March 21, 2024/Skin Care & Beauty

6 Natural Ways To Find Relief From Rosacea

You can turn down the redness and soothe the irritation with natural remedies like green tea, raw honey and aloe vera

Close up of face with rosacea on cheeks

If you live with rosacea, you know that the flushing and redness can be hard to live with. Especially when you get hit with an unexpected trigger, you wish there could be some way to just tell your skin: Chill!

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Luckily, there are options for calming down skin affected by rosacea. While this chronic skin condition isn’t fully understood by medical experts, there are various treatments that can help and are worth considering. And some natural treatments can have calming effects as well. 

Dermatologist Wilma Bergfeld, MD, explains what rosacea is, how you can treat it naturally and additional lifestyle changes that can help turn the redness down.

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that primarily affects your face, causing redness, flushing and pimples, as well as itchiness and irritation on the skin’s surface. Depending on your skin type or what your sensitivities are, your rosacea flare-ups may be affected by different triggers like weather, sun exposure, spicy foods or alcohol.

If you have a particularly severe case of rosacea, your healthcare provider or dermatologist will treat it by prescribing antihistamines or, in some cases, performing surgeries or laser treatments. “Most of these treatments are still evolving,” shares Dr. Bergfeld. “But their goal is to dampen the expansion of the blood vessels.”

But natural remedies and lifestyle changes can help you manage your symptoms, too. It’s important to note that these remedies may work differently for everyone, so it’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist before using any of the following.

Here are some known or explored natural remedies for rosacea:

Natural treatment suggestions for rosacea

While none of these natural treatments are likely to cure or fully manage rosacea on their own, they can be helpful, especially when it comes to reducing inflammation and redness.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has a great reputation when it comes to alleviating a nasty sunburn. Similarly, aloe vera’s soothing properties can help with skin irritation and inflammation created by rosacea. Try applying pure aloe vera gel (either store-bought or cut directly from the plant) to the affected areas to see if it provides a cooling effect and reduces redness.

Green tea

There’s a reason you may see green tea as an ingredient in different skin products — the common tea you may drink in the morning also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can be beneficial to your skin.

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Several studies have analyzed the effect green tea has on providing ultraviolet (UV) protection for skin — so if you specifically have rosacea flare-ups related to sun exposure, it may be able to help reduce redness and create a protective barrier.

You can try using green tea by mixing green tea extract into a topical base or by applying green tea bags to your face.

Oatmeal

You’ve probably heard of oatmeal masks being a soothing, natural treatment for your face.

Using it as a gentle cleanser or soothing face mask can help relieve irritation due to rosacea.

Thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties that oatmeal has, it can help calm and soothe inflamed skin, as well as reduce redness and irritation.

In addition, oatmeal may act as a gentle exfoliant, helping remove dead skin cells and unclog pores without causing additional irritation — which can help with the overall texture and appearance of skin affected by rosacea.

You can use oatmeal by mixing finely ground oatmeal with water to form a paste and applying it to your face for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing off.

Chamomile

The same way a cup of chamomile tea can wind you down before bed, chamomile tea bags may have a calming effect on your skin, too. Several studies found that chamomile can have hydrating properties that can reduce inflammation in skin. It can help soothe and relieve skin irritation, itchiness and discomfort associated with rosacea.

This can be particularly helpful during rosacea flare-ups, when your skin is more sensitive and reactive. You can apply cooled chamomile tea bags or use chamomile-based skin care products to help soothe rosacea symptoms.

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Lavender and tea tree essential oils

Essential oils have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that may be beneficial for rosacea. “Tea tree oil and a few other botanicals are used to dampen the inflammation,” explains Dr. Bergfeld.

A 2022 study comparing different treatments for rosacea found that tea tree oil can be helpful in killing the microscopic mites that can cause rosacea inflammation.

But essential oils can be potent, so it’s important to dilute them properly, before using them on your face. Consult with your healthcare provider or dermatologist for guidance before trying essential oils on your skin.

Raw honey

We know many of honey’s health benefits. But raw honey could also help reduce rosacea-related redness and inflammation. But you don’t want to just grab any honey off the grocery aisle shelf — go for raw, all-natural honey that doesn’t have any added ingredients. Specifically, kanuka or manuka honey is helpful with retaining moisture on the affected skin.

Lifestyle changes to help with rosacea

It’s not just what you put on your skin that can impact your rosacea. Along with trying natural treatments and keeping your healthcare provider in the loop, you can try some lifestyle changes to help keep the redness to a minimum.

Here are some lifestyle modifications that may be beneficial:

  • Reduce stress. Stress can trigger rosacea flare-ups. Practicing stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga may help reduce stress and potentially minimize symptoms.
  • Skin care. Use gentle, nonirritating skin care products specifically formulated for sensitive skin. Avoid harsh cleansers, exfoliants and abrasive scrubbing that can worsen rosacea symptoms. Opt for fragrance-free and non-comedogenic products. Also, it’s good to stick to a regular skin care routine and avoid frequent changes in products. Sudden switches or excessive experimentation with skin care can irritate your skin and potentially worsen rosacea symptoms.
  • Use sun protection. Protect your skin from the sun as UV radiation can trigger rosacea flare-ups. Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily, even on cloudy days. Also, wear hats and seek shade during peak sun hours. Dr. Bergfeld points out that wearing some kind of protective headwear may be your best bet, as some sunscreens may have adverse effects on the rosacea.
  • Know your triggers. Identify and avoid triggers that exacerbate your rosacea symptoms. Common triggers include spicy foods, hot beverages, alcohol, caffeine, extreme temperatures, wind and certain skin care products. Keeping a diary to track your flare-ups can help you identify individual triggers.

The bottom line

While there isn’t a cure for rosacea, natural remedies and lifestyle changes can help manage your symptoms. And just remember: Your experience with rosacea may vary from others, so it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or dermatologist when selecting which treatment options may work best for you. With proper care, managing triggers and a tailored approach, you can find ways to minimize your symptoms.


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