Rosacea is a common skin issue that occurs often for many women. It is identified by a chronic red flush of the skin, usually on the cheeks and nose and often has acne-like pustules.
Rosacea has been linked to the following issues
The mite Demodex Folliculorum
Menopausal hot flashes
Vitamin B deficiencies
Rosacea has also been classified as an autoimmune condition in some situations and also related to an imbalance of gut bacteria. If you suffer from Rosacea, a holistic healthcare practitioner can help you understand the root cause and determine the best way to treat and heal your rosacea.
There are several dietary and lifestyle modifications which can help to alleviate inflamed skin. As well as herbs & supplements which can offer some relief. Following this protocol will offer great relief to those dealing with chronic rosacea.
Nourishment for Healing
The elimination of all possible allergens is a priority when Rosacea is present. When we eat food that we have an allergy to, the body’s immune system will identify it as an enemy and attack it. This sets the body into an inflammatory state. A short term state of inflammation can be helpful in keeping us healthy, however, if we are continually ingesting foods that send us into an inflammatory response, this can cause challenges overtime. The gut is lined with the same tissue as our skin, and what we see happening on our skin's surface can be a direct insight on what is happening in our insides.
Allergens can be detected by doing a food sensitivity test, as well as an allergy test. This is the fastest way to detect allergens but can be much more costly. A cheaper option is to do an elimination diet helping to pinpoint exactly what your body is reacting to. An elimination diet would need to be followed for 4 weeks, and then slowly introduce 1 food at a time observing its effects on the body for 3 days. This can be a long and drawn out process, however, it provides a ton of insight. An elimination diet can actually be more beneficial than a food sensitivity test as you actually feel and see the impact the food it has on your body - it’s well worth the try!
Follow an anti-inflammatory, rosacea reduction diet
Processed Foods and Refined Sugar
All dairy products
Gluten- wheat, barley, rye, couscous. Be cautious, gluten is hidden in many foods
Nightshade Vegetables- Eggplant, Red Pepper, Tomato, All Peppers
Caffeine Coffee, Black Tea, Chocolate
Processed condiments with fillers, sugars, preservatives.
Conventionally farmed meats/excess meat (especially red meat (beef, pork)
Vegetable Oils- Canola, Soybean, Corn, Sunflower etc.
Tropical/High Sugar Fruits- Mango, Banana, Pineapple
Make home made meals and eat as little packaged food as possible
Consume in abundance
Foods high in EFAs (essential fatty acids) like wild-caught Salmon, Nuts & seeds, Sardines, Flaxseed Oil. All help to reduce inflammation and redness in the skin.
collagen is a great addition to a morning smoothie or add a scoop into a soup. This does wonders for skin repair
Adding palm size portions into salads and dishes. If you picture your plate like a clock the meat portion should be between 10-12; this would be for an active person. For more sedentary individuals the portion should be between 11-12.
Plant-based proteins to support internal healing and skin nourishment. lentils, beans & legumes, nuts & seeds, quinoa, dark leafy greens, spirulina, avocado.
Add in Cooling Herbs and Spices like cilantro, mint, fennel, coriander, cardamom
Raw Green Vegetables- Increase phytonutrient intake to promote healing, detoxification and a high dose of nutrients.
Detoxification vegetables: kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, mustard greens, broccoli, onions. The focus is to incorporate liver loving foods that help clear the pathways. each meal you should be eating predominantly veggies on your plate. When dealing with an inflammatory gut lining its best to eat lightly steamed veggies, as raw veggies can be harder to digest when the system is already compromised.
Liver supportive foods- the liver is the main detoxification organ & helps to keep our skin clear. Support the liver by incorporating:
Drink lots of Water with lemon
Drink Dandelion & burdock tea
Fill up on dark leafy greens, beets, spirulina, chlorella, kelp, citrus, broccoli, cabbage, sprouted lentils/mung bean, dandelion greens, apple cider vinegar, celery, and oats all help to support & nourish the liver. Potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, bananas, beet greens, spinach, and molasses all help to cleanse + clear the liver. Add a salad or steamed greens to every meal!
Avoid any activity that will create excess heat in your body, until you have managed your inflammation. No hot yoga, sauna/steam rooms, or excessively hot baths. If you live near a body of natural water, swimming in it will bring relief. Avoid chlorinated pools as the chemicals will aggravate your skin, but salt water pools may be soothing and helpful. Avoid spending time in direct sun as it can cause a flare-up.
Try a B-Complex
A complex with a solid dose of vitamin B6 - include foods high in this vitamin-like organ meats. Avoid flushing niacin (vitamin B3). This vitamin causes the vessels to dilate, allowing blood to rise to the skin's surface (ie- may increase skin redness)
*Only if deficient. Consult with a holistic practitioner.
Probiotics- support the immune system and establish healthy gut flora (This is especially crucial if any antibiotics have been taken to treat rosacea, as gut flora will be low or non-existent - which can exacerbate the issue)
Fill up on probiotic-rich food sources: sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, coconut yogurt & kefir
Digestive Bitters - take 1-2 droppers full before meals to stimulate digestive fluids.
L-Glutamine: an amino acid which helps to heal and seal the gut lining to lower the possibility of allergens entering the bloodstream and causing an inflammatory response. Best in powder for, taken daily.
Licorice Root Extract- This is a #1 go-to for rosacea support. The glycyrrhizin in licorice reduces internal inflammation.
Burdock Root- Has antimicrobial properties that fight off an existing infection. Drink infusions daily or try a burdock root tincture.
Cat's Claw- A common digestive support for various GI tract illnesses. It helps to reestablish a healthy environment and heals the gut lining. Best in tincture form.
Cleanser Avoid using any harsh facial washes that will strip your skin of all natural oils. Oil cleansing can be a helpful option. Use an oil that has antibacterial properties such as a combination of coconut oil and sea buckthorn oil. Alternatively - use a gentle botanical cleanser with no additives.
Toner Cooling and gentle: Witch hazel and/or rose water
Antibacterial and calming: 1 part apple cider vinegar with 3 parts cooled chamomile tea
Moisturizer Look for natural a moisturizer containing calendula, rose, camellia, elderflower, or immortelle. These herbs all have soothing and calming properties to reduce inflammation.
Mask You can make an easy at home mask using raw honey, aloe vera, and powdered oats. Create a paste and put on your skin as a mask for 20 minutes, then gently rinse off with warm water.
Spot treatment In the event of a pimple-like flare-up, use lavender or tea tree oil diluted in coconut oil as a spot treatment. You can also crush up a zinc tablet, mix with a bit of water and apply directly to the skin.