Giving an Anti-Inflammatory Rosacea Diet a Try!

anti-inflammatory rosacea diet

I’ve decided to take a new tack in my approach to natural rosacea treatment.  I’m keeping up my red light therapy and amber light therapy (can’t wait for the rosacea light therapy prototype product that combines the two to be mailed to me.  Won’t be long!), and I’m still using the Rocia treatment Provar product and hydration oil, but I want to make my efforts more complete.

anti-inflammatory rosacea diet
Bananas, red split lentils, whole grain pasta, butternut squash, tomatoes, probiotic bread, kale, blueberries, raspberries, spaghetti squash, almond milk, black beans (no sodium added) and apple cider vinegar.

It’s all well and good to avoid trigger foods, to use topical treatments and even to use amber and red light therapy, but what I’m eating is having a big impact on my body as a whole, not to mention my skin.  So it’s time for me to really crack down and start paying attention to food.

To be honest, I’m already a relatively healthful eater, but I’ve wanted to take on an anti-inflammatory diet for a while, since a number of inflammation-related health issues run in my family and I’d really rather prevent/slow them if at all possible.  Since many rosacea symptoms are also inflammation-based, it’s my hope that I’ll be able to boost the control I have over the condition and prevent flare-ups even more than the light therapy and topical treatments on their own.

So here’s the plan:  I’m going to follow my own unique form of anti-inflammatory rosacea diet that is somewhat of a combination of the MIND Diet and Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Diet. At the same time, I’m tweaking the strategy so that it will exclude (or limit) foods that are known rosacea triggers for me.

For instance, while the MIND Diet typically suggests a small glass of red wine nearly daily, I’ll be skipping out on that option because it worsens my skin condition.  However, to keep up with the benefits of that rosacea diet, I may try eating red grapes or see if I can find another option that will provide similar health benefits to those of red wine, without having to drink red wine (at least not every day).

Accountability for my anti-inflammatory rosacea diet strategy

anti-inflammatory rosacea diet 2
Rainbow trout, more bananas, mushrooms, spinach, muesli cereal, baby carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers (red, orange, yellow), fresh ginger.

To make sure I stick to this rosacea diet idea, I’m going to track my food consumption.  I’ll be using a free site called ShareFit.  You’ll be able to follow me at my ShareFit account called JulieBC.  I’m not sure if you’ll need to sign up to track my progress, but if you do, it’s free, so don’t worry, nobody will be asking you for money haha. 

In fact, if you sign up to track your own progress in a similar effort, or if you want to make it easier to follow what I’m doing, feel free to request to be my “friend”, there.  I’ll be sure to accept 🙂 (side note, I’m not paid to advertise/endorse/build sign-ups at ShareFit.  That’s just the program I decided to use because it’s free and simple).

Grocery shopping for my rosacea diet

After doing a ton of research into anti-inflammatory foods that would fit into my rosacea diet strategy, I came home with an amazing haul from the grocery store.  I have to admit that I felt very proud of myself as I loaded everything onto the checkout counter. I secretly imagined that the cashier was impressed with how healthful my foods were haha.

I focused on a lot of veggies and fruits, particularly those that are nutritionally dense, high in antioxidants and that are filling.  I have a huge appetite.  Salads, no matter how big, just don’t cut it for me.

Fortunately, this is a fantastic time of year to decide to choose a rosacea diet based on anti-inflammatory foods, because there are so many types of brightly coloured foods that are local, fresh and cheap.  I bought different types of squash (88 cents, each!!!), sweet potatoes, and other filling yummies.

I’m hoping that this will provide even more benefit to the techniques I’m already using. That’s the goal, at least.  We’ll see!

If you have any advice about eating for anti-inflammatory purposes, if you have great recipes that fall into that category, or if you’ve already tried a rosacea diet of your own, please share!  I need all the help I can get haha.

I’m not a nutritionist, dietitian, health expert or skin expert, so I’m really winging it and hoping it works out. Wish me luck!

I’ll keep things up to date on this blog, at ShareFit, and on my Twitter account (@treat_rosacea).

See you next time!

PS – Thank you to everyone who requested a copy of my yummy rosacea-friendly morning smoothie in the blog comments and through my contact form. I ran out of time, this weekend, but I’ll be sure to share the recipe and (hopefully) film it very soon.

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How Long Did Red and Amber Light Therapy Need to Clear Rosacea Symptoms?

rocacea symptoms vs amber light therapy and red light therapy

Hi everyone!  In my last post, called “Halloween and Rosacea Symptoms: Very Scary, Indeed!” I talked about how all the Halloween makeup, candy and other rosacea-unfriendly things I did on that day caused my skin to experience a flare-up for the first time in a long time.

rocacea symptoms vs amber light therapy and red light therapySince I’ve been using red light therapy and amber light therapy, I really haven’t been battling with rosacea flare-ups.  I’ve just been gradually reducing the remaining redness that had built up on my face over the last fifteen years.

Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled.  However, at the same time, I decided this was a great opportunity to put the light therapy rosacea treatment to the test.

My anti-flare-up rosacea light therapy strategy

Here’s what I did to beat my rosacea symptoms.  I used the lights every day and took care to treat my skin very well.  Here are the products I used:

Light Therapy

Skin Care

Additional Efforts

  • 1 tbsp of (real) apple cider vinegar daily (consumed in a banana smoothie)
  • 1 tsp of ground turmeric daily (in the same smoothie)
  • 1 dash black pepper (in the smoothie to boost absorption of the turmeric)
  • Lots of water

I used the light therapy for a full session, one time per day before bedtime (after I washed my face but before applying the natural treatment product).

