Best Natural Treatments for Rosacea

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Rosacea is one of those pesky, mysterious conditions that can often be rooted in the mind-body connection.  A frustration a lot of peoplewith rosacea have is that nothing seems to consistentlyhelp them manage their breakouts.  A new face wash or magic serum may work for a month or two, but those red blotches just keep coming back.

So what’s the trick?  A less is more approach to skincare, and a holistic approach to self-care and eating that nips those triggers in the bud.  Read on for some natural rosacea treatment facts you may not know!

Stress causes flare-ups

Stress, emotions running high, and even embarrassment can all trigger a flare-up of rosacea.  First and foremost, it is vital to have some really effective stress management techniques in place for when you start to feel those feeling bubbling up.  A regular yoga and/or meditation practice has been shown to be a significant aid to people with rosacea (just avoid Bikram or hot yoga, which can exacerbate symptoms!).  But when you’re starting to feel stressed or emotional, even just stopping in your tracks to take a 5-7 long, deep breaths with your eyes closed will work wonders!

Eat smart

Rosacea can actually have a lot of food triggers, and is linked to the digestive tract.  Sugar, wheat, dairy, spicy foods, corn, and eggs are the most common triggers, so the best move is to do an elimination diet for at least two weeks and then gradually add the potential problem foods back in, one food per week, keeping an eye on your symptoms.  The only exceptions?  Sugar and spicy foods.  Keep these skincare bad guys out of your diet to keep your face as glowing and clear as possible!  Opt for an anti-inflammatory, skin-boosting diet of lots of veggies (particularly dark leafy greens), whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, and omega-3 rich fish.  

Drink Smart

Alcohol is another major rosacea trigger.  I hate to tell you, but you’re going to have to cut down on the wine and booze!  Although wine has the strongest effect in triggering a flare-up, all forms of alcohol are bad guys here.  A study by the National Rosacea Society found that 9 out of 10 patients reported a significant improvement in breakouts after avoiding alcohol altogether.  If you must imbibe, opt for brown liquors, which are less inflammatory to the skin.  Of the helpful beverages, green tea takes the cake.  It has an amazing, anti-inflammatory effect on skin… Opt for one cup a day instead of coffee, but skip the sugar (stevia, raw honey or agave are great!), and make sure it isn’t too hot, as heat is another trigger!

Supplements can help

There are actually a lot of dietary supplements that have been shows to drastically improve rosacea flare-ups long-term.  Omega-3’s antioxidants are key for fighting inflammation, and you can boost your dietary intake by taking a 1-2 punch of flaxseed oil and grapeseed extract.  Take it in capsule form, or use liquid flaxseed oil on your salads, in your smoothies, or drizzled on pretty much whatever (at least 2 tsp per day), and take about 50mg of grapeseed extract daily.  Probiotics have also been shown to greatly improve rosacea by restoring healthy intestinal flora and balancing the digestive tract.  Take a dairy-free probiotic everyday, or if you’re sure that dairy is not one of your triggers, opt for a Greek yogurt rich in live active cultures.  Turmeric is another amazing anti-inflammatory supplement.  You can mix a teaspoon of turmeric powder into a glass of water (which is a little strong for my taste), or opt for turmeric in capsule form.  Lastly, a vitamin B deficiency can also cause rosacea flare-ups.   A high-quality liquid or sublingual B supplement can help stop flare-ups before they start!

Minimize your skincare regimen

Though there are are quite a few skincare products on the market geared toward rosacea, all but very few can actually make symptoms worse long term.  Rosacea skin is super sensitive to additives, chemicals, and synthetic ingredients, which means a less-is-more approach to skincare tends to work best.  And guess what?  You may already have your miraculous rosacea skincare treatments in your pantry!  Instead of washing your face with drying soaps and harsh cleansers, the best solution (for rosacea as well as almost any skin problem, like acne!) is oil.  Yes, oil!  Cleansing your face with pure, natural, organic oils actually balances your skin’s own oil production, unclogs pores, soothes and moisturizes the skin, and combats inflammation and redness!  It’s best to use a combination of olive oil and castor oil in a 2:1 ratio.  You can mix up a large batch to keep in a bottle.  Wash your face with the oil every night by first massaging it into your skin for a minute or two, and then covering your face with a hot washcloth (not uncomfortably hot) for a minute to open up your pores and let the oil do it’s business.  You can keep soaking your washcloth in hot water, ringing it out, and gently wiping the oil from your face until it’s mostly washed off.  Pat your face dry, and you’re done!

