosacea treatments that work for me.

If you are a rosacea sufferer, the first thing is to make sure you have a good gentle cleanser. One of the worst flare ups I have ever had was as a result of using Eve Lom’s cleanser (a pot of greasy gloop). Conversely, I found that my skin became considerably less inflamed when I switched to Tracy Martyn’s Amla cleanser. That was a few years ago and now I get on very happily with La Vie Celeste’s less expensive Mother of Pearl Cleanser ($40).

Potions that I tend to reach for to take down redness 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.

Osmotics Blue Copper 5 Molecular Repair. This is primarily an anti-aging seven-day treatment. Then Osmotics told me that it really helps rosacea (and Osmotics claims that its other Blue Copper products do too, although I haven’t personally tried them). So, following their recommendation, I used it with red LED light (see below) and found that it did take down redness. Just used to target rosacea ekes a much longer life out of these ampoules making them more economical.

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.

SenZen’s On The Matte. Although primarily billed as an oil control serum, it is a good anti-inflammatory that helps keep skin calm. Randy Sckreck, founder of SenZen recommended it after seeing a black and white picture of me (ouch).  Good for conventional breakouts as well as rosacea.

Red LED light is a great help against rosacea as well. LED light 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. I have seen references to studies demonstrating that low-level light therapy (LED) reduces levels of TNF-a. I have also read that rosaceans have a reduced capacity to counter the negative effects of reactive oxygen species (ROS), increasing levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD). LED may increase levels of SOD.

So make a grab for your Truth Renew ($109) or Baby Quasar. And if you have your own favorite potion for sensitive skin, use it during your LED sessions.

Vitamin D may also help keep rosacea tamed and I take a daily vitamin D supplement by Suntegrity that is also brimming with antioxidants ($29 in the TIA shop). In 2007, Dr Richard Gallo of the University of California discovered that peptides known as cathelicidins and the proteolytic enzymes that activate cathelicidins in the skin are abnormal in patients with rosacea. And then a study in Belgium of all the research in the last couple of years has made a connection between the regulation of cathelicidins and vitamin D.

  • September 17, 2016

    by siri

    I had suffered from rosacea for 4 years, during which I had lost hope that anything natural would make any significant difference to my red, burning, spotty skin. Yes, steroid cream and antibiotics work, but who wants to be on those forever?!

    I dreaded going out and even had days when I wouldn't want anyone to look at me. FINALLY my dermatologist recommended the Made from Earth products, specifically the Made from Earth Rosehip Serum and the Green Tea Toxin Cleanser. I applied the Rosehip Serum morning and night, and after 4 days I noticed a significant improvement in the redness on my cheeks. And this morning, after using the cleanser my mother asked me if I was wearing make-up, when I wasn't.

    I'm actually starting to see patches of my real skin tone appearing on my cheeks. I can't wait to see what 3 or 6 months will bring. Many thanks to the producers of this cream for giving me hope that I can beat this.

  • April 15, 2011

    by fwy

    I have Rosacea since young but managed to keep it under control after using Rosehip oil to substitute it as a moisturiser.

  • April 13, 2011

    by Julie Waldrop

    I am an Independent Consultant with Rodan + Fields Dermatologist (the ProActiv Drs) and they have developed a regimen just for Rosacea. This product has changed so many of my friends faces and lives. So Where do you turn when your face can't take it anymore? Calm the flush-blush reaction of a hyper-sensitive complexion with SOOTHE. Clinically proven to reduce redness and irritation in as little as 5 minutes, SOOTHE helps interrupt the inflammatory cascade, strengthens skin’s natural moisture barrier, calms redness, and reduces irritation so that you can take comfort in having a healthy-looking complexion every day. Learn more at

  • April 11, 2011

    by Marta

    Doris, as you say, every skin is different. But I'd love to hear what does work for you. By the way, I am a person with "actual rosacea" as you put it, and used to get it rather fiercely. Happily, it has now become mild and I put that down to the products I use.

  • April 10, 2011

    by Tachi Dodero

    As an aesthetician I am always interested to hear what people have to say about personal experiences with skin conditions.

    One of my clients who has been a moderate rosacea sufferer has considerably controlled her rosacea by using a blend of a gentle cleanser, antioxidant serum and a gentle chemical exfoliant. Even though using products with chemical exfoliants may seem counter intuitive, I have seen positive results on many people that have rosacea. Her recommended products are all by Cosmedix and include Benefit Clean, Affirm, and Define.

    She saw her derm after using the products I recommended and the derm commented on how much better her skin looked.

  • April 10, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    What would you suggest using w the LED, Doris? ~jk

  • April 10, 2011

    by Doris

    I have rosacea and I'm really, really surprised that a person with actual rosacea would be able to use any of these products since they are chock-full of irritating ingredients, the Tracie Martyn alone contains salicylic acid, lactic acid and citrus and mint essential oils and would be the kiss of death for my face.

    None of the topical products seem to be suitable for highly reactive skin types and they shouldn't be recommended to real rosacea sufferers, I'm sorry to say.

    I don't wanna play Cosmetic Cop but essential oils and plant extracts are never ever advisable for rosacea sufferers, at least in my personal experience, but every skin is different I guess.

    The LED is a much better suggestion in my opinion, there are special rosacea lights on the market.

    Salicylates and amines in the diet seem to play a major role too, but again, that is just my personal observation.

  • April 9, 2011

    by Julie Kay

    Thank you especially for this article, Marta! Although my outbreaks are always considered "rosy cheeks," I do worry about the long-term effects and how it will worsen over time. When it happens, my cheeks get "don't touch" burner hot, and I know it can't be good for my skin layers there. I just got Aurora, so I will try it w YBF Balance. This sounds like a great marriage. ~jk

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