"Makeup! Makeup!" Do shouts of a movie director yelling for a fresh powdering echo through your mind when you look in the mirror?
Facing the redness and blemishes of rosacea can be difficult, but the knowledgeable and creative use of cosmetics can help conceal the rosy glow, pimples and visible blood vessels often caused by the condition.
In addition to following proper medical therapy and a daily facial cleansing regimen recommended by your doctor, effective camouflaging techniques are available. Green makeup, for instance, can be used to counteract redness. Green-tinted prefoundations are available in liquids or creams at most cosmetic counters, and there is also a green-tinted moisturizer on the market.
Follow green makeup with a skin-tone foundation. Select foundations with natural yellow tones and avoid those with pink or orange hues. Depending on the thickness of the makeup, it can offer moderate to heavy coverage.
"Cosmetics can be very effective at disguising the symptoms of rosacea," said Dr. Zoe Draelos, clinical associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "The key is to select quality formulations. That determines how the cosmetic interacts on the skin surface."
Dr. Draelos recommends using well-formulated cosmetics with a good gel or cream base that does not easily break down on the face, leading to potential irritation.2 In addition, she suggests using powder to further help the cosmetic product stay in place. Powder may also lengthen the effectiveness of sunscreen, she said.
When applying cosmetics, Dr. Draelos suggests using brushes rather than sponge-tipped applicators, which can be cleaned more effectively. "And always replace your cosmetics on a regular basis, such as every three to six months," she said.
According to Dr. Marian Sue Macsai, chief of ophthalmology at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Illinois, patients with ocular rosacea (eye symptoms) should avoid using liquid eyeliners to prevent irritation and instead choose makeup pencils. She also noted that waterproof mascara is difficult to remove and therefore should not be worn by those suffering from ocular rosacea.
When selecting cosmetic and skin-care products, rosacea sufferers are advised to avoid ingredients that adversely affect their individual conditions. A National Rosacea Society survey on skin-care products found a number of common ingredients can irritate rosacea for many individuals.
More than 1,000 rosacea patients identified the following ingredients as causing a flare-up: alcohol (66 percent), witch hazel (30 percent), fragrance (30 percent), menthol (21 percent), peppermint (14 percent) and eucalyptus oil (13 percent).
2. Draelos ZD. Cosmeceuticals in the rosacea patient. Cosmetic Dermatology. 2002;15:48-56.