If you’d like, you can follow this with a toner of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar on a cotton pad.  Apple cider vinegar has an amazing effect on skin ailments like rosacea, perioral dermatitis, and breakouts!  (Read about The Magic of Apple Cider Vinegar).

In the morning, you can actually just rinse your face with warm water, and you’re all set!  If you need a little more moisture, just dab on a tiny bit of your oil mixture.  No need for expensive, speciality moisturizers that still run the risk of irritating your sensitive skin!  Hemp seed oil can also be used as a great anti-inflammatory moisturizer.

Go natural with makeup

As much as possible, opt for natural, talc-free mineral makeup, rather than heavy foundations or chemical laden products. A green-tinted base with mineral sun protection will minimize redness without triggering a flare-up.  Use gentle, soft brushes, and go easy on the blush and bronzer, since your face already has some natural red color.  To offset the redness of your skin, use cool-toned lip and eye colors.  As with all your skincare, less is more!  Focus on sun protection, and natural, minimal ingredients.

25 Comments
  • Kimberly
    November 8, 2012

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I’m impressed! Very helpful information particularly the closing phase 🙂 I maintain such info much. I was looking for this certain information for a very lengthy time. Thank you and best of luck.

  • Alayna Rashed
    February 6, 2013

    There are certain contrasts between acne rosacea and acne vulgaris. As you probably know, acne vulgaris is the most common form of acne which seems to start with the onset of puberty and is characterized by the formation of whiteheads and blackheads. Acne rosacea, on the other hand, usually makes its first appearance between the ages of 30 and 50, is confined to the face — mostly the nose, cheeks, chin, forehead and eyelids — and is not associated with overactive oil glands.;

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    • Nelda McEwen
      March 7, 2013

      This is a great post. I am so glad to have found you. I have been in the health profession for 24 years. I have found with some clients that the issue of chronic liver/portal/circulation congestion is at the root of rosacea skin problems. Emotions that tense the liver also contributes to ‘lack of flow’ and can exacerbate the flare-ups. But of course, there are no two people alike. I look forward to some great reads. Thanks for being you.

      • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
        March 7, 2013

        Thank you so much, Nelda!
        It’s crazy how many chronic health problems are impacted by stress, emotions, and anxiety. More and more, research is showing that deep breathing, yoga, and meditation are all so healing to these inflammatory conditions, including skin imbalances.

        Please stay in touch, and thank you for reading!
        Natasha

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  • Candice
    November 26, 2014

    I totally agree that the best solution for rosacea is not drying products, but oils. Essential oils to be specific.

    This is a quality article, and I would humbly like to recommend a similar article that I wrote here: http://blog.organicradianceskincare.com/2013/10/29/rosacea-treatment-with-essential-oils-and-diet/

    Looking forward to more posts from you Natasha!

    Candice

  • Mary Feiler
    April 27, 2015

    DermalMD is the first Rosacea cream I’ve tried that actually works. It feels very soothing going on and I have less redness.

  • Kristy Ross
    July 30, 2015

    Hi, best I have ever used is Monsia.

  • linda
    September 10, 2015

    My skin is sensitive, with mild rosacea, and I’ve had mild acne for over a decade (occasionally I’d clear it up with various face products but they always made my skin splotchy red, would cause flareups with the rosacea, or were so dying I’d end up with flaky skin). After two weeks of using the Somaluxe Redness Repair Moisturizer, my skin is almost completely clear of any signs of rosacea or acne. Plus, my skin looks dewy and vibrant. Based on these short-term results, I’m expecting new skin to be completely clear of acne and signs of rosacea. I highly recommended Somaluxe Redness repair for you.

