Rosacea is a chronic inflammation of the capillaries and blood vessels under the skin of the face, causing redness on the cheeks, nose, eyelids, forehead and chin. It is often accompanied by noticeable blood vessels and small pimples, and those who suffer from rosacea blush easily.
Though doctors have not identified a single cause of rosacea, many believe it is similar to acne and is a sign of internal health problems (especially dietary or digestive conditions). Consequently, while topical treatments will help control or reduce rosacea flare-ups, they will not get rid of the condition completely. To heal your skin, it’s important to use a mix of topical treatments and lifestyle changes.
1. Cool compress (topical)
Treating your skin with a cool compress made of chamomile and cucumber will help to minimizing the redness you experience. Both ingredients both reduce inflammation and increase circulation. They are also soothing for skin that has become flushed or irritated by exposure to sunlight or chemical treatments.
To make your compress, let a cup of chamomile tea steep for 5-10 minutes. Add several slices of fresh cucumber and allow the whole mixture to cool for half an hour. Strain the liquid, then use it to soak a clean cloth. Wring the cloth out, then place it on your face on top of rosacea flare-ups.
2. Green tea (internal & topical)
Green tea is a natural anti-inflammatory, while the antioxidants in it will increase collagen production and help reduce the sun sensitivity that can worsen rosacea. Cool green tea can be used to make a topical compress. You can also keep a spray bottle of green tea in the fridge and use it to mist your face throughout the day, which will hydrate your skin, reduce redness, and minimize environmental irritation
Further, green tea can help address the root cause of your rosacea when you drink it regularly. Whether warm or iced, green tea is full of compounds called catechins, which improve any digestive imbalance that may be causing your flare-ups. Sugar can worsen digestive problems, though, so make sure that your green tea does not have any added sweetener.
3. Leafy greens (internal)
Adding leafy green vegetables like Swiss chard and spinach to your diet will attack your rosacea on two fronts. Firstly, these foods contain high amounts of riboflavin (or B2), a vitamin that is critical for healthy capillaries and normal blood flow. Riboflavin deficiency is thought to affect the sensitive blood vessels in your face, causing them to become inflamed and triggering chronic rosacea. Adding more B2 to your diet helps restore normal blood flow, minimizing redness and skin irritation.
Secondly, leafy greens contain high levels of fiber, which is necessary for healthy digestion. Consuming increased amounts of fiber help clear out your gastrointestinal tract, eliminating unhealthy bacteria or fungal growth that may be harming your skin and causing inflammation.
4. Probiotics (internal)
Your digestive tract is full of bacteria that keep your body healthy; a decrease in levels of positive bacteria can cause a number of problems, including increased redness and flushing in those suffering from rosacea.
You can rebalance your digestive system by adding probiotics (i.e. healthy bacteria) to your diet. Probiotic supplements can be found in most grocery and healthy food stores. You can also eat fermented, probiotic-heavy foods, such as yogurt, kefir, or sauerkraut.
5. Rosehip seed oil (topical)
Finally, rosehip seed oil is naturally high in fatty acids, which help lower inflammation and heal skin damage. Its astringent qualities reduce redness from rosacea and clear the blocked pores that flare-ups can cause. You can use this oil as a daily moisturizer to minimize regular redness, or as an occasional treatment to help soothe skin during periods of irritation.