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 😉

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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!