By Yelena Moroz
December is a month overflowing with red: scarlet dresses for office parties; ruby sweaters for visits with grandma; lacy crimson camisoles for some post mistletoe action. The bottom line, hues of red dominate this month, but anyone suffering from rosacea or plain old wind-burn knows that a red complexion is sure to make you cautious when dressing for yet another holiday party. After all, Santa is the only one who looks good with red cheeks.
According to the National Rosacea Society survey, wind triggers symptoms of rosacea 57 percent of the time; cold weather 46 percent; and indoor heat 41 percent. To top it off, emotional stress (i.e. choosing a perfect gift and prepping for the family dinner) kicks up the redness factor to a whopping 79 percent. December might not seem like the best month for radiant skin (at first) – but, since you’re on the nice list, we’re here to help and fill your stockings with goodies.
You already know that winter season is no time to slack off on SPF, especially if you’re prone to rosacea and irritated skin. So, pick up Kinerase Daily Defense Cream SPF 30, if you have normal or dry skin, but use Kinerase Daily Defense Lotion SPF 30 for oily skin because it’s lighter (it will work great in the hot summer months too). The non-comedogenic, dye-free formula hydrates and protects sensitive skin from the elements and UV rays. Studies show that kinetin, one of its main ingredients, can improve skin’s ability to retain moisture up to 25 percent — now that’s a positive statistic! Available at Sephora, Nordstrom, http://www.kinerase.com, http://ulta.com
Drink one too many Christmatinis, and your skin is likely to redden as blood rushes to the face, one of alcohol’s side-effects, says Dr. Diane Berson, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Erno Laszlo Redness FX Lotion calms flare ups, redness and irritation with chamomile extract; it also, reportedly, smoothes out broken capillaries and strengthens skin tissue. With the help of the antimicrobial arnica flower extract you can rest assure that you’ll put inflammation to bed, even after a night of cocktails. Available at http://www.ernolaszlo.com
Say good morning to luscious skin with Suki Face Intensive Brightening Cream. When applied prior to bed, ingredient Vitamin C glucoside penetrates deep and stimulates collagen production, so you wake up with plump, supple skin. As many New Yorkers know, indoor heat can dehydrate the skin during the night, leaving tell-tale scales and, although dryness alone won’t make rosacea inflame, the loss of the moisture barrier makes skin particularly sensitive to irritants and prone to inflammation, says Dr. Berson. Use Suki in the morning and let organic chamomile relieve puffiness, (also a possible rosacea side-effect associated with built-up fluid in the tissues of the face). We think it works great as an undereye cream, too. Available at Whole Foods stores, Henri Bendel, http://www.sukipure.com
Good skin care often starts with the right cleanser and Pevonia Botanica RS2Gentle Cleanser is just that. Pevonia offers a rosiness you can look forward to: filled with antibacterial properties of green tea, and French rose essential oil to calm redness. The milky cleanser is gentle and aromatic with its natural fragrance.
For oily skin, reach for Zia Natural Skincare Skin Basics Aloe & Citrus Wash. We love this refreshing, mild formula free of harsh soap and sulfates. This uber-find is loaded with aloe juice and tangerine oil which aide in stripping away impurities without over drying the skin.
“When there is a change from warm to cold and cold to warm, rosacea may flare up,” says Dr. Berson. Facing harsh wind, then darting into a steamy subway, walking back up to the icy street and then finally settling for indoor heat at work is a nasty formula for a stressful skin situation. By day’s end, unwind with â€Žâ€ŽOrigins Plantidote Mega-Mushroom Skin-Calming Face Mask. The soufflé-like mask optimizes skin repair with calming black bamboo leaf extract and a trio of mushrooms that kicks butt at revamping the lipid barrier, which is essential to maintaining moisture as well as battling dry and damaged skin. Available at http://www.origins.com
Acne and rosacea are like grandma and eggnog – not a good combo. Pimples can make rosacea symptoms worse, as do harsh clarifying products with alcohol, witch hazel, peppermint, and salicylic acid. Opt for products with moisturizing glycerin like VMV Hypoallergenics ID Sweat Acne and Overall Antibacterial Monolaurin Gel. Its clear formula is gentle, but tough enough to battle bacteria that cause acne.
We also think that Juara Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner should find its way to your bathroom cabinet. Unlike a typical, watery toner, Juara’s consistency is thicker (which makes us think it’s more potent). The combination of healing manuka honey, antioxidant filled tea extracts, and soothing tamarind seed extract leaves skin even-toned and hydrated. Be sure to use this alcohol-free toner to wipe away impurities that can lead to breakouts.