April has been designated Rosacea Awareness Month for good reason. The common but poorly understood skin condition affects more than 16 million Americans, yet most of them don’t know it. That doesn’t keep them from suffering from the condition, especially the emotional pain of a chronically red and/or sometimes broken out face.
In a recent survey of 1,675 rosacea patients conducted by the National Rosacea Society, 90% said that the condition’s effect on their appearance has lowered their self-confidence and self-esteem. Eighty-eight percent reported suffering embarrassment, not to mention a whole range of other negative feelings, including, frustration, anxiety, helplessness, depression, anger, and isolation. In fact, 52 percent of the respondents reported that they had avoided face-to-face contact because of the disorder.
Although the cause of rosacea is unknown, a vast array of lifestyle and environmental factors can trigger flare-ups, including sun exposure, hot or cold weather, wind, alcohol, and spicy foods.
“There are different versions of rosacea so each treatment is tailored to that patient’s needs,” said New York City dermatologist Lori Brightman. “But for all rosacea sufferers, you want to avoid triggers such as sun, alcohol ,extreme hot or cold weather, stress, spicy foods, fragrance or menthol, and hot beverages.”
In addition to trigger control, medical treatments range from topical creams and ointments to in-office light or laser treatments, depending on the severity of the condition. The different types of rosacea encompass subtype 1 (moderate to severe redness on the face), subtype 2 (pumps or pimples on the face), subtype 3 (thickening of the skin), and subtype 4 (watery or irritated eyes).
“Obviously, the redness is from ‘leaky, abnormal’ blood vessels so the best treatment would be to get rid of those faulty vessels,” said New York dermatologist Cheryl Karcher. She recommends treatment with Intense Pulsed Light or a KTP or Cutera Excel V Laser. “We also use BOTOX to decrease flushing by relaxing the muscles that dilate the vessels in both the face and chest,” she added.
For topical, temporary control of redness, many doctors recommend the newly popular prescription Mirvaso Gel from Galderma. “The new topical Mirvaso Gel is amazing for redness. Use it in the morning and it will keep redness away for twelve hours,” said New York City dermatologist Lisa Airan.
Oral and or topical antibiotics can be prescribed for the anti-inflammatory benefits—not their anti-bacterial action. In addition, topical sulfur based, azeleic acid, or antifungal-based medicines can help control the redness and pustules. “For some with severe cases of flushing/burning, oral cardiovascular medicine can help reduce the blood vessels from dilating,” Dr. Brightman said.
Many physician-dispensed skin care or cosmeceutical lines feature products specifically formulated to target rosacea. “Rosaliac AR Intense by La Roche-Posay is a light serum that is great for patients with oily-normal skin and wears well under makeup,” said Maryland dermatologist Valerie Callender, who is also president of the Women’s Dermatologic Society. For dry/sensitive skin, she recommends CalmPlex by SkinMedica, an emollient cream that can be used at night.
The ZO Medical® rosacea protocol involves products to control oiliness and breakouts. Cebatrol™ Oil Control Pads feature 2% salicylic acid and anti-inflammatory agents. Beverly Hills dermatologist Zein Obagi also recommends using ZO Medical’s Glycogent™ for rosacea prone skin, which is an exfoliation accelerator engineered to reduce inflammation.
Another popular choice is PCA Skin Anti-Redness Serum which contains aldavine, capparenols, and bisabolol to reduce inflammation, redness, and hypersensitivity. It also works wonder for relieving sunburn. Clinical results show a 50 percent reduction in redness over an eight-week period.
Exuviance by NeoStrata has just launched a new serum as well. Exuviance AntiRedness Calming Serum contains Canadian willow herb, tripeptide, and brown and red algae extracts to help calm redness-prone skin. Follow with Exuviance Ultra Restorative Crème, which relies on gentle polyhdroxy acids to soothe dry and easily irritated skin.
Even cleansing rosacea-prone skin must be handled with a lot of TLC. The gentle CLn Skin Care Facial Cleanser is formulated with glycerin and skin conditioners to wipe away dirt while soothing and helping skin retain moisture.
For covering up, mineral makeup, such as the Jane Iredale brand, treats red and inflamed skin gently and with titanium dioxide for UV protection. Omaha dermatologist Joel Schlessinger also recommends Phytomer CC Crème Skin Perfecting Cream, a blend of skin care and makeup that offers coverage plus broad-spectrum sun protection.
Although it can’t be cured, rosacea can be controlled. If you are dealing with mild redness, try over-the-counter treatments that contain green tea, licorice/licorice root extract, chamomile, feverfew, and mushroom extract for relief. And remember to stay out of the sun to minimize future UV exposure which also causes flare ups.
