While you might already know that rosacea flares can be triggered by certain foods, which ones should you actively avoid?
The list of potential triggers for rosacea is long and a little bit depressing, but it’s worth knowing that what other people can or can’t eat won’t necessarily be the same for you. So while the following are all worth considering, try to see them as a place to start, rather than a whole long list of forbidden fruits.
The best way of working out what triggers are or are not applicable to you is to keep a trigger diary. This should obviously chart what you had to eat, when, and how your skin reacted in the next few days.
Keeping a trigger diary
Here are our five top tips for keeping a trigger diary so you can determine what to avoid in future.
1. Take it with you! Either have a notebook and pen, or make a note on your phone. You can get allergy symptom apps which can also be helpful!
2. Keep it for at least two weeks, but better still, for at least a month.
3. Be detailed: include the ingredients as well as the item of food if you can.
4. Be honest about what you had! This isn’t to guilt you out, but to help you manage; don’t forget, no food is ‘bad’, it’s just that some can affect your skin.
5. Include other rosacea triggers, so you know if anything else was going on before a flare-up. This can include things like:
- Your mood
- Your hormonal cycle
- What the weather was like
- How hot you were
- What you've used on your skin
- If you’ve been ill
- If you’ve taken any medications
- Any exercise or exertion you’ve had
Over time, this diary should help identify what could be a problem for you. So the following list of potential problems could be taken as a starting point: if something’s on the list, you should be especially careful to keep an eye out for any symptoms afterwards.
Foods that can cause rosacea flares
This list is adapted from one compiled by patient support network Rosacea.org:
- Dairy products such as yoghurt, sour cream, cheese (except cottage cheese)
- Vanilla (check for vanilla extract in cakes and desserts)
- Soy sauce
- Yeast extract
- Broad-leaf beans and peas,
including butter beans, haricot beans and garden peas
- Fruit, including citrus, tomatoes, bananas,
red plums, raisins or figs
- Spicy foods, especially including spices such as cinnamon and chilies
- Hot (as in temperature) foods and drinks
- Foods high in histamine, such as dried fruits, processed meats, aged cheese, smoked food and shellfish, nuts, particularly walnuts, cashews and peanuts
(Pictured: some foods to avoid if you have rosacea! Ginger, coffee, chilli)
Alongside avoiding your triggers, you can institute a rosacea-friendly skincare routine! Try the following products to nourish and condition your skin.
Recommended products for skin prone to rosacea:
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream with shea butter, calendula and hemp (from £13.99 for 100ml): a nourishing but non-comedogenic daily moisturiser, for use anywhere on the body, face and hands.
Balmonds Cooling Cream with shea, menthol, aloe vera & lavender (£19 for 100ml); a light lotion designed to take the heat out of flushed skin.
Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil with rosehip, calendula, lavender & chamomile (£22 for 30ml): a rich, regenerative oil to help balance and restore sensitive skin.
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.