After a disastrous first facial, the aggressive extractions left me with some seriously broken capillaries on my nose. Growing up, I'd naively associated broken capillaries with age and was alarmed to see the spidery formations along the sides of my nostrils. Alas, there they were, tarnishing the complexion I had been working hard to clear.
Many other women I spoke to were vexed by this same issue, so I decided to consult some top skin experts to find out how to get rid of this annoying issue without spending a fortune on laser treatments. However, their answers were not what I was expecting.
What the Experts Say
Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, explains that, sadly, you can’t exactly get rid of broken capillaries. “The most important thing about broken capillaries is to prevent them because once they are there, it’s hard to get rid of them,” she says. “If you are prone to broken capillaries, prevent them by not using really harsh scrubs on the skin, lay off the super-hot water to wash, and avoid steam facials, which dilate blood vessels.”
But there are also different types of broken capillaries. According to celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau, “Capillaries come in two colors: red and blue. The red-colored ones are arterial capillaries, where the blood is oxygenated and comes from the heart to the skin. These are easier to treat and prevent, as well as get rid of. The blue ones are venous capillaries going back to the heart. These oftentimes can be deeper in the skin and are harder to treat.”
Meet the Expert
- Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and the founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care. She is based in Washington D.C.
- Renée Rouleau is a celebrity esthetician based in Austin, TX. She is also the founder and creator of her eponymous skincare line.
How to Treat Broken Capillaries at Home
So while you can’t fully eliminate broken capillaries, you can do at-home treatments to lessen their appearance. Keep scrolling to discover which at-home remedies work best.
Tanzi suggests using a cooling compress on the site of the broken capillaries, which will help constrict the blood vessels. This one doesn't even require being popped in the freezer. Simply squeeze where instructed and wait for the cooling sensation to kick in.
Tanzi also recommends a cooling cucumber mask to alleviate redness and constrict the vessels. This gel mask from Peter Thomas Roth does just that. It's made with a blend of soothing cucumber, vitamin-rich papaya, comforting chamomile, softening pineapple, and alleviating aloe, all of which feel even more delightful if you store this mask in the fridge.
“Use products containing anti-inflammatory and calming ingredients like chamomile, sea whip, and white tea," says Rouleau. "These will naturally help cool and comfort the skin.” Rouleau also recommends refrigerating your toners, serums, gels, and moisturizer for a calming and soothing effect.
“Vitamin C with bioflavonoids taken orally may help prevent bruising and help keep blood vessels strong," says Rouleau. "As we age, capillary walls get weak and they start to permanently dilate and become more visible on the face, especially the cheeks and around the nose.” However, speak with a physician before adding supplements to your diet.
“Vitamin C can be beneficial when applied topically, as well,” says Rouleau. “If you experience redness, you’ll want to use a formula that is stable and doesn’t sting or irritate the skin. I love my Renée Rouleau Vitamin C & E Treatment because it contains magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, which will help reduce redness and keep capillaries strong. Vitamin C, both externally and internally, can create less visible redness and dilated capillaries on the face.”
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