With summer vacation season in full force, many people are traveling, visiting friends and family, and going on adventures. For people with rosacea, that might mean a little extra planning. Here’s a useful guide to what to pack and what to leave out.
Start by taking a look at the skin care products you already keep in your toiletry bag and medicine cabinet. Do they include any of the irritating ingredients commonly reported by rosacea patients? In surveys conducted by the National Rosacea Society, many patients cited the following ingredients as triggers for irritation: alcohol (66 percent), witch hazel (30 percent), fragrance (30 percent), menthol (21 percent), peppermint (14 percent) and eucalyptus oil (13 percent). If you experience flare-ups from certain ingredients, eliminating those offenders and sticking with a gentle skin care program may help you see better results.
Once you’ve pared down your skin care products, repack your travel bag with just the essentials:
Medication. It’s vital to continue with your regular regimen of topical and/or oral rosacea medication while on vacation. Rosacea is characterized by flare-ups and remissions, and a study found that long-term medical therapy significantly increased the rate of remission in rosacea patients. In a six-month multicenter clinical study, 42 percent of those not using medication had relapsed, compared to only 23 percent of those who continued to apply a topical medication.
Sunscreen. Sun exposure is the top trigger for flare-ups reported by rosacea patients in surveys, so wearing sunscreen on a daily basis is very important. Look for non-chemical sunscreens that contain zinc or titanium dioxide and deliver UVA/UVB protection with a minimum of SPF 30.
Moisturizer: Moisturizer might not seem like a necessity, but it can actually be an essential product for many rosacea patients. Unlike acne and other skin conditions that increase the moisture of the skin, rosacea can impair the function of the epidermal moisture barrier, causing dry sensitive skin. Stick to a simple, non-scented formula that you trust.
Facial Cleanser: Gentle cleansing is important for skin with rosacea. Avoid hot water and rough cloths, and use a soft towel to blot the face dry. Try a non-soap cleanser specially made for those with sensitive skin.
Makeup: If you use makeup to improve the look of your skin, remember to be careful to avoid harsh ingredients that might lead to flare-ups. Using less products, applying them gently and maintaining good hygiene will help to prevent makeup-related flare-ups.
Shaving tools: If you shave, don’t forget to include the essentials like a new razor, shaving cream and gentle aftershave, or use an electric razor to minimize potential irritation.