My Rosacea Story With Eau Thermale Avène – AD

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.

My rosacea story: Avène Anti-Rougeurs cleanser and face mask - skincare for rosacea and sensitive skin.

[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.

My rosacea story: Avène Anti-Rougeurs cleanser and face mask - skincare for rosacea and sensitive skin.

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 2017. Good luck!

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  1. Lynne Vennard
    21st November 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I was always the pale girl always had anaemia and needed makeup to look half human and to be honest I don’t know when I got Rosacea. I always heard my aunt talking about rosacea but I never really knew what it was . Looking back on pics I think it may be around 10 years ago after my 3rd child was born ( I’m lucky to have 2 great boys and my 1 princess). I had acne as a teenager then just the usual breakout around that time of the month but had great skin between times – my dad is unfortunate enough to have severe psoriasis so I never complain about my rosacea it could be worse right – I’m just a 40 year old woman who people keep asking were you away on holidays you’ve always a rosy complexion. Most people don’t notice the days of postules the severe burning the lumps bumps and itchibg. Most people don’t have to spend fortunes on creams or makeup that doesn’t agitate their skin. Most people don’t have breakouts when their teenagers stress them out when they have a wee drink, when they eat spicy food or when a mua does my makeup. But I love Avene products I’d love to try these new products – I love your blogs and me well I just embrace my Rosacea.

  2. Amy
    21st November 2017 / 11:06 pm

    The thing I wish I had known is that my face didn’t always give me away. But worrying about it or asking people “oh no, is my face really red?” definitely did! The things that helped me are: timing – I started to think about what activities I was doing and when e.g. washing my face, using a hairdryer. Things which aggravated my skin, or just made me feel too hot, are not best done if I am about to leave the house or about to apply make up. I liked your tip about trying to avoid using fingers to apply make up as it is transferring heat to your skin. Another thing that helped is learning the translation of certain words used on pretty packaging and what they mean for my skin. Like in real estate, we know that “cosy” means small, in skin products “awakening” normally translates into a range that starts with tingling and goes all the way up to a burning sensation! Go for soothing…

  3. Simon
    22nd November 2017 / 11:00 am

    I found your blog by chance and can relate to all the issues and stresses that you describe. As a man I sometimes feel (probably unjustly) that it’s even worse for men. It’s difficult to approach my doctor or staff in cosmetic areas in stores and even if I tried to cover the flare up with make up, what do I use and what would my friends and colleagues say. I am now going back through all your previous blogs. You’re a star, keep it up

  4. Tracy
    22nd November 2017 / 12:40 pm

    I’ve had some form of Rosecea since puberty basically wearing make up to hide it, I’ve tried every kind of cover up. Since having children it has been much worse which has resulted in me using medication to calm it down. I’m still using it to control it across my whole face. I found Avene creams about 8 yrs ago after my first massive flare up and it continues to be a staple. I showed your programme to my 8 year old daughter to help explain why Mammy wears so much on her face and it really helped her to understand. Thank you for raising awareness.

  5. 23rd November 2017 / 11:39 am

    Ah lex, you are so inspiring, keep doing what you do!!!!!!!

  6. Claire
    29th November 2017 / 11:07 pm

    My rosacea story started over 10 years ago – just as I started my teaching career. I found being in front of the whiteboard projector and the heat from classrooms made my face burn like sunburn on holiday. I saw a dermatologist, but unfortunately it was one who just wanted to make money – instead of support all she offered was a variety of extremely expensive treatments (no mention of diet, lifestyle etc). So I ignored it, stayed with the expensive moisturisers and chucked more make up to cover it. Until I had a rough year in school and boy did I know about it.. it was also the year I was getting married! Massive panic and research began… that was 4 years ago… and i was constantly changing products as I found one change in ingredients and my skin hates it. I found your page by chance a year ago and it’s been a god send – Avene products are now my saviour and I often stand in boots with your page open picking off the shelves your monthly shake up products. Mainly though it’s reassuring to hear others are going through the same and i dont have “weird skin” (as someone at a make up counter once said and broke my heart). So thank you.

  7. Simba2017
    3rd December 2017 / 5:02 pm

    When I first developed rosacea I barely left the house: the burning red with pustules was a Grand Guignol nightmare – emotionally and physically.
    Over the years I have learnt to manage, learnt to cope, and that prosecco (hallelujah!) can be tolerated.

  8. Jayne
    4th December 2017 / 2:39 pm

    I’ve always been prone to redness and flushing but when I got my nose pierced (age 40, what can I say, my mum was STRICT) I noticed I got little spots and breakout on my nose. These have just continued and got worse, along with a constantly red nose and cheeks. I only really worked out it was rosacea after a lot of searching online. I’ve never gone to the docs with it cos I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting their time.
    Your blog and other posts have made me feel human and not vain for worrying and wanting to cover it all up. Thank you!

  9. Marnie jerred
    4th December 2017 / 4:34 pm

    I had clear skin until 50 years of age. I moved back to the UK after 14 years in Turkey and my skin went crazy. My first flare up was so bad I had sleepless nights and the only thing that settled it was antibiotics. Now I am learning to live with it. I don’t avoid any food or drink, life is too short!

  10. 4th December 2017 / 7:04 pm

    I developed rosacea after ny baby was born. To be honest, its a bit irritating as I had spots going up and remember the GP telling me I’d have lovely skin when i was older. Isn’t 40 older? It’s been trial and error since then as the prescribed treatments have been rubbish. I’m pleased the Avene products are now fragrance free as that’s a big trigger for me. I hear you on the cold vs central heating thing. I strongly suspect I look like a sore tomato when Christmas shopping!

  11. Amanda
    4th December 2017 / 7:12 pm

    I was weeping over my skin last night so should definitely enter! It was a journey to get to the stage where I liked being pale – when all my friends just wanted to be tanned. My skin was one of the few things I liked. I guess I’ve known I had rosacea for about a year. It’s worse than it was – I particularly mind the thread vein that’s just appeared. But I try to tell myself that there are MUCH worse problems to have. Which is, of course, true!

  12. 5th December 2017 / 2:13 pm

    I honestly wish I knew what caused my rosacea and how to stop it happening in stressful situations. I can deal with the post shower redness or from when I’ve been out in the cold but when I’m stressed or have a drink I end up glowing and while it doesn’t hurt I become self conscious and more noticeable. I was fine the other day till a colleague commented on my skin and I had to sheepishly say I’ve got rosacea and she shut up but I felt horrid for the rest of the shift.

  13. Suzan Campbell
    5th December 2017 / 6:01 pm

    I managed to get through my teenage years with no major skin problems so I was horrified when aged 40ish my skin decided to misbehave. During this time I was also experiencing a lot of other health problems so my skin wasn’t a priority, I just slapped on heavier makeup. Eventually I braved it out and went to the doctor with no makeup on and lo and behold I left with a diagnosis of rosacea and a prescription for metronidazole gel.
    After searching the internet I came across your blog. This has helped me find skincare to suit my skin. I already use some Avene products but am keen to try the new fragrance free range.
    I’m sure that my rosacea has been triggered either by my fibromyalgia or the menopause.

  14. Lottie M
    5th December 2017 / 8:22 pm

    I wish I’d known that this is more common that I originally thought – before knowing that it was rosacea. It’s an embarrassing issue to deal with and it affects my confidence!

  15. Christine Rumney
    5th December 2017 / 9:46 pm

    I found your posts by chance when I was searching for a miracle cure for Rosacea. I was diagnosed around 3 years, I’ve always had skin issues, eczema as a child into teenage years which seemed to disappear after puberty & from then on sensitive skin!!
    I’ve tried quite a few different products on my face, starting out borrowing my Mam’s products like Oil of Ulay (showing my age now) & Nivea, then onto Simple, which I used for years & accepted that I had problem skin, this was as good as it was going to get & to just accept it. I had a really bad flare up & ended up going to see my GP who was very understanding & explained that he thought it was Rosacea & handed me a prescription for steroid gel.. I then started searching for ‘products to help with rosacea’ as within the instructions for my steroid gel it stated do not use long term as this may cause thinning of the skin, blah, blah, blah…
    I’ve since tried Liz Earle, Tropic & Clinique to name a few. They all seem to work for a while & then suddenly I am back to square one. I still haven’t discovered the perfect combination of products for my sensitive, dry, Rosacea prone skin and my face tells me this regularly!
    I am getting a bit of a grip on my triggers, the weather, central heating, hormones, stress, but unfortunately I have no control of any of those so I continue my search for the miracle cure.

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Welcome to Talonted Lex, the go-to online destination for anyone seeking guidance and inspiration on managing rosacea.

From rosacea skincare tips and sensitive skin makeup tutorials to lifestyle adjustments for rosacea relief. Whether you’re looking for the best rosacea treatments, gentle skincare routines, or just a supportive community that understands your skin concerns, Talonted Lex is your ultimate guide.