Greetings Ladies, I’m so excited that Sharon has asked me to
write an article about a problem that I’ve been addressing with
our customers almost on a daily basis. I do
marketing and PR for Monave Mineral Cosmetics. I’ve been
in the natural beauty industry for 16 years, working with
leaders, such as Aveda. Natural skincare has been a
particular passion of mine and I’m always seeking new
information for old problems. Increasingly, I’m seeing
both men and women with progressive Rosacea, case in point, Bill
Clinton, whose doctor disclosed this fact in the New York Times.
I answer inquiries about how to control this affliction on a
Rosacea (pronounced roh-zay-sha) is a long term skin disorder
where the blood vessels become swollen and the areas of the face
become inflamed. This disorder usually appears between the
ages of 30 and 60 although younger women have become
susceptible. Women and men can develop Rosacea but more
women seem to succumb to this disorder. Symptoms are
varied and include areas of redness on the cheeks, forehead,
chin, nose and even eyelids and eyes. Generally there is
the appearance of small blood vessels on the nose and cheeks and
in severe cases acne- like pustules. Rosacea seems to be
on the rise lately as some women thinking it’s a complexion
problem dismiss it and hope it will go away. But in
reality, it will grow progressively worse. Acne and
Seborrheic Dermatitis are co- occurring skin diseases sometimes
giving rise to mis-diagnosis. If caught early this
disorder can be cured but if later, it will become a lifelong
There have been numerous conjectures on the cause of this
disease, none conclusive. There is research that points to
Rosacea resulting from an excessively acidic body and skin.
The ph (potential of hydrogen) scale ranges from 0-14 with 7
being neutral, anything below 7 is considered acidic and a lot
of the ‘triggers’ are acidic. These ‘triggers’ that
aggravate the condition: sunlight, spicy foods, physical
exercise, hot drinks, stress and alcohol, both ingested and
topical. Medical doctors also think that Rosacea is a
hereditary condition. But hereditary means that it is a
genetic condition that is inherited. If it was an
inherited skin disorder, Rosacea would start from a very early
age of two weeks or several years after birth. It is a
chronic (long term) disorder that affects the areas where there
is a large supply of veins and arteries so there is a large
accumulation of acids over the years. My opinion is that
the different toxins that are present in conventional skincare
are a primary cause for Rosacea. Before women leave the
house, we put up to six hundred different toxins on our skin.
Some of the sources of these toxins are cleansers, moisturizers,
toners, toothpaste, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, laundry
detergents, and perfumes.
There are several ways to ‘control’ this chronic skin condition.
One way is to use only natural skin care. A type of toxin
to avoid are the parabens. These are used to preserve
shelf life of commercial skincare and body care products.
There are three major ones to be aware of: methylparaben,
ethylparaben, and propylparaben. They are known irritants
and can cause dryness and dehydration. Due to the extended
shelf life of products containing parabens, the products
beneficial ingredients, such as Aloe, or other botanical
extracts, no longer offer therapeutic benefits and lose any
Another group of chemicals severely detrimental to the human
skin are lauryl/laureth sulfates. These are sudsing agents
and surfactants, both big words that mean... cleansers.
They bond to oil, and were originally designed to clean heavy
duty machinery. When used on our skin, they break down the
protective barrier making the skin more alkaline. The
result is dry, irritated skin. Our skin needs the natural
oil mantle on the face. It is what protects it from
bacteria, and seals in moisture. This in turn prevents
premature aging. These toxins should be completely avoided
at all costs by Rosacea sufferers. I will offer
suggestions for alternative cleansing agents later in the
Artificial fragrances are one of the worst culprits for
increasing irritation in the skin. One fragrance can
contain up to 300 different chemicals. Even natural
fragrances derived directly from plants can be irritating to
sensitive skin. Look for the word ‘fragrance’ on the skin
care products that you purchase. If you see this word on
the label, do not use it on your face, hands, neck or hair.
Remember, what you put in your hair in the shower washes off but
may leave a residue as it passes over your face. If the
products are natural, try to avoid multiple combinations of
essential oils, since these can have a synergist effect that is
not beneficial to this condition. Some mild essential oils
that are beneficial to Rosacea sufferers are: Roman and Blue
Chamomile, Helichrysum, Sea Buckthorn Berry and Bergamot.
Herbs like St John’s Wort and Calendula are also excellent
additives. Try to avoid facial care products that use
extracts, since these are based in alcohol, which is drying.
Some natural products use the alcohol in extracts to boost their
Now I’d like to recommend some beneficial ingredients to look
for in your cleansers and moisturizers. Look for creamy
cleansers, instead of cleansers that lather, or gel-like
cleansers. Clear gels are made from synthetic chemicals,
so be reassured that a cloudy consistency in a natural cleanser
is probably a positive indication. Cleansers should
contain Chamomile, Aloe Vera and Algae. These whole,
natural ingredients have a ‘cooling’ effect, and I highly
recommend them to soothe inflamed skin. They can also be
used as single notes as well, not just embedded in products.
Toners or fresheners without alcohol are also highly
recommended. Chamomile and Helichrysum hydrosols are great
options, as they are very soothing to the skin.
Moisturizers and serums with Jojoba and Aloe bases are excellent
for the addition of essential oils and Vitamin E. Another
natural ingredient that is very beneficial for this skin
condition is Karite, known as shea butter. Karite is a nut
from West Africa that produces a rich, healing butter that has
been used by African women for centuries in beauty rituals and
products. It has been known to combat the dryness from
seborrheic dermatitis which occurs in 35% of rosacea patients.
Pure shea butter has a nutty aroma, and a rich, creamy
appearance. It should be a rich cream color, to a deep
yellow. If it is pure white, it is more likely than not to
have been extracted with chemicals, instead of manually.
If it is off-white, it has probably been whitened with Fuller’s
Earth, a natural mineral that whitens products, or is used to
lighten the skin naturally.
The makeup that you apply to your face is another source of
possible irritation. The best choice for Rosacea sufferers
is mineral makeup which doesn’t contain the following
ingredients (some supposed mineral makeup does, so read the
labels carefully): talc, Bismuth Oxychloride, preservatives,
synthetic dyes and fragrance. Talc is a cancer causing
ingredient that clogs pores. Bismuth Oxychloride is a
mineral that is a by-product of lead and copper refining.
Its properties are very similar to Arsenic hence the redness and
irritation which results after prolonged use. Synthetic
dyes such as FD&C colors and lakes (a solid substance that has
been colored with a dye) can also be irritants to the skin.
The inclusion of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide give excellent
sunscreen capabilities and zinc oxide is an anti- inflammatory
so it calms the skin down, soothing and camouflaging the flushed
areas. Without the addition of talc, mineral foundation
holds in moisture which helps the skin’s dry condition.
We’ve created a line of foundations that is geared specifically
for women with Rosacea, this is our concealer foundation, it has
a higher zinc content. For additional questions and help
with skin care please contact us at
What you eat can cause flare ups of Rosacea. Alcohol
causes blood vessels to dilate making Rosacea more noticeable.
Hot and spicy foods should also be avoided. Whereas eating
dark green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus and spinach
are good choices. Foods high in Vitamins A and C, beta
carotene and bio-flavonoids can improve Rosacea as it
strengthens capillaries and boosts the immune system. Try
foods like carrots, tomatoes, squash, and red bell peppers to
name a few. Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar is great when
taken orally as it can stimulate the release of digestive
enzymes and balance the flora in the intestines. I hope
this article has been informative and gives you a starting point
to help you control this skin disorder.
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