I washed my face 2 times per day.  Once after walking dogs first thing in the morning and once before bed at night.

The natural treatment product was applied after I washed my face in the morning and after my red and amber light therapy at night.

I had one banana smoothie with anti-inflammatory ingredients every day in the morning before walking the dogs.

That was the whole deal.  I don’t know if the anti-inflammatory foods played any role.  I have them nearly every day, anyway, so they weren’t added to my diet just because I was battling a flare-up.

If anyone is interested in my smoothie recipe, please let me know in the comments for this blog post and I’ll be sure to share it in a future post.It tastes yummy and everything is readily available at the average grocery store and is quite affordable. I might do a YouTube video for it, too, if anyone actually wants to see it 🙂

How did it go and how long did it take?  I documented the whole thing in YouTube videos to show you.

Day 1 – The Rosacea Symptoms Flare-Up (before treatment)

Day 2 – After 1 Red and Amber Light Therapy Treatment

Day 3 – After 2 Light Therapy Rosacea Treatments

So all in all, I think it took only 2 treatments with amber light therapy and red light therapy to completely eliminate the flare-up caused by Halloween and to return my face to where it was before all the cheap costume makeup and candy!

I am VERY pleased!  It was all cleared up well before I had to be a guest speaker at a special event held at the University of Toronto, last week.  That was something that had my anxiety going haywire and the fact that I knew I’d be able to look my best did a lot for my self-confidence that day.

I know it sounds shallow, but I am very aware of my flare-ups, especially when I need to do any public speaking. The fact that I didn’t need to worry about my looks (any more than usual haha) was just one fewer thing to make me anxious, that day.  PHEW!

I’d also like to take a moment to thank everyone who has been sharing their own stories in the comments sections of these blog posts.  I read every one of them and it means a lot to me that you’re reaching out and sharing your own stories.

The more we share what we’re going through, the more we can support each other and can learn from each other.  Rosacea symptoms are difficult to explain to people who don’t have the condition, so it means a lot to be able to speak to others who just get it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post.  Thanks again and see you next time!

Halloween and Rosacea Symptoms: Very Scary, Indeed!

Halloween 2015 steampunk

I hope you had a safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween 2015 steampunkI had a great time, taking part in an annual tradition of joining a bunch of friends for a Halloween costume party/game night.  I used the steampunk-style costume I made for the Fan Expo 2014.  I was a dope that year and didn’t get any pictures of it, after having spent 6 months making the darned thing! This was my chance to actually take some pics! It was a lot of fun putting it all back together again.

That said, I wear a lot of makeup when I dress up in that costume.  It’s not just the usual layer of foundation and powder, but also a number of different types of blush, bronzer and eye shadow on my cheeks, not to mention the 2 types of liquid liner, eye shadows and even a stick-on gear/cog at the outer corner of my eyes.

Since I don’t wear that makeup every day and I have a budget that is next to nothing, a lot of the weird coloured products are from my local dollar store (though not the eyeliners.  I don’t put dollar store products that close to my eyes).

I knew my skin wouldn’t be happy and I was right. I took great care to take off my makeup that night but when I woke up in the morning, I had a nasty flare-up to deal with.  My face was red, inflamed, hot, stinging and even had a few little bumps.

My Halloween makeup created one scary set of rosacea symptoms!

If that weren’t enough, on Halloween I also ate junk food and candy (and possibly some of the punch…), all of which are not friendly when it comes to dealing with rosacea symptoms.

I knew that I was setting myself up for trouble and I was right. The next day, my face was a mess.

Instead of sulking about it, I’ve decided to take on a different strategy.  I created a little YouTube video (below) to document the flare-up.

I’ll use the red light therapy and amber light therapy every day and will make another video when the rosacea symptoms have cleared up so that I’m back to where I was on the morning of October 31.

I think it should be an interesting test.  My guess is that it will take 2 to 3 days to fully clear up all the symptoms (including both the visible ones and the ones I can feel like stinging and burning).

Please feel free to guess at how long it will take in the comments below.  Also, while you’re commenting, if you happen to know a rosacea-prone skin-friendly way to remove makeup, I’d love it if you would tell me about it.

I don’t usually wear makeup on my face, but there are times when I simply have to cover up my symptoms.  I have social anxiety disorder, but I still have to make public appearances at book clubs and other events because of Love at First Plight. I’ve been working very hard at overcoming my fears and am proud to be able to meet people who have read my book and who want to talk about it with me.  It’s the biggest joy of my life. Part of easing my anxiety in these situations is in feeding my vanity – if I feel I look good, my confidence is higher.  It’s shallow, but it’s the truth and I’ve promised to be honest with you, so there it is.

So in those situations, I do wear makeup to cover my rosacea symptoms.  I take it off as soon as I get home. I use baby oil and an extremely soft and smooth microfiber cloth.  I follow that with a gentle but thorough cleansing with my normal cleanser (which just isn’t strong enough to take off makeup on its own).  While that process does get the makeup off, I don’t think the baby oil is the best thing to apply to my skin – it’s just the gentlest thing I know about.

Any (non-spam) recommendations are welcome.  I’d love to hear about your tips and tricks in makeup removal for rosacea-prone skin. That said, I’d also like to hear about your own experiences in treating rosacea as a whole. The more we all share with each other, the better we’ll be at figuring this out.

That’s the scoop for now.  I’ll keep you posted about my progress in clearing up my current scary Halloween flare-up.

See you next time!