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Don’t pull the trigger!
Only a doctor can treat rosacea, but there’s plenty you can do to control it. To keep flare-ups to a minimum, try to avoid as many of the following triggers as possible:
- Emotions – stress, anger, embarrassment
- Foods/Beverages – alcohol, hot drinks, chocolate, soy, soy sauce, chili powder, hot sauce, vinegar, ketchup, wasabi, menthol, peppermint
- Extreme Weather – sun exposure, wind, humidity
- Activities – heavy exercise, saunas, steam rooms, hot baths
- Medications – vasodilating drugs, calcium-channel-blocking agents, simvastatin, opiates
At home - potent anti-aging creams, fragrance, sodium lauryl, salicylic acid, alpha hydroxyl acids, and dyes
Following doctor’s orders is number one. Jojoba oil, aloe and products made with oats have been found to be effective for calming skin. Also, look for skin care products that are gentle, fragrance-free and especially made for sensitive skin. Clean your makeup brushes regularly. Use foundation sponges only once and then dispose of them. Always wear sun block, at least SPF 30, when outside in the daytime. New York City dermatologist Dr. Marsha Gordon recommends what to do if you’re having a flare-up: “Soak a cloth in cool skim-milk and apply to your face for about five minutes once or twice a day followed by a topical prescription medication, such as Metrogel, which will also help to get the ‘heat’ out.”
The great cover up
When all else fails, master the art of illusion. iVillage’s resident makeup and beauty expert Collier Strong suggests either L’Oreal’s True Match or L’Oreal’s Cover Expert Concealer along with the following tips to cover up redness:
- Start with a gentle moisturizer. Neutralize redness with a green color corrector, followed by an oil-free foundation that closely matches your skin tone and has a slightly yellow undertone. If your flare-up isn’t bad, skip the corrector. Apply with a single-use cosmetic sponge. If your flare-up is very bad, and/or you’ll be in the spotlight, follow the foundation with concealer that perfectly matches your natural skin tone.
- Use a concealer that has a thick consistency, and is fragrance and oil free. Apply with a small brush to the affected area and then blend out with a cotton swab. Set with a very small amount of loose, matte powder. (Shimmer powder attracts lights and makes spots more visible). Avoid blush.
- Play up your eyes! Use dramatic makeup and lots of mascara to draw attention to them.
- In the evening, remove makeup with a gentle water-based, oil-free cleanser.
Visit the following Web sites for additional information:
National Rosacea Society
American Academy of Dermatology
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases