ZENMED Skin Care Product Reviews (Used on Rosacea-Prone Skin)

Zenmed Skin Care Products for Rosacea - Rosy JulieBC

Zenmed Skin Care Products for Rosacea - Rosy JulieBCHi Rosy Friends! Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege of trying a huuuuge number of ZENMED products.  In fact, I’ve tried so many that I started this blog post in March 2018 and now it’s already halfway through June, and I’m just getting it finished (including rewriting this introduction, of course, because the original was completely out of date).

I’m going to do my best to keep this concise because the products are fascinating, so I’ll be tempted to go on and on.  I’ve already done quite a few YouTube videos on my channel, but I thought it might be nice to have all the info here in one place. Here goes!

What is ZENMED?

I could do an entire blog post just on what this company stands for, but here are the points I found the most fascinating about them.  These are the reasons I find the brand appealing and that explain why I was happy to give so many ZENMED products a try.

  • Since getting started in 1999, all ZENMED products have been 100% doctor-formulated.
  • Each product is based on meticulously selected, pharmaceutical-grade natural ingredients combined with essential oils, vitamins and minerals.
  • This company focuses on gentle, realistic, and practical skin care for troubled skin (rosacea, acne, scarring, spider veins, stretch marks, delicate, sensitive and even sensitive baby skin).
  • They have a keep-it-simple attitude that recommends the use of fewer products, not more, when possible.
  • All products are 100% sulfate-free, paraben-free, synthetic fragrance-free, irritant-free, dye-free,  and steroid-free.
  • They produce their products in the smallest possible batches to ensure the maximum freshness and shelf-life.
  • They have a rewards program when you shop directly from their website but they do not auto-ship, which is awesome because some of those programs are notoriously difficult to stop.
  • All products are cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and vegetarian-friendly. Packaging is minimal (no outer box with a tube inside, it’s just the tube) and 100% recyclable. The company is on both PETA’s and Leaping Bunny’s Approved Sellers list.
  • They don’t just sell products but also provide useful information about certain skin conditions, including helpful care tips.

On to the products I tried!

ZENMED Gentle Cleansing Cream Review

The first thing I’d like to say about the Gentle Cleansing Cream is that it lasts a shockingly long time.  I used my bottle of it for at least 3 months, if not more, and I am a regular face-washer. I am not a slacker when it comes to my facial skin care routine.

I love the pump bottle.  One pump dispensed the perfect amount. It made the cleanser easy to use both next to my sink and in my shower. The cream cleanser itself was very gentle and non-irritating.  I felt like my skin was getting clean without being stripped of its healthy natural oil base. It didn’t do much to remove makeup, but most cleansers aren’t so that isn’t a failing in my opinion.  I enjoyed this gentle cleanser.

ZENMED Nutrient Boost Spray Review

I wasn’t sure what to think of this product.  It was a nice cooling mist for my skin, but I didn’t notice any difference after using it. I’m not sure what results I was supposed to experience.  It was meant to cool things down during flushes, flare-ups, hot flashes and after sun exposure.  Initially, I didn’t notice much from it.  I completed the product without really experiencing any difference from it.  It was nice and cooling when my skin was hot, but I didn’t notice much of a difference between misting with this product or just misting with water.

Oil Free Moisturizer with SPF 30 Review

This is the ZENMED sun protection moisturizer meant for people who have oily or acne-prone skin.  My skin is desert-dry and rosacea-prone, so it wasn’t exactly meant for my skin type.  Still, I was happy to try it out.  I noticed that my cheeks were more pink while I used this product.  Don’t think this was  because this moisturizer irritated my skin.  Instead, think it just wasn’t moisturizing enough for me.

That said, after giving it a try, I handed it over to my best friend, who has adult acne and oily skin.  She absolutely loves it.  It’s her go-to sunscreen for her face and since a little bit goes a long way, she’s still using it (and the expiry date hasn’t passed yet).  It works perfectly for her, doesn’t cause break-outs, and doesn’t make her skin any oilier than it would naturally be.  It may not have been right for my skin type, but it looks like a fantastic product for the people it was designed for!

Skin Protecting Lotion with SPF 30 Review

This moisturizer was far more appropriate for my skin type.  I love that it is mineral-based and not chemical-based.  It works fantastically for sensitive and reactive skin.  It was ideal for my skin, and it even sat well under makeup.  I used it every day for about two months.  Unfortunately, the expiry date for the product was only about two months after I received it so, despite the fact that only a little bit is needed, and a bottle lasts a long time, it passed its expiry before I’d used it up.
Still, during the whole time I used it, I was a huge fan of it.  I love the way it looked and felt.  It didn’t smell bad.  It left my skin hydrated and protected.  I didn’t get any sunburns, and it didn’t cause any rosacea flare-ups or adverse reactions. Great sunscreen!

ZENMED Organic Cream Exfoliator Review

I am very picky about the type of exfoliators I will use.  People with rosacea are typically discouraged from using exfoliating products because, by their very nature, exfoliators irritate the skin.  Even the gentle ones work as a type of abrasive to essentially scratch off dead skin cells and other unwanted surface-level nonsense.

That said, I love exfoliating. I don’t do it much anymore because of the aforementioned reasons.  However, I do like to have an exfoliating product so that I can use it once a month (it used to be once per week, so I’ve improved), suuuper gently. So far, I’ve come across 2 exfoliating products that have passed all my tests for use, including everything from the right ingredients, to being plastic micro-bead-free (this one contains jojoba micro-spheres) and just reacting well with my skin.  ZENMED’s Organic Cream Exfoliator is one of those products.  I love it.  I still use this product.

There are just enough little natural beads to do the trick, and the more gently I use it, the better the job it does without irritating at the same time.  Really, no pressure is needed.  It leaves my skin feeling fully hydrated.  While I don’t recommend exfoliating if you have rosacea, if you’re like me and you go against that good advice, this is a nice product to use.

ZENMED Anti-Redness Mask Review

This is a FANTASTIC mask. I absolutely love it.  I save it for days when I really want to treat myself.  It feels wonderful when it’s on, and my skin feels terrific once I wash it off.
When this gel mask is on the skin, it is cooling, calming, and perfect.  It’s ideal for summer days when the heat is far too much for my skin. It’s lovely for winters when my face has been whipped by cold and wind . I think of this as a perfect step in my home spa sessions.  I even find that it helps to keep my face cooler if I take a bath (especially if I combine it with one of those cooling eye mask thingies that you put in the freezer first).
If you ever do try it, I will caution you that it is quite fluid.  I thought it would be much thicker because it is in a tube package.  All the other ZENMED products I’d received in tubes were pretty thick, like creams.  This one will come rushing out the dispensing hole if you hold it upside down, and a whole lot of it will spill down the sink if you don’t have your hand ready…not that this happened to me…nooooo.  Please be aware that it is a liquid product even though it’s sold in a tube.  That will save you the heartbreak of wasting this gorgeous, fantastic, lovely face mask!

ZENMED B5 Hyaluronic Plumping Serum Review

Anti-aging products and my rosacea-prone skin don’t usually get along.  That said, this serum didn’t seem to cause any adverse effects.  I used this hyaluronic serum without any struggles at all.  No redness or irritation .
That said, even after patting it into my skin and neck for several days and nights, I didn’t really notice an observable difference.  I’m not sure what I was supposed to be able to see.  Maybe it’s that I don’t really pay that much attention to things like wrinkles on my skin (yet!!!).  I’m so focused on my rosacea symptoms that I’m not obsessing over fine lines quite yet. As a result, it could have been having a beautiful effect that I didn’t even notice.
Still, I liked using this product. It seemed to be very gentle and hydrating.  It certainly didn’t cause any unpleasantness and, since hyaluronic acid is such a hyped ingredient right now, it felt really cool to test it out.

