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An Update on my Battle with Rosacea

 

With Ren from Makeup By Ren Ren
With Ren from Makeup By Ren Ren. We’re both Cover FX Brand Ambassadors.

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An Update on my Battle with Rosacea

I wanted to share an update on my battle with Rosacea. As you may or may not know, I was diagnosed with rosacea in August of 2012. In case you don’t know, rosacea is a fairly common skin disease that causes the skin to turn red, usually on the center of the face (cheeks, chin, nose and forehead). More women than men have it and it mostly affects fair-skinned individuals. There are around 14 million Americans dealing with rosacea currently. (See my Best Ways to Survive Rosacea).

Rosacea may not sound like a big deal to you. You might think it’s a minor inconvenience. It really depends on the person. Mine started out as a minor inconvenience but then escalated to where it had a greater impact on my life.

When I was first diagnosed, every time I would wash my face my skin would get angry. Water would literally steam off my face because it would become irritated. It was uncomfortable and later it started becoming painful. I hated the redness. And let’s not even mention the break outs. Ug. This is pretty much why I never wanted to leave the house without foundation, because I was embarrassed at the way my skin looked. People would tell me I have gorgeous skin but I would look at them like they were crazy because I never felt like I had good skin. I always felt like my face was blotchy.

At some point if I’m brave enough, I’ll take a picture of my skin when it’s in a full on flare up – i.e. when it’s super red all over. I just hate how I look when it’s like that and feel so embarrassed by it that I never want to show my skin when it’s in that condition.

Rosacea in Indiana

Instead, here’s what my skin looks like right now in the dry, cold winter of Indiana. Basically I’m pink on my chin, nose, cheeks and forehead. This is why I won’t go outside without SPF & foundation. However, this is a reduction in the redness that I used to see and I think that’s due to my skincare and IPL.

This past February I started hitting the gym regularly and my rosacea became almost unbearable. Basically every time after I would work out I would experience a flare up. My face would turn bright red all over, my face would sting and hurt and nothing seemed to make it feel better. I would cleanse it and apply some anti-redness solution (which would sometimes help, but not make it fully go away), but it would take several hours for it to stop hurting. If people happened to see me with a flare up, they would ask if something was wrong because my face looked like it was sunburnt. After discussing with my dermatologist, I decided to start IPL (Intense Pulse Light) treatments. (see where I talk about IPL in this video)

The way my rosacea made me feel after working out is really what pushed me into doing IPL. I had given up taking long, hot baths, and I’d been limiting my time in the hot tub, since I knew that hot water was a trigger for my rosacea, but I am not about to limit working out. I really need to do more of it as it is! Two days a week isn’t enough. (I’m still doing a 50 minute session and an 80 minute session every week).

I’m not going to lie; IPL is uncomfortable and sometimes painful. (See my update after my first IPL treatment) I’ve now had 4 treatments and I’ll be going back for more. However, I also feel like it’s making a big difference in my skin. Instead of my face turning bright red, flaring up and becoming painful for hours after I work out, it turns pink / slightly flushed. I feel like instead of looking like something is wrong with me after I work out, I look like a normal person who has worked out. So I feel like I’m making progress with the IPL treatments. I feel like I have seen a reduction in how much I flush and how often I flush. I also feel like it’s slowly improving my skin’s texture.

My Favorite Cover FX Products

I’m grateful to three of my Cover FX products, which I feel are helping me with my battle against rosacea. After I apply my moisturizers, I always feel like my face is slightly pink from me touching it. This is usually evident in my Youtube video tutorials (see my slightly pink nose, cheek, forehead and chin in this video). When I apply the Cover FX Calming Primer it instantly soothes my face. You can see the redness fading and my skin feels less angry.

When I apply the CC Cream it instantly masks any remaining redness and the N Xtra-Light shade blends seamlessly into my skintone, so I only have to apply this to cover up the redness, though I usually choose to apply it all over because of the anti-aging ingredients. It contains licorice root extract, which is pretty awesome. It’s supposed to help reduce hyperpigmentation. The CC Cream also has SPF 30, which makes it ideal to apply after my IPL treatment if I’m concerned about the redness. It’s soothing to my skin. This is why the CC Cream has repeatedly made my Monthly Favorites list! It works so well for me and has so many benefits. (see my CC Cream Review)

I also love the Pressed Mineral Foundation since N10 matches me perfectly and it doesn’t get cakey. If I just want to use a tiny bit of product or I have to apply my makeup in a hurry, I reach for the pressed mineral foundation.

All three Cover FX products are vegan and of course cruelty free. They’re also free of the inflammatory 5  – gluten, mineral oil, fragrance, parabens or talc.

I’ve stopped taking Metrogel Cream and Aczone for my rosacea. I feel like the Aczone was too drying. I also felt like the Metrogel Cream was making my skin thin and killing the collagen in it. Instead I take Oracea every other day, unless I’m having a flare up. If I have a flare up I take Oracea daily. I do have a prescription for Mirvaso, but it does have its limitations. Mirvaso works, but it can sometimes cause me to flush hotly 12 hours later. Since it’s no worse than how I feel after the gym lately, I can deal with it. Sometimes I don’t get it on just right, so some of the pink color creeps through. Unfortunately when this happens, you can’t apply a second layer of Mirvaso, as you’re only supposed to apply it once in 24 hours.

