I’m throwing a non-aggressive middle finger up to everyone who ever told me rosacea is uncurable. I had it, and I had it bad. But after years of struggling with managing the symptoms, I managed to beat rosacea and haven’t had an ‘outbreak’ since. Sure my cheeks can still get red, and yupp, my skin is sensitive and incredibly dry, but broken capilleries and burning inflamed skin? That shit is in my past. Here is the video and the blog post explaining how I ‘cured’ rosacea. I put ‘cured’ in quotes because who knows, maybe my symptoms have just been dormant for a year and the condition will come back with a vengeance. But until then, I’m going to be over here living my best clear-skin life. And I want you to live yours too.
The most common question I get asked is what products did I use that worked. (The second most common is my rosacea diet, which you can read here). LED facials & Paula’s Choice were pretty much my staples (and still are!) and what I found to be the best maintenance of symptom management. Here’s my roundup of favorite products, discussed in the order in which I go through them in this youtube video.
The best thing to use when you’re having an ‘all hell has broken loose’ rosacea outbreak. Honey is antioxidant-rich, has antiseptic properties, and is so nourishing and calming to your skin! I like Honevo because it’s clinically proven to reduce redness in 2 weeks (see below). Using a pharmaceutical grade honey ensures that it’s of the highest quality and that there aren’t any additives or flavors which could irritate your sensitive skin. It provides ample moisture, works to fight inflammation, all while it pulls bacteria from your skin. I also like how Honevo has just two ingredients. Kanuka honey & glycerin, which makes it slightly less sticky than your average honey (but believe me – still really sticky, haha). You apply this as a mask twice a day to freshly cleaned skin, letting it sit on your skin for 15+ minutes before washing it off. I like to let it really soak in for an hour and then use coconut oil to gently remove it. Here are the stats I found on their site which made me curious to try Honevo:
I personally have used manuka honey as a DIY facial mask too. If you’re keen on going the DIY route, I recommend finding one with a UMF rating between 10-20, like this one:
Also what I would use for an ‘all hell has broken loose’ flair up. Lightstim is an at-home LED light therapy utilizing blue light and red light combined. Most commonly used to fight acne, blue light therapy breaks down bacteria, which can also be hiding deep underneath your rosacea outbreaks. It makes your skin more resilient and less sensitive. Lightstim is so incredibly easy to use. Just place the wand over the affected area and hold it there for 3 minutes before moving on to another area. You always want to use LED therapy on clean skin and for no more than the recommended amount of time (most at home systems say 2x per day is safe).
I’m seriously the BIGGEST Paula’s Choice advocate ever. Their Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask is everything. I used this religiously at night and my skin always looked better and less irritated in the morning. I still use this nearly every night for maintenance! The mask is so thick and luxurious that the tube lasts me months. I should note that the directions say to use this as a wash off mask, but I sleep in mine and wash it off in the morning, my skin is so dry it drinks it right up!
Paula’s Choice Redness Relief Kit – You’re going to need an extremely gentle cleanser, face lotion, serum and sunscreen that won’t dry your skin out or cause any adverse reactions. The idea here is to heal, protect, nourish, and soothe so the last thing you want to do is experiment with a bunch of new products that make matters worse. Since I had already fallen in love with Paula’s hydrating treatment mask, I figured I’d give her whole Redness Relief Kit a try – and I absolutely love it!
Other products I use that I find to be extremely gentle and non-irritating: Cerave AM & PM lotions, Burts Bees Clary Sage day lotion & mask, and good old fashion organic coconut oil.
This is your everyday skin savior. Not only is it effective in helping fix rosacea, but it’s also a powerful tool for anti-aging, boo-yeah. Red light therapy can be effective at reducing or even reversing signs of rosacea within 24 hours. For real, I used to leave the esthetician and notice results almost immediately. And now I can get those same results for a fraction of the cost at home! There are also no reported side effects, which, for rosacea sufferers, is the biggest sigh of relief ever. The red light penetrates deep through the layers of your skin to reduce redness, inflammation, swelling, dryness, and burning sensations. I like TrophySkin because I can just lay right under it and chill out while I listen to music or talk to my mom on speaker phone for 5 quick minutes 1-2 times a day. This is an investment in your skin, and something I now couldn’t live without.
I seriously tried everything from smearing yogurt on my face to breaking the bank for the tinsiest bottle of le Mer serum because the girl working at Macys told me it was developed to treat burn victims. Perhaps that’s true, but the fragrance and long list of ingredients in the $180 .5 ounce bottle MADE my skin burn. (I was able to return it, thank sweet baby Jesus). Point is, this is what worked for me, and I’m so grateful to be able to share these items with you in case they can also help you! I don’t get paid by any of these companies to promote their products, but I did reach out to them (after doing oodles of research to find the best) and ask if they would be willing to send me some items I wanted to try for free. I have spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on trial and error finding what works. And I also was sent WAY more products than the four I have listed here, but I only wanted to share the very best tried-and-true ones. These are my tip top picks, and I stand by them 110%.
If you have any product that you particularly love (or hate!) for fighting the good fight against rosacea, please leave a comment below or on the youtube video so that we can start a community of helping one another find treatments that work. And please keep us updated on your journey! My hope is that I’ll get enough traction on the youtube and blog posts that I can start asking companies to do giveaways for you guys – since I know how daunting the investment can be in finding products that work for you. I suggest always checking to see if a brand you’re interested in does a ‘money back guarantee’ or a ‘trial grace period’ where they accept money back returns if you’re not 100% satisfied. I’ve found that purchasing through amazon has given me the confidence to try more products because their return policy is so easy-peasy. I also love department stores and Sephora for the same reason (but their prices are usually pretty steep).
Good luck guys, and hang in there. Don’t let rosacea rob you of your joy. Your skin does not define you, that big beautiful soul underneath is who you really are.