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Skincare problems are split into two camps. The prima donnas, who love the limelight (wrinkles and pores we’re looking at you). Everyone talks about them, what they’re doing to fix them, the cream they tried that’s the best thing they’ve ever used… we could go on… and on. Then there’s the other camp; the problems that are hiding backstage in the wings that no one seems to know anything about, or even how to describe.
Most of us are used to our faces flushing. Whether that be with embarrassment because you’ve just got caught in the train carriage door and now EVERYONE is staring at you, or because you’ve just completed a killer of a workout session. What’s different though is when redness becomes a permanent fixture. Then it becomes rosacea.
Yes, yes we’ve all heard of rosacea and obviously know what it is (sort of). Ok, now remind me, what the hell is it? ‘It’s basically just an inflammatory problem’ explains Dr Adam Geyer, Kiehl’s Consulting Dermatologist and beyond amazing expert on all things skin. ‘You’ll usually get a few pimples on the nose and cheeks which most people mistake as acne’. If you have sensitive, dry skin as well the chances are you have rosacea - so any oil-stripping tonics you’re using for the spots won’t work (they’ll actually make the problem worse). It’s a sensitivity issue we’re dealing with here, not a bacterial one.
So with that in mind, Dr Geyer gave us a few skin saving pointers on how to treat chronic redness and it was actually pretty simple.
Tip 1: Be socially boring
Just kidding, you don’t have to be that drastic, but try to avoid known triggers like red wine, hot drinks and curries to stop things flaring up unnecessarily (not altogether – just cut down a bit).
Tip 2: Think calm
Rather than reaching for the exfoliator in hope that you can scrub the red skin off and away, pick a calming cleanser and moisturiser instead to build up the resilience of your skin’s barrier. Anti-inflammatories will soothe inflamed skin and top up the hydration. The Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer is a good one – if skin could speak, it would be sighing with relief as you apply it. It’s good to stay calm on the inside too – emotional stress will flare redness up again. Often easier said than done, but try some yoga if you find it tricky to unwind.
Tip 3: Shock! Antioxidants have found yet another skill
Antioxidants are cocky chaps and they’ve only gone and discovered a talent for treating yet another skincare problem. They’re anti-inflammatories so help reduce irritation from the inside. Stock up on foods like berries and dark green vegetables like spinach or kale.
Tip 4: When in doubt, go green!
Green-tinted concealers or primers can help to neutralise redness which makes the skin look great and much more even (and no you won’t be left with a witchy green tinge!).
Tip 5: SPF helps (when doesn’t it?)
Ah sun cream, our old friend. Using a daily SPF not only stops sunburn but also calms rosacea down by blocking the sun to prevent it from stirring it up.