Weeks 11 & 12: Falling in Love with Rocia Rosacea Skin Care and Making Future Plans

Rocia natural rosacea skin care product review

To start, I’d like to apologize for failing to post a blog last week.  I know that being busy really isn’t any excuse, these days, but that’s the reason that it happened, so I would like to say that I’m very sorry to all of my loyal (and my new) readers.

What happened throughout that time?  Thank you for asking!  I fell completely head-over-heels in love with the Rocia natural skin care line for rosacea-prone skin.  As you may remember, back in Week 9, I got going with the cleanser, treatment, and moisturizer from that natural skin care company from Brighton, Ontario, Canada.

Check out “Week 9: Trying a New Natural Rosacea Skin Care System” if you missed it!

I have exchanged a few emails with the (amazing!) customer support at Rocia.ca and it was advised to give the products at least two weeks before I make any decisions with regards to how I feel about them. It’s been just over 2 weeks and I feel nearly as excited as I did when I first discovered red light therapy.

Previous to using this skin care system, the best I had hoped for was to use products that wouldn’t make things any worse.  As long as they just kept my skin feeling healthy and didn’t cause flare-ups, I was happy.  Rocia has taken things to an entirely new level.  These products have actually improved the look of my skin.

I’m still using red light therapy for rosacea, but this natural skin care line just seems to be the ideal complement to that strategy.  I’m not sure if it is because both Rocia products and red light therapy are based on natural concepts and that’s why they work together so well, or if they just both happen to be fantastic methods for their own reasons.  Either way, I would recommend trying both or either of these natural rosacea treatments to anyone who is looking for a way to get the redness, burning, itching, bumps, pimples, stinging, and other symptoms under control.

But enough babbling about how happy I’ve been with the outcome of this product test.  Here’s what I thought of each individual product.

Rocia Organic Olive Oil Cleansing Cake Review

This is the cleanser for rosacea prone and sensitive skin.  It looks like a little round bar of soap, but it is made of just olive oil, water, and mineral salts.

The Good: It cleans the skin very effectively without stripping it and leaving it feeling tight and dry.  It becomes a rich lather which is gentle, instead of foaming which can be harsher on the skin.  It is unfragranced, but the scent is still quite pleasant and fresh (which, as you know if you have ever tried unfragranced products, is a nice change!).

The Bad: Get it in your eyes and it stings like frig.  It’s easy to prevent this by not getting it in your eyes!

Rocia Provar Treatment Lotion Review

This is a product for rosacea prone and reactive sensitive skin that is meant to treat the symptoms of those conditions.  It is made of: distilled water, cetearyl olivate & sorbitan olivate, abies picea (spruce knot) extract, radish root ferment filtrate and propanediol.

The Good: When this gel-like cream is applied to still-damp skin, it feels very smooth and soothing and it absorbs very quickly.  It helped my skin to calm down faster after a shower (my skin is always red after it has been washed) and it felt as though it was providing a barrier between my skin and the air, the elements, and anything else I put on my face after that point.  It performed very well under makeup and didn’t cause my foundation to become slimy or to separate. This was my favourite of Rocia’s rosacea-prone skin care line.

The Bad: For me, there was a learning curve when it came to how much to use.  I over-applied during the first day, leaving my face feeling sticky until I learned that a little bit goes a long way. Technically, this turned out to be good news, because it means that the product lasts way longer!

Rocia Quench Extra Hydration Oil Review

This is a very gentle oil that is applied directly onto the skin, to provide a serious moisture boost.  It is made of: abyssinian seed oil, apricot kernel oil (cold pressed), camellia seed oil (cold pressed), rice bran oil (cold pressed), pomegranate oil and vitamin E.

The Good: This oil was very soft and absorbed quickly into the skin.  It didn’t have an unpleasant smell (it is unfragranced) and it didn’t leave my skin feeling oily.  While I did like this oil for my skin in the summer, using it quite sparingly was the key to getting it right, for me.  When used very lightly, it worked well under makeup and didn’t cause my foundation to split or separate.  I am looking forward to using this product during the winter because it will provide the added moisture that my skin needs during the time of the year that it is the most dry and chapped.