ZENMED Support Serum Review

The Support Serum came in a neat little pump bottle. I really like the way this design dispenses the perfect amount. I also like that it locks easily so that it won’t make a mess if I bring it with me when I travel.  I don’t like that a little touch of it gets dried up during the day between uses so it makes one of those little hard bits at the start of each use.  However, that was far from a deal- breaker, particularly when considering how much I absolutely loved this product and its effects.
I used this overnight every night for quite some time (in fact, I still have a lot left even after regular use, and I’m still using it at the time I’m writing this blog).  The ingredients are fantastic. It is refreshing smelling. It is cooling and soothing and, by the next morning, it takes down the look of the redness on my face. It didn’t erase it, but I noticed a difference.  I didn’t have a flare-up while using this product, so I couldn’t test it that way. However, it has reduced the look of my permanent redness that never goes away (due to 15 years of damage and skin mistreatment).
This worked well with my light therapy and with the rest of my usual skin care.  I will definitely buy this once it runs out.  It makes a difference for me, and I want to keep using it.

ZENMED AVT Cream Review

This is a gorgeous thick cream.  I loved using the AVT Cream and feel that it thoroughly hydrated my skin. It is meant for daytime and nighttime use.  For me, it was absolutely perfect for nighttime.  It’s summer right now, so I found it too heavy for the daytime.  If I wasn’t going out but was just working from home, it was just fine to use in the daytime.  However, in the summer, it was too heavy to use in combination with other products such as sunscreen and/or makeup.
I’m considering purchasing this product again during the winter to give it another shot. I’m under the impression that I will love it during the winter because I need an exceptionally heavy face cream during the colder months.  For the summer, though, it left too much of a layer behind.

ZENMED Essential Eye Serum Review

The Essential Eye Serum feels very nice when applied.  I loved using it in the evening the most, even though I also used it in the morning (as per the instructions).  It was cooling and refreshing and didn’t irritate any of the rosacea-prone skin in the surrounding area.

Overall, I enjoyed using this product. I liked the feeling of it.  However, I did find its texture a bit on the strange side.  It was thick.  Very thick.  Thick enough that when I withdrew the dropper from the bottle, it left a hole behind that took so long to refill that it didn’t move while I waited.  Though this didn’t make it any less pleasant to apply to my face (in fact, it made it easier to dispense the perfect amount from the dropper onto my finger), once I’d used about half the bottle, it made it quite difficult to fill the dropper.  It’s a glass bottle with a small opening, so there isn’t a huge amount of maneuverability and, since there’s an empty hole where the dropper naturally enters the bottle, it took a lot of crafty dropper use to try to get enough of the product to use it. I’ll likely use a tiny spatula or toothpick to access the last quarter of the bottle.

I’m not entirely sure if it worked to reduce under-eye circles on me.  I have chronic insomnia, so I’m likely not an ideal person to test that sort of product, particularly because I’m obsessed with my facial redness far more than shadows and fine lines.  Perhaps it was working wonderfully and I didn’t notice.  What I do know is that it felt very refreshing and cooling, and I felt like I was doing something good for my skin to avoid future unwanted sagging and bagging.

Having tried all these amazing products, I can easily say that ZENMED is among my favorite skin care brands.  I love how responsible they are to customer, ethical and environmental needs. Some of their products have easily joined my all-time favourites.
Big thanks once again to the team at ZENMED for sending me these products to try.  I’m definitely hooked and consider myself a loyal customer.
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A Day in the Rosy Life

A day in the rosy life - nighttime rosacea skin care - Rosy Julie BC

Before I became a rosacea blogger and YouTube creator, I was trying a few things to keep my symptoms under control.  That said, since I decided to become a guinea pig who shares all sorts of new products, strategies, treatments and techniques, it completely changed my lifestyle.

I call it “living the Rosy Life”

A day in the rosy life - Rosy JulieBC rosacea
Just came in from a walk in -28ºC weather (-18ºF).

If you’ve been watching my videos or reading my blogs, you’ve likely heard me use this term at one point or another.  It’s the positive-sounding term I like to use for the lifestyle I’ve adopted to help keep my symptoms down, my flare-ups rare and brief, and my spirits up.

Rosacea is a complicated skin condition.  Because of that, no single thing can cure it.  As of yet, there is no known cure.  Even if the symptoms go away, they can still return.  The condition is a chronic one.

I went through several stretches of time where that really got me down.  Just knowing that I’d be dealing with the redness, burning, pimples, stinging, itching and occasional patches of dragon skin made me feel ugly, hopeless and judged by others.

Having rosacea and remaining positive

It wasn’t until I became a rosacea blogger that I started seeing things through a more positive light.  Instead of letting it continually beat me down, I accepted that this is a part of me and if there was something out there I could do to make it better, I was going to find it.  So began the days of guinea piggery.

Self-acceptance and opening myself up to patient new attempts to take control has done wonders for avoiding rosacea-related depression for me.

However, despite the fact that I’m trying new products very frequently – either because I’ve purchased them or a company has been generous enough to send them my way – I still maintain an overall Rosy Lifestyle.

As I write these words, I’m taking a bit of a break from product testing.  I like doing that around the holiday season because it gives my skin the chance to reset before I subject it to something new.

What does living the Rosy Life look like for me?  I thought I’d take this opportunity to share it with you, in case it might help to inspire new strategies you can discuss with your doctor or dermatologist to try for yourself.

Mornings: Out of bed, Rosy-Head!

a day in the rosy life - Rosy JulieBC morning windowMy alarm goes off at the exact same time every day, weekend or weekday.  This is because I have adopted very clean sleep hygiene to help keep insomnia at bay. I have an anxiety and panic disorder and am prone to insomnia, so I do what I can to get the rest I need.  Sleep is vital to keeping inflammation and, therefore, rosacea symptoms down (as well as being great for reducing anxiety and being well overall).  More about this topic later.

When I get up in the morning, I drink a small glass of water to start rehydrating after dehydrating during the night. Hydration is vitally important to a healthy body and healthy skin, so I do my best to get it right. Next, I apply a rosacea salve (the SBT Seabuckthorn Soothing Rosacea Salve) to my cheeks.  Its winter right now and even though I always wear a scarf over my face (light or heavy, depending on how cold it is outside), the salve stops my face from getting chapped and windburned. Because of the scarf and my big sunglasses, I don’t need sunscreen too much at this time of the year, though I wear it religiously during the spring, summer and fall.

a day in the rosy life - Rosy JulieBC granola a day in the rosy life - breakfastI eat a breakfast with whole grains, fresh or frozen fruit, nuts, seeds, and a coffee.  My breakfast doesn’t contain any added sugars because they promote inflammation, and that’s not how I want to start my day.  That said, I absolutely love my morning coffee so I allow myself that indulgence, drinking it black.  I do let it cool to the point that it doesn’t produce steam anymore before I drink it since heat is a rosacea trigger for me.

Next, it’s time for a walk.  I walk a neighbour’s dogs every morning with a friend. It’s a brisk half hour walk and as much as I dread it every single morning, I love it once I get going.  I enjoy spending time with the pups, I adore gabbing with my bestest friend in the world, and the exercise is great for reducing inflammation in the body, promoting overall health, burning off some of the bajillion calories I eat every day and giving me energy to face the day.