I love fall – for me it’s all about new beginnings – the start of the school year, new clothes and most excitedly, the time to choose a new fragrance. And I’m a tough customer in this area – I don’t usually go for the blockbuster commercial scents. Thankfully, niche fragrance options presented in retail venues that focus on a new intimacy between customer and brand are more plentiful than ever.
THE STATE OF THE SUPER CREAMS 2009
Think of moisturizing like a longterm investment strategy with the benefits only coming back to you after time. Moisture gets stored in the cells between fatty layers and is essential for healthier, smoother skin. Dry skin lacks water and oils. Even oily skin can lack moisture, but it needs a lighter touch. Normal skin gets easily dehydrated by daily wear and tear and environmental factors such air conditioning and UV rays. Combination skin, which is what most of us have, has some dry parts, and some oil slicks. Be wary of overmoisturizing; with all the great products available these days it can be tempting to keep adding layers. Too much cream overloads pores and leaves skin looking duller. If you are in the habit of layering moisturizer and foundation on top of sunscreen, look for multi-tasking products that do two or more jobs to lighten up.
What woman doesn’t love a touch of glamour in the morning. These days it’s easy to be baffled by science, with all the new technologies that have a positive effect on the way skin functions by putting back its spring, helping to shed cellular waste, and fighting bacteria that causes breakouts. Prestige skincare costs more because research and quality ingredients don’t come cheap. Don’t underestimate the power of packaging either – a gorgeous jar goes a long way to insure that you’ll stick to your daily regimen. Plus, it can last for ages and you’ll be proud to show it off in your marble bathroom!
An interesting study was published in Skin Research and Technology, Volume 13, Number 2, May 2007 , pp. 189-194(6), titled, “Facial anti-wrinkle cream: influence of product presentation on effectiveness: a randomized and controlled study” by authors Loden, Buraczewska, Halvarsson that looked at high-priced luxurious anti-wrinkle cream dispensed in its original packaging and in a neutral jar, to compare with the effects from a regular moisturizing face cream in a luxurious jar. The researchers concluded that the only significant difference was better compliance with the cream in the nicer jar! The moral of this story is that even though luxury creams don’t always work better than their cost-effective cousins, they serve the dual purpose of making us use them more consistently – and they also make us feel good.
If you’re feeling flush, there are plenty of uber chic formulas for $500 and up that will give you that ultra luxury high. Personally, although I am intrigued by them, I would rather have Loubutins, but that’s just me. There are also some cheap and cheerful alternatives that deliver results and come in pretty jars at guilt-free prices, so you can have the cream and wear it too, so to speak.
SKIN CARE SPLURGES
SISLEYA ELIXIR ($535)– An intensely hydrating complex of plant extracts including white willow leaf, extract of malt, marjoram, lavender oil and fresh water algae. If you can get your hands on it, this light formula also has gingko biloba and vitamin E that work together to rejuvenate cells. Four pump vials to be used day and night for a month.
GUERLAIN ORCHIDEE IMPERIALE TREATMENT ($1,500)- Guerlain created Orchidee Imperiale Crème from an extract derived from four species of orchids found to have unique properties that make skin cells perform better. 4 week intensive treatment includes 4 royal purple vials boxed for a Queen to restructure your complexion in 28 days.
CLE DE PEAU LA CREME ($750)- Based on a proprietary ingredient called Soubilized Fibroin that optimises skin cell renewal rates, this super cream promotes collagen production, reduces fine lines, revives skin and lightens.
LA PRAIRIE CELLULAR CREAM PLATINUM RARE ($1,000) – Intense hydration and skin replenishment par excellence, wrapped up in a Swarovski crystal enhanced jar for the girl who has everything but young skin…
DARPHIN EXCLUSIVE PREDERMINE CREAM ($550) – Plumps you up with rare plant extracts.
ORLANE EXCLUSIVE CREME ROYALE ($650) – Enriched with 24kt gold, this creme claims for firm, nourish, smooth and boost radiance based on Chinese medicine.
REVIVE PEAU MAGNIFIQUE ($1,500) – Based on epidermal growth factor, this 4 week treatment comes in silver ampoules for true ReVive devotees. Highly potent hyaluronic acid for added moisture, and so much more.
NATURA BISSE INHIBIT TENSORLIFT ($715) – Botox and filler serum in a bottle, this luxe brand from Spain fills, freezes and lifts.
BEST BEAUTY BUYS
CLINIQUE ZERO GRAVITY REPAIRWEAR LIFT ($52.50) – Ultra firming moisturizing cream from the original derm brand
OLAY PROX HYDRAFIRMING CREAM ($42) – Helps put the bounce back in your skin
SKINMEDICA REJUVENATIVE MOISTURIZER ($43) – Skin replenishing formula
PHILOSOPHY HOPE IN A JAR FOR DRY, SENSITIVE SKIN ($38) – Rich, emollient super healing cream
ATOPALM MLE CREAM ($36) – Deep moisturization for compromised, dry skin relief