The Bad: It’s very easy to over-apply.  Again, a little bit goes a long way.  I need only 2 drops for my whole face when I wear makeup, and 3 drops for my whole face when I’m not wearing makeup.  In the winter, I will likely apply 4 drops.  Over-applying caused my forehead to brake out a little bit (pimples, not rosacea).  When I figured out how much I should be using, that problem corrected itself very quickly.

The Verdict for the Rocia Natural Rosacea Skin Care Line

I love it.  I will continue to use it and when I run out, I fully intend to replace each of the three products.  I am also considering looking into some of the other products from the brand, too, as they also sell cosmetics.  After using this complete product line, I’m starting to see the benefits of sticking to one brand as they all work with each other very nicely.

Another reason that I’m inclined to check out more of what Rocia has to offer is because their customer service over email was spectacular!  The responses were fast, friendly, professional, and extremely informative.  All of my questions were addressed and advice was provided respectfully and with relevance to me.

To anyone with rosacea symptoms who hasn’t found the right skin care line, or to anyone who is looking to switch products for something more natural, I’d recommend giving Rocia a try based on my own experience. I can’t promise that it will work for you, too.  Everyone’s rosacea is unique.  But it is certainly worth trying out if you’re looking.

Please note: this is an honest and unpaid review.  Rocia has not paid me to say anything about their products. Everything I’ve said is based on what I experienced by using these products. 

What’s Up Next for Me?

I’m currently researching amber light therapy (also called yellow light therapy) as an added treatment to use in conjunction with my red light therapy for rosacea.  I’ve been seeing that a lot of people have been having successes with amber light, too, and I wouldn’t mind getting in on that.

I’m still loving the red light therapy and I won’t be stopping the use of it, but amber reaches a different depth of the skin and may be able to speed up the healing process (and prevent future flare-ups and skin damage) if used together with the red light.  I’m 99% sold on the idea, but I’ll let you know my final decision when I finish my research and when I finish talking to the customer service at Smarter Lights (formerly Light Therapy Options), where I got my Peak 630 LED Red Light Therapy Set.

That’s it for me, for now.  If you have any questions about the products I’ve reviewed, if you’ve had successes with different products, if you’ve tried amber light therapy (or red light therapy), or if you’d like to request that I look into a natural rosacea treatment that you’ve been curious about, please comment, below!

See you next week!


Week 10: Eating for Two (Me and My Rosacea Symptoms)

coffee steam rosacea diet triggers

For me, keeping up with a natural rosacea treatment strategy involves a number of different parts of my lifestyle.  Because this skin disorder can’t be kept under control just by swallowing a magic pill or applying a miracle lotion (at least, not in my case), I need to take a more lifestyle-based approach to beating my symptoms.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I’ve been using red light therapy.  That’s going very well.  I feel like the Peak 630 LED red light therapy (learn about it here, if you’d like: https://www.smarterlights.com/The-Peak-630-Red-Light-HPLED-Powerhead-p/) is making the difference that I needed.  It’s finally healing the rosacea symptoms, when all I’d previously been able to do is stop them from getting worse.  I’m still seeing regular improvements, even just 10 weeks into my treatment.

I’ve also been trying out the rosacea-prone skin care products from Rocia.  That has been going very well, too.  The rosacea symptoms aren’t getting any worse (which is a real shocker considering how badly my skin normally reacts to new products).  I have a few pimples on my forehead that weren’t there before, but that’s completely normal for my skin as it adjusts to a new product system.  At the recommendation of Rocia, I am giving the products two weeks before I form an opinion on them. I have high hopes for this system.

(see my unboxing blog/video of the whole system here: https://treatrosacea.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/week-9-trying-a-new-natural-rosacea-skin-care-system/ and learn more about the products from the source here: http://rocia.ca/collections/rosacea-prone)

Now, on to the good stuff: Food!

When trying to use a natural rosacea treatment strategy, what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it.  All the top red light therapy and skin care systems in the world wouldn’t do the trick if all I did was eat foods that are triggers for my symptoms.

coffee steamBecause of that, I’ve had to change a few things.  Among my food triggers are red wine and certain other alcoholic beverages, some kinds of vinegar, lobster (I’m not certain about other kinds of shellfish, yet), large quantities of dairy (I can get away with a little), spicy foods, possibly avocados (I’m not sure yet), peppermint, and anything hot enough to produce steam.  I also have a sneaking suspicion that too much sugar and too much salt/sodium, are also adding unwanted rosiness to my cheeks.

