Skin Stories: Christy's Rosacea
First in an ongoing series of customer stories, Christy shares her tips on living with Rosacea.
"I first dealt with the horrors of Rosacea as a young adult. Recently out of college, first "real" job, and a live-in boyfriend. And suddenly -- bright magenta spots, painful skin, and a 70+ year old dermatologist who told me to "take some antibiotics, never use soap, sunscreen, moisturizer, or makeup, and to stop taking any medication that would interfere with said antibiotics."
Oof. This was not looking good - literally or figuratively.
Medication stabilized things, but I could never seem to find the right products to make my skin truly clear. I would just get to a place where I could slather on enough makeup where I felt I could go out in public. The red, patchy skin was always lurking underneath. And since the list of things that elicit a Rosacea flare-up seem to include: nothing hot, nothing cold, nothing spicy, nothing bland, nothing bright, nothing dark, and 'no breathing', I realized that this was something I was going to have to deal with my whole life. And, that I was not happy with always having skin that hurt and was embarrassed to show to the world without a Tammy Faye-esque makeup job.
Then one afternoon I visited a local salon, and they had a special Rosacea facial. And they used products for that treatment, and recommended others, that were by a company I hadn't heard of...you guessed it: Malin + Goetz. Suddenly there was a moisturizer I could use that actually pampered and protected my skin! And since the grapefruit cleanser complemented the moisturizer, and was also so natural and gentle, I had a soap that cleansed and nourished too.
It has been several years since I discovered the company that truly helped me 'save face'. And I'm very grateful. I know it is a true success story recently because an acquaintance told me, "You're so lucky - you have the BEST skin...what do you use?" I figured she must be talking to someone else, because I still didn't think of myself as someone who had anything but the bumps, the redness, and the flakiness of a Rosacea sufferer. But that night when I looked into the mirror after washing my face, I realized that she was right - it's not perfect, but it is healthy, smooth, and radiant.
So here are my tips on living with Rosacea. Not everything will work for everyone, but give it a whirl:
- If you don't care for your skin, it will not get better. Get thee to a dermatologist! (Not a cranky old dude, though.
- Cleansing and gentle moisturizing are key -- Malin + Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser and the fabulous Vitamin E Moisturizer work well together and are light and fresh.
- Cleansing with lukewarm water with clean hands and no washcloth has worked well for me - even the finest Egyptian cotton isn't soothing when you are rubbing it all over sensitive skin.
- If you wear makeup: -- after many trials (and tribulations) I've found that cosmetics that use minerals or the most natural possible ingredients work best to both mask Rosacea, as well as not promote flare-ups.
- SPF, baby! With as little grease as possible.
- What you use on your hair and hands can have an effect on the skin on your face. Think about it -- the products you use in the shower to wash your hair come streaming down your face when you rinse. If there are a ton of chemicals or a trigger ingredient, it can cause a flare-up. Once I switched to a more natural shampoo + conditioner (by guess who?) I noticed a wonderful difference.
- Drink lots of water. Doesn't every helpful list include this? Well, it appears there for a reason.
- If you do use cosmetics, don't go to sleep in them! Wash that face! Same thing if you've worked out.
- Find a gentle laundry detergent -- especially for your pillowcases! And change them more than once a week if you are having a breakout or particularly oily day. And if those pillows are old, break down and treat yourself to some new ones.
- Realize that you are more than your worst skin day - you're gorgeous, and you deserve to take good care of your face. It's the only one you've got!"