Rosacea: What’s Causing it and 5 Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disease and is a medical condition.

The cause of rosacea is not known. But if you have it, then you know it can be a challenge to treat and manage.

Whatever the underlying cause for rosacea, one thing we do know is, extremes in temperature aggravate it and providing comfort, and extra protection is essential.

What does rosacea look like?

Rosacea usually appears as symmetrical redness across the cheeks. Or, in some cases, it can just affect the nose, and for some, it can present with lumpy or bumpy skin and acne breakout, this is known as acne rosacea.

Rosacea differs from sensitive skin which is caused by a weakened skin barrier. Skin or food allergies do not cause rosacea. Although over time, skin with rosacea can become sensitised and develop allergies to certain foods and topical ingredients.

How to reduce your rosacea symptoms?

  • Avoid direct sunlight. As well as causing sun damage, the heat of the sun will aggravate your rosacea. Always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen, wear a hat and stay in the shade.
  • Try and keep your internal environment at a regulated temperature. In winter, avoid sitting too close to open fires, (as cosy as that is) and keep the room temperature at a comfortable level.
  • Eating hot and spicy food can send a rush of heat to the skin that you should avoid to minimise a flare-up.
  • Drinking alcohol vasodilates your capillaries which can lead to permanent damage to blood vessels and can trigger a worsening of rosacea.
  • It is wise to avoid fragrances in your skincare, including some essential oils that can be irritating.
  • Add an occlusive balm to your daily skincare routine.

Five skincare ingredients to avoid.

Glycolic Acid. 

You can still gently exfoliate your skin but opt for low strength concentrations of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids; Lactic or Azelaic which have a smaller molecular size and are more likely to strengthen and improve the overall condition of your skin.


A medication prescribed for the treatment of melasma. Hydroquinone bleaches the skin, and it’s very irritating, so if you are suffering from melasma or a skin pigment condition, opt for other less aggressive solutions such as botanical extracts that inhibit melanin activity.

Soaps and scrubs

Always avoid anything that strips the skin or is abrasive. It would be best if you didn’t use harsh scrubs, foaming cleansers, skin brushes or exfoliating face clothes on skin suffering from rosacea. It might feel good especially if your skin is flakey, but you will be left with a hyper-sensitive rosacea flare-up.

Salicylic Acid

Although salicylic acid, when used in high concentrations, can improve blemished and acne skin. It can also initiate a surge of heat to the skin. Once again, we highly recommend avoiding anything that heats up or stings the skin even if it’s only momentarily; it can trigger a flare-up.


Medically prescribed vitamin A irritates most skin, especially skin suffering from rosacea. Opt for gentler esters such as retinyl palmitate or a low concentration of retinol to improve skin nutrition without irritating.

What can you do at home to calm rosacea symptoms?

As well as the actions you take to avoid a flare-up, keep your skincare as simple as possible.

We recommend the following: 1). a gentle cleanser, 2). a product to calm redness when you have a flare-up, 3). a nourishing mask to replace natural lipids, 4). a moisturiser with zinc oxide for sun protection and  5). a calming and occlusive balm to restore the skin’s protective lipid barrier. 

Environ Mild Cleansing Milk1. Environ Skin EssentiA Mild Cleansing Lotion.

For cleansing, always choose a cleansing milk a lotion over a foaming cleanser and try and avoid any cleanser containing glycolic acid or other irritating ingredients.

Skin EssentiA Mild Cleansing Lotion is gentle enough for even the most irritated skin and can is suitable for on any skin type, including oily skin.

Skin EssentiA Mild Cleansing Lotion contains Sorbitol to soothe and hydrate the skin, and Jojoba oil to retain balance in the skin while gently cleansing away dirt makeup and debris.



2. Aspect Red Less 21

A remarkable soothing skincare product. When the skin is in overdrive and desperately needs to be calmed, Aspect Redless 21 is perfect.

It contains Sea Buckthorns, which is a plant. The goodness of Sea Buckthorns is extracted from the leaves, flowers, seeds and fruit to make medical products and cosmetic preparations.

Sea Buckthorn Fruit Oil (Hippophae Rhamnoides Fruit Oil) is a unique solution providing a super antioxidant to support and protect the skin and improve resistance to environmental stress.

Red Less 21 also contains a super blend of 21 Active Botanicals; a potent mix of antioxidants to protect the skin from the harm and damage caused by free radical overload and skin stress.

Oil-Soluble Vitamin C is included in Red Less 21 to support the structure of the skin to assist in making it stronger and more resilient to environmental stress.

Unlike Ascorbic Acid, Oil-Soluble Vitamin C will not irritate the skin and is safe to use on sensitive skin suffering from rosacea.


Rosacea3. Cosmedix Rescue Balm

Rescue Balm is an Intense Hydrating Balm & Mask that helps rapidly relieve stressed out sensitive skin with the help of powerful antioxidants that dramatically soothe, nourish and comfort for a radiant, healthy-looking glow.

With Shea Butter provides a hydrating and nutrient-rich barrier on the skin. D-Panthenol B5 to calm the skin. Cherry Extracts to provide antioxidant protection and Willowherb Extract to reduce the appearance of redness and sensitivity of the skin.

It’s important to remember. A skin suffering from Rosacea needs the benefits of highly protective ingredients to improve the protective barrier of the skin.



4. Aspect Sun Hydra Shield SPF15+Aspect Sun

Sun protection is your best friend. Wear it every day, but opt for a zinc-based formula as chemical sunscreen ingredients can aggravate rosacea.

We recommend Aspect Sun Hydra Shield SPF15+ for daily use. It’s lightweight and super-hydrating.  And, with the physical sun-protecting benefits of Zinc Oxide as well as skin-protecting antioxidants to protect from free radical damage.


5. Synergie Skin Recovery Balm

An all-purpose skin-repairing balm to soothe dry and irritated skin.

Enriched with calming botanical extracts and antimicrobials, this nurturing balm melts into the skin to soothe, hydrate and restore a damaged skin barrier.

You can get in touch.

If you’re suffering from this problematic skin condition, and you’d like more advice you can book a skin consultation by calling us a the clinic on 02 8034 2140, or you can book it online over here.

Mel x

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