Once I get home, I wash my eye area and my face and carefully moisturize. I recently did a video about the routine I’m currently following.  If you’re curious about the sample of custom-designed face oil I mention in the video so you can have it tweaked for your own needs, I hope you’ll go check it out!

Products used:

After that, I settle in to work until lunchtime. During this period, my fingers work so quickly on the keyboard that I’m surprised they don’t make smoke. I keep the room cool but dress warmly so my face won’t overheat. My mornings typically fly by so fast that I’m nearly convinced I’m being abducted by aliens because what else could explain all that missing time?

Noon already!

I make lunch my main meal of the day.  I love a big lunch with multiple parts. I’ve become quite spoiled since I’ve been working at home.  I worked outside the house at a more traditional job for many years and hated making lunches for the next day.  I rushed through them so they tasted awful.  Now that I have the opportunity to prepare my food, I don’t turn my nose up at it. It’s a privilege I greatly enjoy.

I focus on making sure I eat a lean protein along with something hydrating such as soup (every now and again I make huge batches of hearty veggie soup that I freeze in portions for my lunches), some no-added-sugar whole grain toast and an apple or another piece of fruit.

I’ve been making a point of eating mindfully, so while I may listen to an audio book (I’m currently listening to Book 3 of the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, “City of Glass.” I really enjoyed The Infernal Devices series, so this lets me stay within that universe. Yes, I love young adult fiction series), I pay attention to the flavours and textures of the foods I’m eating and the way they make me feel. It sounds silly, but it helps to make meals more enjoyable, I’m less likely to overeat, and it makes it easier for me to identify foods that trigger my rosacea symptoms because it slows things down.

For the rest of the afternoon, it’s back to work for me.  Typing, typing, more typing…

Before dinner, I head out for another walk. Another half hour or so. It’s easy to want to avoid exercise because as soon as  the heart rate rises, so does the colour in my cheeks.  That said, the benefits of exercise for rosacea symptoms greatly outweigh the temporary rosiness. Exercise reduces our overall risk of flushes and lowers inflammation, so it’s more than worth it to keep my body healthy and active.

Being Rosy from dinnertime to bedtime

a day in the rosy life - dinnerI usually have a large but light dinner, such as a huge salad with some form of protein to go with it.  The salad might be cold or warm, depending on my mood and how cold I feel after my walk.  Cold salads still work for me in the wintertime because even though I walk in frigid weather, I go fast and far enough to work up quite a sweat in my giant parka.

After dinner, I drink lots of water and herbal tea (I love rosehips and hibiscus) in the evening to stay hydrated and to enjoy something calming as I work for another few hours.

An hour before bedtime I shut down all devices with screens (computer, phone, tablet) and turn down the room lights to help create a calm atmosphere and promote natural melatonin production.  Like my waking time, I head to bed at the same time every night to make it easier for me to fall asleep. I suffer from regular bouts of insomnia, so every bit of extra help counts.

a day in the rosy life - Rosy JulieBC yogaI unroll my yoga mat and do one of four beginner yoga routines I have on a DVD I just love.  I do the Beginner Yoga DVD from Gaiam with Rodney Yee.  Depending on how I feel in the evening, I do the Beginner, Flexibility, Energy Boosting or Relaxation routine.  Each one is 20 minutes long and I try not to do the same one two days in a row.

I’ve only recently been taking yoga seriously.  I’ve tried it out now and again, but I have been trying to do it in earnest over the last while.  As I write this, I’ve done it for over two straight weeks without a day off (and a secret goal in my head to get to 30 straight days). It has been fantastic for my anxiety and my ability to sleep at night – both great for controlling rosacea – but I’ve also found my body becoming stronger and more flexible already.  This has come with the unexpected benefit that I’m less likely to flush from bending or picking up heavy things! Whoda thunk?!  Once I’m done, the TV is shut off and no more device screens are allowed until the next morning.

After my yoga routine is finished and I roll up my mat I shower, carefully washing my face.  Once I get out and dry off, I do my light therapy with the Dual Care Red and Amber High Power LED from Smarter Lights.

I complete my rosacea skin care routine using the same techniques as my morning routine, only with one main product switch, as I use:

All set for bed, I turn on my (cool mist) humidifier so I don’t dry up and turn to dust during the night.  My place seems to turn into a desert during the night in the winter. I’m not sure how I’d live without the humidifier running. It makes a visible difference to my skin and respiratory health.

I take the time to moisturize the rest of my body, not in any rush, using the time to be calm and take care of myself.  I do this while listening to the audio book again, letting me wind down and become restful before bed. This calm is very good for anxiety control and for a good night of sleep – both great factors in rosacea control.  You might not think that making sure you don’t have dry skin on your feet could help your rosy cheeks, but it’s all a part of living the Rosy Life!

a day in the rosy life - Rosy JulieBC - night headphones
Those round dealies are the headphones. They slip right inside the headband through an opening in the back.

Feeling all clean and soft, I snuggle down into my bed and listen to my audio book until I fall asleep.  I used to use ear buds overnight, but they kept falling out and getting wrapped all around me.  I was afraid I’d hang myself with them by accident one day. So I invested in a cool fleece headband with earphones slipped inside (they’re easy to pop out to wash the headband).  It’s soft and comfortable, even if I turn on my side.  The earphones don’t squash my ears, letting me listen to the book in comfort overnight. The headband is quite wide, so while I often use it as though I was keeping hair out of my face, I can also use it as a type of sleep mask to keep the room even darker than my blackout curtains allow.

That’s the end of a typical day in the Rosy Life.  It’s amazing how many habits I’ve developed since becoming a rosacea blogger – nearly all of them for the better…nobody’s perfect 😉

I’m a Big Baby About Having Rosacea

Little Sleepy Head Bath

Hi Rosy Friends!

It’s been a while, but if you’ve been keeping up with my latest videos on my Rosy JulieBC YouTube channel, you know that I haven’t disappeared. I’ve also started tinkering around as @RosyJulieBC on Instagram. Throughout that time, I’ve become quite the big baby about having rosacea…

By that, I mean that I’ve been incorporating a growing number of products meant for babies and toddlers into my life.  I’m not a parent, so I don’t regularly find myself walking/surfing through products meant for little ones.  However, every now and again I’ll come across a product or two as I shop and, despite the fact that they’re designed for teensy tots, they often work better for me than equivalent products designed for us grown-ups!

I recently released a video on the subject (below, in case you’re curious), but I thought it might be nice to dedicate an actual blog post to the topic, since I find it to be an interesting one, and I’ve really let posting slide over the last little bit.  I’m dedicated blogging regularly again (I know, I know, I keep saying that, but I swear I mean it every time haha).

The following are some of the products meant for little ones but that work for big babies with rosacea, like me!

Kids-sized reusable water bottle

Hydration is massively important to healthy skin, healthy digestion, and overall wellness.  To function properly, your body needs to get a certain amount of water through your food and through drinking it, of course.  In my ever-so-humble opinion, living a Rosy Lifestyle absolutely requires you to hydrate properly.

