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Natural cosmetics for rosacea: Why the right products are important

Posted by Lara Schimweg on
Frau mit Rosacea cremt sich mit Naturkosmetik ein

There are some ingredients in conventional cosmetic products that can trigger rosacea, such as mineral oil, silicone or synthetic fragrances. So should I use natural cosmetics if I have rosacea?

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea or couperose is a skin disease that is accompanied by redness on the face and often also with inflammatory papules and pustules . The first symptoms usually only appear in the middle or late 20s. Many people did not necessarily have skin problems before when they were young.

Woman with rosacea: Extensive redness on the cheeks and eyelids What is rosacea or couperose: treatment and experiences

How is rosacea treated?

When treating rosacea, it is particularly important to avoid triggers in cosmetics, diet or the environment. Rosacea triggers can worsen the redness and other symptoms. How strong the triggers are is very individual. Some people with couperose can also tolerate some of the known triggers.

Depending on the severity, there are also medical or surgical therapies.

There are a few things to consider when it comes to cosmetics for rosacea, as many ingredients in cosmetic products are triggers. With the right rosacea care with soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients and also with appropriate make-up, redness can be reduced or covered. This can lead to greater well-being and calmness.

Rosacea is a skin condition that presents with redness

Rosacea care: No more redness - finally inflammation-free skin

Pros and cons of natural cosmetics for rosacea

The following advantages and disadvantages of natural cosmetics for rosacea are very general. In principle, all ingredients from natural cosmetics can also be found in conventional products. The reverse does not apply. This means that all the arguments against natural cosmetics can also apply to conventional products.

On the other hand, natural cosmetics can also be produced in a completely different way, so that the negative properties of natural cosmetics no longer apply. We proved this with Xeno.

Pro natural cosmetics

  1. Real natural cosmetics inherently do without some trigger factors that can occur in conventional cosmetics. These include cortisone, perfume, PEG, parabens, mineral oil, urea or silicones.
  2. Some natural ingredients that are also used in natural cosmetics, such as green tea , oats, horse chestnut or licorice root , are very suitable for rosacea.
  3. Has nothing directly to do with rosacea: natural cosmetics are more sustainable than conventional cosmetics.

Contra natural cosmetics

However, many ingredients that are often found in natural cosmetics can also be trigger factors for rosacea and couperose:

  1. Natural fragrances such as essential oils (e.g. linalool) and flower hydrosols such as rose water or witch hazel water are not only strong allergens but can significantly worsen rosacea. Essential oils are also not a healthy idea for people without rosacea because when they come into contact with sunlight, they become a stressor and generate free radicals. This means stress for rosacea as well as any other skin type. In the long term, essential oils can also trigger contact allergies.
  2. Alkaline cosmetics: Many natural cosmetic products do not correspond to the pH value of the skin. This is between 5 and 6. Some natural cosmetic products, such as soaps, have a pH value of 8 or higher. This attacks the acid mantle of the skin and makes it more susceptible to germs. By the way, soaps contain very harsh surfactants, which further dry out the skin. It is often claimed that particularly greasy natural soaps do not have a drying effect on the skin. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The same applies to soaps that are supposedly especially for sensitive skin: These should not be used if you have rosacea. Soap is not a mild form of facial cleansing .
  3. Drying alcohols : Natural cosmetics are usually preserved with alcohol. Many alcohols dry out the skin and can therefore irritate it.
  4. Unprocessed (vegetable or animal) oils and fats: Rosacea skin can start to sweat under a layer of oil. Such a build-up of heat can lead to the blood circulation being stimulated too much and the skin becoming very red. This results in a so-called flush. Here you can find out more about the advantages and disadvantages of oils.
  5. Mechanical peels contain sharp-edged peeling grains that are far too large and can damage your skin. Micro-tears can form in your skin that you cannot see with the naked eye. And these are ideal entry points for germs that can cause inflammation. This also includes clay/healing clay or products with salt or sugar grains.
  6. Fruit acids: Pineapple, papaya, hibiscus extract and other fruit acids act like strong chemical peels (which are not particularly good for couperose), only with the added disadvantage that the natural acidity can vary greatly. In individual cases, these products can be far too acidic for the skin - especially with rosacea.

My experiences with natural cosmetics for rosacea

I first became aware of my rosacea when I tried to completely switch my skin care and makeup to natural cosmetics . Suddenly my skin turned red and I broke out in pimples. Not typical hormonal pimples, but small red pustules.

When I then started using my conventional pharmacy products again, which I had never changed years before, the nightmare was suddenly over. My skin was fine again. However, I personally didn't feel comfortable supporting brands that test on animals and use unsustainable ingredients. This was a real dilemma for me.

So natural cosmetics are not suitable for rosacea?

