We've discussed a variety of options when it comes to reducing the inflammation that comes with rosacea. But have you ever considered a more natural route to treat it? If not, you may want to, as there are a number of benefits.
"Most conventional rosacea treatments include the use of oral and topical antibiotics," says esthetician Athena Ellen, founder of Monastery. "Many of us resist using antibiotics, as we worry about the antibiotic killing the good bacteria along with the bad."
Meet the Expert
Athena Ellen is a San Francisco based esthetician, aromatherapist, and founder of the Monastery skincare line.
But before you start scouring your kitchen for any DIY treatments, there are a few things you need to know. We asked Ellen to break down everything we need to consider before reaching for a natural remedy for rosacea.
To see what is the best option to treat your rosacea, you must first know that there are four different subtypes. Depending on what you have, you can either get away with just using natural remedies or you will have to go to a doctor for treatment.
According to Ellen, subtype one, which includes redness and swelling, and subtype two, which includes acne breakouts, can be treated with natural remedies. She says for subtype three and subtype four, you will likely need medical attention.
What Is Rosacea?
Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that results in inflammation and redness of the skin which can also develop into skin pustules.
"Subtype three, which is accompanied with swelling and fluid retention usually around the nose, and subtype four, which afflicts the eye area, tend to be more extreme and can be painful," she says. "These often need medical attention including oral antibiotics and/or light therapies. Although antibiotics and light therapies are not cures, they can ease symptoms."
If you've decided you want to try a natural remedy after identifying which subtype of rosacea you have, Ellen lays out the five most effective ones:
Clean Up Your Diet
"Introduce health-promoting foods, like good fats, high-fiber foods, veggies, turmeric, and ginger," she says. "The gut regulates inflammation in our body. Cleaning up the diet and gut with a pure diet high in fiber, low in sugar and hydrogenated oils reduces inflammation throughout the whole body. I often see a huge improvement in my clients with rosacea who have overhauled their diets or recently participated in a cleanse." Plus, who doesn't love another excuse to hit up your local farmer's market? You can make going out to get fresh veggies and other foods part of a relaxing weekly ritual.
Drink Aloe Vera Water
"Drinking aloe vera water is like drinking water with extra antioxidants and vitamins," she says. "It helps increase the water content in the intestines and helps to eliminate toxins in the body, thus helping inflammation in the body and lessening rosacea."
You can buy aloe vera water at the store, or you can make your own. To do it at home, take a few cubes of aloe (cut fresh out of an aloe stem, beneath the green part) and add them to a blender. Add water to the aloe cubes in the blender and blend until the two are totally mixed. If you want, you can add a bit of lemon or juice for some extra flavor.
"Most skincare is loaded with preservatives and irritants. Avoid gel cleansers, acidic exfoliating cleansers, any products with salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide," she says. "Use mild cleansers like cleansing oils and products high in rose-hip seed oil, seabuckthorn oil, tamanu oil, and evening primrose, as these ingredients are highly nutritious and anti-inflammatory."
Not only do oils help reduce inflammation, but they're great for hydration, too. They are gentler on sensitive skin, but be sure to spot check any new product you use on a place like the inside of your wrist. It's always better to make sure you react well to a product before you put it on your face or a rosacea-affected area.
"Stress is a big trigger for inflammation in the body," she says. "Developing even a small two-minute daily routine of meditation lowers the stress in the mind and body."
Meditating in the morning is a calm way to start your day, and it's rather simple to incorporate into your routine, too. Take a couple of minutes to let your mind clear and focus on breathing deeply before starting your day.
Make Your Own Natural Facial Remedies
"Applying pure aloe vera gel, a green tea compress, or a colloidal oatmeal mask will temporarily relieve the skin, reducing redness and inflammation," she says. Plus, you've probably got most of those ingredients in your house already!
So there you have it. If you've decided that natural remedies are the way to go for your rosacea, it doesn't get easier than the five treatments above.