With 10am Beauty
With Allison from 10am Beauty after wearing Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation in N10 all day to cover my redness

I still have to worry about my rosacea triggers. Stress is a big one for me. When I was at the Makeup Show Orlando a few weekends ago I used Mirvaso, but I was so nervous about all the people I was going to be talking to and the Mirvaso didn’t remove all the redness from my face. Thankfully I had the Cover FX Pressed Mineral Foundation in N10 so that I could put it on just the red spots and feel like my skin looked great. Even after wearing it all day, I’ve only got a little pink peeking through my face.

What are your current skin concerns? How are you treating them?

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32 Comments

  • My right cheek has been very red for several days during the past month. Comes and goes. I’ve finally detected the trigger, it was the heater. I love to be close to it when it’s too cold. Also covering my eyes with those sleeping masks was not helping to get rid of it even I was using metronidazole. I also need a better makeup remover, I was checking your old post and probably I can find at Sephora Urban Decay Melt Down Makeup Remover. I’ve recently discovered the HYDRA Life Sorbet cream by Dior and it really calms the redness overnight. I was very surprised cause I tried other creams and none of them worked. To make the Dior’s cream work, I need to apply a thick layer in the evening and normal layer in the morning. Thanks for the tips!!

  • Hey, beautiful! Happy Thanksgiving! I just got a box of CoverFX and can’t wait to try. I’ve been using Total Cover Cream Foundation and really like it, but my skin isn’t deep enough for the shade anymore so the new products came at just the right time. I’m glad you are finding solutions for your Rosacea. I don’t have any severe skin conditions, but I do suffer from monthly cystic acne if I’m not insanely careful with my diet and skin care. I also find that skipping weekly mask treatments results in more unwanted blemishes. And the marks left behind are always very dark and seem to last forever. I’m trying a couple different masks to see what clears them up more quickly because I do get self-conscious about them. Enjoy the rest of your trip to Indiana. I’m glad you got to drive this time 🙂

  • Wow, did you ever strike a nerve.

    I’ve had rosacea for 20 years, and I’m to the point where, even resting and feeling fine, my face is permanently a medium shade of red from chin to hairline — no differentiation over one area to the next, except around my eyes, which gives me a weird reverse-raccoon thing.

    It hurts. Everything hurts. My own tears sting my face so badly that you can see the path they took after they dry. I DO NOT EVER leave the house without a full face of makeup; I won’t even answer the door without it.

    As far as covering it up, a lot of recent experimentation has found success in layering mild but very emollient moisturizer, mineral sunblock (any sun at all sun makes me go bright red instantly), Boots No. 7 green primer, a mattifier, and a heavy-coverage mineral powder foundation (Meow Flawless). With all of this, I can look in the mirror and look … like other people. Normal. Sometimes when I have the full face on and see myself I almost want to cry because of how good I look compared to without it. I’m always so stunned by the skin of people I see everyday that are walking around bare-faced. I keep forgetting that skin can look like that.

    I’ve tried a number of drugs, creams, OTC, prescription. They all either
    did nothing or came with a reaction that was just as bad as the
    rosacea. As a matter of fact, I now have other issues that are just making the whole situation so much worse: I have KP. I have mild psoriasis. I get
    almost-instant eczema that no one has been able to narrow down to any particular trigger. I get stomach aches and/or heartburn constantly. I don’t even care anymore if my face doesn’t ever look any better; I’m mostly alarmed by what it means to my system as a whole that I appear to have an awful, built-in overreaction to far too many things. It’s like my whole body is just … angry.

    Over the past couple months I’ve dropped the drugs and gone back to good, mild skin care and switched my focus to my insides. I’m ready to accept that this may be pointless BS, but for now I’m sticking to a grain-free, no-simple-carbohydrates, added-probiotic-supplement way of eating. I’ve also started exercising again, trying my best to ignore what I look like after (which is the reason I stopped). I’ve also arranged to start a program that’s meant to replace or strengthen the skin’s native flora and fauna.

    If I can achieve some sort of positive response, I may eventually look into the IPL or something similar, but for now, that would be a band-aid, at best.

    I didn’t write this to trump anyone. It took me 10 years of watching my rosacea get steadily worse before I even started to do something about it, and I may have ensured, with my delay, that I’m never going to be right. I know others have had rosacea that “just” made their face red with exertion so they’re only a little bothered, but I’ve come to believe that it’s not about our faces. I sincerely believe that every drug applied, inside or outside, to deal with the rosacea is treating the symptoms, and could only be successful to the degree that it makes the real problem invisible on the surface.

    That’s it. I have no answers, I just wanted to … I don’t know. Bring another perspective, I guess.

    • Thank you so much for sharing. I know it helps to know that you’re not alone. I also believe that the drugs to treat rosacea don’t make it better for me, they just make it worse, aside from the oracea. I feel like for me the Aczone is too drying to the skin and the Metrogel makes the skin thin and delicate, exacerbating sensitivity.

