The rosacea enigma
This piece is inspired by one of my best friends, Lilly, who has been struggling to find a way to control her sometimes oily, sensitive, and very reactive rosacea-prone skin.
Our busy modern lifestyles mean many of us continue to battle the misery of breakouts well into our 30s and beyond. The statistics are surprising; they show that 50% of adult women will suffer from acne or rosacea. Which makes me wonder…
Why are we in what seems to be an adult acne epidemic?
Perhaps it’s because life today is very different from what it was 50 or even 30 years ago. Eating ever increasing hormone-enriched preserved foods, and the stress that comes with our modern lives has doubled, if not tripled due to full-time work, raising a family, social commitments – and my friend ticks all these boxes.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea, in its ultimate complex form, also referred to as couperosis, results in an inflammation of the skin caused by disruption to the vasculature, in particular an increase in blood flow to the upper dermis. It appears as a permanent redness, especially on the convex areas of the face (cheeks, nose, forehead), where blood vessels are nearest to the surface, broader and more numerous than on the rest of the face.
Who is affected by rosacea?
More common in fair skin, rosacea mainly affects women. Lilly, like most sufferers, is skin type 1. Fair skinned, milk bottle white and caucasian.
The causes of rosacea are still unclear, with many theories, it has been blamed on abnormal blood vessels, digestive bacteria, genetics, and even little tiny skin mites.
What are the demonstrations of rosacea?
There are four types of rosacea, with varying degrees of severity. The most common form, Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, presents stages with temporary redness in mild stages or with rashes in moderate stages. These are the result of disruption to the circulation and permanent dilation of the small vessels of the dermis. In its most severe stages, erythematotelangiectatic rosacea can cause the appearance of oedemas.
Lilly’s symptoms were classic “red alert” signs:
- Severe redness
- Burning sensations
- Underlying red bumps
- Spots that sometimes became filled with pus
What can trigger rosacea?
If genetics seems to play a big part in the appearance of redness and dilation of vessels, certain endogenous or even environmental factors can also trigger or exacerbate the symptoms of rosacea.
For Lilly, it seemed to be provoked by:
- Hot or spicy foods
- Baths and steam
- Change in temperature
- Exposure to sun
- Intense emotion
… and the list goes on.
What should I do and avoid to reduce my rosacea symptoms?
There’s no magic “cure” for rosacea. More than just trying to treat it as a skin problem, think of it as a digestive problem as well. A whole body approach recognises that what you eat matters, and studies on dietary links to rosacea show an alkaline diet can dramatically reduce the inflammation symptoms within three months.
Below are some of the things that have either helped or hindered Lilly, and our regular clients. It’s certainly not a definitive list, just some suggestions to restore a clearer, more even complexion, and one step closer to solve the Rosacea Enigma:
- Apply your products cold. Store your skin care products in the fridge, particularly serums, masques and moisturisers for a cooling effect.
- Use and splash cold water. Dr Allouche recommends doing this for its cooling, calming, anti-inflammatory and oxygenating properties.
- Eat celery. It’s packed with Luteolin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, and is high in vitamin K, which is perfect for preserving skin’s firmness. Celery sticks or celery-based juices, get the benefits of the celery.
- Eat pineapple. It contains Bromelain, which is a protein digesting enzyme that will relieve digestive problems. Find out more.
- Wear SPF all year round. Discover our Protection U.V.
- Unwind. A stress-free lifestyle is of utmost importance. Reducing stress and increasing balance in your life can show great results on your skin.
- Avoid extreme hot and cold temperatures, which can exacerbate the condition. Whether it is due to the steam from sauna and hot baths, or cold weather when going skiing, your skin can become more reactive. We recommend that you protect your face from harsh cold wind with a scarf.
- No perfume, or any other astringent products.
- Never scrub your face using microbead exfoliants. Opt for acid-based exfoliating lotion such as Lotion P50W.
- Avoid spicy food and any ingredient you may be reactive to.
- No alcoholic drinks (especially red wine, due to the tannins).
- No caffeine.
- No smoking.
- Exercise is always healthy, but on this occasion, do it in a cool environment, and do not let yourself overheat… keep hydrated.
- Sunshine hold a lot of vitamins and other benefits, however it can also cause a lot of damage. As with most good things… moderation is best.
Find below the BR skin care products I would highly recommend to treat rosacea:
All Biologique Recherche products are cold formulated and fragrance-free to respect the original structure of the active ingredients as well as preserve the integrity of the formulas and avoid allergic reactions.
- Lait U and/or Eau Micellaire Biosensible to gently cleanse your skin, remove all impurities and makeup traces.
- Lotion P50W to purify, hydrate, exfoliate and regenerate. Please avoid using directly on inflamed Rosacea.
- Masque Biosensible to reduce your hypersensitivity, please apply twice a week and leave on your face for 15-20 minutes.
- Sérum Erythros to reduce skin bloodstream, inhibit the formation of new blood vessels, calm down itchiness and protect against inflammation. This cocktail of 9 active ingredients including Vitamin B3, Red Algae extract and Arnica was specifically developed to treat skins affected by rosacea.
- Emulsion Gel Biosensible to soothe your skin and diminish redness.
- Protection U.V. to protect against UVA and UVB rays.
Lilly’s testimonial quote:
‘I tried Sérum Erythros with Crème Verte Espoir, and within six to eight weeks my symptoms have nearly all cleared up. I went back to my dermatologist recently and he was surprised to see how great my complexion was looking. The red bumps on my jawline have almost disappeared, and redness has significantly reduced, with smoother more even skin tone. I can’t recommend Biologique Recherche highly enough, or tell you the difference that it has made along with diet changes they recommended, a big high five to BR, thank you!’
The BR Facial for Skin Instants® with rosacea tendency which makes use of the products listed above is available at KOIA Notting Hill: 0207 229 8686.
Additionally, try Advanced Red Light Therapy to soothe and heal irritated skin, or IPL Laser Therapy to target the iron molecules in the blood vessels, sealing the broken capillaries, at EF MEDISPA Kensington: 0207 937 5554.