Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Skin Care Routine for Rosacea

I am starting to feel like a jerk because people come to my blog searching for rosacea help and all they find are my bitchy rant and all of the red faced pictures one could possibly desire.  You don't have to have rosacea to use most of these products though, so read on if you are looking to mix up your winter skincare routine.

Background rosacea info: I have a prescription for doxycycline, but I prefer to not take antibiotics on a daily basis if I don't have to.  I think I do a good job controlling my cysts with my skincare routine, so it just seems unnecessary.  I don't do anything beyond skincare to control my redness, because dietary changes involve cutting out everything I love in life (chocolate! wine! spicy food!), and my doctor kind of freaked me out when she said that the laser therapy can cause black eyes and extreme reactions in rosacea patients.  I'll just stick to makeup, thanks.  

Current morning routine:
1.  Sumadan face wash in the shower
2.  philosophy's the microdelivery exfoliating wash in the shower
3.  Pat face dry - do not rub!
4.  Try to wait at least 15 minutes if possible
5.  Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle
6.  Wait 2 minutes
7.  Finacea
8.  Wait 2 minutes
9.  Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion
10.  Kiehl's Rosa Arctica Eye Cream
11. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
12. Wait 2 minutes
13. Makeup

Current non-lazy evening routine:
1.  Neutrogena Oil Free Eye Makeup Remover (if needed)
2.  Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads
3.  Pat face dry - do not rub!
4.  Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle
5.  Wait 2 minutes
6.  Finacea
7.  Wait 2 minutes
8.  Aveeno Positively Ageless Lifting and Firming Night Cream
9.  Kiehl's Rosa Arctica Eye Cream
10. Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

Current lazy evening routine:

1.  Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes

Current REALLY lazy evening routine:

1.  Pass out on couch
2.  Wake up in haze
3.  Go directly to bed; do not pass go, do not collect $200

My thoughts on the products:

Sumadan Face Wash (price varies depending on insurance).  I keep a giant bottle of prescription Sumadan wash in the shower.  I've had this bottle since my November 2011 dermatologist appointment.  Apparently I don't shower enough?  Hehe, just kidding.  I used some other stuff up before I started the Sumadan, plus I take breaks from it every once in a while if there is a sample I'm particularly interested in trying out.  The Sumadan was pretty expensive for a facewash (even after insurance) so I don't think I will be repurchasing it.  The sulfur smell is really heavy, but you get used to it after a while.  The main reason I feel neutral about it is that I think other products are responsible for minimizing my cysts, and my skin is the same level of red it's always been.  I'd rather use something cheaper and more convenient if the Sumadan doesn't have any clear added value.  I will let you know if I get crazy rosacea face again after I stop using it.  

RIP, Original Clarisonic.  
Clarisonic Face Scrubber ($102).  I would normally use the Sumadan wash in combination with my Clarisonic Classic a couple of times a week to combat winter dullness, but mine just crapped out after 5 years of frequent use (it won't charge anymore).  I use the sensitive brush head with a light touch for about a minute at the most, usually when I'm in the shower.  This absolutely results in less cysts, smaller pores, and smoother skin.  I will likely purchase the Mia after I get my tax return (I don't really think there is enough of a difference between the Mia and Mia 2 to justify the extra $35).  The Clarisonic has never bothered my rosacea.  I highly recommend it, whether you have rosacea or not.  

the microdelivery exfoliating wash by philosophy ($20).  My skin is always dry and has the tendency to get rough patches, but it's far worse in the winter.  I started using this regularly after my Clarisonic died.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this product because it's gentle enough to exfoliate on a daily basis.  The grit is really fine, and it doesn't seem to inflame my rosacea at all.  Plus it lasts FOREVER.  This 8 ounce bottle was part of a gift set I got several years ago.  It came in a set with the purity made simple cleanser (which I personally hate - I CAN TASTE IT FOR HOURS) and the amazing grace perfume and shower gel (which I love - it's a light, feminine scent).  I use it all of the time and the bottle is half full.  I have no idea how this is possible, but I'm not complaining. The only down side is that, like the purity cleanser, it has a bit of a weird, medicinal smell. 

Alpha Hydrox AHA Souffle ($11).  This product made and was reviewed in my 2012 beauty favorites.  It does burn at first, but my skin got used to it and I hardly notice it anymore.  In my opinion, for my own skin, it definitely does more good than harm.  The glycolic acid makes the skin cells have a much quicker turnover, so spots from past breakouts fade much faster.  If you do have rosacea, I would definitely proceed with caution with this product - test a small area and see how your skin reacts.  I am VERY HESITANT to offer this up as a general rosacea recommendation.  If you have tough skin?  THIS STUFF IS AWESOME.     

