April is Rosacea Awareness Month and this year it feels much needed. I see more highly sensitised, flared and flushed complexions now than at any other time in my career, and can’t help feeling that on top of the inherent, unlucky and complex cases we’ve always seen, frequently summoned or worsened by otherwise innocuous lifestyle factors (spicy food, dairy, alcohol, stress, tiredness, exertion from exercise and overheating), there’s also a raft of new sufferers of unwanted redness.
I often find they’re using too many high-concentration actives (retinol, glycolic and salicylic acids) at the same time – easily done, especially when some brands (irresponsibly, in my view) seem to be selling the myth that the higher the dose of the acid, the better it is. It’s simply not true – retinol may be proven in tackling the signs of skin ageing, but there’s nothing more ageing to skin long term than constant inflammation.
Formula is everything. There are columns on retinol and azelaic acid coming soon, but I’d like first to suggest going back to basics by offering your skin some calming respite. Bioderma Sensibio Tolerance, £15.80 for 40ml, is a great buy, an instantly soothing cream that replaces heat with calm, cushiony comfort. Before it, pop on a little of La Roche-Posay’s brilliant Rosaliac Anti-Redness Intense Serum, £18.49 for 40ml: it’s very good at reducing redness and hydrating the skin to improve the look of roughness or bumps.
I’d withdraw from any essential oil use if skin is sensitised (fatty carrier oils such as almond, wheatgerm and avocado are both cheap and good for cleansing and moisturising). Trilogy, which is generally great with highly sensitive skin types, makes the wonderfully cooling, soothing Very Gentle Hydra-mask, £24.50 for 60ml, for flare-ups (there’s a lovely companion moisturiser, £29.50, for days in between). Broad-spectrum, high-protection sunscreen is essential on rosacea and is best delivered via physical, rather than chemical, SPF. REN’s new vegan Clean Screen Mineral SPF30, £30 for 50ml, is wonderful, but watch this space for more soon. Finally, if your budget permits, I’ve seen extraordinarily good results from painless IPL treatment, as opposed to laser. Ask your GP for a reputable local practitioner.
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