The Best Ingredients for Rosacea-Prone Skin
Rosacea affects more than 14 million people, flaring up with irritating redness and bumps for weeks or months at a time. But despite decades of research, the root cause of rosacea remains difficult to pin down. While there are plenty of unknowns in the pathology department, there is a solid game plan for keeping it under control. Read on for your rosacea management strategy. (And good news, AHAs are not off the table!)
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition most common in women with fair skin between ages 30 and 60. It appears as persistent redness accompanied by itchiness, spidery red lines (telangiectasia), and bumps, which often cause it to be confused with acne.
What causes rosacea?
There is evidence of an auto-immune connection, disruptions in the nervous and vascular system, and a bacterial component stemming from microbes in the skin flora. Genes are also a factor. But scientists continue to look for definitive answers.
While not the underlying causes of rosacea, things like extreme temperatures (hot or cold), UV exposure, spicy foods, hot or alcoholic beverages, wind, exercise, and stress, can trigger a flare-up.
What are the best skincare ingredients for rosacea?
Anti-inflammatory, soothing ingredients have always been the core of a rosacea regimen to strengthen the skin barrier and calm redness. Additionally, antimicrobial ingredients can help address the bacterial component. Anti-angiogenic ingredients act as vasoconstrictors (caffeine, aloe, green tea) to help reduce the appearance of veins close to the skin's surface.
Here are our favorite ingredients and the best products for incorporating them into your rosacea regimen.
Green tea extract is a gentle, barrier-supporting soother. Powerfully anti-inflammatory, it's also known for its anti-angiogenic and antibacterial properties. The high polyphenol content in green tea gives it off the charts antioxidant properties to protect against UV, a rosacea trigger. It calms inflammation, stimulates cell repair, minimizes disruption to the skin barrier, and reduces the appearance and formation of blood vessels near the skin's surface.
Find it in our Green Tea Antioxidant Cleanser, an ultra-gentle formula to nourish, hydrate, and protect sensitive rosacea skin.
Your sensitive skin doesn't have to miss out on the brightening and cell-renewing benefits of AHA exfoliation. With the largest molecular structure of any alpha-hydroxy acid, mandelic acid is absorbed more slowly by the skin to provide mild exfoliation. It's also an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory agent, so it can help reduce redness and support a healthy microbiome in the skin.
Find mandelic acid in our Skin Nourishing Toner, an ultra-gentle formula bolstered with nourishing rosehip oil and green tea extract.
A prime cause of redness and rosacea is a weak moisture barrier and increased transepidermal water loss. Both contribute to the skin's irritability and susceptibility to inflammation.
Niacinamide increases the biosynthesis of ceramides, boosts nourishing fatty acid levels in the skin, and prevents water loss. Its potent anti-inflammatory properties combat rosacea's redness, irritation, and blotchiness.
Find it Derm-A Renew, our gentle peptide and vitamin A serum to encourage cell turnover, enhance skin structure and elasticity, and promote a resilient skin barrier.
The high phenolic content in algae gives it potent antioxidant properties while nourishing amino acids and polysaccharides hydrate and thicken the epidermis. It's also rich in vitamins A, B, C, and E, plus micronutrients including iodine, iron, and zinc—all of which are highly beneficial in combating skin damage and strengthening the skin barrier.
Soothe inflamed skin with an Algae Soft Mask. It's also a great way to relieve stress, another contributor to irritation and inflammation.
Among the more than 75 bioactive compounds in whole leaf aloe are multiple antibacterial components, plus glycoproteins and mucopolysaccharides, which tamp down inflammation and speed healing. Aloe is also a humectant, meaning it draws in and retains moisture to bolster the skin barrier. (The skin absorbs aloe up to four times faster than water!)
Our Totaloe Calming and Hydrating Gel combines whole leaf aloe with lipid-restoring niacinamide, green tea extract, and algae to calm, balance, and restore.
This hydrating skin protectant derived from the comfrey leaves has anti-inflammatory, antipsoriatic, and wound-healing properties making it the perfect moisturizing ingredient for redness relief.
Our lightweight, non-greasy Allantoin Sedating & Hydrating Lotion combines allantoin, grapeseed oil, oat protein, whole leaf aloe, and zinc peptides for the ultimate soothing moisturizer.
These collagen-boosting rejuvenators are also potent redness reducers. As cellular communicators, they stimulate collagen production and inhibit inflammation pathways.
Rejuv Rx is a gentle serum that pairs peptides with gently exfoliating lactic acid and nourishing niacinamide to bolster the skin barrier and combat redness while increasing elasticity, volume, and resiliency.