As the owner of a company specializing in natural beauty products and as someone who suffers from sensitive skin, I hear a lot of horror stories from customers and friends who also have sensitive skin. One of the more common issues I hear about is Rosacea. For those who suffer from Rosacea or sensitive facial skin, makeup and skincare can become a huge pain.
Little is known about the cause of Rosacea, but it is treatable (although sometimes difficult to manage). Blood vessels rapidly dilate in the face, leading to a flushed appearance. Rosacea is a chronic disease, and affects individuals with oily, dry and normal skin.
According to a National Rosacea Society survey, the most common triggers for Rosacea outbreaks are sun exposure, heavy exercise, stress, harsh wind conditions, alcohol, spicy foods, and some skincare products.
We've taked about the drying effects of alcohol before when used in many skincare products. For Rosacea suffers, alcohol is much worse. Not only does out skin, it can cause flare ups that lead to cracked, painful, or breakout skin. Unfortunately, most skincare products that are available at big box stores or on a widespread level still contain drying agents like alcohol.
So what can Rosacea sufferers (or just those with sensitive skin) do? Here are a few natural options to try:
Green Tea - In addition to being a yummy and healthy drink, green tea is a wonderful addition to skincare products because of it's anti-inflammatory properties. Look for masks and rinses containing green tea.
Diluted Vinegar Rinses - A vinegar rinse can cleanse skin without over-drying it. Some Rosacea sufferers swear by vinegar rinses, but do a small test area as occasionally these can cause flare ups for some people. Use 1 part vinegar to 6 parts distilled water daily or once a week.
Avoid Over-washing or Scrubbing - In addition to avoiding skincare products with alcohol and over-drying agents, over-washing or scrubbing can also irritate sensitive skin. While exfoliation is important, even once a week can be too much for some skin types.
Toner - Using a toner before moisturizing is a must for those with sensitive skin or an issue like Rosacea. While toner use is just good practice in general, it's so importatant for those with unique skin needs because it cleanses bacteria from the skin that regular washing can miss. Be warned: lots of Toners out that are acohol based -suprise surprise! Look for a witch hazel, tea tree oil, rosewater, or distilled water base to get the right amount of clean without the irritation. Use toner after washing but before applying a moisturizer.
Rosacea can be different for every person, as can sensitive skin. Always be sure to spot test new products, and of course: ALWAYS read the ingredients. Sadly, many "natural" and "organic" products are still using some questionable ingredients. If you don't know what a particular ingredient is, look it up! It's all on the label, baby!