Posts Tagged ‘ avene ’

5 Simple Skincare Cheats To Improve Your Rosacea

Red faceYou’re red, you’re bumpy and you’re fed-up. Especially now we’re in the throes of winter. You get off the overheated tube into the stinging, cold wind and then back into a centrally-heated office. Your face is tingling and you know without even looking that your cheeks and nose rival those of Santa.


You’ve tried lots of anti-redness creams but they sting and burn when you put them on, they don’t seem to do much ….and as for green colour-corrective make-up…forget it.


How to get your complexion more compliant? Prescription products are a big part of the story; but I think that the bit that doctors often don’t spend enough time on is the support system. Here are some ways to calm troubled waters with good skincare choices.


  • Cleanse with care.

82% of rosacea sufferers complain of sensitivity to skincare products. This is due to a defect in skin barrier function, a part of the disease often forgotten but practically, this is a huge issue for women. “Everything burns” patients frequently say, when it comes to skincare.

So do use gentle non-foaming cleansers containing synthetic detergents, which are labelled fragrance-free (as opposed to unscented). Pat skin dry – don’t rub.


  • Ditch counter-productive habits.

This means physical exfoliation is to be avoided. Like, totally avoided. I even recommend skipping using a face cloth. Also skip products with questionable benefit that frequently do harm, like astringent toners – avoid anything with alcohol or witch hazel in it. The one exception to the exfoliation rule is the use of salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid, which is useful in those with oily skin and also prone to acne blemishes and comedones, as its anti-inflammatory.


  • Moisturise but don’t antagonize.

The right moisturiser will improve skin texture (so often those with rosacea have skin that’s rough to the touch) and boost skin tolerance. I think that moisurising flexibly is a good idea – I talk to patients about good days’ (lighter) and bad days’ ( a little more oomph) moisturiser. Skin is a dynamic organ and it will be oilier in the week before your period and at certain times of year – we should adapt to our environment accordingly. Water-based moisturisers work best and f you’re also prone to acne blemishes (common conditions commonly overlap) stick to non-comedogenic products, from brands like Cetaphil and Avene.


  • Don’t skip on UV protection

Physical sunscreen tends to be better tolerated and less irritating than chemical sunscreens; applying moisturiser beforehand facilitates smooth application without annoying pilling, where little white bits come off…and allow time for it to dry before putting on make-up. I think that it is very much worth investing a little more in this product to find one that’s cosmetically elegant to ensure you apply it properly. Not only is sunlight the commonest rosacea trigger, rosacea plus sunlight is a potent way to degrade your dermis and age prematurely. Brrrrr.


  • Avoid heavy cosmetics that require a Brillo pad to remove.


Keep base light and low risk for irritation (Bioderma and La Roche Posay both do great sensitive skin-friendly products) and use a more high coverage product just where its needed; for this Vichy Dermablend Liquid Foundation works well. Apply with a damp Beauty Blender to gentle build coverage just where its needed.


If there any specific questions relating to rosacea I’ve not answered (it’s a big topic, and one of the most searched for on my blog) drop me a line below.


5 Things You Must Know Before Using a Facial Cleansing Brush

Home-use devices are a huge growth area in beauty right now.  And rightly so. They represent a brilliant stepping stone on the path to great skin, providing a little more oomph for women who’ve been disappointed by too many over-the-counter cosmetics but aren’t quite ready yet for the dermatologist’s office.

The cleansing brush is one of thImagee easiest to use and the benefits are immediately obvious – they provide thorough make-up removal without the need for double-cleansing and provide better penetration of serums and moisturiser used afterwards. They also look and feel …. well, fun. A little bit like high-end sex-toys. BUT they can also completely wreck your skin if used wrongly.

So here are some simple tips to help make sure you get the most out of your gismo.

1)   Let it do all the work. Now I’ve listened to many disillusioned women who come into clinic bemoaning the fact that they’ve spent serious cash on one of these devices and then wonder why they’re all red/irritated/broken-out. So I asked one of them to bring it in with her and show me how she used it. Answer: like a Brillo pad. We girls just love a good old scrub. Wrong. It does the heavy lifting so we don’t have to. Literally just hold it in contact with your skin, and let it whirr away as you gently pass it over the various zones of the face.