Since I’d prefer not to be a giant hypocrite, that means that I work hard to drink the right amount of water every day. When I head out the door, I need to take water with me. As a result, I have amassed a broad selection of different types of water bottles.  The main struggle with reusable water bottles is that you never really know how well one will work for you until you give it a try.  I have glass ones, stainless steel ones, BPA-free plastic ones, ones with citrus infusers, ones with a straw, ones with a small drinking opening, ones with a wide drinking opening…I’m pretty much the reason the reusable water bottle people are in business!

kids water bottle BPA freeWhile the big ones and the heavy ones (glass!) are great for keeping around while I’m at home or in the car, it’s my kid-sized one that I love the most when I head out to walk dogs, go to outdoor festivals, or at any other time that I’ll need to carry it around. The one I have is Nalgene with a carabiner-style locking flip-cap and a small pour spout-style drinking opening. It’s easy to carry in a bag or attach to a strap.  It locks so it won’t accidentally open and spill, and its opening is small enough that I don’t pour it all over myself when I drink out of it.  I’ve never seen these options in water bottles made for adults. Plus it has a shark on it that says “chomp” and that’s just awesome! 😉 I got this one in clearance in the kids lunchbox section of a department store.

Kid-sized gel ice packs

Keeping cool in the summer can be very difficult, especially when it’s a million degrees outside, humid, and I’m trying to get to sleep despite regular anxiety attacks.

This may sound like a nightmare thing to do during the winter, but in the summer, I take kids’ first aid gel ice packs straight from the freezer and either wrap them in a tea towel or use them straight-up against the back of my neck and/or on the bottoms of my feet.  Sounds crazy, but the next time you’re very, very overheated, give it a try.  It cools you down really fast.

Hello Kitty Boo-Boo Pack gel ice packsSince being overheated is a fast way to turn my cheeks tomato-red, keeping cool is very important.  I got my freezer packs (or in this case, “boo boo” packs) at the local dollar store.  Mine happen to be Hello Kitty themed, but I’m sure that the Strawberry Shortcake or Thomas the Tank Engine would work just as well (as would any other character or non-themed gel ice pack.  I’m 98% sure the theme doesn’t affect the coldness haha).

Baby food fruit puree pouches

Ever since I was a child young enough to be in the target market for most of these products, I’ve been at risk of hypoglycemia.  When I eat the wrong balance of foods or wait too long before eating, my blood sugar levels plummet.  It makes me emotional (hangry!), my hands shake, it spikes my anxiety, and can even cause me to faint. All those things are a rapid path to a rosacea flush – and are rather uncomfortable, too – so, naturally, I try to avoid them.

Reusable baby food pouchOver the last few years, those little baby food fruit and veggie puree pouches have become extremely popular.  I keep them on hand so I can toss one in my purse or bag in case I need a quick blood sugar boost. Since I’m not exactly a fan of the packaging garbage they create, I’ve recently found some reusable/refillable ones so I can simply make my own purees (easier than you think), fill the pouches, freeze them and then take them with me when I think I’ll need them.

Little Sleepy Head Bath Time and Skin Care

If you’ve been following my videos/blogs for a while, you’ll know that I’m always on the hunt for a new sunscreen.  In my opinion, sunscreens are the hardest skin care product to find because the vast majority of them cause my rosacea to flare.  They make me itchy, they sting and they make my skin red and pimply.

In my hunt for a product that wouldn’t do this (because it never hurts to have options!), I came across the Little Sleepy Head Daily Rehydrating Sunscreen.  It caught my eye because it’s safe for babies and toddlers with sensitive skin, as well as being free of “Paba, Parabens, Nano-particles, fragrances, or Phthalates,” non-irritating, water resistant, and non-comedogenic.  What really sold me on it was that it flat-out says that it’s “well received” by people with lupus, rosacea, acne and other skin conditions.  Holy cow!  A sunscreen that directly says that rosacea sufferers don’t often react to it!

Little Sleepy Head Sunscreen, Body Wash, and LotionBefore I knew it, I was unpacking a box with the sunscreen as well as the brand’s entire line of bath time and skin care products! So here’s what I thought of treating my skin like a big baby with Little Sleepy Head‘s skin care line:

  • Little Sleepy Head Daily Rehydrating Sunscreen – I’ve been using this on my face, neck, ears, and upper chest area since I first got it.  On hotter days when I was wearing short sleeves, I used it on my arms as well.  My skin has tolerated it extremely well.  It has no fragrance and is very easy to apply.  I can see how it would be quick to spread on the skin of a kid who is fussing because it was certainly easy for me to apply to myself – and boy can I be fussy! 😉  I liked that it did feel like it was moisturizing my skin, but even if I got sweaty and it ran into my eyes, it didn’t sting. I’d usually wash it off my face as soon as I came indoors again, but it never irritated any place that I applied it no matter how long I left it on. This was a definite find.
  • Little Sleepy Head Gentle Hair and Body Wash – As much as this is meant to be used both as a shampoo and a body wash, I just used this as a body wash.  I have a huuuuge amount of hair and would likely go through the whole bottle in three showers if I shampooed with it.  That said, when using this as a body wash, a little bit goes a long way!  It’s a very soft product that lathers and spreads nicely.  It feels lovely on the skin and smells phenomenal.  I shower before bedtime, so the natural lavender and chamomile in the ingredients provided a beautifully soothing and relaxing bit of aromatherapy to help me combat my typical bouts of insomnia. It was also very effective at washing away the sunscreen, which I didn’t find was at all difficult to remove. As a side note, I know for certain that this product was not meant for this purpose, but in a pinch it also doubled wonderfully as a shaving gel!
  • Little Sleepy Head Hydrating Baby Lotion – After using a baby bedtime bath product it only makes sense to moisturize with the matching lotion, right? This moisturizer also contains lavender and chamomile and has a very close (natural) scent to the body wash. Since it also contains oatmeal, aloe, and shea butter, even my super-sensitive, rash-prone skin tolerated this product very well.  I love that both this product and the body wash are in a pump bottle.  I find that super-convenient.  I haven’t run either of them out yet so I don’t know if the pump bottle lets you get the product right up to the end (some designs. are more effective than others in my experience) but if I run into any problems, I’ll be sure to update this blog post to let you know.

So there you have it.  I have rosacea, and I’m a big baby about it, too!

While I do still love my all-natural skin care for my face from unbelievably great quality brands like SBT Seabuckthorn, Face Addiction and even Celtic Complexion, among others (the list is always growing), I’m happy to add a kids line, Little Sleepy Head, to my sunscreen and sensitive skin care favourites.

What about you?  Have you found a baby and/or kids product that works better for you than the adult alternative?  If so, please share in the comments section below!

 

 

 

 

Rosy Life Kit 2 – What Rosacea-Friendly Products Do You Want?

Take the Rosy Life Kit Survey

Hi Rosy Friends,

After the success of last year’s Rosy Life Kit, I’m creating another one.  This time, I’m asking for your help!  I’d love to know what you want in a gift box full of rosacea-friendly products.

Want to help?  Thank you!!!  Please click the link or button below to take the super-fast, super-easy, no-wrong-answers survey.  It’s completely anonymous, never asks you for any personally identifying info and it has only 5 multiple-choice questions.  That’s it!

Take the Fast, Easy, 5-Question Multiple-Choice Survey!

Take the Rosy Life Kit Survey

Thanks again, Rosy Friends!  Your help means a lot!

Rosacea on Spring Break: Will We Ever Look Tanned Again?

Rosy JulieBC Rosacea Sun Protection Skin Care

Rosy JulieBC Rosacea Sun Protection Skin CareSpring Break is nearly here and for a lot of us, that means we either want to spend some time in the sun or look as though we have.  For those of us with rosacea, both possibilities can pose a rather significant challenge.

