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What Triggers Rosacea and Causes Flare Ups?

What Triggers Rosacea and Causes Flare Ups?

It may not seem like it, but rosacea is a common skin issue. Approximately 415 million people experience it worldwide, that is almost 6% of the total population. It has also been found to be more common in women than men.

“We still don't know what causes rosacea or what drives it but it’s certainly an inflammation response within the skin that causes redness, swelling, and causes the pores to become larger, all these have a compounding effect on the skin,” explains cancer and ageing scientist Professor Derek Richard. 

It’s not just facial redness, people also experience dryness, sensitivity, watery and irritated eyes as other common symptoms. Currently there is no known cure for rosacea, but its triggers are known and can include anywhere from environmental, lifestyle and hormonal factors.

Some of the factors that can exacerbate rosacea symptoms and cause flare ups include;

  • Sun Exposure
  • Stress
  • Hot & Cold Weather
  • Wind
  • Heavy Exercise
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Spicy Foods

One of the hallmarks of rosacea is a weakened skin barrier, meaning it is crucial to moisturise every day because it helps repair the skin barrier and keep irritants and allergens out.

“Our skin is our main defence. Moisturisers help form a second barrier of lipids to protect you from things that our skin really doesn’t like, like wind and oxygen,” explains Professor Richard. 

With your skincare, a general rule to help reduce rosacea flare ups means avoiding:

  • Astringent toners
  • Traditional spot treatments
  • Natural skincare with essential oils
  • Exfoliating acids (glycolic acid)
  • Low pH skincare (such as L-ascorbic acid)

Although there is no known cure, there are certain ingredients known to help the appearance of rosacea like Niacinamide. Niacinamide can improve the appearance of rosacea by helping the skin barrier and reducing skin redness. You can find Niacinamide in our EPI-gN Serum

EPI-gN Serum, as seen @nina.gornicka

Some other calming ingredients to incorporate into your skincare routine include Ceramides, Seaweed and Peptides.

Wearing a SPF everyday is a must for all of us but particularly for people with rosacea, as they are more vulnerable to UV light and their reaction to the sun is going to cause them greater inflammation and redness than people that don't have rosacea.

It’s important to monitor and manage your own triggers and understand that they will come in cycles. The key is taking care of yourself and your skin, trying the latest skincare trend might not be the best when managing rosacea, so keep your routine simple. It is essential to know the ingredients that you are putting on your skin so there aren’t any surprise flare ups to deal with.


Robert Crombie - January 24, 2022

i had it really bad in my teens.
It was caused by allergy to lactose (lactose intolerant)
Avoid lactose and it goes away (takes a while)
I used to get sore bloodshot eyes as well. Taking vitamin B2 helps, for a short period, then you realize that you have to take other B vitamins as well (some of there levels in your system expect an increase at the same time). The B2 was being taken to help, before I later realized that I must avoid lactose.

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