2)   Now, speaking of red/irritated…. I really don’t think anyone needs to use these devices twice a day. Start off using 3 times a week at night. See how you get on. Thick, oily skin with big pores may well tolerate up to nightly use, but it’s rarely necessary, unless you are wearing industrial-strength make-up every day (in which case we need to talk about make-up!). Sensitive skin needs a brush with a sensitive head, and 3 times a week, like physical exfoliants, is more than enough. Be especially cautious coming into winter.

3)   Which brings me to the cleanser that comes with many of these brushes. It should be gentle and non-foaming. Otherwise the combination of manual cleansing plus surfactants will demolish your skin’s barrier function, leaving you…yes, that’s right. Red/irritated/broken-out. Good ones include Cetaphil Cleanser, La Roche Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel and Avene Extremely Gentle Cleanser. All are non-comedogenic, which is how I like my cleansers.

4)   Avoid if you have active acne or rosacea. These may well be suitable at a later point, when the battlefield is calm and you have the active inflammatory ‘fire’ under control. But do this first with topical actives and keep everything else gentle. Introduce your brush only when stability has kicked in and all your comedones (i.e. spot precursors) have been sorted with a retinoid.

5)   Recognise that the cleansing brush is only one part of a comprehensive skincare regime – alone, it won’t anti-age anyone but what it does do is make useful things you leave on the skin work more effectively and give you the feel-good factor that comes with a senses-pleasing ritual.

The Red Face of Rosacea

One of the commonest inflammatory disorders, it spares no-one, from famous comedians (WC Fields) to world-leaders (see left), frequently chronic…..and is the cause of tremendous distress and embarrassment on a day-to-day basis. It’s commonest in those between 30 and 6o and typically affects us light-skinned Celts. It can be surprisingly tricky to eliminate altogether, but with a few simple tips, should become a lot easier to handle.

The earliest signs are often subtle-a tendency to a prolonged blush after a hot drink or spicy food; this may then progress to the erythemo-telangectatic phase, with fixed central facial redness, typically on the nose and cheeks that doesn’t go away. Acne-like lesions with red spots and white-headed pustules may be superimposed upon this-but what is distinct about rosacea as opposed to ordinary acne, is the absence of blocked pores or comedones. Also the inflammatory spots themselves are often dome-shaped, rather than ‘pointy’ (if that doesn’t sound daft!), which is what you typically see with whiteheads in acne.The sebaceous glands of the nose and chin may over-grow, resulting in a condition called rhinophyma-but this is more common in men. Finally, a symptom that is often overlooked is that of dry,gritty, red eyes, which may be part of the disorder-ocular rosacea. It can affect as many as 1 in2 patients so is an important aspect of the condition.

The exact cause of rosacea is unknown but we know genetics are important, and the trigger may well be immunological, possibly due to over-production of a protein involved in protecting us against bacteria called cathelicidins. Topical steroid use on the face (for conditions like eczema) can also trigger rosacea, and given that redness is also a feature of this condition, can make diagnosis challenging.

I think one of the most important aspects of managing rosacea is knowing what to avoid and using the right type of skincare, something busy physicians often forget to discuss. Know your dietary triggers, be very cautious about sun exposure and take care with environmental extremes of temperature like saunas. Certain ingredients like alcohol will often sting, due to a defect in the barrier function of skin afflicted by rosacea; similarly, oil-free, water-based cosmetics and sunscreens are better tolerated. Cetaphil Gentle  Cleanser and Moisturising Lotion (which are non-comedogenic) are generally well-tolerated and soothing. I also find patients like Avene and Eucerin’s anti-redness ranges.

Medically, oral anti-inflammatory agents like Efracea (which is a low-dose of Doxyxcycline, avoiding its anti-bacterial effect) and Finacea (15% azelaic acid) tend to be effective at managing the ‘spotty’ aspect of the disease. Treatment is usually needed for 8-12 weeks, sometimes longer. Finally, for persistent redness and broken capillaries, light sources like IPL are invaluable (and really the only sucessful option for this aspect of the disease).

As with most inflammatory skin problems affecting the face, unpredictability is one of the most vexing aspects of this condition-so know your triggers, avoid irritants like aggressive scrubs and astringents, use gentle skincare/broad-spectrum sun protection and medicate when needed….life should get a little less testing.