Tanning is a relatively controversial topic both in terms of achieving the look from sun exposure or through sunless methods.  UV rays (from both the sun and tanning beds) and certain chemicals in self-tanning products have been directly linked with an increased risk of skin cancer and premature aging.  However, that won’t be the topic of this post.  There are tons of articles online from some fantastic sources, and I recommend checking them out if you want to learn more about that (important) topic.

Here are two from ConsumerSafety.org that I find particularly helpful:

The Trouble with Traditional and Sunless Tanning with Rosacea

When you have rosacea, you need to keep those aforementioned issues in mind above and beyond the fact that the sun is the top rosacea trigger, according to the National Rosacea Society.  Their figures show that 81% of us are triggered by sunlight. That’s more than 4 out of every 5 rosacea sufferers!

Rosy JulieBC - spring break sun protection with rosaceaAnother 41% of us are triggered by certain skin care products – nearly 1 in 2 rosacea sufferers.  That means that regardless of whether we’re into traditional or sunless tanning, rosacea can present a considerable barrier to achieving that sun-kissed look on Spring Break.

Since there are a lot of us facing this challenge at the moment, ConsumerSafety.org has asked me to share my thoughts on the topic.  They also provided me with a handy list of general tips we can follow to take care of the rest of our skin to avoid “sun shock,” skin cancer and other sun damage.  Click here to download that list for free.

Please note that this is not a sponsored blog post.  ConsumerSafety.org asked me to discuss Spring Break and skincare for fun in the sun with my own spin. It’s such a great and relevant topic that I was more than happy to comply.

Tanning in the Sun with Rosacea

If you’ve been reading my blog or watching my Rosy JulieBC YouTube channel for a while, then you know that I fall into that group of people whose rosacea symptoms are triggered by sunlight.  This means that for me, tanning my face is out of the question.

Rosy JulieBC - broad brimmed hat sun protectionFor one thing, I don’t tan, I burn.  For another thing, it causes my cheeks to turn dark purply-red and I break out in papules and pustules that look like acne (though they’re not).  After even a short time in the sun, my skin feels tight, hot and will sometimes sting or feel itchy.

This is even worse at a time like Spring Break, when I’ve spent the last few months thoroughly covered up during the winter and have had limited time for natural sun exposure, anyway.

How to Enjoy Spring Break in the Sun with Rosacea

This doesn’t mean that I can’t go to a place that is sunny and warm.  It just means that some extra precautions are necessary.

Rosy JulieBC - sunscreen for rosaceaI’ve accepted the fact that I will not be lying out in the sun with my face in the direct sunlight.  Still, it doesn’t mean I need to find the nearest dark cave and hide in it while everyone else is out and having fun.

Here’s what’s in my rosacea sun exposure toolkit:

  • Moisturizer – thoroughly moisturized skin fares far better against the sun than dry skin. My skin is naturally as hydrated as the Sahara Desert, so I stick to a rigid moisturizing routine on a regular basis, but particularly when I’ll be in the sun as well. Some top favourite products for this include:
    • SBT Seabuckthorn’s Chokecherry Oil
    • SBT Seabuckthorn’s Tea Cream
    • Face Addiction’s Soft Cream
    • Celtic Complection’s Creme
  • Sunscreen – of all the skincare products I use, a good sunscreen is the hardest for me to find. The reason is that most sunscreens contain ingredients that cause my skin to flare up.  There are a few that I’ve found that don’t cause a rosacea flare-up.
    I apply the products a half hour before heading out to give them the chance to absorb and start working at their fullest. I’ll then reapply every 2 hours or more frequently if I’ve been swimming or sweating a lot. Each have their benefits and drawbacks, but my favourites include the following:

    • The Matter Company’s Substance
    • Celtic Complexion’s Organic Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin
    • Celtic Complexion’s Tinted Moisturizer SPF 31
    • La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra-Light Fluid Lotion
  • A Wide-Brimmed Hat – I don’t mean a baseball cap. I mean a hat with a big brim that goes all the way around to shade my face from sun in all directions.  Some hats actually come with an SPF, which I appreciate.  Otherwise, I just look for one that provides actual shade and that doesn’t have lots of holes (for example in a loose weave) that would let the light through.
  • A Parasol – I’ve started to love using bright and pretty parasols. I save the black umbrella for rain protection. For the sun, I use a brightly patterned, summery umbrella or a Chinese-style parasol.  I’ve collected several options over the years so I can match them to my outfit or my mood.
  • Water – staying hydrated gives skin an extra boost of protection. The healthier skin is, the better it can protect itself from the sun and the less likely it is to experience rosacea symptoms. Getting a great refillable bottle helps to encourage me to drink from it more – and to bring it in the first place!

Those are the tips I use for my face.  For the rest of my body, I follow the tips mentioned in the ConsumerSafety.org list I mentioned earlier.  These help to avoid sun shock and keep skin healthy and comfortable while reducing the risk of sunburn.

Sunless Tanning with Rosacea

Rosy JulieBC - sunless tannerThere are two main categories of sunless tanning: tanning beds and topical products.  I’m not going to talk about tanning beds as an option for several reasons: I’ve never tried them, I think they’re dangerous to a person’s health, and they are a fast route to a rosacea flare-up so I don’t feel that they apply for our needs.

So that leaves us with the second category: topical products.  These come in the form of sprays, lotions, creams, serums, oils and several others.  I’ve tried a few of these over the years but, to be honest, I started phasing them out when I began taking my rosacea seriously.

The reason is that I couldn’t find a single topical self-tanner that didn’t irritate my rosacea.  Since I didn’t want to have a tan-looking body and a white-and-red face, I gave up on trying to look tan at all.  That said, it isn’t impossible to look sun kissed just because you have rosacea.  The key is to choose your products carefully, apply them with a light hand and understand the ingredients.

How to Achieve a Spring Break Sun Kissed Look with Rosacea

Ideally, you can try to find a self tanner that you can use on your body and a matching tinted moisturizer or mineral makeup bronzer that will allow you to make it look as though your face and your body were in the same sunshine over spring break.

Rosy JulieBC - Bronzer for rosaceaTo do this realistically, don’t apply a ton of product to either your face or body.  Your goal shouldn’t be to look as though you baked in the sun for hours every single day.  That will only give you an orange or otherwise fake skin colour.  People won’t think you had a great time in the sun if you do that.  They’ll think you don’t know what you’re doing with self-tanner or that you made a concerted effort to bring out your inner oompa-loompa.

Instead, make your goal to have a bit of a healthy “glow.” Embrace your natural skin colour but enhance it with a very slightly darker golden shade that makes it look like you were able to step out into the light after having been inside all winter long. A little bit can go a long way for giving you a healthy look that shows you had a great time on Spring Break.

To make sure you’re using self-tanner properly and safely, consider checking out the Skin Cancer Foundation’s information about these products.  It provides some very handy insight about DHA (a major ingredient in nearly all self tanners) and in what ways it can be safely used as well as how it should be used in order to avoid risks to your health.

In terms of mineral makeup that can help you to bronze your face to match without causing a rosacea flare-up, here are some of my favourite options:

  • Cheeky Cosmetics Bronzing Powder
  • The All Natural Face Vegan Bronzer
  • Physician’s Formula Argan Wear Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Bronzer
  • Physician’s Formula Nude Wear Touch of Glow Palette
  • Everyday Minerals Bronzer

Rosacea After the Sun

This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually quite straightforward.  A little bit of preparation in advance will mean that you’ll be ready to work these tips into your Spring Break trip very conveniently.

