When it comes to treating absolutely any skin condition, it’s important to keep the 70:30 ratio of treatments to products in mind. About 70% of the results you can expect will come from in-clinic treatments, but it can be dependant on the other 30%, which accounts for your home care and how you condition your skin. Remember your acid mantle? That’s where we need to focus our efforts first and foremost. Whether it’s acne, sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles or rosacea, without your acid mantle doing its job, everything else is a wasted effort. We must strengthen the barrier.
Show Your Acid Mantle Some Love
Rosacea can be caused by extrinsic (external) or intrinsic (internal) factors. A weak or overly thin acid mantle, sometimes called the hydro-lipid film, on the skin’s surface is the first external factor. As we mentioned in our post about the causes of rosacea, we need our acid mantle to help with our adaptive immune system and to keep harmful molecules and bacteria at bay. Not protecting our skin from sun exposure results in the barrier-breaking down. Additionally, products with lots of stripping ingredients or alcohol also contribute to the breakdown. When the acid mantle can’t keep the bad stuff out and the good stuff in, inflammation occurs.
Step 1: Sun Protection
The first step in preventing this is wearing a high-quality sunscreen every single day, rain or shine. It’s the hands-down best anti-aging product you can use. Find one with anti-inflammatory ingredients in it and you’ll really be giving your skin the TLC it deserves. Not using it will mean continued inflammation, making treatments ineffective. Here are the top three sunscreens we love:
Oclipse-C SPF 50
This lightweight, non-irritating mineral sunscreen is designed for the most sensitive skin types and post-procedure skin. It offers broad-spectrum protection against UVA, UVB, IR-A and high-energy visible (HEV) light.
- Offers daily multi-defense protection from UVA, UVB and HEV light
- ZOX12 complex provides antioxidant protection against free radical damage and the harmful effects of infrared (IR-A) rays
- Ultra-milk formula suitable for even the most sensitive skin types
- Soothes the skin and helps to minimize inflammation
- 5.7% titanium dioxide and 4.9% zinc oxide
Oclipse Daily Sheer SPF 50 Oclipse Daily Sheer is a non-greasy, quick drying sunscreen with a sheer matte finish offering broad-spectrum protection against UVA, UVB, IR-A and high-energy visible (HEV) light. It’s water- and perspiration-resistant and delivers superior protection during outdoor activities while hydrating the skin to prevent dryness.
- Protects against UVA (avobenzone 3%) and UVB (octocrylene 3%, octinoxate 5%, homosalate 10%, octisalate 5%)
- Provides additional protection against HEV light and IR-A rays with fractionated melanin and ZOX12 complex
- Non-greasy formula with a sheer, matte finish
- Water- and perspiration-resistant (up to 80 minutes of exposure)
Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer SPF 30
This one is a multiple defense sun protection system that provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB defense with a universal tint and a silky, matte finish.
- Exclusive 12-hour time-release antioxidant complex guards against photodamage
- Provides daily multi-defense protection from UVA, UVB and high-energyvisible (HEV) light
- Can be used alone or worn under makeup for a more even, long-lasting application
- Helps to smooth the skin and diminish the appearance of fine lines
- 8.2% titanium dioxide provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection
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Step 2: Boosting the Barrier Function
Next, you’ll want to incorporate products that replicate your barrier function so that you can effectively repair the skin. Our top two products to restore and mimic the barrier are Revitatrol, aka the 911 cream, and Restoracalm. Since the Restoracalm has just a whisper of retinol to keep your skin cells moving, it’s the perfect dose for even the most sensitive of skin! When things take a turn for the severe, adding in the Overnight Recovery Creme will help seal the deal and add extra protection and nurture the healing response.
Restoracalm Soothing Recovery Crème
Restoracalm is formulated for all skin types, especially sensitive skin, to help calm irritation.
- Soothes and provides relief for sensitive, compromised skin
- Reduces the appearance of redness and irritation
- Restores and helps strengthen the skin’s protective barrier
- Stimulates epidermal renewal
Revitatrol Epidermal Repair Crème
Revitatrol delivers essential hydration and calms post-procedure, compromised skin and severely dry or irritated skin. Rich hydrators replenish lipids and restore skin’s barrier while reducing the appearance of redness.
- Dual-peptide formula supports natural skin renewal and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
- Enhances skin re-epithelialization to accelerate recovery
- Ideal for daily use under sunscreen
Ommerse Overnight Recovery Crème
Ommerse is a complete anti-aging formula that works overnight to repair and regenerate severely dry, irritated skin.
- Complements the skin’s own natural recovery process
- Calms and soothes irritated skin with Canadian willowherb extracts
- Helps restore hydration and nourishment to severely dry, dehydrated skin
- Reinforces the protective barrier of the skin to prevent further dryness
Step 3: The Rosacea Showstopper
Now that things are calm and protected, we can move onto the rosacea showstopper: Rozatrol. It’s clinically proven to improve the appearance and texture of rosacea in as little as six weeks. This miracle worker has changed the game.
