Living with rosacea can be tough; constantly alert for triggers that can cause flare ups, and often anxious about the effect rosacea is having on your appearance, it’s tricky to negotiate your way through the simple tasks of daily life.
On top of avoiding triggers, there’s the headache of finding toiletries and cosmetics that won’t flare up your face, when so many high street brands just aren’t an option for you.
So what does rosacea-prone skin need, and what should you avoid putting on it?
One thing rosacea definitely needs is care. Such sensitive skin needs extra attention to build resilience and keep in good, healthy condition, so that flares, when they do inevitably happen, are less severe and last for a shorter length of time. But what does that extra care actually look like in practice?
What to avoid
Most simply, as far as day to day life goes, it means avoiding toiletries that will irritate the delicate epidermis and cause an inflammatory reaction. Although every one is different, and what flares one person with rosacea may be fine for another, soaps, cleansers and washes that contain the following ingredients are almost certainly worth avoiding:
- high alkalinity - such as standard household bar soap
- SLS: the skin-irritant sodium lauryl sulphate (aka SLS; ALS or SLES are also worth avoiding)
- Propylene glycol
- Potent essential oils such as peppermint, camphor, eucalyptus, menthol
- Astringents such as witch hazel
Generally speaking, the more complicated and synthetic the ingredients list, the more likely it is to contain something that will irritate your face! This doesn’t always hold true - a three ingredient oil which has eucalyptus as one of its three components is not going to be good for your skin - but it’s a useful rule of thumb.
What to use instead
But those ingredients are incredibly common in household toiletries, the ones most people use! And rosacea-prone skin actively needs to be kept clean and healthy, free from pore-clogging grime or skin-disrupting microbes. So what are your options?
- Just warm water! You can wash your face with plain water, though it’s advisable that you moisturise afterwards. Makeup removal might need some extra help, of course.
- An extra gentle, soap-free, unscented wash: we have one here: Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash.
- An oil-based cleanser: massage oil into skin, then remove with a damp cloth or cotton wool (we have Balmonds Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil with rosehip and calendula that works brilliantly to remove makeup and general daily grime, but any plain natural oil that your skin tolerates can do the job.
- A balm or cream cleanser: use your favourite non-irritant moisturiser for the job; both Balmonds Skin Salvation and Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream work as facial cleansers if you remove them gently with a warm, damp cloth or cotton wool.
Washing rosacea-prone skin
If you wash your face with water or a wash, follow these steps:
- Don’t wash with a face cloth; just use your fingers to gently smooth the water over your skin
- Use warm water, not cold or hot
- Rinse thoroughly - but gently!
- Pat your face dry - don’t rub the skin!
- Use a very soft deep pile towel, or some kitchen roll, to pat skin dry
- Leave it very slightly damp rather than bone dry
- Apply a moisturiser that your skin tolerates to lock in moisture
For more information about rosacea and how to manage it, see our blog on Rosacea Awareness.
Recommended products for rosacea-prone skin:
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
with shea butter and calendula
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile
Balmonds Omega-Rich Cleansing Oil
with rosehip and calendula
Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil
with rosehip, calendula, lavender & chamomile
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.