By Chris Barry
Rosacea is a common skin condition that can cause redness, blemishes and swelling around the cheeks and nose. Though mainly a cosmetic concern, it can be a significant source of physical and emotional distress.
Learn more about The Effects of Rosacea.
Identifying your own particular triggers can make treating rosacea easier. Think about the condition as something that affects the entire body, instead of viewing it solely as a skin care issue. By considering the issue holistically, you will stand a greater chance of resolving it.
For instance, you may want to stop your current regimen of lotions, harsh exfoliants and any other potential skin irritants, including foods that contribute to digestive issues or allergies. Eliminating external factors that may exacerbate rosacea will allow you to get the most out of the natural remedies described below.
1. Wear Sunscreen
Sun damage is highly correlated with the severity of rosacea symptoms. Protecting your skin from the sun will help prevent symptoms from worsening, while decreasing inflammation and redness.
Make sure that your sunscreen has an SPF of 30+ and as few chemicals as possible; the more natural it is, the better off your skin will be.
2. Change Your Diet
Trying different foods with specific properties can go a long way toward improving rosacea.
Fruits and vegetables: Leafy greens and orange or yellow fruits contain carotenoid phytonutrients, which help fight sun damage naturally. Additionally, produce tends to reduce inflammation.
Healthy fats: Coconut oil, fish oil, olive oil, avocado and nuts can help with natural stress management, hormone regulation and digestive inflammation.
Lean proteins: Eggs, grass-fed meats and wild fish are wonderful for bolstering the immune system.
Anti-Inflammatory squad: Garlic, turmeric, ginger, onions, broccoli, collard greens and green tea are all great for reducing inflammation, particularly in the skin.
You may also want to avoid common allergens like dairy, gluten, nuts, sugar, fried foods, alcohol and caffeine. Though the list may sound limiting at first, these foods are often responsible for increased inflammation and skin irritation.
3. Favor Natural Cosmetics
Consider switching to a gentler formula of cosmetic products or even going without cosmetics for a few days every week to allow your skin to breathe.
While this may sound counterproductive, if you prefer to cover up your rosacea with foundation or powder, in many cases it does help improve the skin's health and appearance.
4. Reduce Stress
Managing stress levels is crucial when it comes to rosacea and any other type of skin irritation. Our bodies react differently under stress and may be more prone to allergies, breakouts, irritation and inflammation.
Taking time regularly to do activities that make you happy is monumentally important. Meditation and yoga can help you manage stress and anxiety. Creative outlets such as music, writing and art also make great options for self-care.
5. Try Supplements and Essential Oils
Natural supplements and essential oils can be a good way to get your skin back in shape.
Turmeric, ginger, aloe vera and raw honey can be combined to make a variety of topical mask treatments to soothe skin on the face and limbs.
Essential oils like tea tree, lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile and thyme have anti-inflammatory properties and provide the added benefit of aromatherapy. Putting a dab of one of these oils on your temples or the insides of your wrists before bed lets you breathe them in as you fall asleep.
Diet, sunscreen, cosmetics, self-care and natural supplements are all natural remedies to add to your rosacea treatment toolbox. Trying a few or all of these options can be a great way to explore what works best for your body. You may even get to know yourself a little better. Enjoy the journey and be patient with yourself and your skin.
Read more about Treating Rosacea: The Best Ways to Get the Red Out
About the author: Chris Barry is a staff writer and senior editor for Zwivel. He has written stories on everything from motorcycle gangs in the Caribbean to traveling the USA with Ringo Starr. His articles have been published in such high—and sometimes low—profile publications as Vice, Maxim and The National Post.