Rosacea Tips from Soapwalla Kitchen

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The creator of Soapwalla, Rachel Winard, has so graciously provided the following tips and DIY recipes for dealing with Rosacea – a common question around here.  I have a mild case of it myself.  Her product line, Soapwalla is one of my absolute favorites so I know you’ll appreciate her bountiful knowledge –   Enjoy!

The single most common question people ask me is what are the most effective natural ways to treat rosacea, a chronic and sometimes disruptive disorder.

What is Rosacea? Rosacea is a skin disorder that causes redness and swelling, primarily on the cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. Others experience increased sensitivity and redness on the scalp, neck, ears, chest, back and eyes. Some people mistakenly confuse rosacea for acne, sunburn, and excessive flushing. The National Rosacea Society estimates that well over 16 million Americans suffer from this skin condition.

I know firsthand how debilitating face rashes can be. When I have a particularly bad face rash, I dread and will do almost anything to avoid public outings.


What causes rosacea? Experts aren’t sure, although one recent study suggested a link between rosacea and the H Pylori bacteria that commonly causes ulcers.* However, there are certain universal rosacea triggers that we may avoid, including:

  • Stress: goes without saying. Nearly impossible to implement, but try to incorporate stress reduction techniques in your daily schedule. I personally cannot function without my yoga practice.
  • Temperature: extreme temperature changes, strong winds, saunas and steam rooms, etc.
  • Beverages: avoid alcohol, caffeine, and excessively hot drinks – in temperature as well as spiciness.
  • Foods: this varies, but the most common culprits include chocolate, vinegar, nightshades (eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers and potatoes), spicy foods, cheese, and citrus fruits. A specific food allergy can also manifest itself as skin redness.
  • Skincare Products: avoid witch hazel, alcohol, acetone, and anything that causes burning or stinging upon application. Topical steroid creams can also aggravate red skin. When my skin is particularly inflamed, I cannot use aloe vera as it literally burns my skin (I learned the hard way, and I’ll spare you the gory details). In addition, overzealous skin cleansing and harsh exfoliation exacerbate redness and tenderness.
  • Systems: hormone imbalances or synthetic hormones (think hormone replacement therapy and birth control pills) and poor digestion are linked to increased skin flares.


I firmly believe that we can help our skin repair itself through diet, supplements and a holistic skincare regimen. Below is a list of highly potent ingredients that replenish our bodies and calm down redness and irritation:

  • Wholesome Foods: I often talk about the link between healthful eating and happy skin, and it’s true – what we put in our bodies is as important as what we put on them. Support your body by eating fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains like brown rice and millet, and including nuts and seeds that are high in essential fatty acids, such as flax seeds and walnuts.
  • Supplements: Make sure you are getting a daily dose of B-Complex vitamins. If you are vegan, you need to take a supplement. I personally like Floradix Iron & Herbs.
  • In addition, think about incorporating probiotics, milk thistle (a potent liver cleanser), bromelain (digestive enzyme found in pineapple) and turmeric (a spice with incredible anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties) into your daily routine.

  • Skincare: use skincare preparations that are designed specifically for sensitive skin. Seek out products with organic, whole ingredients and that avoid synthetics, chemicals, petrochemicals, and preservatives. Look for the following ingredients, shown to tone down redness and reduce inflammation:
    1. Evening Primrose, Borage and Black Currant Oils – rich sources of gamma linoleic acid, an Omega 6 fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. [Note: these oils should not be heated prior to use, as their potent health benefits will be reduced.]
    2. Blue Chamomile, Lavender and Carrot Seed Essential Oils – Blue Chamomile contains a concentration of Azulene, which has potent anti-inflammatory, skin healing properties. Lavender, regarded as the most versatile therapeutic oil, is an antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory must-have addition to your skin care products. Carrot Seed essential oil contains substantial amounts of Vitamins A, C, B1 and B2, and effectively removes toxins from the skin, giving it a fresher and firmer appearance.
    3. Calendula – Calendula oil is perhaps the most successful oil in diminishing dry and damaged skin, skin inflammations, rashes, and other skin ailments. An easy DIY calendula recipe is as follows:Place ¼ cup fully dried calendula flowers (make sure there is absolutely no moisture on the flowers; otherwise your oil will spoil) in the bottom of a clear glass jar that has an airtight seal. Pour 1 cup of your favorite oil (olive oil, sweet almond oil and jojoba oil are ideal) over the flowers, completely immersing them. Shake vigorously and place on a sunny windowsill. Shake once or twice a day for a month, until the oil turns a beautiful deep golden color. After a month, strain well and store in a dark glass container away from light and heat. This calendula oil can be used directly on the skin whenever you feel redness or irritation, and truly is a wonderful – and essential – addition to any sensitive skincare regimen!
  • Cosmetics: While we ultimately want to eradicate redness and irritation, sometimes we just need to get out of the door looking – and feeling – confident. Luckily, these days we have a number of ethical, progressive cosmetics companies to choose from. Some of my favorites include RMS Beauty and Jane Iredale. Jessa Blades, founder of Blades Natural Beauty and an immensely talented make-up artist and eco-beauty consultant, is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to choosing and applying natural makeup and skincare products. Please stop by Jessa’s website for more information.

NOTE: Please test all new ingredients or formulations on the inside of your wrist to ensure you don’t have a sensitivity or allergic reaction.

Rachel Winard is the Brooklyn-based creator of Soapwalla, a line of luxury organic face and body products made with the highest quality organic and food-grade ingredients, never questionable additives such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens or harsh and synthetic additives.


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Categories: Eco Beauty News & Tips, Skin Care, SoapWalla


One Response to “Rosacea Tips from Soapwalla Kitchen”

  1. pictures of rosacea on November 3rd, 2011 8:56 pm

    Does anybody else have Rosacea flare ups caused by draft beer?

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