Rosacea is a chronic skin disease that mainly affects the skin of the face. The disease usually appears in middle age (after the age of thirty), but it can appear as early as adolescence. It is most common in fair-skinned people. It affects both women and men. Symptoms most commonly include redness on the cheeks, nose, chin, or forehead. Redness is reminiscent of sunburn.
Rosacea is characterised by dilated blood vessels and increased blood flow to the skin. In some cases, inflammatory lesions are also present. In rosacea, small pimples and dilated veins also appear.
The problem is not usually dangerous, but it is associated with considerable embarrassment and low self-esteem. Of course, it is not only an aesthetic problem, as the condition can also be accompanied by pain, burning sensation and excessive sensitivity of the skin to the sun.
If left untreated, the skin can thicken, especially in the area of the nose, causing it to become red and lumpy. This change is called rhinophyma. Many patients with rosacea also have affected eyes that are irritated, watery, and have a “blood-shot” appearance.
There are various medications available, but they are often not the most effective, and they can also have a number of side effects. Since it is often all related to our diet and daily habits, it is advisable to make certain dietary changes and the symptoms will subside.
It is a change in diet that can be extremely helpful in overcoming the problems caused by rosacea, as they have shown that certain foods can trigger outbreaks of symptoms in people with rosacea. Foods that cause blood vessels to dilate in the skin, e.g. spicy and hot foods, alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated beverages and hot beverages. It is recommended to avoid all foods that can cause inflammation in the body, especially sugar, hydrogenated fats and dairy products. The basis of the diet should be fruits and naturals, as well as foods with anti-inflammatory effect, e.g. spices such as ginger and turmeric. Needless to say, smoking also worsens the condition.
It is important to avoid saunas, hot baths, an excessively warm environment and general overheating. The condition is also aggravated by extremely cold temperatures. It is also important to avoid emotional influences such as stress and physical exertion.
The use of natural cosmetics is recommended, thus avoiding the synthetic ingredients of many creams, which often cause more harm than good, especially in people with rosacea. A gentle cleanser should also be used, e.g. based on jojoba oil. It is very important to avoid all products that contain alcohol.
The exact cause of rosacea is not known and natural holistic treatments are aimed at relieving the symptoms, both physical and emotional, that may accompany this condition.
The main purpose of treatment at the physical level is to keep the skin cool, reduce inflammation, vasoconstriction of blood vessels and prevent irritation. It is also good to support an emotional state, which can be a trigger or a reaction (anxiety, stress). In this case, aromatherapy can be used (eg inhalation of essential oils – inhaler).
Rosacea is a problem in which moisturising the skin is very important. One of the best choices is definitely aloe vera. It moisturises the skin and relieves inflammation. In addition, aloe vera gel also has a cooling effect. For application to the skin, hydrosols, natural oils and essential oils can be added to it.
Essential oils (EO):
An excellent choice for natural healing or. alleviating the symptoms typical of rosacea are also essential oils. Before application, they must always be mixed, e.g. with one of the natural oils. Up to 1% concentration is recommended, which is approx. 30 drops of essential oil per 100 g of base. We choose essential oils that work:
- anti-inflammatory (to soothe or relieve inflammation). These are EO German chamomile, Roman chamomile, immortelle, lavender, myrtle, patchouli, sandalwood,
- astringent (cause contraction of body cells and tissues). These are EO cypresses, geraniums, neroli, patchouli, roses,
- refrigerant (to reduce heat). In addition to anti-inflammatory essential oils, we include vetiver. Peppermint, which is otherwise a cooling essential oil, is not recommended in the treatment of rosacea due to sensitivity.
The hydrosols that can be included are the hydrosol of German chamomile, geranium, lavender, rose and neroli. We can spray them on the face when needed. Keep them in the fridge!
Suitable natural oils are rosehip oil, jojoba, hazelnut, sunflower oil, tamanu oil, coconut oil.
A cucumber mask is also a very good solution for outbreaks, which supplies the face with moisture and at the same time provides a cooling effect. Mix the cucumbers in a kitchen blender and apply the paste on the face for 30 minutes. Then wash it with lukewarm water. Freshly sliced cucumbers that we put on the eyes are also great.
Recipe for a gentle cooling anti-redness serum:
10g hazelnut oil
5g of rosehip oil
3g lysolecithin emulsifier.
45.9g lavender hydrosol
25g rose hydrosol
8g aloe vera concentrate
0.4g xanthan gum.
0.6g of Cosgard preservative
0.5g EO (6 drops of immortelle, 4 drops of geranium, 3 drops of German chamomile and 2 drops of vetiver).
First, prepare the aqueous phase – phase B. Weigh the xanthan gum into a beaker and rub it with glycerin with a spoon or stick. Add aloe vera concentrate, both hydrosols and mix to get a nice homogeneous gel. In the second beaker, prepare phase A. Add hazelnut and rosehip oil to the lysolecithin and beat well with a whisk. Pour the aqueous phase into the oil phase and beat again. Add preservative and essential oils and check the pH. The serum is then poured into a disinfected bottle with a pump. We sign the bottle and use the contents within three months.
Use 2-3 times a day. Store in the refrigerator, for an even better cooling effect.
Sources and literature:
- New York Institute of Aromatic Studies, Aromatherapy for Rosacea
- Purchon, N. & Cantele, L.: Aromatherapy & Essential Oils, Robert Rose Inc. 2014.
- Salvatore Battaglia: The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, 2nd Edition, 2003
- Veliki zdravstveni priročnik, Mladinska knjiga Založba d.d., Ljubljana, 2005.