Whether you've been a little more rosy-cheeked than you'd like (and rosy-nosed, and forehead'd...) all your life or developed patches of redness later in life, rosacea is one of those beauty bugbears that doesn't go away overnight. How to cure this all-too-common and deeply irritating condition? We turned to renowned skin expert, and creator of some of our favourite-ever products, Sarah Chapman for the lowdown.
Grazia Daily: Who are you and what do you do?
Sarah Chapman: "I am a beauty expert, facialist and founder of Sarah Chapman London. My work focuses on facial rejuvenation, skin treatments and product formulations aiming to always push the boundaries of skincare and achieve dramatic measurable results."
GD: First of all, what is rosacea? Is it one specific condition or an umbrella term for different kinds of redness?
SC: "Rosacea is a commonly re-occurring inflammatory skin condition that causes redness mostly on the face. Rosacea itself is a specific condition however; many other skin complaints often get branded as this condition, like couperose or hypersensitivity."
GD: What are the main known triggers of rosacea?
SC: "Rosacea is a condition that can vary in severity from one flare up to the next. There are a number of recognised triggers, such as sun exposure, alcohol consumption, spicy foods and emotional stress. It is also often thought that it could be bacterial."
GD: Is rosacea developed over time, or are we born with it?
SC: "Rosacea usually develops between the ages of 30-50, with fair skinned people, particularly women, the most common sufferers."
GD: What can we do topically to treat our rosacea?
SC: "Treatments vary widely, depending on the severity of the condition. Keeping the skin cool can really help, so face masks are a great at-home treatment. My 3D Moisture Infusion Mask (£39.00), applied from the fridge, is wonderfully soothing on the skin. Try to stay out of the sun and always wear a high factor SPF or titanium dioxide sunscreen – these tend to be less irritating to rosacea-prone skins."
GD: What can we do in terms of our diet to alleviate it?
SC: "Avoid excess alcohol, spicy food and hot beverages. Try to eat more dark green vegetables, like kale, broccoli or spinach. Vegetables such as these are naturally rich in Vitamins A and C, bioflavonoids and beta-carotene that can help to strengthen capillaries to improve your rosacea."
GD: Are there any effective dermatologist/facialist treatments for rosacea?
SC: "Again, depending on the severity of the condition, working to soothe and calm the skin is often a good place to start. In the clinic I would recommend a course of Dermalux LED Light Therapy using red, blue and near infra-red light, to help repair and strengthen the capillaries. Clinical treatments such as IPL can reduce visible redness and some mild mandelic peels can be helpful. Also, consider also taking probiotics and omega supplements."
GD: Will attempting to hide it with makeup make it worse?
SC: "As long as you are using gentle make-up that is suitable for sensitive skin to prevent irritation, toning down the redness is fine. Look for green-tinted skin primers as these will work with the redness to tone down the high colouration of the skin and stick to mineral makeup such as Jane Iredale or bareMinerals."
GD: Is there a point where rosacea may need medical attention?
SC: "If left untreated for a long period of time, rosacea can get to a point where it will require medical attention. There are different forms of rosacea, with and without pimples but acne rosacea requires medical treatment. If it is very uncomfortable and sore, I would visit a doctor for further help."
GD: What would be three skincare/makeup ingredients to avoid for rosacea sufferers?
SC: "Anything too astringent that can cause stress to the skin should be avoided. Common ingredients like witch hazel, menthol, peppermint oil and salicylic acid have all been found to induce flare ups. Also avoid abrasive scrubs or peels and products that typically contain alcohol, such as toners."