Rosy JulieBC - parasolYou’ll be able to achieve the look you want – both there and when you come home – while keeping your skin healthy, protected and nourished, and saving yourself from a vacation filled with rosacea symptoms.

That said, nobody’s perfect.  If you do end up getting more sun than you meant, be sure to have a plan of action to get things under control very quickly.  Nourish your skin with after-sun products like La-Roche Posay’s Posthelios After Solar Repair, or my personal favourites: pure aloe vera gel and SBT Seabuckthorn’s After Sun Cream.

If you’ve had a sunburn, pure aloe vera gel and SBT Seabuckthorn’s Sunburn Soothing Salve (rich in coconut oil and other important oils that cool, hydrate and encourage healing in sunburned skin) can rapidly become your best friends.  These are worth having on hand for quick damage control, just in case.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

Rosy JulieBC - beach rosaceaNo matter what you’re doing over Spring Break, I hope you have a wonderful time and come home with calm skin, no rosacea symptoms and a huge journal of great memories.

 

I’d like to thank ConsumerSafety.org for inspiring me to write this post.

 

Celtic Complexion Review: 8 Luxury Artisan Skincare Products Tested on Rosacea (Part 1)

Celtic Complexion Natural Skin Care for Rosacea

Celtic Complexion Vegan Natural Rosacea Skin CareI’m not one for New Year’s Resolutions.  It’s not that I’ve been put off by failures to keep them in the past.  To tell you the truth, I’ve never actually made one. I just don’t see the point.  It’s likely because I frequently make new promises to myself and am regularly launching new efforts to make things gradually better in my life. It’s a lifestyle for me. I don’t need a new year to resolve to treat myself better.

Last summer as I was experimenting with new rosacea skin care lines, I came across a brand called Celtic Complexion.  I stumbled across it while I was researching brands that are legitimately high quality and that are not guilty of greenwashing. I spotted an article on a sustainability-focused site called TreeHugger.

I checked out the Celtic Complexion website and contacted Jennifer Devlin Waller, the owner. Before I knew it, I was being sent the “Love Your Skin Travel Kit” as well as a generous sample-size of the company’s Organic Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin.

I’ve reviewed the majority of these products on my YouTube channel, but I’ve wanted to share my thoughts here on the blog. After all, what better time for me to review a huge line of rosacea-friendly, all-natural luxury artisan skin care products than at the start of the year when it feels like everyone is looking for ways to make improvements in their lives?

I contacted Jennifer Devlin Waller to let her know I’d be talking about her products and she sweetened the deal even further. She gave me a special coupon code just for you, Rosy Friends!

Use Coupon Code roseyjulie (until January 20, 2017) and Save 30% on Your Next Celtic Complexion order.

The “fine print”. It can be used for every product on the site except the Celtic Jewel.  It can be used to discount your entire order but is not valid with any other offer or coupon.

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I am not affiliated with Celtic Complexion, and I am not being financially compensated for reviewing the products, sharing the coupon code or providing a link to the website. As you’ll see in the following honest reviews, I’m just a fan of these products and the customer service at this company is amazing enough to let me share some discounts with you.  Enjoy!

Now that you have your Celtic Complexion coupon code, here’s my honest review of the products I’ve tried.  I hope it helps you to decide on the items you might like to test for yourself.

Celtic Complexion Coconut Creme Cleanser

Celtic Complexion - Coconut Creme Cleanser

The Celtic Complexion Coconut Creme Cleanser is a very gentle creamy cleanser with a mild coconutty smell. That said, it is not a “fragranced” product in that it doesn’t contain any chemical perfumes to give it a certain scent. None of the Celtic Complexion products contain that type of ingredient.  Instead, the scent of the product is the natural result of the ingredients it contains (listed below).

I found this to be an excellent day-to day cleanser that never made my skin feel stripped or dry. It washed away what I didn’t want on my skin while leaving the natural balance of natural oils in place. I didn’t find it removed makeup or the brand’s sunscreen efficiently on its own. That said, after contacting Jennifer Devlin Waller, I discovered that cleansing those substances away with coconut or jojoba oil and then following up with the Coconut Creme Cleanser made the process quick and easy.

Ingredients: Organic aloe juice, organic coconut oil, organic green tea extract, cetearyl olivate, sorbitan olivate, certyl palmitate, organic olive oil, xanthan gum, palm stearic acid, essential oils of ylang ylang, lavender, rosewood, tangerine and bergamot.

Celtic Complexion Calming Serum

Celtic Complexion - Calming SerumThe Celtic Complexion Calming Serum was easily one of my favourite products from this line. It made an incredible first impression and never let me down.

It is made specifically for people who have rosacea, stressed and/or highly sensitive and reactive skin.  If there was ever proof needed that its creator really knew what she was doing when she created a rosacea-friendly product, this was it.  I found it both soothing and hydrating/nourishing for my skin.  My skin could tolerate it no matter how healthy or reactive/flared-up it happened to be.

In the summer, I found that this was all the hydration my skin required, so I didn’t need to use an additional moisturizer on top, particularly in the daytime. In the winter, I’d combine it with the Creme since I live in a place where it is very, very cold and windy in the wintertime (as I write this, it’s -15ºC/5ºF with a windchill of -23ºC/-9ºF).

I loved the way the Calming Serum worked with my rosacea so much that I stopped using on my whole face and started using it exclusively on my rosacea-prone skin because I wanted to make it last longer!

Ingredients: Fractionated coconut oil, German chamomile oil, neroli oil, lavender oil, evening primrose oil, borage seed oil.

Celtic Complexion Creme

Celtic Complexion CremeThe Celtic Complexion Creme is a beautiful and rich moisturizer.  As is the case with all the brand’s products, a little goes a very long way.  It’s a good idea to pay attention to the directions when using this product if you want to get it right.

I was a bit overzealous when I first tried it and practically buttered my face with it.  After I re-read the directions, I realized that I didn’t need nearly as much.  I first used this product in the summer. At that time, it was a bit heavy for the daytime, but it was nice at night.

I deliberately saved some to try in the winter, knowing that my skin needs much heavier products when it’s cold out.  I was right.  It’s perfect for winter.  According to Jennifer Devlin Waller, it’s easily one of her top selling products for wintertime.

Ingredients: Vitellaria paradoxa (cert org shea butter), Cocos nucifera (cert org raw coconut) oil, Simmondsia chenensis (cert org jojoba) oil, vegetable glycerin, Daucus carota (cert org carrot) seed oil, Santalum spicatum (cert org sandalwood) oil, Vanilla planifolia (cert org vanilla) extract, Citrus paradisi (grapefruit) seed oil, Melaleuca alternifoli (tea tree) oil.

Celtic Complexion Gentle Creme Exfoliant

Celtic Complexion Gentle Creme ExfoliantThe Celtic Complexion Gentle Creme Exfoliant was likely the most surprising product.  I’d previously had such bad luck with exfoliating products that I’d given up on them entirely.

Since I stopped using products with plastic micro beads, I’ve previously found all-natural scrubs and exfoliating products to be too harsh.  I’d tried products with ground walnut shells or even ground watermelon seeds but they were too hard on my skin.  Same for chemical exfoliants.