Finacea (price varies depending on insurance).  My skincare routine was much simpler when I first started using finacea, so I know for a fact that this helps reduce the number of bumps/cysts and even seems to help the redness a bit.  It burns a bit (less than the Alpha Hydrox), but I got used to it right away.  Out of all of the rosacea-specific products I have tried, this is my absolute must have.     

Kiehl's products.  In the summer, I would definitely use a light moisturizer with SPF, like CeraVe or Cetaphil.  In the winter, I am more likely to experiment with some of my samples that don't have SPF, seeing as how I'm only outside for as long as it takes me to walk from my house to my car (and it's usually dark then anyway).  I belong to enough beauty subscription services that if I'm patient, I can hoard several samples from the same line to test all at once.  I am currently using the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion (from my July Glam Bag), Kiehl's Rosa Arctica Eye Cream (from my October Birchbox), and Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution (from a test tube, I think).  

  • Kiehl's Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion ($26).  I would recommend a thicker lotion for those of you with dry skin due to rosacea - I think the Kiehl's is probably better for normal to oily skin.  It also makes my skin really shiny.  Wouldn't repurchase.
  • Kiehl's Rosa Arctica Eye Cream ($46).  This eye cream is nice and thick; this post compares it to creme de la mer.  I haven't really noticed much of a decrease in my fine lines, but the area around my eyes is definitely much softer.  Not sure if I'd repurchase; I have to try out some other (cheaper) stuff first.  
  • Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution ($50). The star of the show for me is the Dark Spot Solution.  I dabbed it on some past breakouts on my chin and noticed that they were absolutely, positively VISIBLY lighter within 5 days.  It stings a bit but nothing too intense.  It will kill me to shell out the $50 for just one ounce of the stuff, but I will totally repurchase this.  

Neutrogena oil-free eye makeup remover ($7).  This is hands down my all-time favorite eye makeup remover.  It's not greasy, it doesn't sting or burn, and it completely removes 100% of my eye makeup (even the most stubborn waterproof mascaras).  LOVE.  

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads ($6).  I have no idea why I had such a hard time using these up that I stuck them on my Project 10 Pan list.  I have fallen in love with them all over again, and will definitely repurchase once I use up a bunch of my other cleansers.  These are gentle enough for my skin and I love the bumpy side to exfoliate.  I should also point out that I generally prefer the Positively Radiant line to the Ultra Calming line.  Weird, right?  You'd think that stuff is made specifically for my skin, but it I actually find it to be irritating.  Not more so than the Alpha Hydrox or Finacea, but enough to make me pick up Positively Radiant instead.    

Aveeno Positively Ageless Lifting and Firming Night Cream ($15).  This is the only night cream I have ever used, so I don't really have anything to compare it to.  I am glad that Project 10 Pan got me into the habit of using it again.  It's nice and thick, and I like the scent.  I'd like to try some other stuff out before determining if I'd repurchase.  

Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes ($6).  This product also made and was reviewed in my 2012 beauty favorites.  I  think they are amazing for travel and for lazy nights, and they don't bother my rosacea.  However, I am working towards not having them be a regular part of my routine; this should only be used as a last resort.  

My thoughts on the routine:

I am glad I wrote this out, because it's really making me rethink my routine.  I think I need to simplify a bit.  Ideally, I would purchase a new Clarisonic and ditch some of the exfoliating steps.  I am also wondering if the Alpha Hydrox is an absolutely necessary product on top of the Finacea.  My next dermatologist appointment is in April, and I plan to bring this list and to ask if the azelaic acid has any anti-aging benefits.  I'd love to be able to skip that step!  In the meantime, since the Alpha Hydrox is about to run out, I think I'm going to replace it with a less irritating anti-aging cream and to just rely on the Kiehl's to correct dark spots.  I have Vichy LiftActiv sample I got from BeautyFix, so I think I'm going to go with that.  

What is your current skincare routine?  Do you do anything different for the winter?

Update: For some full coverage foundation recommendations to cover up rosacea or other redness, go here!


april said...

I have this face scrubber, which I got on Groupon for $59 and I love it. I would definitely recommend it, and it seems to come up on Groupon once every three to four months or so (I got mine in December)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

You are my hero for spending so much time on your skin. On a good day, I wash my face in the shower, dry it off, moisturize and then put up eye liner and mascara. At the end of the good day, I use Almay eye make-up remover and go to bed. On a bad day (which happen more frequently than good days - I can do that since I work from home), I skip all of the above. I know it's terrible, but I'm terribly lazy. Again, you are my hero!

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