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Rosacea

These days I seem to see so many people with Rosacea, yet twenty years ago, I didn't know anyone who had it, so it seems to be a very modern phenomenon. It is hardly surprising; women nowadays have so many assaults on their bodies and skin, from Xeno-oestrogens and other pollutants in the water, to antibiotics and pesticides in the food we eat. That is before you even think about the shed-load of chemicals that are permitted to be in our skin care, shampoo and shower gels! And don't forget the cocktail of allopathic drugs, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes. Other things which are more face specific are interventionist "beauty" treatments such as peeling, laser resurfacing, AHA peels and exfoliation. (Exfoliation always makes me think of defoliation and Agent Orange, which is not a great comparison.)
In my opinion, anything that interferes with the top layer of the skin is asking for trouble. The acid mantle, which is finely balanced at the best of times, is apt to be damaged or destroyed by any of the foregoing options, which can then lead (depending on your skin's inherent tendencies) to dryness and irritation or excessive oil production and spots. Neither of which are consummations devoutly to be wished, I fear! The epidermis is very, very thin, and varies in thickness from 0.05 mm on the eyelids to 0.8 ± 1.5 mm on the soles of the feet and palms of the hand, so any scrubbing action is going to disturb something this thin, and yet we are constantly advised to exfoliate almost religiously. Now, I haven't exfoliated my own face for about 15 years, and my skin is way better than it was when I was younger! This is because the top layer of dead cells, which we are told to remove, are protection for the new young cells. You might think that you want to see the shiny new young cells, but just as no sane person would leave a tiny baby out in the midday sun without a bonnet and sunshade, your own baby cells, sensitive and immature as they are, also need protection. We treat ourselves and our faces in ways that are so unkind; we would not treat another person like that, and we need to find kinder ways of caring for ourselves and our faces in particular. Being much gentler with our complexion can help avoid or ameliorate sensitive skin conditions.
When I see a new client with Rosacea, my first aim is to decrease inflammation. The skin is hyper-reactive, over-sensitive and inflamed; it needs calming down. After a Relaxing foot-bath, I achieve this with very gentle cleansing, soothing oil mask, and rejuvenating mask to encourage the skin to heal itself. Very gentle lymphatic stimulation with brushes is also part of the healing process.
With rosacea, unlike acne which can be cured, there is no real remedy; it is a question of managing it. Inflammation in the skin can often reflect inflammation in the body, and efforts can be made to reduce this, via diet. Wheat, sugar, alcohol, coffee, chocolate and, for some, meat, are all triggers which can worsen this condition, and so great attention should be given to reducing their consumption. Some clients are reluctant to address this, but if you think about the average diet: toast or weetabix for breakfast, sandwich for lunch, pasta or pizza for supper, you can see that there is often a heavy bias in favour of wheat-based meals. Replacing some of these with safer options can mean that healing is more rapid. (Plus you will probably lose weight, if that is something you need to do.)
The other problem that some people have is that they want an instant cure! They may have had this condition getting worse for 15 years, they may have tried laser resurfacing, and thread vein electrolysis, but they want an Esthetician to sort it out today, please, in an hour or so! Now I did once have a miracle cure, but the woman concerned had only had the condition for a couple of months, she was just 30 and was very receptive to the home care routine and improving her diet. (It wasn't initially great for business, as she didn't need to come back for more treatments, but she did tell a lot of people about it.) However, this was a very unusual occurrence, and generally women who have this problem only try a natural treatment after they have exhausted the mainstream routes, which means by the time I see them, their skin is really confused. They are often very sensitive individuals who are embarrassed by their skin; one poor woman said that she wished she could wear a burqa! There are some obvious things to watch out for, the food items mentioned about, and some mineral make-up can also trigger this condition in women who have never had it before: beware in particular of Bismuth Oxychloride; it often causes sensitivity.
Try amending your diet and see what happens! If you want a healthy wheat/dairy free breakfast, here is a #skinfoods one I recommend and enjoy myself.
Soak 1Tablespoon of Buckwheat overnight with 1T sunflower seeds, ½ T linseed, 7 chopped almonds in rice milk*or warm water or apple juice. In the morning, you can add some blueberries, raspberries or grated apple (or all three!), pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, 1 T maca powder, hemp seeds and sweeten with manuka honey or maple syrup. If you use frozen raspberries for convenience, put them in the night before as well. This contains rutin, which helps strengthen capillaries, as well as being anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, omega 3,6, & 9 fatty acids, and assorted other goodies which are great for your skin and your mood!
For lunch try a mixture of green salad leaves, add some protein: chicken, fish, goats or sheeps cheese, and sprinkle with more seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, chia, poppy sesame or gomasio or furikake (which has the added bonus of seaweed in it) Dress with extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil and lemon juice or cider vinegar. Then try and eat something sensible for supper. Oh, and don't forget to go gently when cleansing!

*I don't recommend soya milk. Ever.