      Please let me know how your flora and fauna program works, I’ve never heard of that. I have heard of eating a diet that is anti inflammatory (this book Clean Cuisine http://bit.ly/CleanCuisine) but I haven’t researched it yet.

      From what my dermatologist has explained to me with IPL, it reduces the redness and pain of rosacea. For me, this has been accurate. My face is no longer hurting like crazy each time I work out.

      • Thank you for responding. I will almost certainly do IPL, but only if I can stop these conditions in their tracks. Otherwise, I’ll end up having to do it again, and maybe again, like hitting the reset button over and over.

        I don’t start my “friendly bacteria” skin program until January, but I will certainly be happy to report any results (or lack thereof).

        • My dermatologist, plus the person I am seeing for IPL have both told me that you have to go through several treatments to get your rosacea to where you’re h happy with it. Then you need maintenance treatments. My friend Cori did several treatments for her rosacea and then went 2 years before needing a touch up. I’m fine at the idea of going in every six months to do an IPL treatment to keep my rosacea at bay. It’s cheaper than paying for the metrogel or mirvaso.

  • Oh girl….I have always had rosacea even as young as 11 when mowing the lawn people thought I was having a stroke because of my really bright red face. Then it seemed to calm in my 30s and BAM menopause and yowza, this ain’t no joke!!! I have YOU to thank for turning me on to Cover FX and be still my pounding heart and red face 🙂 it has helped me feel more confident and I can’t express the thanks to you for the great posts about this!!!

  • Hi again! You know I always appreciate your rosacea updates. I’m glad you are doing well with the IPL. I’m still holding out on the laser treatments. Right now I use Finacea in the AM and Metro Gel (it’s a clear gel in a pump) in the PM. Sometimes I get red spots but if I do they go away by the end of the day or by the next day. Every now and again I get a breakout but it’s nothing too horrible. I have a spider vein on my cheek that I have to cover up every day and the laser would probably get rid of that for good. I use Clinique’s Redness Solutions primer and it holds the makeup on and seems to neutralize the redness. I want to give the Cover FX primer a try too. The Finacea has made my skin dry but I use Dermadoctor’s Calm Cool & Corrected. It works nicely for redness but I just wish it was a little more moisturizing.

    • Thank you so much for commenting to let me know. It really means a lot to me! I found the metrogel and aczone to be too drying for me. I know that some people have great success with the finacea. I’ve never been able to get the green moisturizers / green primers to really neutralize the red. I’ve heard great things about Dermadoctor!

  • I’ve never had any experience with this, but have heard of it. I think it’s great you’re writing about, because I know most people don’t really know anything about it. So glad it looks like you’re getting somewhere with helpful products!

  • I definitely want to check out the Cover FX calming primer. I agree people that don’t have it don’t understand it’s not just a little pink on the cheeks.

    I usually get one of two responses when people learn I have rosacea; “it’s not so bad, just dab a little bb cream and no one will even notice.” BB cream does nothing for me, unless I want to build up 57 layers…. The other is the comparison to someone who has a very severe case, and the “you’re making a big deal out of it, it’s not so bad compared to so-and-so’s rosacea!” No other person can judge the level of discomfort a skin condition causes a person.

    • Exactly! And I didn’t even think mine was too bad until it started hurting every time after I worked out. The blotchiness is something I’d dealt with for years.

  • I have suffered from Rosacea since I was 26 (I am 43 now) and the redness is still there, but it isn’t as red as it once was. The problem that I am having now is red bumps that look like acne.

  • Wow! That really covers well and looks amazing! My mom has suffered from Rosacea for decades now, but her case is super weird in that sunlight helps it rather than making it worse. So she tans fairly frequently in beds that have reduced UVA or UVB (whichever one is the worse one, I can’t remember, I just know it’s damn expensive!) to keep it under wraps. Hers used to get so bad she would develop lesions with infections. She was not a happy person!

      • I’m not sure if she’s ever looked into IPL; I will have to ask her! And yeah, she was always told to avoid sunlight, but discovered on a vacation to Phoenix years ago (when she didn’t pack strong enough sunscreen) that tanning helped it! It’s pretty random, especially since it doesn’t help my grandma and uncle at all; just makes it worse!

  • I have rosacea! There isn’t pain with it, but the red face and flushing often is so beyond annoying. I have to wear makeup if I don’t want people to see! I normally use bb cream, but I’ll have to check out the cc cream!

  • I have rosacea too. Mine doesn’t get painful but it still is bothersome. I have such a hard time finding foundation, powder, and concealer that works well for my rosacea and covers my dark under-eye circles. I wonder how well this would work for me. I really enjoy reading your updates on this because it’s nice to know that I’m not the only person that has to deal with this.

    • Thank you so much for letting me know that you enjoy these updates. You are definitely not alone! What amazes me is how much it can differ from one person to another. Where one person is just blotchy and red vs. another person looking sunburnt on the face, neck and chest vs. stinging and heat for hours.

      Definitely pop into Sephora and pick up a sample of the CC Cream to see if it will cover for you. Both the Cover FX Concealer and the OCC Skin Conceal work well for me.

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