When I used the Gentle Creme Exfoliant, I fell in love with it.  It has jojoba beads, which I use very, very gently on my rosacea-prone skin.  The product directions clearly state that it shouldn’t be used during a flare-up, so I’ve avoided doing that.  It leaves my skin feeling soft and refreshed without feeling hot or irritated.  I do find my skin is slightly more pink after use, but that fades out very quickly.  It isn’t any more pink than it would be if I just washed it as usual. This was one of the first products I re-ordered from Celtic Complexion after giving it a try.

Ingredients: Organic aloe vera juice, organic coconut oil, organic rooibos tea extract, emulsifying wax, vegetable glycerin, organic olive oil, palm stearic acid, jojoba beads, organic jojoba oil, avocado oil, witch hazel, vitamin E, xanthan gum, black willow bark, rosemary extract, neem oil, essential oils of ylang ylang, lavender, rosewood, tangerine and bergamot.

Click for More - Rosy JulieBCClick to continue reading with Celtic Complexion Review: 8 Luxury Artisan Skincare Products Tested on Rosacea (Part 2)

 

 

Starting 2017 with a Rosacea-Friendly Spa Evening at Home

Rosacea Spa Skin Care Products - Rosy JulieBC

Happy New Year! I hope 2017 is treating you well.  So far, I’m doing my best to make sure that it’s kind to me by keeping a positive attitude and placing a greater focus on my health – including my rosacea.

To that end, I decided to spend the evening of New Year’s Day on several areas that I’d been neglecting over the holidays at the end of 2016:

  • overall skin care,
  • proper hydration,
  • rosacea trigger avoidance
  • relaxation and stress reduction.

Every year I promise to take better care of myself during the holidays.  Every year – including last year – I stress out, dehydrate, eat way too many cookies, and fall back to only the most basic skin care (staying clean and avoiding drying up like a raisin).

On January 1, I started fresh with a home spa day

Sugar Scrub No Micro Beads Rosy JulieBCIf you have rosacea, sensitive and/or reactive skin, then you likely know that a home spa day can be rather challenging.  After all, it’s not as though we can hop into a hot bath, scrub the heck out of dry areas and sip away at a good glass of red wine.

Sure, we could do that, but only if we want to spend the following hours/days/weeks with burning hot, dry, tight, itchy, glowing-red skin.  Fun, right?  Not exactly worth that glass of pinot noir.

This year, I came up with a plan.  I designed the perfect home spa experience for myself.  I liked it so much that I thought I’d share it with you, including everything from the steps I took to the products I used.

Please note that this is not a sponsored blog post.  All the products I discuss were purchased with my own money (or I received them as Christmas presents) and none of the brands have paid for this mention. I just thought I’d point that out since many articles online are sponsored or are part of affiliate programs meant to sell products. Full disclosure: this post is not an ad for any brand or product.

