I’ve struggled for over 15 years with breakouts, and once the majority of breakouts stopped, I was diagnosed with rosacea. What is rosacea? It typically starts out with redness or flushed cheeks. Often tiny breakouts or big pimples form in the red areas and are often mistaken for acne. In more severe cases, broken capillaries are very common, which are next to impossible to get rid of. The most common triggers (consistent redness) are stress, spicy/fried foods, excess sugar, alcohol, sun exposure, extreme workouts and cold weather. These are the main triggers but not the only ones -- which makes it hard to determine the underlying causes and proper treatment.
I knew the possibility of rosacea was on the horizon because my esthetician (Jen from Audrey’s Holistic Skincare of course) gently brought it up. I remember asking Jen, are you sure? I put off seeing a doctor for a while, afraid of the truth, knowing very little about it except that there is no cure or easy treatment.
One memory from my past helped change my skin. On a day off I needed to stop by my work (a department store) to complete a task to meet a deadline, and I went early in the morning to get it out of the way. As I walked past one of my coworker’s in the lingerie department, I stopped to make small talk with her. We talked about the new items she’d received and I mentioned I wanted to try on a few pieces. I told her I would come back on a different day as I had somewhere to be. As I was saying goodbye, she said “Oh have you been out in the sun? You look like you have.” I was shocked by this comment and glanced in a nearby mirror. I had NO MAKEUP on and she was right, I looked like I was sunburned yet I hadn’t been out in the sun in months. Although this person meant no harm by this statement, it definitely impacted my reflection. I turned my attention inwards and thought about all the times I had been insecure about the redness on my face. Sadly it was every day. I dreaded covering it up because it was hard to find makeup to camouflage it yet I was fearful of going out in public without makeup on. One of the things I stopped doing that I loved was swimming. I felt too insecure to do it bare faced and laughed at the idea of doing it with a full face of makeup on. I had started to change my life around my insecurities and my self-esteem seemed to disappear.
The next step was going to a naturopathic doctor and his diagnosis came to no surprise as I had a true case of mild rosacea caused by a collection of things. One of those being my gut health. I had already cut out 10 different food items I had an intolerance to and consistently ate a clean diet. However, I still needed to heal my gut from previous damage caused by food intolerance's and prescription acne medicine I had been on for 5 years in the past. I began taking Chinese herbs morning and night that had been specifically formulated by my doctor for my condition.
The next step, continue to get my monthly facials from Jen. She was the only one who I trusted my skin with and knew she was key into helping healing it. Her facials make you feel rejuvenated and relaxed. This is one way I helped reduce stress. Not only was she familiar with my skin issues, she was also the first person to talk to me about rosacea. Jen's approach or goal was to help calm the redness but mainly to strengthen the skin. This way it would be more likely to heal itself and less risk of causing scarring in the future. Jen helped curate a simple skincare routine from the brand Sorella Apothecary. Here is my skincare routine.
Photo Credit: Haley McLain
Cleanser: Orange You Jelly Cleanser $40. This cleanser is oil free which I prefer.
Toner: Watermelon Mint Hydrating Mist $42. This toner sounds like fresh juice! It can be used as a setting spray and throughout the day which makes it multi purposeful.
Moisturizer: Daily Greens Moisturizer $68. It’s oil free, calming and has a matte finish.
Serum: Facial in a Bottle $80. It's a lightweight serum designed to soothe and hydrate the skin with anti-aging benefits.
Mask: Papaya Pumpkin Mask $52. It’s specifically designed for sensitive and rosacea skin types. It’s best to use 1-2 times a week.
Sunscreen: Tropical Tropical Matte SPF 30. It’s oil free! It’s free from that typical sunscreen smell too. Sunscreen is so hard for me because they usually cause breakouts.
My monthly facials from Jen, along with my simple clean skincare routine, diet changes and Chinese herbs have eliminated most of my rosacea. Of course, I have to be consistent with my skincare products, working out, eating clean and managing stress to help keep flare ups under control. However, that’s true with anything you do in life. The best part is that you’re not alone with this skin condition. For anyone reading this, my hope is that if you’re feeling insecure about your skin, you take the next steps into healing it. I would hate for anyone to feel as insecure as I began to feel. It’s not going to be easy and unfortunately there isn’t an overnight fix but one step at a time helps throughout this process. I recommend Jen from Audrey’s Holistic Skincare for custom treatments and skincare routines. As this will be the best part of healing your skin, trust me you won’t regret it!
Written by Adrienne Ruppe