Rozatrol Normalizing Serum
Rozatrol is a daily treatment serum for red, sensitized skin that works to normalize skin by reducing excess oil, which can lead to inflammation.
But what makes it so great? You get gentle, enzymatic exfoliation from papain (from papaya) to improve skin texture and tone. ZO-RRS, an exclusive plant stem cell complex, serves up antioxidant protection, which decreases inflammation and damage caused by oxidative stress.
Lactose (milk protein) and brassica oleracea italica extract minimize redness, while farnesyl acetate, farnesol and panthenyl triacetate lessen oil production.
Added amino acids encourage microcirculation to ward off the signs of premature aging and glycerin replenishes hydration and supports healthy skin barrier function, which, if you’ve been reading, you know is absolutely vital.
Taking it Back to GSR
So, now let’s talk variables. What if after all of the protecting, calming and inflammation fighting you’re experiencing more texture, oil or even breakouts? This is when your GSR comes in. Here’s what to do to prep your skin for greatness:
For acneic rosacea, ZO’s TE Pads are going to be your new best friend. The salicylic acid will gently exfoliate the skin, removing dead cells, and it will also work to chill your sebaceous gland down so that it produces just a little less oil. If you’re prone to bumpy skin, we love the Glycogent Exfoliation Accelerator. This unique blend of 10% glycolic and lactic acid will provide gentle exfoliation of dead skin cells and stimulate epidermal renewal, while vitamins A and E are added for their antioxidant benefits for preventing future damage. As always, ZO has built-in, advanced anti-irritant and moisturizing properties to help soothe and heal damaged skin.
Feeling flaky? Then the powers of Vitascrub are what you need. This dual-action scrub combines chemical exfoliation with lactic and salicylic acid, and gentle physical exfoliation with environmentally-friendly wax beads to slough away skin-clogging dead cells, dissolve and remove hardened or excess oil and destroy acne-causing bacteria. Just like the Rozatrol, Vitascrub also contains ZO-RSS properties to reduce redness in the skin and replenish hydration.
If you have the texture or flakes but not the breakouts, you’ll want to opt for the cult classic and everybody’s favourite Exfoliating Polish. This universal scrub is great for all skin types and conditions. Ultra-fine magnesium oxide crystals are used to instantly smooth skin and replenish hydration and healthy lipids. As if that wasn’t good enough on its own, it also has tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate, a stable form of vitamin C that suppresses pigment production by acting as a tyrosine inhibitor and brightening the skin. This scrub can be used one to two times per week, increasing as tolerated.
Once redness is gone and our barrier is restored, we can move onto corrective products. You may recognize two of our faves from our recent blog on anti-aging unicorns: Daily Power Defense and Growth Factor Serum. Our bread and butter staple is the Ossential Daily Power Defense. This lightweight lotion is designed to protect and repair all skin types. It’s your skin’s armour and an absolute must for everyone!
Uultrasomes and roxisomes are DNA repair enzymes that do a scan of your skin and then neutralize free radicals and fix damage in only two hours. Typically this process takes about 24 hours for our body to do. Although there’s actually zero vitamin C in the mix, the ultrasomes and roxisomes work at hyper speed and more efficiently than any vitamin C would be able to do on its own.
Vitamin E provides antioxidant properties to protect your skin, while that tiny hint of retinol helps to firm and even your skin tone by encouraging collagen production and waking up our cells to rebuild more rapidly. Especially great for sensitized skin is Ceramide 6, which aids in restoring barrier function.
Lovingly nicknamed “Liquid Gold” or “Botox in a Bottle”, is the Ossential Growth Factor Serum. This is a must-have serum for nighttime if you want to say goodbye to lackluster, dull skin. It contains the best of the best, clinically-proven ingredients, including a peptide that boasts a ‘botox-like’ effect to soften those expression lines.
It’s found in viper snake venom and converted into the peptide. As a bonus, it may make your real ‘tox last longer. As per usual, we have a whisper of retinol to get the cells going and ramp up collagen creation. Plant-based growth factors, Vitamins B1 through B6, encourage cell regeneration, increase hyaluronic acid and speed up collagen production. There’s a reason it’s a bestseller and celebrities flock to it!
If you’ve been hit with a pinch of PIH, or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, you’ll need a bit more than a whisper of retinol to speed up the recovery. Brightenex 0.25% is our retinol of choice for rosacea sufferers. Vitamin A and Vitamin C work together to target skin discolouration, breaking up existing pigmentation and replacing old, damaged cells with new, healthy ones. Brightenex will also soothe and reduce the appearance of redness, while hydrating the skin and defending against environmental stressors with antioxidant protection.