Rosacea is a skin condition that can be managed successfully, especially if treatment starts early and you try your best to avoid flare-ups and thus improve the look of your skin.
Rosacea requires consistent care that is gentle on the skin, typically with products that are appropriate for rosacea or for sensitive skin generally. Your daily care routine should look like this: cleanse, apply topical medication, moisturize, and only then apply makeup which you remove at the end of the day. Cleanse twice daily and apply moisturizer to help create a barrier against irritants and impurities. There are specially-formulated facial moisturizers that calm down redness and irritation, and some also conceal it with sheer green colour neutralizers. An oil-free foundation that closely matches your natural skin tone is another effective makeup option; most quality foundations provide coverage ranging from sheer to full.
Coconut oil properties
Moisturizing is key, since it minimizes the irritation and stinging that are so typical of rosacea, and here is where some people have found coconut oil to be effective; it can be an alternative to more expensive dermato-cosmetics, and can be used both topically and internally.
Coconut oil contains antioxidants and nutrients that are good for the skin, and has real anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties due to its high lauric acid content that fights off pimple-like bumps.
Capric acid also has an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial effect that helps soothe skin affected by rosacea, while the powerful antioxidant caprylic acid nourishes the skin and fights wrinkles. The ferulic acid is yet another antioxidant that can be found in coconut oil, that reduces redness and moisturizes the skin.
This oil also contains vitamin E that calms inflammation and acts as an antioxidant, as well as medium chain fatty acids that kill off germs and mites living on the skin by altering the skin’s pH; when you take coconut oil internally, these fatty acids protect you from the inside as well. Finally, the medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil make it a gentle yet effective facial cleanser.
You can buy coconut oil here.
Use coconut oil topically and internally
Before using any oils on your face, be sure to ask your dermatologist. Test all products that you’ve never used before; in this instance, try the oil on a small patch of skin, but not directly on your face; the neck or an arm is a good place to start.
If there is any reaction, stop using the product. Note that rosacea triggers and irritants vary from person to person, that is why it is important not to rely on the claims of other people, but on your own skin’s reaction.
Always wash your hands thoroughly to avoid adding more sebum and dirt to your highly sensitive and reactive face. Be careful, as many of the coconut oil treatments you can find online are actually meant for acne rather than rosacea, and you can end up irritating your skin even more. Moreover, you should never use sulfate soaps, hot washcloths, and harsh ingredients like oatmeal on your skin, as these will only worsen your condition.
There are several ways in which you can use coconut oil topically, but note that it may sting a little initially, until your skin gets used to it. Not all of these steps are necessary; give each a try and see what suits your skin best. You can use only one method, or more if your rosacea skin tolerates the oil well.
You can cleanse your face with it; massage a little oil over your face, then dab it off gently with a lukewarm washcloth. Repeat until the oil is gone, but never rub or be harsh on the skin; a washcloth wrung in hot water should only be used occasionally, if at all, and only if you have mild to moderate rosacea.
For those painful episodes, mix 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with 2 ounces of pure aloe vera gel, and apply onto face.
You can also use coconut oil instead of your regular moisturizer. Once per day, apply the oil with gentle circular motions, and use only a little to avoid making your skin too oily. An overnight treatment will strengthen your skin’s natural moisture barrier, which means you will be able to apply makeup more easily and use less of it, too.
Some people with rosacea report that daily use of the oil has helped calm down their redness and the heat associated with it, as well as the papules and pustules commonly seen in this condition. They also reported their skin to be smoother, with no more dry or flakey patches. The reason may be that while hydrogenated coconut oil contains a lot of saturated fats, which are not suitable for sensitive skin, pure virgin coconut oil poses less of a problem, but again, this differs from one person to another.
Some argue that the nutrients in coconut oil feed the Demodex mites that are present in some people with rosacea, thus increasing their numbers. To the contrary, other people have found that applying some coconut oil in the eyebrows and over the eyelashes in particular has helped keep Demodex mites and their eggs in check.
Bottom line is, if after a couple of weeks, you only see some improvement alongside worsening in your condition, such as persistent flushing, stop using the oil. If your flushing is not aggravated and you don’t break out more than usual, then you can go on with this treatment.
This is a edible oil, which means you can safely use it in cooking to give food an exotic flavour, or you can take it internally, 2-3 spoons a day. Check the label, though, to make sure your oil is safe for consumption.
Moreover, avoid taking more than half a tablespoon per day if you have a fat absorption problem and ask your doctor for further recommendation.
There are other oils as well, such as tea tree oil and vitamin E oil, that can be used on rosacea-prone skin. You can even try using a mix of tea tree and coconut oils for best results. Remember never to use oils like lavender or rose, since their fragrance will cause further irritation to your skin.
Mix a couple of drops of pure tea tree oil with your regular moisturizer, and use this mix twice a day to relieve itchy, dry skin within a couple of days. Tea tree oil soap can be another great option for flushed, parched skin.
Vitamin E oil has also been shown to help with dryness, large pores, pimple flare-ups, and even redness; therefore, before going to bed, clean and tone your face, then gently apply vitamin E oil in generous amounts over face and neck and let it soak overnight.
You can buy Vitamin E oil here.
No treatment is effective long term unless you protect your skin from the sun. So, put on an SPF 50 sunscreen that is specifically formulated for redness-prone skin, and use it every day, 30 minutes before going out. It makes no difference if it is sunny or cloudy, summer or winter, your skin needs year-round protection, just make sure your sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays.