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Supporting Sensitive Skin

Supporting Sensitive Skin

ROSACEA IS A COMMON INFLAMMATORY skin disorder that may require a medical diagnosis. Knowing which ingredients and products to use when recommending treatments and home care to clients with rosacea will help you feel confident in your treatments and the support you provide.

Clients with rosacea will typically have hypersensitivity, visible vascularity with notable telangiectasia, chronic flushing of the skin, and, in some cases, papules and pustules.

Rosacea is commonly treated with prescription topical vitamin A, antibiotics, steroids, and antihistamines (including oral medications) to help with flare-ups and breakouts.

Devices such as non-ablative lasers, vascular lasers, and intense pulsed light therapy are excellent treatment options for telangiectasia and persistent erythema.

Some of these medications are contraindications for some serices due to the increased photosensitivity and overall impairment of the acid mantle. A thorough consultation and skin analysis s important for client safety and to offer proper treatment options and home care recommendations.

The goal for rosacea clients is to reduce flare-ups, breakouts, and sensitivity, and achieve overall skin health. Thankfully, there are many product ingredients that support these goals!


Hydration and a balanced acid mantle are essential. The acid mantle has a low pH of 4.5–5.5. It creates a barrier to prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and protects the skin from allergens, bacteria, and environmental aggressors.

Prescription medications and/or lack of proper home care can result in dry, sensitive, dehydrated skin with an impaired acid mantle. Many ingredients help with hydrating the skin and maintaining an optimal barrier function.

An intact barrier can help decrease sensitivity and increase cellular protection in rosacea skin types. A balance of oil and water is critical. The following ingredients in particular are excellent for supporting healthy barrier function.

Ceramides Naturally occurring sphingolipids found in the upper layers of the skin provides a protective barrier, reducing TEWL Repairs dry, dehydrated skin by improving hydration beneficial for stressed, sensitive, scaly, rough, dry, aged, and sun-damaged skin acts as a barrier against bacteria and environmental pollutants.

Hyaluronic Acid

Powerful humectant that draws moisture from the environment.

  • A glycosaminoglycan naturally found in skin.

  • Boosts skin’s natural moisture content

  • Protects against, TEWL can hold up to 1,000 times its own molecular weight in water.

  • Has multiple derivatives and sizes for different penetration capabilities

Niacinamide (B3)

  • Stabilising effect on epidermal barrier function

  • Improves water content of the skin

  • Stimulates ceramide creation

  • Reduces inflammation

  • Defends against oxidative stress

  • Helps treat inflammatory acne


Antioxidants and anti-infl ammatory ingredients are a crucial part of health and wellness on a cellular level. Oxidative stress is a part of daily life, and in some cases it’s accelerated when we don’t include enough antioxidants in our diet and topical home care.

Powerful antioxidants such as turmeric and vitamins A and C, among many others, play an important role in skincare and skin health. They especially offer healing benefits for papular/pustular rosacea skin types.


  • Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric (curcuminoids)

  • Helps reduce redness from blemishes and calms skin inflammation

  • Antiseptic properties

  • Encourages wound healing

  • Stimulates circulation and oxygenation in the skin

  • Reduces oxidative stress

  • Hydrates and revitalises skin while alleviating symptoms of dryness

Vitamin A

A group of fat-soluble retinoids that includes retinal, retinol, and retinyl esters

  • Decreases cellular damage caused by free radicals

  • Treats inflammatory acne and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

  • Increases cell turnover

  • Helps release impactions by unclogging pores

  • Stimulates collagen synthesis

Vitamin C

  • Also known as L-ascorbic acid

  • Potent antioxidant that neutralises free radicals

  • Repairs free radical damage

  • Actively recycles vitamin E, which serves to protect lipids and cell membranes

  • Stimulates collagen synthesis, a reaction that is important in wound healing

  • Improves discolouration

  • Reduces erythema


Recognising and avoiding triggers are just as important as skin care. Dietary triggers, such as spicy foods and alcohol, should be limited or avoided entirely to prevent flare-ups.

Lifestyle triggers such as high-stress situations, lack of exercise, and emotional duress can create an environment in the body that spikes cortisol levels and sends our parasympathetic nervous system into constant “fight-or-flight” mode.

Harsh scrubs, hot water, and high pH products such as bar soaps can deplete the skin of nutrients and damage the protective acid mantle.

Wear soothing zinc-based sunscreen to protect the skin and reduce chances of sunburn and cellular damage.


The key to treating rosacea is to reduce inflammation. We have always heard that “inflammation causes ‘dis-Ease’ within the body.” Calming products and routines go a long way toward healing sensitive, inflammatory skin types like rosacea.

Encourage your clients to eat antioxidant-rich foods, increase their water intake, take a walk, and be in nature.

Yoga, meditation, mental-health support, and recommending skin care products with the above ingredients can also create some beautiful results.

Encourage the body to “rest and digest,” reset and repair. Healing occurs during this time and should be honoured.

Recommend being gentle with the skin.

When in doubt, refer to a GP for referral to dermatologist for additional guidance and support.

Beautifully calm, clear, and comfortable skin can be achieved and will be celebrated!

The Vintage Salon Team x

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