In Stores Now

When Blushing isn’t a Healthy Glow

January 16th, 2008


Triggers that can leave you red in the face.

imageRosacea affects millions of Americans (men and women) who can't control turning red-face. It is a skin disorder that is characterized by undesirable ruddiness caused from unknown flushing and blushing of the skin, along with inflammatory acne-like flare-ups most commonly seen on cheeks, chin and forehead. Unfortunately the cause is uncertain, with no absolute cure. However, there are certain triggers to be aware of and products which will calm the skin. talked with Dr. David Orentreich, Clinique's Guiding Dermatologist, for his professional point of view on this skin disorder.

MBB: What can cause Rosacea?
Dr. Orentreich: The exact cause is still uncertain, although a contributing factor appears to be an increased number of demodex folliculorum, which are microscopic mites inhabiting the oil glands.

MBB: Many women (and men too!) would love to understand some triggers of Rosacea flare-ups?
Dr. Orentreich: For people prone to rosacea, flare-ups can be caused by a variety of factors, including diet, alcohol consumption, environment, and activity level. Severe weather conditions, including cold, windy climates or hot temperatures and exposure to sunlight can cause redness. In fact, heat from a variety of sources, such as shower, sauna, hot kitchen or other hot environments can cause rosacea flare-ups.

MBB: Is there a cure?
Dr. Orentreich: Rosacea is usually a chronic condition. There is no permanent cure, but topical and oral antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory ingredients are mainstays in treating rosacea.

MBB: What is a typical beauty plan one should follow to control rosacea?
Dr. Orentreich: For patients who have rosacea, I recommend gentle cleansing. Patients can still benefit from exfoliation, especially gentle exfoliation with salicylic acid. Moisturizer should be soothing and non-irritating so that it calms the redness as well as addressing the sensitivity that might accompany the condition. Non-irritating, oil-free makeup is best for people with rosacea.

MBB: Is food and the elements a culprit?
Dr. Orentreich: Redness and skin sensitivity can be caused by several intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsically (i.e. genetically), allergies to specific ingredients can cause reactions. Extrinsic factors causing skin sensitivity include sun exposure, overuse of exfoliants and reactions to an ingredient that acts as an irritant. It is important and crucial to wear a chemical-free sunscreen everyday and use gentle cleansers--- Clinique's Soothing Cleanser and Daily Protective Base SPF 15 from the Redness Solutions line are a perfect example. Additionally, alcoholic beverages and spicy foods may cause vasodilatation and exacerbate already red and irritated skin. Be sure to avoid foods that trigger a strong reaction, and choose wisely those that show a lighter flare-up as well as consume in moderation.

MBB: How is one to know if it is Acne or Rosacea?
Dr. Orentreich: Rosacea usually causes small, red, bumps. This is common in acne as well, but these bumps usually have a tendency to turn into blackheads and whiteheads, which are not seen in rosacea.

imageLaunching now is Clinique's NEW Redness Solution line that offers something for all women who suffer from Rosacea. If you are constantly faced with flare-ups, redness and irritation then you should consider using the whole regimen. If you occasionally have red, itchy or reactive skin, it might be wise to have the Urgent Relief Cream readily available for those emergency situations. Check out the whole line for products that best suite your needs.


- Back.

Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin.

—Gwyneth Paltrow