Got Rosacea-Prone Skin? A Dermatologist Recommends Products & Tips You’ll Love


Noticed some pesky red patches with bumps or blotchiness on your face lately that don’t seem to go away? There’s a chance you’re dealing with rosacea.

We spoke to Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, Aesthetic Physician and Founder of ISAAC Luxe (International Skin & Anti-Aging Centre), an aesthetic clinic, on how she would define and diagnose rosacea (pronounced roe-zay-she-uh) and here’s what she had to say, “Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory skin condition that usually affects the face. It is similar to a blushed face along with bumps that are a bit like acne. In this skin condition, flushing and visible blood vessels appear on the face. It is not caused due to poor hygiene and it is non-contagious.”

What Causes Rosacea?

So, what causes rosacea? While rosacea comes with varieties of sub-types and is easily triggered by food, weather, stress, etc., the real cause of rosacea is unknown, says Dr Geetika. She points out that according to the American Association of Dermatology, by studying rosacea, scientists have found some important clues such as rosacea runs in families. “Many people who get rosacea have family members who have rosacea. It is possible that people inherit genes for rosacea.” She adds that the immune system may also play a role. “Scientists have found that most people with acne-like rosacea react to a bacterium called bacillus oleronius. This reaction causes their immune system to overreact. Scientists still do not know whether this can cause rosacea.”

She further shares that studies have also shown a bug that causes infections in the intestines may play a role. “This bug, H pylori, is common in people who have rosacea but scientists cannot prove that H pylori can cause rosacea.” Another factor is a mite, demodex, that lives on everyone’s skin that may trigger the condition. This mite likes to live on the nose and cheeks, and this is where rosacea often appears. “Many studies found that people with rosacea have large numbers of this mite on their skin. The problem is some people who do not have rosacea also have large numbers of this mite on their skin.” And lastly, a protein that normally protects the skin from infection, cathelicidin, may cause redness and swelling. How the body processes this protein may determine whether a person gets rosacea.

Treatments for Rosacea

Whatever be the cause, you mustn’t leave it untreated. Dr Geetika shares that rosacea is initially treated with topical therapy by dermatologists. “It is the most common way and they are directly applied to the skin. Usually, four major ingredients included in topical therapy include antibiotics to treat infection, retinoids for treating acne bumps, azelaic acid to treat scar marks and evens tone, and brimonidine to reduce flushing,” she says.

Other active ingredients that you can look for in your skincare products to heal rosacea include niacinamide (vitamin B3) which helps in fighting signs of inflammation and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier. In the excessively oily skin type, niacinamide also helps to regulate oil production and minimise the appearance of pores.

One more is acetyl tetrapeptide-40 which can reduce inflammation and redness while boosting skin barrier function, while another, alpha arbutin – a naturally occurring antioxidant – also helps in retaining moisture, brightening skin, evens the skin tone even and improving discolouration. Other botanical-based ingredients include aloe and tea leaf extract, where the former has a soothing and calming effect which helps at the time of flare-ups, while the latter helps in fighting inflammation along with protection from sun damage.

“Dermatologists also use laser therapy to treat rosacea and to reduce its symptoms. By using laser, dermatologists aim to reduce redness, shrink superficial blood vessels and improve the appearance of inflamed skin,” she says.

Dr Geetika suggests the Photo Facial to treat rosacea, which is also offered at ISAAC Luxe. “Photo facial is IPL (intense pulsed light) therapy with vitamin infusion with micro channels. It is the skin treatment of facial skin blemishes using the properties of light. Among the several uses of this procedure, the most common and popular are stimulation of facial collagen or in the treatment of rosacea and acne,” she says.

Good To Know

So, are all skin types prone to rosacea? “Among the five major skin types – balanced, dry, oily, combination and sensitive – the sensitive skin type is most susceptible to rosacea and has higher chances of developing rosacea as a flared-up condition due to skin irritation,” she says. In fact, the more the sensitivity of the skin, the higher the risk of rosacea flare-ups. “Oily skin types too, have a special reason to develop rosacea because of excessive sebum production, which leads to clogging of pores and pooling up of oils on parts of the face. If rosacea goes untreated, it can lead to phymatous form of rosacea which is a serious skin condition.”

