When I started my blog (on Tumblr, about 7 years ago!) I focused on nails, partly because I loved a good manicure but more importantly because a blog filled with nails meant that I never had to show my face. I have rosacea, a skin condition that currently has no cure, and it makes me so self-conscious that even now it’s a struggle to take and publish photos. This is my rosacea story, in collaboration with Eau Thermale Avène.
[Don’t forget to enter the competition at the bottom of this post!]
If you read my blog regularly or follow me on social media, you may have heard my rosacea story before. Sometimes it feels like I repeat myself and worry that I’m boring people, but then I take a look at the messages I get every single day thanking me for speaking about this condition so publicly. Considering that rosacea is thought to affect over 5 million people in the UK and 16 million Americans, it is still so misunderstood, which in turn leads to misdiagnosis and even more issues for those suffering.
One of the reasons that rosacea is so hard to diagnose and treat is because it changes from individual to individual. To start with, there are a few different types of rosacea. It could show up as a little patch of redness on your cheek; or a regular flare up of itchy swollen skin; or something that looks like acne across your whole face; or thickened skin and permanently itchy and inflamed eyes… or anything in between. And for every person, there’s a different way of dealing with the condition including – but not limited to – skincare, diet, lifestyle changes, medication, facial treatments… the list goes on. If you’d like to read more about the different types of rosacea there’s a post HERE where I answer every question I’ve ever been asked about my rosacea story.
After years of trial and (a lot of) error, I have found that pinpointing the skincare that works for me has made the biggest change to my skin. My face gets very tight and dry when my rosacea is playing up, and this can make an uncomfortable experience worse as it means I can’t forget that it’s there. What’s even more annoying is that the stress of a flare up can often make the whole situation worse. However, now that I know what works for me and what to avoid, I feel so much more in control of my rosacea. When I feel that familiar prickling, warm sensation across my cheeks I know that I have products in my bathroom cabinet that will not only immediately soothe my angry skin, but will help to care for it in the long term. For as long as I’ve been talking about my rosacea, I’ve been using and recommending Avène products. So when I heard that they were adding new products into their Anti-Rougeurs range, my ears pricked up. I loved the original version of the range, but some people were put off by the inclusion of fragrance in the ingredients (something that is often an irritant to reactive skin) but Avène have listened to our concerns and the new products contain no fragrance… I can practically hear you cheering from here!
I’ve been testing out the Avène Anti-Rougeurs Redness Relief Refreshing Cleansing Lotion and the Anti-Rougeurs Soothing Mask for a month and they could not have come at a better time. The weather has turned so quickly in London and my face is not happy about the sudden cold, wind, and exposure to central heating (I am convinced clothes shop changing rooms are designed purely to torture me…).
The cleanser is a milky lotion that makes light work of make up without feeling heavy or sticky, or leaving my skin feeling stripped. It’s also a wonderful option for those of us who sometimes can’t handle water on our faces, as it can either be washed off or removed with a cotton pad (which means it’s also great for flights/festivals/camping/late nights after too many glasses of wine…!). It’s also gentle enough to be used post-procedure, having been tested on those who were undergoing IPL for their rosacea.
But the mask is definitely the hero product for me. I’ve been keeping it on the living room coffee table so that while watching Forensic Files (so many episodes, so much bad 90s hair) I can quickly apply it whenever my skin is feeling unhappy. It’s a lightweight, green-tinted gel cream that instantly soothes my skin, leaving it feeling soft and comfortable. It’s designed to take the heat and feeling of discomfort out of the skin and I can definitely attest to that: I applied it immediately after taking these photos and my skin was instantly soothed and less itchy. I think it may have replaced my all time favourite mask – the Avène Tolérance Extrême. BIG CLAIMS.
I’m extra excited about this launch because I am giving away the new Avène Anti-Rougeurs products to one reader. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me your rosacea story: I’d love to hear what you wish you’d known when you first developed rosacea; the tips and tricks that help you; the way rosacea makes you feel… whatever you want to share with me! If you’d like an extra entry to the competition, feel free to comment on THIS Instagram post as well. Unfortunately this competition is only open to UK and Ireland residents, but if you’d like to comment and share your rosacea story anyway I’d love to hear from you. I’m going to be sharing some quotes and stories on the blog and on social media to show that everyone’s experience is different – the louder our voices the more we learn about rosacea and its impact on us. The competition is open until 23.59 on the 5th of December. Good luck!
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