Learning my food-based rosacea triggers is an ongoing effort.  It takes a surprisingly long time to know for certain which food caused a rosacea flare-up (especially when temperature, stress, and many other factors can also be the culprits).  As soon as I suspect a food, I take note of it.  That way, when it’s convenient for me, I can either test that food all on its own (on several different occasions) or I can try it in combination with foods that I know won’t cause a reaction in my skin.

Designing a healthful rosacea diet

Unfortunately, the majority of the foods on my rosacea trigger list are things that I really like to eat. This has caused me to face a very important choice: do I give up absolutely everything on that list so that I can try to achieve a flawless complexion, or do I sacrifice my looks in favor of my taste buds?

When it came to creating the rosacea diet that I currently follow, I decided to do a bit of both.  Some foods, like the spicy Tom Yum soup served at my local Thai restaurant, are among my favourite things to eat.  I just don’t want to give them up.  I save them for times when I can enjoy them as a treat, once in a while.  I also make sure that I won’t need to “look good” during the two days that follow. That usually gives me enough time to eat well, stay hydrated, and use the red light therapy to clear up any damage I’ve done from the trigger food that I’ve chosen to eat.

CoffeeThere are certain other foods that I have refused to give up. I’m just strategic about the way I consume them.  Hot coffee, for example, causes an immediate rosacea flare-up.  However, if I let the coffee cool first, then I can get away with drinking a cup or two without any problems.  I may not get to drink scalding-hot coffee anymore, but at least I still get to enjoy that first cup or two in the morning, which is a very important part of my morning routine.

It’s not just what you eat – it’s how you prepare it.

This isn’t a healthful eating blog, so I’m not going to get into the benefits of steamed veggies over fried or any of those details.  What I mean when I say that you need to prepare your foods properly to keep your rosacea from flaring up is that you need to remember that things like stoves, toasters, and barbecues are hot!

Yes, that sounds obvious, but when you’re learning to prevent rosacea symptoms from flaring up, you can forget that it’s not just a matter of avoiding eating food when it’s very hot.  You also have to remember that when you prepare it, you’re standing over a source of heat, too.

I try to step back from the stove as much as I can. I also run the overhead hood fan to draw the steam and heat away from my face.  Sometimes, I just can’t avoid the added temperature – particularly when I’m cooking several dishes and the whole kitchen heats up.  But, as much as possible, I try to limit the time that I spend directly in front of the stove.  For that matter, I try to be careful about opening up a hot dishwasher, too.  After all, if it will steam up my glasses, then it’s certainly too much steam for my face!

Foods that help to naturally reduce rosacea symptoms

Recently, as I’ve started taking on a much more natural rosacea treatment strategy, I’ve tried to complement the use of the red light therapy and natural skin care products with the consumption of foods that are supposed to be helpful in clearing up rosacea symptoms.

My belief is that if I’m cutting out trigger foods and adding healing and anti-inflammatory foods, then I should be giving my skin a double-whammy of advantages.

To start, keeping hydrated has been a main focus.  I’m a coffee drinker.  I could drink coffee all the live-long day if it wouldn’t turn my face beet-red and then shrivel me up into a raisin. So I’ve started making a conscious effort to drink a much more reasonable amount of water.  Since I eat a lot of fruits and veggies, I don’t usually need to drink 8 glasses of water per day, unless it’s very hot out and/or I’ve been very physically active.  Still, I make sure that I am sipping water steadily throughout the day.

Turmeric for natural rosacea treatment of symptoms anti-inflammatoryNext, I’ve started to add certain specific foods to my regular diet.  Turmeric has been a major addition.  At first, I found it odd to give my smoothies (or even breakfast cereal) a bit of a mustard-like taste by adding just under a teaspoon to the mix.  After a few days, though, I got used to it and now I quite like it.  If you’re not wild about the taste of mustard, you can always add less but have it twice or three times during the day.  It’s easy to cover with other flavours.

Turmeric is an incredible anti-inflammatory that helps to keep redness and swelling under control.  I’ve seen videos on YouTube of people who also use it as a face mask (mixed with milk) to keep redness down, but I haven’t reached that point, yet.

I’ve also started adding a touch of ground black pepper to my meals.  Just a little bit.  Black pepper contains a natural chemical that boosts the bio-availability of nutrients from a meal.  What that means is that it helps the body to absorb more nutrients from the foods you eat.  So if I have turmeric with a touch of black pepper, I’ll get more out of the turmeric.  Neat, huh?

Green tea is another addition to my regular diet.  I drink the decaf version of the tea (since I get caffeine through coffee, and too much caffeine causes flare-ups). This tea comes with a lot of different health benefits, but one of them is that it is an anti-inflammatory and (you guessed it) it helps to decrease redness in the skin). Some people use this topically, too, but I haven’t tried that, yet.

There are actually lots of foods that are supposed to be helpful in improving rosacea symptoms.  I’ve been reading about salmon and other oily cold-water fish,  but even though I eat this once or twice per week, I haven’t been able to tell whether or not it makes a difference.

I know that some people feel that an alkaline diet or even a version of the Paleo diet will help to clear up rosacea symptoms.  That might be great for other people, but I know myself and I’m much more likely to simply take care with what I eat and learn my triggers, than to stick to a restrictive program over the long-term.

It’s all about discovering your own triggers and finding out what works for you in your lifestyle.

I hope this helps!  We’re all in this together 🙂

Thank you for reading.  See you soon!

BTW, I was recently featured in a great blog post about rosacea and red wine by The Wine Stalker.  This article provides a very detailed and accurate description of the rosacea experience and I highly recommend it.  Check it out here: http://www.thewinestalker.net/2015/08/rosacea.html.

Week 9: Trying a New Natural Rosacea Skin Care System

Rocia natural rosacea skin care

Before I get started with the new natural rosacea skin care products that I will be using as of this morning, I’d just like to give a quick update about the red light therapy.  It’s going great!  My skin is looking better than it has since I first developed rosacea symptoms.

Rocia natural rosacea skin careI have been going through a stretch were it felt as though there was still progress being made but that it had slowed down quite a bit from the amazing results I had during the first few weeks.

But over the last week, it’s been like the red light therapy has had a second wind because my skin is healing up in a way that is visible day by day, again, instead of week by week.  YAY!

Now on to the next great news…

I’m trying out a natural rosacea skin care product line!

The products are from a company called Rocia (pronounced RO-see-ya), and they’re 100% natural, vegan-friendly and gluten-free. I stumbled upon the company (which is from Brighton, Ontario, Canada), when they favourited one of the posts that I made on Twitter (I’m @treat_rosacea, in case you want to follow…and Rocia is @RociaNaturals, in case you’d like to follow them 🙂 ).

I checked out their website and instantly fell in love with their products.  As you know from my previous posts, I don’t choose just any rosacea skin care products that I find.  I do a lot of research into them.  Part of that process involved contacting the Rocia customer service (via email), which was very friendly and professional and answered all of my questions.

I received some great advice about which products to try and they sent me a box that included:

  • The ROCIA organic olive oil cleansing cake (ingredients: saponified organic olive oil, water, and mineral salts).
  • The ROCIA Provar treatment lotion (ingredients: water (distilled), cetearyl olivate (and) sorbitan olivate, abies picea (spruce knot) extract, radish root ferment filtrate, and propanediol).
  • The ROCIA Quench extra hydration oil (ingredients: abyssinian seed oil, apricot kernel oil (cold pressed), camellia seed oil (cold pressed), rice bran oil (cold pressed), pomegranate oil, and vitamin e)

The company’s website explains why they selected each of the ingredients, which is cool.  That information made it a lot easier for me to be able to look them all up and see what I could find out about them in research and in other products and their reviews.

I’m thrilled with what I’ve learned, so far, and I’m excited to give each of these rosacea-prone skin products a try.

The directions that I received via email from Rocia explained that for the best results, I should use only these products for my rosacea skin care for at least two weeks; so that’s what I’m going to do.

Here is the unboxing video that I recorded, to give a bit of a better introduction to the products that I will be using:

I’ll post other videos of the individual products and what I think of using them, and then at the end of 2 weeks, I’ll be sure to create another one that will let me talk about my experience with them all, as a whole system.  I’ll be sure to add a blog post here, too, for more of the juicy details 😉

That’s all for now, but I’ll keep you posted!

