Would you be surprised to learn that one of the world's bestselling foundations, IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream (a global, award-winning bestseller and the No.1 top selling cosmetics line sold on QVC in the US) actually came about because of rosacea?
In 2004, Jamie Kern Lima, the co-founder of IT Cosmetics, worked as a TV news anchor where she had to spend hours every day applying skincare, heavy foundations and cosmetics in an attempt to camouflage her severe hereditary rosacea.
None of these cosmetics really worked, so in 2008, Jamie partnered with plastic surgeons and dermatologists and founded IT Cosmetics to create make-up and skincare products that work for sufferers of rosacea - try its CC+ Cream Foundation and concealer yourself, they are absolutely brilliant products for heavy-duty skin imperfection cover-ups, that don't smother and clog your skin.
Rosacea affects up to 415 million people worldwide, and it can be a distressing condition. But there are many brilliant lines now, specifically designed for rosacea-prone skin, as well as foundations that cover even the most ardent breakouts. Here are just a few of them.
Calm down hot and bothered rosacea skin with a weekly face mask. Just remember to pop your mask in the fridge beforehand to double up on its skin-cooling effects! Academie Hypo-Sensible Calming Mask For Redness, €23, from salons nationwide and academiebeaute.com
This is a rich but non-greasy formula specifically made for redness- and rosacea-prone skin (both male and female). Jam-packed with active ingredients designed to counteract the signs of rosacea, it also uses ginseng and red algae extracts to reduce the appearance of broken blood vessels on the skin's surface. This is hypoallergenic and non-comodogenic (i.e. it won't block pores).
Uriage Roséliane Anti-Redness Cream, €16.50, available in pharmacies nationwide and at uriage.ie.
This is a must-try for those suffering with rosacea, but it's also a great option for anyone with super sensitive and redness- prone skin. Again this is a unisex option (it's non-tinted so perfect for male and female skin) and acts as a skin heat-regulating, anti-redness gel. It also acts as a skin "firewall" by instantly calming overheating and redness by using licorice extract to soothe, decongest and lower the temperature of the skin. SVR Sensifine AR Crème, €19, from pharmacies nationwide.
Cover all bases
This creamy, high-coverage foundation was designed specifically for skin affected by rosacea, acne, scarring and pigmentation. It can even be used after skin treatment and cosmetic injections. Research has proven that exposure to UV (sunlight) is a major cause and trigger of rosacea, so the use of a mineral sunscreen (i.e. zinc and titanium oxide sunscreens) is a brilliant way to both prevent rosacea and ease its symptoms. Image Skincare ICONCEAL Flawless Foundation SPF 30, €48, from salons nationwide and imageskincare.ie.
Dr Nicola Ralph is a consultant dermatologist at the Mater Private Hospital and Blackrock Private Clinic. She is also co-founder of the newly-launched Institute of Dermatologists. She gives the low-down on how to deal with rosacea
What exactly is rosacea?
Rosacea is a common, chronic inflammatory skin condition affecting the face, which may be recurrent or persistent. It is known as the "curse of the Celts" as it is found most commonly in fair-skinned, blue-eyed individuals. It usually affects adults in their 30s/40s and is characterised by redness of the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead with/without inflammatory lesions - whiteheads/pustules and red spots/papules. It may also be associated with dry/gritty eyes.
What are some of the symptoms?
Midfacial redness with or without inflammatory bumps (red spots/papules or whiteheads/pustules). Sufferers may also flush easily and have dry eyes and sensitivity of their skin. The skin may also become thickened with prominent pores, particularly around the nose - known as rhinophyma.
How many Irish people suffer from rosacea?
In Ireland, many people have ruddy complexions, UV-induced broken veins and rosacea, which affects approximately 1 in 10 Irish adults.
What causes and/or triggers rosacea?
The cause of rosacea is unknown but is thought to be due to a number of hereditary and environmental factors. Triggers include:
* UV exposure
* Hot and spicy food or drink
* Rapid change in environmental temperature (such as a hot room, shower, exercise)
* Topical steroids may induce rosacea.
What is a really good skincare routine for women with rosacea?
Wash the face with oil-free products daily. Apply prescription topical therapies each morning or evening to clean, dry skin. This must be followed by daily use of a zinc-based SPF which is vital to prevent triggering the rosacea from UV exposure. I recommend ELTA MD SPF, which may be tinted or clear (for both men and women) and is designed specifically for those with acne and rosacea.
Are there any skincare ingredients we should avoid if we suffer from rosacea?
Avoid using harsh products, which contain:
* Glycolic acid
* Salicyclic acid
*Benzoyl peroxide (which is more suitable for acne-prone skin and may actually flare rosacea)
* Caution with use of retinoids on rosacea prone skin as it may flare the skin. It may be introduced slowly once the skin is more settled.
Can it be treated with therapies? If so, what are some effective non-surgical therapies/treatments for rosacea?
IPL is one of the most effective, non-surgical and simple treatments used to treat redness and broken veins. Our M22 Lumenis treatment is a lunchtime procedure with minimal downtime. For those who have milder rosacea with "spots" they may also use topical therapies such as antibiotics, anti-parasitics for milder rosacea and maintenance therapy. However, for more extensive rosacea, oral antibiotics called tetracyclines are used, which have an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.