The photo I took for my bare face (scroll down) in my Marie Veronique Organics review reminds me of something I’ve long since forgotten: rosacea. For those of you who don’t know what it is, rosacea is a chronic skin disorder characterized by bumps, pimples, visible blood vessels, and persistent redness on the facial skin. The triggers of rosacea are various. Some of them include sun exposure, irritants of various sources (e.g. food, drugs, skincare and cosmetics), and emotional factors. As I read from National Rosacea Society, the cause of rosacea is unknown, and it can’t be cured either. If you want to know more about the treatment of rosacea, visit National Rosacea Society. For now, read on to know how I’ve dealt and lived with it throughout the years.
My sense of beauty sprouted around the time when I was in my early twenties. You don’t have to be beauty-obsessed to notice those small but unsightly pimples on my cheeks. They were simply an eyesore. As a result, I became a frequent visitor of different beauty salons. And every other week I underwent this cycle: had my pimples popped, saw my face turn face, redness subsided, pimples popped up again, went to some beauty salon again. I didn’t know what I had experienced was some skin disorder called “rosacea.” Besides, the pimples on my face weren’t so serious (acne-prone skin, at most), so I naively thought that by doing facials enough times, I could have my skin improved. Things had stayed in such a state for a few years or so, until finally I decided to look for help.
Through some online research, I found a Chinese medicine doctor specializing in dermatology (but not a pure dermatologist, because he also offered treatments of various illnesses). He felt my pulse, inspected my face with a magnifier, and finally diagnosed me as having rosacea. I was given some oral treatment (Chinese medicine in the form of pills) and ointment for the affected area. Since I started the treatment, there had been fewer pimples on my face. The redness had also subsided. The good news is, there has been no comeback!
I’ve almost forgotten my rosacea as, for now, I’m more concerned about the dullness and aging signs than anything else on my face. Any light make-up can cover up the mild rosacea symptoms on my face. It’s only when I show my bare skin that the redness and blood vessels show. I have to admit, since stopping my treatment, I’ve almost completely forgotten I used to have some small unsightly spots on my face. And needless to say, I’ve used all kinds of non-organic, probably chemical-filled, skincare products on my face over the years.
So maybe it’s the right time for me to reevaluate my skin condition and be more careful when selecting skincare products and cosmetics. Below are steps I’m, or will be, doing to better protect my rosacea skin.
Sunscreen, Sunscreen, and Sunscreen
Wearing sunscreen with broad spectrum protection (SPF15 or above) when you’re outdoor is essential. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are physical sunscreen ingredients that can provide broad spectrum protection, and they are generally well tolerated by people with rosacea. Better yet if you choose a sunscreen without nanotech. And remember to reapply your sunscreen regularly if you are to stay outdoors for an extended period. Using an umbrella with UV protection also helps. I don’t care whether Mr. Sun is showing his face or hiding behind the clouds, I always make it a point to use my umbrella whenever necessary.
Use A Mild Cleanser
I had had the impression that the pimples on my face was because of the buildup of dirt, so I used harsh cleansers or exfoliators to clean my face. I couldn’t be more wrong. A harsh cleanser or exfoliator would only irritate the redness and pimples on my face. To tend to rosacea skin, use SLS-free cleansers. Avoid those with alcohol or any other irritating agents.
Avoid Irritating Skincare Ingredients
I still remember a few bad experiences I had had when I used products (especially those that were meant for deep cleansing and whitening) that irritated my skin. Those saleswomen often tried to fake me by telling me the burning I felt was just a “cooling” effect. Yes, it might be cooling, but it can also be a sign that I’m using something that isn’t for rosacea skin. According to National Rosacea Society, some ingredients are more likely to irritate rosacea skin. They include alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, menthol, peppermint, and eucalyptus oil. Watch out for them.
There are much more I can do to avoid triggering rosacea, but since I’ve lived a comparatively healthy life (I don’t smoke or drink), I believe what’s listed above is about all I plan to do.