Have you tried Rocia natural rosacea skin care products?  Do you swear by a certain rosacea moisturizer, cleanser, or treatment?  Please share in the comments below!

Week 8: Red Wine vs. Red Light Therapy – The Epic Battle

Rosacea red wine light therapy

If you have rosacea, and if you drink red wine, then you know you’re asking for trouble by pouring yourself a glass.  It is, after all, the most common alcohol trigger for rosacea flare-ups.

That ticks me off.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the most common alcohol trigger was something gross? Something that maybe one in a hundred million people would even try? But no!  It’s red wine.  A classy, flavourful, meal-enhancing, traditional beverage that may even have health benefits. It’s like the green tea of booze!

Rosacea red wine light therapyYet while we, the lucky rosacea prone population of the world can drink all the green tea we want (in fact, drinking it can be very helpful to our condition), the slightest hint of red wine causes our symptoms to flare-up.  If your reaction to it is anything like mine, it takes only a small sip before you need to brace yourself for comments like, “hoo, slow down!” or glances that are clearly judging how drunk you are.  One sip!

But there’s something red wine didn’t realize.  I have red light therapy now!  So now it begs the question:

The invasion of rosacea symptoms from red wine

rosacea red winePlease allow me to set the scene.  I love red wine.  I’ve loved it since I was in my early twenties (I’m in my not-so-early not-so-twenties, now).  Since I started showing early signs of rosacea, I’d found myself slowly reducing the amount of red wine that I would allow myself to have.

It wasn’t too bad, at first. I got a bit pink-cheeked, but that wasn’t anything that I couldn’t handle.  However, as the years went on, my cheeks weren’t just turning pink anymore.  They were turning red.  Deep red. Then they turned beet red – like real beets.  Those things are nearly purple! And boy were they hot – my cheeks, not the beets.  I could probably have baked cookies on my face!  Then, it would take anywhere from one to several days for the rosacea symptoms to ease.

As the redness spread on my cheeks, it wasn’t just in the “apple” area anymore. This meant that by the time I’d taken one sip of wine, my entire cheek areas turned deep purple-red, right up to my temples.  Ugh!

Deploy the red light therapy & let the epic battle begin!

Now that I have red light therapy clearing up my symptoms and keeping them clear, I have to admit that I’m getting a bit daring about trying things that I know are triggers.  I can’t help it!  I want to see how they stand up against this natural rosacea treatment.

So here’s the scoop.  My father gave me a bottle of red wine a couple of weeks ago.  I decided that it was a sign that I should let these two fine reds – the wine and the light – duke it out and see what my face looks like after the fight.

When the time came to pour myself a glass, I enjoyed it very much.  It was the perfect evening for it, too.  I made sure that I had just one glass and that I was well hydrated, that day.  I also didn’t mess around with other rosacea triggers, either, even though it’s hard to keep exposure down to zero triggers, since my list of of them is very long.

Did my cheeks turn pink? Yes.  They turned pink right up to my temples.  But here’s the thing: they were only pink!  Not purple-red! Also, my face didn’t feel hot!  That burning feeling didn’t happen at all. Woo hoo!

I did my red light therapy, that night, and completed my rosacea skin care routine as usual.  By the time I woke up in the morning, all signs of the minor flare-up were gone.  No pink, no pimply bumps, no redness, no burning feeling.

So, being the stubborn person I am, I tried another glass the second night. Same thing!

The winner of Red Wine vs Red Light Therapy is…

Me!  Yes, I know, that’s a pretty cheap answer, but that’s how I feel and this is my blog.  So there.

I do still get a minor flare-up from drinking red wine.  The rosacea symptoms are very mild and they consist only of a bit of extra redness.

Clearly there’s some sort of preventative benefit to the red light therapy that I’m using every day, anyway.  By the next day, any symptoms that did occur in the rosacea flare-up are gone, so evidently there’s a healing benefit, too.

It’s a fine battle of reds, but when it all comes down to it, they seem to cancel each other out.  I wouldn’t risk drinking too many glasses in one evening, but to simply enjoy a glass or two, I feel confident that the red light therapy has me covered.  🙂

Does red wine cause your symptoms to flare up? Do they stick around for a long time? Have you tried red light therapy or any other rosacea treatments to control those symptoms so that you can continue to enjoy a glass or two?  Please share your comments in the box, below!