  • ellie
    December 17, 2015

    I still am not entirely sure if I have Rosacea, or what. I’ve experienced rough scaly skin, dry skin, red itchy bumps, red itchy skin without the bumps or dryness… I’ve seen three dermatologists who’ve all shrugged and prescribed steroid cream and antibiotics. For those of you who don’t know steroids create a condition where your body will no longer respond to other medication/ treatment. They also destroy your skin barrier making it impossible for your skin to heal itself. Call me crazy but that sounds counter intuitive.

    I have been using the Somaluxe Redness Repair Moisturizer and I wouldn’t call this a miracle cure. My face did not clear up over night and it’s not perfect. But I would say my face is easily 75-85% better; less hyper pigmentation, almost no itching, almost no itchy red bumps (1 every few days vs. 4-5 every single day like before). But by and large this product is working for me.

  • Linda G
    June 19, 2016

    Great Blog! May I ask, regarding acne rosacea……would you recommend pure Argon oil as a cleanser?

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      June 20, 2016

      Hi Linda! Argan oil is a bit too pricey and rich to waste on cleansing, I would stick to using it as a serum or treatment post washing. For face wash, I like jojoba oil — great for acne and rosacea!

      Xoxo
      Natasha

      • Sammy
        November 13, 2016

        Hi miss natasha…what about the sibu oil? I heard its good for rosacea… is it? Thank u

  • tara
    August 10, 2016

    I’m 36 with combination skin and large pores. I’ve been using the Grapefruit Glycolic Wash from Made from Earth for about 6 months and love it. Its a gentle glycolic wash (and I have sensitive skin) and this wash has kept my breakouts to a minimum. Over use of any glycolic acid treatment can be drying – but not with this one – Ive been using daily with no problems.

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      August 10, 2016

      That’s sounds awesome, Tara! Glycolic acid is great for breakouts.. I’ll have to check this one out! Thanks for sharing!

      Xoxo
      Natasha

  • Shirin
    November 21, 2016

    I have rosacea and have tried antibiotics, creams, lotions, washes, etc. Did not work. But dermalmd rosacea serum works. I have looked awful for nearly two years and folks at work are now saying I look bright and rested.

  • Kevin Cheng
    January 13, 2017

    Foderma serum was so helpful in my husbands rosacea like symptoms. The redness was gone almost 50% the next day and then the rosacea disappeared within a week.

    • Dale Morrissey
      January 21, 2017

      what is Foderma serum?

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      January 29, 2017

      Thanks for sharing, Kevin!
      I’d be interested to see a list of the ingredients. Do you by chance know what they are? They’re impossible to find online.

      Best!
      Natasha

  • Dale Morrissey
    January 21, 2017

    What is foderma serum and where to buy it?

  • Linda
    January 29, 2017

    Hi Natasha, I was diagnosed by two doctors as having acne rosacea, but I do not have any of the redness or flushing. Is it possible to have acne rosacea with just cystic-like painful bumps? I’ve tried the rosacea products (Paula’s Choice…helped for a while), acne products and many natural remedies, including Manuka honey from New Zealand ($65)…..nothing has helped!

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      February 5, 2017

      I would recommend making some dietary changes if the other recommendations in this post haven’t helped. Also, oils!

      Xoxo
      Natasha

  • Kary
    March 24, 2017

    Hi Natasha,
    I have acne rosacea … only on my cheeks though. I have a bit of redness but what really bothers me is the pimples or pustules\papules I am not even sure how to call them. I believe for2 years I was mixing products on and on and that made ‘destroyed’ my skin. Now I use finacea( prescription from my dermatologist) however I don’t think it made a difference. I am now using jojoba oil to cleanse and right after I use rosewater ( therefore I do not use water on my skin) what do you think? Is tea tree oil good for those pimples ( red and whiteheads onmy cheeks?) and for my diet I am trying to be careful ! Thank you so much I am sending you love from Montreal , Canada. Xox

    • Natasha Uspensky, CHHC
      March 31, 2017

      Hi Kary!
      Tea tree, lavender, and chamomile essential oils are all great for this. Mix a could drops with some coconut oil and apply everyday.
      Diet will be a big factor, so identify any triggers and make avoiding them a top priority.
      Lastly green tea! Drink it daily, apply it as a toner. It works magic.

      Sending lots of love and healing!
      Natasha

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