Anti-Aging Therapies For Rosacea
A major problem with many anti-aging therapies is that while they may help turn back the clock they can sometimes aggravate other conditions, particularly rosacea. This is usually because 1. most skincare formulas contain irritating ingredients (such as high preservative concentrations or detergent chemicals) that will incite even normal skin to become inflamed, and 2. most anti-aging therapies are very “heavy” in occlusive, petroleum-derived oils that can clog pores. This is very problematic for adults that need to clear up rosacea conditions on top of fighting the aging process in their skin.
Rosacea is a chronic condition characterized by facial erythema (redness) that is estimated to affect roughly 50 million people worldwide. It is thought to be most prevalent in those of North-West European descent, though can affect people of all races (in fact, it may affect those of other races more than currently tabulated because darker skin tones can better mask the redness associated with rosacea so that it remains undiagnosed). Rosacea usually develops after adolescence, most commonly after age 30 in both genders, but women are approximately three times more likely than men to develop the condition. It typically begins as redness on the central face (across the cheeks, nose, and/or forehead) that becomes increasingly severe and persistent over time. As rosacea progresses the skin can also develop telangiectasia (dilation of visible blood vessels on the face), red domed bumps on the cheeks/forehead, and a red bumpy nose (a condition known as rhinophyma). Rosacea is often confused with acne, which can sometimes co-exist with it. However, while acne can be alleviated by topical resurfacing agents (hydroxy acids, enzymes, etc) the opposite is true of rosacea (some of these resurfacing agents will only aggravate the condition further).
There are four main rosacea subtypes, of which multiple ones can affect the same person. They are:
1. Erythematotelangiectatic rosacea – this subtype is characterized by semi-permanent redness through a tendency to flush/blush very easily. It is common for those with this type to have visible blood vessels showing through the surface of the skin.
2. Papulopustular rosacea – This subtype is characterized by red bumps (papules) that may or may not contain pus (known as pustules if they do). This type is the most easily confused with acne. Those with this condition may have some persistent redness in the skin in addition to the red bumps.
3. Phymatous rosacea – This subtype is most commonly associated with rhinophyma, a condition characterized by the nose becoming enlarged and bumpy. However, this subtype can also affect other areas of the face with uneven thickening and nodules including the chin (gnatophyma), forehead (metophyma), cheeks, eyelids (blepharophyma), and ears (otophyma).
4. Ocular rosacea – This type of rosacea affects the eyes and eyelids, where it can cause them to be red, dry, itchy, and irritated.
To date there has been no officially designated cause of rosacea, most likely because rosacea itself is thought to be a blanket term for several skin conditions that all have similar symptoms and a certain range of causes. We do know that rosacea has both bacterial and inflammation components, since treatments involving topical antibacterial/antibiotic and anti-inflammatory substances are often effective in relieving the condition, at least in part. It is unlikely that there will ever be a blanket cure for all rosacea conditions, but rather a set of treatments that alleviate each type on an individual basis. That being said, there are some treatments that seem to be effective in the vast majority of rosacea sufferers for lessening, or in some cases completely alleviating, the symptoms.
A sunscreen is a must for rosacea suffers as the UV radiation in sunlight can severely aggravate rosacea-prone skin. While “chemical sunscreens” (which constitutes mostly synthetic sunscreens) can be quite irritating to both rosacea prone skin and sensitive skin in general, natural earth mineral formulations can be particularly beneficial. Not only do zinc oxide and titanium dioxide mineral sunscreen provide broad-spectrum defense from both UVA and UVB light spectrums but the zinc oxide mineral has been shown to lessen rosacea symptoms directly. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why this is but it’s believed the antibacterial effects of zinc oxide are responsible for this effect, on top of the direct shielding of the skin from damaging UV light.
Botanical oils are also very beneficial for rosacea sufferers as they supply a broad range of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients as well as moisturize the skin. Moisturizing is very important for sensitive skin in general because it creates an optimal environment for the skin to function (most notably because all of the skin’s chemical reactions take place in the presence of water, thus having ample moisture facilitates proper operation). When those moisturizers are botanical oils a second layer of treatment comes into play because some oils (such as those from hemp seed and flax seed) are high in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory and can calm rosacea-induced inflammation. Other botanical oils (such as those from blueberry seeds, pomegranate seeds, acai berries, olive fruits, and grape seeds) are very high in antioxidant/anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, which further calm inflammation and protect the skin from free radical assault via their antioxidant capacity. This is not only beneficial for alleviating rosacea but also for anti-aging purposes.
Rosacea sufferers often find that our Sunguard Complex™ and Youth Moisturplex™ products are extremely effective in keeping their redness under control. The anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients in these crème complexes have calming effects on irritation in addition to boosting hydration. Likewise, the wide range of botanical extracts in the Phyto Serum™ and Phyto Eye Serum™ also directly alleviate rosacea symptoms due to their high concentration of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial plant compounds. Using the very gentle Cleansing Complex™ (free of harsh detergents and other stripping ingredients) to delicately prepare the skin for these active treatments enhances the potential results. Daily use of these products can keep the appearance of rosacea redness and inflammation perpetually at bay.