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Study: Treating Rosacea with Natural Cosmetics, Part 1

Katja Kokko | 23.10.2014

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Rosacea is an infection of the skin, with the age of onset typically between 30-60 years of age. It is more common in women. Symptoms include strong flushing and redness, broken surface blood vessels (couperosa), as well as burning on the cheeks, forehead, and around the mouth, with bumps or pustules on otherwise dry and sensitive skin.

Rosacea can be hereditary, but it can also be triggered by extended periods of stress or emotional distress; it is also often related to poor gut health. I have written an article about rosacea and its treatment on Ellit.fi, available here. I have also written a Beauty Guide on the subject. (Other skin conditions will soon have their Beauty Guides, as well.)

I have received many comments, emails, and Facebook comments asking about skin care and treatment for rosacea. Many of you seem to have the symptoms, but have yet to see a doctor. Doctors will usually prescribe you with antibiotics. This is a very short-sighted treatment, as you can probably guess, especially when we’re dealing with an immune defense and gut related infection.

I have spent the last year observing and studying my cousin, who also suffers from rosacea. Luckily for us, she agreed to have her bare face featured on the blog, so that we could conduct an empirical experiment – by treating her skin with products from Suki.

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Some background on my cousin’s skin: when we met at the end of February last year, I was shocked. To be completely honest, her skin looked terrible. It was bright red; she had pustules around her mouth and forehead, and a thick, dry crust was covering much of her face, including her nose. I was under the impression that she had been treating her skin with natural cosmetics, so seeing the terrible condition of her skin was quite shocking. It turned out that, in her desperation to find a cure, she had consulted a cosmetologist some six months earlier – one who did not believe in natural products. My cousin had been recommended Meine Base salts, and promised that she would see an improvement within two months. She had also been given an appointment for an acid peel of some sort. After a short and sweet lecture by yours truly, my cousin was persuaded to cancel the appointment, the premise of which remains a mystery to this day.

First of all – you should never exfoliate, nor use very alkaline or acidic products on rosacea skin. I cannot understand why Meine Base was recommended to my cousin, as it only made her skin worse. I am very skeptical about Meine Base in general, and would only recommend it for blemished or very porous skin. I know some atopy sufferers have benefitted from these salts, but I would never personally recommend them. Finding relief is the main thing, and it does not matter how you go about it – as long as it’s natural.

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The first thing I did was take my cousin shopping. For cleansing, we got her Iroisie’s micellar gel and toner. Absolution’s La Solution Energie was chosen as a serum, and Iroisie’s Botanique lissant as moisturizer. Finally, as a makeup foundation, and to provide a physical sunscreen, we got her a BB cream from Iroisie, and a mineral powder from Zuii.

A week and a half later I saw my cousin again. I was shocked – positively this time. She looked as if she had had a skin graft; her complexion had improved immensely. I wish I had a picture to show you!

The situation has improved since last winter, but the pustules and crusting have not gone away entirely. My cousin also suffers from couperosa, and likely always will, to a degree. However, I think there is ample opportunity for conducting an experiement. I have tried to capture her skin as closely as possible, but I’m not sure my photography skills are quite up to par. There is crusting on her forehead and around the mouth, as I said, and the pustules tend to be in those same regions as well. The skin feels tight, but is also easily congested.

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As Suki specializes in the treatment and care of acne, rosacea, and cosmetic allergiese, we are using the brand’s products to treat my cousin’s skin. She has agreed to use the products according to my instructions for one month, after which we will document her skin again. The changing weather conditions present their own problems, of course, as colder air tends to have an adverse effect on the skin.

For cleansing, we have chosen Suki’s Moisture Rich Cleansing Lotion, and the Concentrated Clarifying Toner. The toner is high in willow bark extract, which has naturally occurring salicylic acid. Used in this form, the salicylic acid should not dry out the skin, but I will keep a watchful eye on things just in case.

The Bio-Brightening serum will be applied morning and night after toner, as the liquorice root in the serum is a great ingredient for treating rosacea both internally as well as externally. For moisturizer, we have gone for the Nourishing Day Cream – a light but hydrating fluid. My cousin has been using the cream for two weeks as we speak, and tells me her skin has become softer and clearer (picture taken before treatment was begun). To help with tightness and crusting, I have also given her the Balancing Oil, to be used in the morning and/or in the evening, before or after moisturizing. Finally, the Moisture Rich Brightening Masque will be applied twice a week.

I am excited to see the results of our experiment. The ingredients in these products should provide relief. The considerable improvement that has already occurred might be a bit problematic for our study, but we’ll see what happens. I hope the study will be helpful for as many rosacea sufferers as possible.

Products provided for testing by Naturelle. For 15% off all products, simply enter the code KATJA15 at checkout. Valid until the end of November.

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Photos Katja Kokko

Translation Katja Nikula

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