The Basics: Rosacea + Example Skincare Regimen
Defined by the American Academy of Dermatology: Rosacea (rose-AY-sha) is a common skin disease. It often begins with a tendency to blush or flush more easily than other people. The redness can slowly spread beyond the nose and cheeks to the forehead and chin. Even the ears, chest, and back can be red all the time.
Rosacea can cause more than redness. There are so many signs and symptoms that rosacea has four subtypes:
Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea: Redness, flushing, visible blood vessels.
Papulopustular rosacea: Redness, swelling, and acne-like breakouts.
Phymatous rosacea: Skin thickens and has a bumpy texture.
Ocular rosacea: Eyes red and irritated, eyelids can be swollen, and person may have what looks like a sty.
Unfortunately, rosacea is a poorly understood skin condition that does not have a cure at the moment. People with rosacea have increased levels of inflammatory proteins which causes redness, dilated blood vessels, and inflamed acne-like breakouts. All that being said: there is hope and ways to manage rosacea! However, if not managed with proper skincare and office treatments, people who have rosacea often see permanent redness in the center of their face.
Early treatment of rosacea is very important as it continues to progressively worsen over time if not treated. Unfortunately, there is not a one size fits all regimen for people with rosacea. There are many different treatment options depending on the type of rosacea and other potential health issues involved.
If you struggle with rosacea the best thing to do would be to have a personalized skincare consult with dermatologist can evaluate your skin and have the ability to prescribe medication if necessary. There are many in office treatments that can be done in combination with a good skincare regimen. One of my favorite in office treatments: A series of IPL or Vbeam laser treatments with red light therapy.
Products that include anti-inflammatory ingredients (green tea, azelaic acid, chamomile, etc) can be helpful to minimize flare-ups. Be very careful when trying out new products because many can irritate and worsen rosacea.
Example of daily skincare regimen for those with rosacea:
Tone: I recommend a mild, alcohol-free toner, like this one!
Using a toner is an optional step, personally my skin feels/looks better with a toner and I have used them for years.
Crucial for all skin types and especially those with rosacea. Click here for the full post on the benefits of vitamin c serums!
There is also a serum by iS Clinical that I don’t have experience with but that I’ve heard really good things about for rosacea and cystic acne patients
Redness Neutralizer: contains caffeine, peptides that reduce redness
*Flare ups: I love this calming gel to reduce redness (great for inflamed skin, even acne flare ups) & hydrate the skin. The gel could be something you incorporate daily or if you are having a flare up. This would be applied after the serums but before SPF. Click here for the full post on how to layer skincare products!
Hydrate/SPF: This moisturizer/SPF combo is is my favorite for those with rosacea/acne prone. Click here for the full post on my favorite facial sunscreens!
*Retinoid (see usage tip below)
Hydrate: This moisturizer is a great option and can be used in the morning as well prior to SPF if additional moisturizer is desired.
* Retinoid usage tip: If you add in a retinoid to your routine once your rosacea is controlled, it will help in preventing further rosacea flare-ups!
I generally start my rosacea patients on one new product at a time to not overwhelm the skin. Here are some of my go to non prescription products for my patients with rosacea:
Avoidance of triggers is super important to minimize flare-ups. The National Rosacea Society did a study of over 1,000 patients with rosacea and the biggest trigger: SUN EXPOSURE. Wearing sunscreen everyday no matter what season is important for everyone but especially if you struggle with rosacea. Here are my favorite sunscreens for people with rosacea:
Cheese (except cottage cheese)
Yeast extract (bread is OK)
Broad-leaf beans and pods,
including lima, navy or pea
Citrus fruits, tomatoes, bananas,
red plums, raisins or figs
Spicy and thermally hot foods
Foods high in histamine
Excessively warm environments
Content adapted from the National Rosacea Society and American Academy of Dermatology
Excessively warm environments