A Dermatologist’s Guide To Rosacea Skin Care | Dear Derm | Well+Good
– Hey, guys, I’m Dr. Mona Gohara, and welcome back to another episode of “Dear Derm.” Today we’re gonna talk all about rosacea. (chill electronic music) So, rest assured that I see rosacea patients every single day.
It is super, super common, so you are not alone. But sometimes you may not think it’s rosacea, and patients come in and they say, Dr. Gohara, I’ve really sensitive skin, when actually, that’s not what’s going on.
But that doesn’t mean we’re not gonna talk about it. Today on “Dear Derm,” we’re gonna dig in a little bit deeper and talk about the different kinds of rosacea and what skincare routine would be optimal for you if you think you have it.
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that a lot of people associate with redness on the face, but it can actually present itself in many different ways. So let’s get into that a little bit more. So there’s four different things that I kind of talk about my patients with, and people can have any variation of them.
First, trigger-based flushing. So hot or spicy food, red wine, changes of emotion, changes of temperature, I hate to use the word, but hormonal flushing, and the face gets a little bit pink in the cheeks and then the flushing goes back down.
Second, it’s textural changes on the skin. So acne bumps and large pores, dryness, easily irritated. Any of those things where the texture of your skin is noticeably different may actually be a component of rosacea.
And what’s interesting is you actually may see these textural changes, which kinda look like pimples, around your chin, nose, and eyes. Third, you may see broken capillaries, little, tiny broken blood vessels in the skin that actually leave the skin looking a little bit pink and red, and somebody may think, for example, you’ve been sunburned or have a little blush on, when actually you don’t.
And then lastly, ocular rosacea or rosacea around the eye that leaves the eye watery, feeling a little bit gritty, like you wanna dig something out of there. Each one of these components of rosacea has a nuance treatment that your dermatologist may talk to you about.
That being said, anyone with rosacea really should consider using a very gentle skincare routine on a daily basis. When I talk to patients about what they should be using on their face in the context of rosacea, the first would start with a very gentle hydrating cleanser.
No harsh soaps, nothing that’s foaming, nothing that’s drying because what that’s gonna do is it’s just gonna stoke the fire, creating more redness. Second, when it comes to exfoliation, I recommend using a beta hydroxy acid like salicylic acid instead of an alpha hydroxy acid like glycolic acid.
Why? ‘Cause it’s a little less irritating, and also, it could help minimize the enlarged pores, which often come along with the textural changes of rosacea. Moisturization is essential because patients with rosacea may note that they have particularly dry skin.
So I recommend looking for creams and lotions that have components like ceramides, glycerine, and hyaluronic acid. Lastly, and probably most importantly, is sun protection and ultraviolet protection because we know that UV light and heat can be a very big trigger for rosacea flares.
So I recommend to my patients that they never leave the house before applying a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher. If you’re interested in collagen-building or fading down fine lines, here are some of the ingredients that I like.
Bakuchiol is a plant-based ingredient that’s been used in many other parts of the world to bring out radiance and glow, and increase collagen production, and it’s extremely gentle on the skin. Also, I really like a vitamin-A derivative called retinaldehyde, which helps to build collagen, but is a lot less inflammatory than other retinoids.
So here are some of the things that I recommend avoiding. When you’re applying makeup, I wouldn’t use the harsh bristly brushes. This is a great place for the makeup sponge to blend in your foundation or to put on your concealer because they’re a lot less irritating to the skin and may not bring out that redness that can be triggered by irritation on the skin.
I also recommend avoiding mechanical cleansing brushes and mechanical exfoliants because they can actually make you have more broken capillaries on the skin, so I would just steer clear of those altogether.
And then the last thing I would say is just be overall very careful of what you’re putting on the skin, and kind of take some examination before you buy a product. Just because it says natural or organic or plant-based doesn’t mean it’s great for the skin, and it actually may be proinflammatory.
So here are some specific product lines that I like for rosacea. For sunscreen, I like the Elta MD line. They have a wonderful product called Elta Clear that you can put on each morning before you leave the house.
And as the Clear in the name connotes, it blends in easily with any skin routine. But it also has this little magic gem of niacinamide in it that helps to reduce inflammation. So that’s one of my fan favorites when it comes to rosacea products.
I also like this line called Avene which is, in general, just very gentle on the skin. For those of you interested in collagen production and decreasing fine line, this product here, which its active ingredient is retinaldehyde, is a gem.
Just use a pea-sized amount over the entire face to get your desired result. Now, one of the tips and tricks I tell my patients is actually just to apply it to the periphery of the face, not the central face, ’cause the outside of your face is where you’ll have the least amount of inflammation from rosacea, but most of those pesky, little lines.
Another product line I love, which is from Spain, is called Isdin, but you can find it locally here in the U.S. And this in particular, this line in particular called Melatonik is infused with bakuchiol, that plant-based derivative that we talked about, and it’s very gentle.
I really love this because it’s a serum-based, and I like that it’s clear, as you can see, and I like that I could use it in the morning or at night, giving me a little bit more flexibility in my routine.
So I actually use this on a regular basis because I myself have a smidge of rosacea that’s trigger-based from heat, so when I get out of the shower, my face is a little flushed, and I just put on my Melatonik.
Now that you have the general skincare routine for rosacea, let’s talk about the specific treatments that I may recommend to my patients. So first, for trigger-based flushing. And I know this is super duper annoying, but I usually recommend to avoid the triggers.
The second component of rosacea that we talked about, which is the textural changes, or the acne bumps that may occur around the mouth, the nose, or the eyes, there are a lot of options for this. There could be topical or oral antibiotics that can come in the form of creams or pills, and those can significantly help to reduce those irritated, inflamed papillas that occur, and many times, that is what causes the most anxiety in cases of patients who have rosacea.
Third, for the broken capillaries on the face, thank God for lasers because they really help to reduce and get rid of those little, teeny-weeny capillaries that are creating the red and pink hue to the cheeks.
And lastly, ocular rosacea, which actually can be the trickiest one to treat and can come on and off for years, your dermatologist may give you an oral antibiotic to subside some of the inflammation, or even recommend gentle cleansers to place along the eyelid to get rid of some of that grit.
So I hope from this episode that you learned that there are different components to rosacea, but also a lot of different treatment options. So definitely get into your dermatologist, and definitely check out some of the products we recommended today.
Thank you so much for watching this episode of “Dear Derm.” Don’t forget to subscribe to Well and Good, and leave any comments below.