Winter is almost officially in swing, and the frosty air brings some chilly pink faces along with it. For some, though, redness isn't just a simple sign of a day in the cold. Here are seven things girls with rosacea are tired of hearing, because we know the struggle is real in pretty much any season.
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes spells of major redness and flushing due to swollen, dilated blood vessels, according to the Mayo Clinic. The redness usually presents itself in the center of the face, like the nose and cheeks, but can also pop up on your forehead and chin. In more severe cases, it can cause acne-like bumps, too.
Even as someone with relatively mild rosacea that mainly shows up on my nose, I can attest to the fact that rosacea can be frustrating, embarrassing, and stubborn. Everything from red wine to intense exercise can trigger it, which is troubling for the vino lovers and gym rats among us.
Needless to say, rosacea can make anyone feel pretty self-conscious, and having our symptoms brought up to us only makes things worse. Even though questions and comments usually aren't meant to be harmful, there are a few things to avoid saying to someone with rosacea — and, if you do have struggle with any type of redness, ways to calm down your skin.
"You Look Hot, Literally!"
Unless you're telling me that I'm looking especially smokin' in my new dress, I don't want to hear that I look hot. Heat can cause rosacea flare ups, whether you're sweating from high summer temps or a heart-pumping workout.
A thermal water spray is a gentle way to relax hot skin without the shock of splashing straight up cold water on your face (which can sometimes make matters worse.) Pop a can in your beach tote or your gym bag — skin needs a cool down after a tough workout-too.
"Is It Really That Cold Outside?"
Nah, it's actually bearable. My skin just makes it look like it's below zero. Just like heat, there's something about the cold that just leaves our skin looking a little, well, angry. Think about how pink normal skin tends to look after a walk in the snow or a day of skiing — then multiply that by 10.
It's important to keep skin hydrated out in the cold, because winter dryness can cause further irritation to skin that's already prone to redness. Use a gentle but effective moisturizer, and follow a day out in the cold with a soothing raw Manuka honey mask — seriously, the stuff works wonders on calming down red skin.
"Whoa, That's A Lot Of Blush."
I know what too much blush looks like, thank you very much. But from the sounds of it, I need a little more foundation. I guess the one upside of having rosacea is that we can usually skip the blush step in our makeup routine... glass half full, right?
Green tinted moisturizer can look a little, well, green, but using a green tinted primer does a good job of neutralizing some redness before you apply your usual foundation.
"Looks Like Someone Got Some Sun!"
MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme Sunscreen, $30, Nordstrom
Trust me, I wish I got this bright red face from a tropical weekend getaway. Rosacea can look remarkably like a sunburn, which is a real bummer, because who likes to be reminded that they didn't spend their weekend lounging on a beach?
If you are planning a little time in the sun soon (lucky), opt for a sunscreen formulated for red or sensitive skin. Choose one with antioxidants or rosacea-calming ingredients, like topical vitamin C, to make your 'screen work double duty.
"Look, You're Blushing!"
Well, now I'm blushing about you pointing out my red skin, TBH. Flushing is a pretty common symptom of rosacea, and it can sometimes look like straight up embarrassment. No, really, I'm not blushing. I swear! OK, now I am.
Layering a green-tinted loose powder under your usual foundation can help counteract some of the flushing (which is pretty embarrassing itself.) And, remember, the quickest way to make someone blush? To point out that they're blushing. Please, please refrain.
"Have You Tried [Insert Solution Here]?"
Chances are, yes, yes, and yes. Really, I appreciate the suggestion, but been there, done that. Many people with rosacea have literally spent hours Googling ways to make it better, and if you're like me, you've tried just about every trick in the book. Most fixes do nothing, but what's even more traumatic is when they make things worse.
Rosacea is a skin condition that doesn't do well with the whole "tough love" thing — being gentle in every step of your routine is key, especially when it comes to cleansing. Harsh formulas can wreak havoc on red-prone faces, so calming concoctions are the way to go.
"Oh Hey, Rudolph!"
No, really — someone has said this to me. Of course, jokes like this usually aren't meant in a mean-spirited way, but any negative comments about complexion definitely don't help with the self-consciousness that comes along with having rosacea.
I've saved the best fix for last when it comes to disguising redness, because it truly is the best thing to keep my red nose hidden away, Rudolph-style. I couldn't even compare IT Cosmetics' Bye Bye Redness to another product — it's that effective. Plus, it's great for bright red blemishes and marks. It only comes in one shade, so it's best under foundation, but it's creamy, long-lasting, and it's not green. You can't go wrong.
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