Three years ago I made a youtube video ‘How I Cured Rosacea – 6 Steps!‘ that has gained steady traffic every day since. Comments have flooded in on the video, the accompanying blog post, and even my personal instagram. I have loved hearing all of the stories of success from so many of you who gave the Rosacea Diet a try. But, of course, not all the comments were cordial. There were more than a fair share of pessimists, and some of them were downright nasty. But I get it, I really do.
Having rosacea feels debilitating. When I suffered the worst of it, I spent many nights crying in the mirror trying to calm down my inflamed skin. I piled on foundation and bronzer, avoided swimming, hid from the camera, and spent a small fortune on skincare. I loathed the dermatologists who told me there was no cure and wrote me prescriptions that dried my face into flakes. After years of suffering, it was an ayurvedic practitioner who finally linked my IBS to my rosacea and gave me the diet plan I attribute to ‘curing’ my rosacea.
I write ‘curing’ in parenthesis because – even after these blissful rosacea-free years – I just don’t know. Maybe it’s in remission and hiding dormant under my skin surface just waiting to pop back out. But the plan I shared years ago turned my skin (and my IBS!) around and I’m still living a rosacea-free life to this day.
The only time I ever experience a mild ‘flair up’ is if I am sick. The flu, a stomach bug, a fever – something that has compromised my immune system can cause my skin across my cheeks to become red and inflamed with bumps that have mini white head looking tops. This has happened generally 1-2 times a year when I am laid up very sick. For me, it only reinforces that the gut/skin connection is real. When my gut is out of balance and my immune system is weakened, my skin suffers.
….this is a good place to remind you that I am not a doctor and none of this is in any way medical advice.
“Do you still follow the Rosacea diet?”
So do I still stick to that Rosacea diet? Nope. I’m back to drinking coffee, eating spicy foods, having alcohol, and eating raw fruits and vegetables. I can eat gluten and dairy without issues and my stomach seems genuinely healed from IBS – another issue my doctor said was incurable. I should mention that I do eat very healthy. I abstain from eating meat and eat very limited dairy, fish and gluten. My typical diet is a protein smoothie bowl with granola for breakfast, a big salad for lunch, and a vegetable and rice dish for dinner. I eat a lot of hummus, fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, herbal teas and gluten-free seeded crackers. I also take a multitude of elixirs and powders I attribute to my overall wellbeing.
“What does your Skincare routine look like now?”
If there’s one piece of advice I could give for rosacea skincare it would be to choose natural products as much as possible. Most popular beauty brands contain a cocktail of chemicals that can really aggravate sensitive skin. Avoid added fragrances, alcohol, sulfates and generally anything that you can’t pronounce. Look for healing ingredients for sensitive skin like aloe, rose, cbd, and coconut.
My skincare routine goes pretty much as follows:
STEP 1: Clean off makeup with coconut oil and/or Paula’s choice redness relief cleanser.
STEP 2: Rose water toner. I’ve been using Alteya Organics. This step is for sure the most fun, the rose water feels so fancy! I use reusable cotton pads in an effort to be more green 🙂
STEP 3: Face oil. I’ve been using Prima because I love the anti-inflammatory and healing benefits of CBD.
STEP 4: Face cream. For daytime I use Skin Authority Skin Suit because it is a gentle and natural way to get 50 spf. At night I use a heavier nourishing cream. Lately I’ve been loving Oliveda antiaging overnight lotion.
IF I HAVE REDNESS… I will apply Bedrock Balm zinc cream. It is fast acting to calm down inflamed red skin. Again, this only happens to me now when I am immune-compromised, but Bedrock Balm is a great addition to any beauty cabinet regardless! You can use the code hellobedrock for 10% off their site.
‘Can you use retinol?’
I would never have dreamed of being able to use retinol, harsh exfoliants and peeling agents. This is why I strongly believe my skin is healed. My skin barrier is thick and I can deviate off of this basic skincare routine without issues. I am always trying new anti-aging products, scrubs and treatments and while my skin is still slightly sensitive, nothing has caused a flair up – not once! I do not recommend using any of these products until your skin completely heals. And please always talk to your dermatologist before starting any new treatments.
What about IPL and LED?
I have had quite a few sessions of IPL and found some success with evening my skintone. Here is my full post on IPL if you’re interested.
I still occasionally get LED facials. I also have two LED lamps at home, which I use pretty frequently. The two I love are the Lightstem wand and Trophy Skin lamp.
“I feel hideous, I don’t want to leave the house”
This is the comment I have received the most. And like I mentioned earlier, I get it. I do. But your skin does not define you. Let me repeat that, YOUR SKIN DOES NOT DEFINE YOU. Your soul, your spirit, your personality, your intellect, how you treat others, your smile – that’s who you are. Heal your stomach, clean up your diet, take care of yourself mentally, reduce your stress with yoga and meditation, spend time in nature, and learn to love yourself. All of you. Love that powerful strong body and sharp mind of yours. Don’t waste a single more second of your life hating on your skin. You’re more than that. I believe in you. and I don’t even have to see you to let you know that I think you are absolutely beautiful.
If you want to learn more about ayurvedic medicine here are some beginner books:
No products mentioned in this post are part of any paid promotions. These are all products I use and love myself. I am part of the amazon affiliate program so I receive a very small commission on any products you purchase through my links that I use to help keep this blog up and running. Whether or not you shop from this post, I want to thank you for your support. This blog has become so much more than a place to recount my travels and I am so grateful for the community we have created together. xo