Many have given up and are of the opinion that natural cosmetics do not work for rosacea. And if you look at the natural cosmetics market, we quickly notice that it is almost hopeless to find products that do not contain the triggers mentioned. Some niche brands are now doing without essential oils or have at least reduced them - but the problem usually remains with the plant oils used carelessly for rosacea, flower hydrosols instead of water, fruit acids, the pH value, the stimulating extracts, etc

But this is not because it is simply not possible to produce compatible natural cosmetics for rosacea. Just because many natural substances are irritating to the skin doesn't mean they have to be used. A different way of thinking is required to produce natural cosmetics for rosacea and sensitive skin. That's why it's part of our philosophy that all Xeno products should be as well tolerated as possible by every skin type.

Natural cosmetics without rosacea triggers

Facial care for rosacea with natural cosmetics

There are good alternatives for vegetable oils in natural cosmetics: Caprylic / Capric triglycerides , squalane and lecithin are obtained from plants and processed so that they correspond to the fat in the skin or are very similar to it. This allows the skin to fully absorb these oils if it lacks fat. As part of natural cosmetic creams, these oils can protect your skin from moisture loss. However, couperose creams should be very light and contain a large amount of water with moisturizers such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin.

For mild preservation , there are moisturizing alcohols that are also well tolerated by rosacea: These include the fatty alcohol Pentylene Glycol . It provides your skin with natural moisture and has a preservative effect at the same time. Pentylene glycol is very mild and extremely well tolerated even by very sensitive skin and is therefore recommended for rosacea.

A mild cleanser for rosacea should only contain very mild surfactants . Mild sugar surfactants are among the most tolerated.

You can also wash with a cleansing oil. These should not consist of pure oils but should always contain a skin-friendly emulsifier. Cleansing oil is particularly useful for heavier make-up. The plant oils they contain are not always ideal for washing off the skin. That's why many people with rosacea don't tolerate cleansing oils very well.

Tip: Stronger make-up can also be removed with natural shea butter or jojoba oil, if you can tolerate them. You should then wash off the oil film with a mild, sugar surfactant-based cleaner .

To soothe the skin, natural cosmetics for rosacea should contain antioxidants and soothing ingredients such as green tea, oats, licorice root or bisabolol. Fermented lactic acid bacteria strengthen the microbiome and reduce bad bacteria. This can reduce redness and make the skin less sensitive.

Vitamin C derivatives also strengthen the skin and make it more robust against environmental stress. Please try out individually how well you tolerate vitamin C derivatives. Pure vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is too potent for most people with sensitive rosacea skin and is therefore not recommended.

Sun protection is important for preventing skin cancer and is also the best anti-aging agent because pigment spots and wrinkles do not form as quickly. Sun protection is even more important for rosacea because the sun can be a trigger.

Finding a well-tolerated sunscreen for rosacea is generally difficult and even more difficult when the choice is limited. Sun protection needs a film former so that the sun protection factors can be distributed evenly on the skin. Therefore, sunscreen must necessarily contain vegetable oil, silicone, mineral oil, alcohol or other film formers, all of which are considered triggers for rosacea. Some sunscreen filters can also trigger rosacea. That's why it's important that you find the sun protection that works best for you individually. Because the best sun protection is not the natural or conventional one, but the one you wear regularly.

Get our free sun protection guide for sensitive skin here

Here you will find tips and sunscreens from different brands that are also suitable for rosacea, so that you can find the right sunscreen for you.

By registering you confirm ours Data protection .

You will immediately receive a confirmation email. Confirm there that we can send you messages and download the sun protection guide.

Natural cosmetic makeup for rosacea

Natural cosmetic make-up usually contains a lot of vegetable oils and butters that are too inclusive. There are also only a few products without exotic extracts, fruit extracts, essential oils, etc.

The most tolerable option for rosacea is mineral make-up as a powder, which consists only of natural, non-reactive mineral pigments. This limits the options for the look and application a bit, but it is always a solution if other make-up products don't work. By the way: Mineral powder make-up contains zinc oxide, which can reduce papules and pustules because it counteracts inflammation.

When it comes to cream products, it is worth making sure that they contain as little vegetable oil as possible. If you can tolerate certain plant oils, you can of course look for make-up with these oils.

Tip: You can use tinted sunscreen instead of make-up. The mineral filters in natural cosmetic sunscreen are usually well tolerated, you need one less product and the tint means you don't have a “whitening” effect. The oils could be a disadvantage. See the skin care section above.

Unfortunately, there is not yet much make-up in natural cosmetics that is suitable for rosacea. Don't put pressure on yourself: Especially when it comes to make-up, it's okay to make compromises if the market doesn't offer what you want.

Natural cosmetics for rosacea

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