Dr Geetika suggests making certain lifestyle modifications in addition to topical and laser therapy to support the treatment. Here are some handy tips she shares:

  • Never skip sunscreen to protect skin from harsh sun rays.
  • Have a gentle skincare routine suggested by a dermatologist.
  • Avoid extreme hot and cold temperature exposure.
  • Avoid very hot showers.
  • Avoid spicy foods and cinnamaldehyde-containing foods like tomatoes, cinnamon, chocolates etc. as it flares up rosacea.
  • Use fragrance-free products on the face, as these are one of the major culprits for causing red, itchy and irritated skin.
  • Avoid food containing excessive histamines like aged cheese, wine, processed meat, etc.
  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Try to stress less and use stress management techniques to reduce cortisol levels.

We also round up a list of dermatologist-recommended products suited to rosacea-prone skin:

Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream

If you’re looking for an extra-gentle moisturiser, this one works well for redness-prone skin. Formulated with a patented lactobacillus extract, the cream helps restore and strengthen the skin’s protective barrier, restore its balance and leave it noticeably calmer and less reactive. A visible reduction in the appearance of red patches can be seen after just one application.

Avène Antirougeurs Clean Refreshing Cleansing Lotion

For those who love their makeup but skin can’t take makeup removers, this is a refreshing, no-rinse face wash for redness prone-skin. It gently removes makeup, dirt and oil as micro-gels release large doses of Thermal Spring Water to intensely soothe and refresh skin. The unique formula is made up of three key ingredients that help soothe heat sensations caused by redness – Avène Thermal Spring Water, TRP-Regulin which relieves sensations of discomfort and improves the tolerance threshold of sensitive skin, and lastly pongamia oil that helps maintain proper balance in the skin’s ecosystem.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser


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It’s not for nothing that this wonder product has achieved cult status in the last few years. Designed with a dermatologist-backed blend of niacinamide (vitamin B3), panthenol (vitamin B5) and hydrating glycerin, it helps improve the resilience of sensitive skin. Its creamy formula provides continuous hydration to protect against dryness while it gently yet effectively removes dirt, makeup and impurities.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturiser

Rosacea-prone skin needs to be treated with some TLC. Formulated with ingredients including ceramide-3, niacinamide, glycerin and La Roche-Posay Prebiotic Thermal Water, this soothing moisturiser helps repair the skin’s natural protective barrier after 1-hour and provides up to 48-hour hydration! Its lightweight cream texture easily absorbs into the skin to provide immediate comfort.

Biologique Recherche Sérum Erythros

This serum helps ease the symptoms of mild to moderate erythema of rosacea. It is a targeted serum that acts simultaneously on the causes of vascular dilation, the formation and propagation of new blood capillaries, inflammation, and visible redness. It helps soothe and calm angry skin, while unifying and balancing it.

iS Clinical Pro-Heal Serum Advance+

As its name suggests, this serum helps heal and treat rosacea and multiple forms of dermatitis. It combines the power of vitamin C, olive leaf extract, vitamin E, and vitamin A for excellent antioxidant and healing properties for your skin. It provides a healing effect to the skin, and also reduces acne and prevents acne breakouts, thus making the skin supple and younger-looking.

Dermalogica Ultracalming Serum Concentrate

This super-concentrated serum is a much-needed solution for skin sensitivity as it helps calm, restore and defend sensitised skin. Its UltraCalming Complex contains oat and botanicals to ease sensitisation, as peptides plus oil of evening primrose, sunflower seed and avocado extracts help defend against future assaults. The serum concentrate helps interrupt inflammatory triggers to prevent flare-ups. It also helps calm and soothe skin, especially after non-invasive cosmetic procedures.

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