My rosacea-friendly home spa strategy

  1. Home Spa Rosy JulieBCClean linens and towels – Before getting started, I put fresh sheets on my bed and fresh towels in the bathroom.  After all, if I was going to truly pamper my skin, I wanted to use only fresh, clean linens to dry off and to sleep afterward. I use soap nuts to make sure there aren’t any irritating chemicals on any of my fabrics.
  2. Clean bathtub – Despite the fact that I’d already cleaned my bathroom a couple of days beforehand, I gave my bathtub a quick wash. I used a cleaning liquid I’d made with the same soap nuts I use to wash my laundry (super quick and easy to do).  At other times, I’ve used dish soap to quickly clean the bathtub. I never use bathroom cleaner before taking a bath.  There is no way I want to soak in that stuff.  I don’t ever fool myself into thinking I’ve rinsed it all away.
  3. Clean hair – With a fresh spa environment, I washed my hair.  I’ve been using SBT Seabuckthorn’s Lavender Shampoo, particularly when I wash my hair at night.  I focus on my scalp, gently massaging it in and breathing in the calming scent of the real lavender oil in the natural, vegan chemical fragrance-free and cruelty-free ingredients.  After taking my time massaging that in (I’m always gentle with my scalp), I rinsed it away with warm – not hot – water.
  4. Conditioned hair – I followed the shampoo with the SBT Seabuckthorn Lavender Conditioner.  I massaged that into my scalp.  I work gently but press down quite hard, particularly with my thumbs. This feels incredible, but it also encourages circulation to the scalp for healthy skin and hair. I also run the conditioner through the length of my hair to give it some much-needed moisture.  My hair is very long, very thick and very, very dry. I wrapped my hair into a bun on my head and clipped it into place to let the conditioner sink in.
  5. Bath time – I ran a warm – not hot – bath.  I didn’t add any products to the water because I was going to be using a couple of products during the bath, so my skin would have enough to contend with during that time.  It didn’t need unnecessary extras. For the first few minutes of the bath, I just relaxed and watched a bit of a show on Netflix on my tablet. This relaxing time is important for unwinding and giving the skin time to soften in the water. Throughout this time, I was sipping water. Keeping hydrated during a bath is a great way to get great results.
  6. Wash time – To wash my body, I used the Evening Primrose Oil bar from The Soap Works.  I like that product because it is all natural, made the old-school way, unfragranced (though it smells great because of the ingredients) and my skin absolutely loves it. It doesn’t strip away moisture.  Instead, it reduces inflammation and hydrates, adding a moisture layer to my skin.
  7. Exfoliation – I haven’t used many exfoliating products since I cut out all products containing plastic micro-beads.  Recently, I found a product from a company called Organik Botanik Australia. It was the Chamomile and Coconut Oil Sugar Body Scrub.  The box I bought came with 3 packets of what looked like slightly pink large sugar crystals. No plastic micro-beads. I needed only half of a packet to do my arms, legs, back and upper chest. Not bad! I saved the rest in a little glass jar.
    To use it, you just rub the sugary crystals onto wet skin.  I loved this product. it gently exfoliated but left a soft layer of coconut oil behind.  That felt great on my skin and softened the bath water at the same time.  The sugar crystals simply dissolved in the water, so it didn’t leave grit at the bottom of the tub like plastic micro-beads do. Even a day later as I write this blog post, my skin is sooo soft from this much-needed exfoliation.
  8. Shave – I figured that if I was going to get the most out of my fresh bed sheets, I may as well shave haha.  Anyone else love that smooth-leg feeling on sheets, or am I just a weirdo?  I recently bought a 5-blade Gillette Venus Embrace for Sensitive Skin. It’s the best razor I’ve ever used.  It’s crazy-expensive, but I’d buy it again on sale.
  9. Cool shower for skin health Rosy JulieBCRinse time – All relaxed, clean and smooth, it was time to rinse. I pulled the tub plug and turned the shower on cool to rinse the conditioner out of my hair.  Cool or even cold water is great for rinsing conditioner away because it seals the hair shaft, trapping the moisture inside. Thirty seconds of cool rinsing after a warm bath or shower is also good for your skin and even your immune system!
  10. Hair oil – Since my hair is very dry, I take care to protect it and keep frizz under control at the same time. I use a product from a brand called Pure.  It is simply coconut oil with a touch of essential oil.  I warm a bit of it in my palm and run it through the lower half of the length of my hair.  This hydrates, holds my curls together and protects the ends.
  11. Hair wrap – After towel-drying my hair, I wrapped it in a top knot with a fabric “tube” my sister got me for Christmas.  I love these things.  It’s a tube of slightly stretchy fabric that can be worn as a headband, kerchief, beanie, or in dozens of other ways. After a bath, I use it as a breathable top-knot cover, helping to keep my damp hair out of the way until I’m ready to deal with it. I then add a terrycloth headband to keep any of those little baby hairs out of the way for when I wash my face.
  12. Skin oil – I once tested an argan oil product on my face and found that I broke out in pimples.  However, I love using it on my neck and upper chest.  I don’t get pimples there, and it helps to protect my skin against premature aging.  I feel that the neck doesn’t get enough attention but it’s one of the first places to show signs of aging.  I’m working hard to delay that as much as possible.  The product I used was New Age Beauty’s Argan Facial Oil.
  13. Body moisturizing – I try to moisturize the rest of my body as quickly as I can after a bath or shower.  You start losing natural moisture within 30 seconds of stepping out of the water so it’s a good idea to work quickly.  I used SBT Seabuckthorn’s Body Cream.  I love the stuff.  It’s on the pricey side but it’s my favourite one, so I use it sparingly and alternate it with other body lotions.  I use this one when I’m really treating myself. If I could afford it, I’d buy this cream by the gallon and would use it exclusively.
  14. Face exfoliation – This is a step I take only if I’m not experiencing a rosacea flare-up.  I use the Celtic Complexion Creme Exfoliant (I’ll be sharing a review of a whole line of products from this brand’s products very soon).  I use a small amount on damp skin and use a very gentle circular motion on my skin. I focus on the parts of my face that don’t have rosacea symptoms, but I do go over the rosacea-prone areas very lightly, too. This product was developed by a rosacea sufferer who really understands what this skin condition needs from skin care, and I absolutely love it. I rinsed this product away with my hands and cool water and patted dry.
  15. Face cleansing – Next, I gave my face a deeper cleanse while leaving the natural protective oil barrier in place.  For this, I use the Face Addition Soft Cleanser.  I massage it into dry skin (cleansing on dry skin took some getting used to at first.  Now it feels completely natural). Then, I used a damp and very soft face brush to gently rinse the cleanser away. I just bought the Joe Fresh face brush and while it’s soft, I found that several of the bristles fell out, and I wasn’t impressed with it.  I’ll likely replace it with a better one soon. During a rosacea flare-up, it’s better to simply use fingertips and no brush.
  16. Face pH balance replacement – The next step was to cool my face and re-balance its pH levels with the Face Addiction Soft Tonic.  When I first tested the Face Addiction Soft line, I didn’t think the Tonic did anything.  I re-purchased everything except the Tonic…less than a month later, I re-ordered the Tonic, too.  It makes a big difference.
  17. Light therapy – With a clean face, I sat down under my Dual Care (red and amber light) and the Pure Green light from Smarter Lights. I do both sides of my face with both lights.  Each side of my face gets 2 minutes of each light.
  18. Facial treatment – I’m currently testing out a treatment and moisturizing product from Alon Labs, the Rewind Facial Lotion.  If I stay inside during the winter, it’s moisturizing enough during the daytime.  At night or if I head out into the cold winter wind, I tend to add another layer of moisture on top. It’s a surprising product that offers moisturizing without feeling even slightly heavy. It’s so light I always think my skin will be horribly flaky but that’s not the case. I’ll be doing a complete review on this product likely in February.
  19. Facial moisturizing – to give the skin on my face – which is naturally very dry – an extra moisture boost at night, I use the Face Addiction Soft Cream.  My skin adores this cream. It’s rich and hydrating without being slimy or sticky. On Wednesday and Saturday nights, I follow this with the Face Addiction Hydrate Mask, but since January 1 was a Sunday, I’d already done the mask the night before, so I left it at the cream.  That said, I have started using a cool little tool from e.l.f. It’s called the Facial Massager.  It’s a little tool with rounded spikes that I gently roll over my face without pressing down at all. It promotes healthier circulation and encourages moisturizers to be absorbed.  Since I otherwise “tap” moisturizers into my skin with my fingertips, this tool makes the process more efficient. (note: as I was looking up the name of that tool, I noticed that e.l.f. has a facial cleansing brush.  I might try that one instead of my Joe Fresh one).
  20. Tooth brushing – I think we all know how to do this one.  Just wanted to point out that I didn’t skip it and this is where it landed in my spa evening 😉
  21. Lip exfoliation – I discovered the wonders of lip scrubs this year. Used on a regular basis, I can gently keep my lips from getting super dry with those horrible peeling picks.  I used the Beauty Treats Lip Scrub (in Almond Creme), which is gentle as well as cruelty-free. I rinsed that away after a brief lip scrubbing.
  22. Lip moisturizing – I used my favourite lip moisturizing product, the SBT Seabuckthorn Lip Balm.  It looks and works just like a lip balm stick, but as soon as it applies, it becomes a luxurious lip oil that provides deep moisture.
  23. Foot exfoliating – Since I walk dogs every day, if I’m not careful, I could get foot calluses so thick that I’d get taller over time.  To prevent having to buy specialty shoes, I use a Ped Egg, which is a weird little cheaply-made tool that does a shockingly good job at keeping feet soft, especially when it’s used weekly.
  24. Toenail polish – A new year means a new toenail polish colour.  I nearly never use nail polish on my fingernails because it weakens and yellows my nails.  I’d rather just keep my fingernails healthy and clean.  My toes are another story.  I love the look of clean, cared-for feet with a fun colour on the toenails. This time, I used a Sally Hanson Hard as Nails polish.  It’s a deep cherry pink colour with a hint of glitter (but not actual sparkles, which I don’t like because they make it hard to remove). I used 2 coats.
  25. Foot moisturizing – Once the nail polish dried, I applied the SBT Seabuckthorn Heal to Toe Soothing Salve for feet.  It feels great to massage into feet and I love the various oils it contains to moisturize while simultaneously prevent the growth of bacteria and other foot evils through ingredients such as tea tree oil.  Once that was applied, I put on my trusty pineapple-print footy socks.  That keeps the salve on my feet instead of all over my carpet…ew.
  26. Hand moisturizing – When my hands are done treating the rest of my body to all my various home spa products, it’s time for them to be moisturized.  I use the SBT Seabuckthorn Hand Cream. It’s quite thick but  absorbs surprisingly quickly. When I first tried it, I thought it would leave my hands greasy, but I was happy to discover that this was not the case. When I use it at night, my hands are super-soft the next morning.
  27. Cuticle and nail oil – I love taking good care of my nails, so beyond moisturizing with a cream, I also add a cuticle and nail oil. I usually like using a product with vitamin E and sweet almond oil.  The last time I needed to buy it, the store was out of stock of my usual product, so I purchased the Witchcraft Almond Oil for Nails & Cuticles. It works nicely, but I don’t like its fragrance. That’s my only complaint about it. I dab it onto each nail and massage it into each nail and cuticle.  The next morning, my nails look healthier.  They don’t dry out and peel as easily.

After that, I take my hair down from the headband and topknot, and I head to bed.  What a relaxing way to spend an evening! It was a great way to start the year. I hope I’ll keep this habit up on occasion.  It would be good for my skin and keeping my anxiety disorder under control, for that matter.

I also hope this step-by-step description of my sensitive skin and rosacea home spa strategy helps you out, too!  After all, we can all use extra tips for taking care of ourselves.  Don’t forget to sip water the whole time!

Have you promised yourself to be better about your health and rosacea skin care this year?  If so, please use the comments and let me know your plan or resolution. I can’t wait to find out.  As much as I love sharing my own strategies, I like to read yours, too!

I’ll be posting again very soon. I will be reviewing the Celtic Complexion line of products, the Alon Labs Rewind Lotion, and I have several big things in the works to share with you in 2017.  See you soon!