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Balancing Skin With Rosacea

I always considered myself pretty lucky as a teenager. I had clear skin, when many of my friends struggled with acne.  However, that streak of good luck changed in my mid-20s. It all started when I went skiing one winter. I got off the slopes and my friends looked at me and said "what happened to your face?” I ran to the nearest restroom – freaking out – and looked in the mirror … and there they were: bright red patches all over my cheeks. Terror set in. This didn’t look good.

I thought the tingling sensation in my cheeks was due to the cold but later learned that it was a Rosacea flareup ... my first of many to come. My initial symptoms were mild to moderate, so I didn't feel the need to seek medical attention. Through trial and error, I discovered my triggers: red wine, tomato sauce, spicy foods, sunbathing, and cold temps — some of my favorite things.

As I got older, the symptoms got worse. My flareups became more frequent. Then, a new development: Rosacea spread to one of my eyelids. The affected eye was so swollen that sometimes I couldn’t see. It was itchy, red, bulbous, and nasty … I didn’t dare go out without wearing sunglasses. Who knew that this was even possible? 

I went to a dermatologist to get properly diagnosed and was referred to an ophthalmologist. Then, my learning journey began.

The Different Types Of Rosacea

  • Erythematotelangiectatic Rosaea: Characterized by persistent redness on the face. Blood vessels beneath the surface may become enlarged and visible.
  • Papulopustular Rosacea: This one has pus-filled blemishes.  Often misdiagnosed as acne.
  • Phymatous Rosacea: Causes skin to thicken and scar.
  • Ocular Rosacea: The eyes are affected. There may be an associated feeling of burning, irritation. Cysts may develop on the eyelids. It may be more common than previously thought. The connection between skin symptoms and the eyes is easily overlooked. 

If you think you may have rosacea, you should see a dermatologist (or ophthalmologist depending on where the flareups are), so you can be properly diagnosed. It is common for those affected to see combinations of all four types of Rosacea.

While I was going through my flareups, I was wondering "why me?” The truth is that Rosacea can affect anyone. The cause is unknown but likely due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors:

  • Being a female   
  • Having light skin that is sun-damaged
  • Being 30 years old or older
  • Having a family history of Rosacea

Common triggers for most people:

  • Hot drinks and spicy foods
  • Red wine and other alcoholic beverages
  • Temperature extremes
  • Sunlight or wind
  • Emotions
  • Exercise
  • Various cosmetic products
  • Stress

Treatment of rosacea focuses on controlling signs and symptoms. A regular course of treatments will likely be prescribed, including antibiotics and topical medications. In addition to completing a physician-prescribed treatment protocol, I made lifestyle changes and used a few home remedies. Fortunately, my rosacea has been in remission for over a year now. 

A few easy tips:

  • Identify and avoid your triggers.
  • Protect your face: Wear a hat that covers your face. Avoid the sun. In the coldest months, wear a scarf or face mask.  
  • Treat your skin gently. Don't rub or touch your face too much. Avoid products that contain alcohol or other skin irritants.  
  • A gentle daily face massage may help reduce swelling and inflammation. 
  • Moderate exercise gets your circulation going, which is always great for your skin.
  • Drink plenty of water.

Another game changer for me? Introducing natural skincare to my routine and keeping my skin balanced naturally. 

Nathalie’s Favorite Starling Products To Combat Rosacea:

  1. Nurture Cleanser: I start with this foamy, mild cleanser made for sensitive skin. It heals and soothes irritated skin! It cleanses without stripping your skin of its natural barrier. Dead sea clay draws impurities out naturally and mildly exfoliates. Organic green tea extract provides excellent anti-inflammatory and skin-brightening benefits. Aloe vera nourishes your skin. It can be used as a reparative mask, too.
  2. Super Boost Hyaluronic Serum: I follow up the cleansing with this incredible serum.  I spray 3 times on the palm of my hands first, rub together, and then pat all over my face and neck. It smells like roses and it makes me smile. Super Boost pulls moisture into the layers beneath the surface, making your skin act like a sponge – drinking in all of the beneficial ingredients within the formula. Your skin will regenerate and it will make your skin plump and glowing.
  3. Revive Face Serum: I end my routine with this amazing serum. It's super food for your skin. Full of vitamins and fatty acids. Made for anyone with unbalanced skin. It’s an oil-based product, but it won’t clog pores. Your skin is left firm, smooth, and absolutely glowing. I use this as a moisturizer.  

Following this regimen regularly has given me clear and happy looking skin again. I hope you’ll try it!