It’s never easy when a flare-up occurs – you think your skin is behaving itself and then you wake up to a face that’s inflamed, flushed and irritate. In these circumstances, it might be tempting to turn to your make-up products to disguise the problem, however, this definitely isn’t a long-term solution if you want to soothe your flare-up and it could potentially make it worse. That’s why today I’m here to give my top tips on how you can get the better of your rosacea and prevent a flare-up!
1 – Don’t stress
Okay, so if you’re suffering from a flare-up, you’re not exactly going to be feeling the best, especially if you have a social event on the horizon or work commitments that might involve a little public speaking. However, working yourself into a panic over your flare-up isn’t going to help the problem – in fact it might just make it worse!
As I mentioned yesterday when discussing the effects of poor sleep, stress can trigger the release of inflammatory chemicals like cortisol and adrenaline – not what you want if you suffer from a skin condition like rosacea as you may end up with flushed, inflamed skin!
So, take a deep breath and try to keep things in perspective. Your flare-up, while an irritating problem, is really not worth the toll that a stress reaction will exact.
2 – Cool your skin down
When your skin is flushed and inflamed, the last thing you want to apply is anything with too much heat. An increase in temperature can cause your blood vessels to dilate which can exacerbate the appearance of rosacea making you more prone to flare-ups.
That’s why it’s generally recommended to cool your inflammation with a cold face pack – not too cold as this shift in temperature can present its own problems, but a little coolness can help your blood vessels to constrict, reducing inflammation. I would try wrapping a couple of ice cubes in a non-abrasive cloth and applying this pack to area of your face that is being affected.
3 – Avoid irritating ingredients
Your make-up and skincare products are loaded with ingredients, some of which may help your skin, while others might make a bout of rosacea worse. It’s not just parabens, phthalates and the other usual culprits that you have to worry about though.
Even natural ingredients, like witch hazel, peppermint, grapefruit extract and eucalyptus oil can provoke a reaction from rosacea-prone skin so be on the lookout and read that ingredients list carefully.
It might also be worth remembering that your make-up does have an expiration date and can become a breeding ground for bacteria if you don’t regularly clean out you make-up bag. Water-based cleansers and toners, mascara and liquid eyeliners are particularly susceptible to short expiration dates – you have been warned!
4 – Wash everything!
Bacteria and toxins are notorious for upsetting sensitive skin but they can sometimes linger in unexpected places, such as your smartphones! Smartphones are everywhere and we treat them as lifelines, feeling uneasy whenever they’re out of reach for too long. Unfortunately, this attitude has its drawbacks, with some estimating that your mobile is up to 10 times dirtier than your toilet seat – yuck!
All of these germs are then transferred to your fingertips whenever you text or scroll and thereafter to your face. I’m sure you can imagine the results of this encounter – all of those nasty bugs and bacteria now inhabit your skin, weakening your epidermis and encouraging an inflammatory response from your immune system.
However, it isn’t just your smartphone or tablet that you should be worried about – your make-up bag could also be hiding a few nasty secrets too! It’s absolutely critical that you clean your make-up brushes and sponges regularly to avoid the spread of germs. Most stores will offer wipes exclusively for this purpose – make good use of them!
5 – Including your bed linen!
The picture doesn’t get much prettier when you consider your bed linen and pillowcases. Hopefully, you’re already changing your bedding regularly and if you are, you’re probably already aware of how your sheets and duvets can turn into a breeding ground for bacteria. When you sleep at night, you sweat and shed skin cells which then get absorbed by your bed linen and pillowcases, like a sponge soaking up water.
Over time these dead skin cells can build up, especially on your pillowcases! It’s thought that unclean pillowcases are a leading cause of blackheads and flare-ups, especially if you have sensitive skin that’s already prone to inflammation.
Experts recommend changing your pillowcases every 2-3 days to prevent this accumulation of sweat, oil and dead skin cells from affecting your skin whereas your bed linen should be washed every couple of weeks!
6 – Wear your hair up while you sleep
Okay, let’s put your skin aside and have a chat about your hair. Most of you probably don’t leave the house with your hair as it was when you rolled out of bed that morning.
What you do with your hair in the morning will depend on your own preference – perhaps you tie it up and set it with some hairspray to get rid of those flyaway strands; maybe you spray with gel and let it curl; or you might even apply some oil to prevent it from drying out as you straighten it.
Regardless, a lot of product goes on your hair and, unlike your make-up, unless you have a shower before bedtime, it’s not getting washed off. When you go to bed and sleep with your hair sprawled all over you pillow, all of those products are getting transferred to your skin.
This is not ideal for a number of reasons; what’s designed to go on your hair, isn’t always recommended for your skin. Not to mention the chemicals in products such as hairspray, mousse and gel can be quite harsh and abrasive, clogging your pores and potentially trigger an inflammatory reaction.