If you have been dealing with rosacea, you are not alone. This skin condition affects over 415 million people worldwide, and a cure is not yet available. However, understanding your rosacea – and its connection to the skin microbiome – can help you reduce the incidence of flare-ups and avoid complications.  

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes your skin to appear red, inflamed, swollen, thicker, and dotted with pustules. When untreated, rosacea can lead to a thickening of the skin on the nose and redness of the eyes.  

The leading cause of rosacea is still unknown, as it is believed to be multifactorial. However, the latest developments tell us that there is a powerful connection between rosacea, gut health, and the skin microbiome. Understanding this relationship can help you change your lifestyle, manage your rosacea, and fall in love with your skin again. Here’s all you need to know.  

The gut-skin microbiome axis

The microbiome is the term for the ensemble of all the bacteria and microorganisms that live inside and on our bodies.  

From the gut to the skin and blood, these microorganisms cover essential functions, including managing inflammation, streamlining the digestive process, and strengthening the immune system. Today, we know that the skin microbiome is incredibly powerful.  

Studies have connected a balanced gut microbiome with improved immune system function and a decrease in rosacea flare-ups. However, aside from balancing out your diet to reduce rosacea, you also need to keep in mind that the gut flora is strictly connected to the skin microbiome.  

Therefore, it is essential to understand what are the elements that can throw your skin microbiome off balance and cause you to deal with an impaired defence system against infections, inflammation, and rosacea flare-ups. 

What causes rosacea?

A rich flora of bacteria and microorganisms – such as microbes, fungi, viruses, and mites – also live on the skin, as well as in the gut. Each of these microorganisms – or “commensals” – has a vital role in protecting the skin against damages, accelerating wound healing, and reducing inflammation.  

However, when exploring the causes behind rosacea, it is essential to look at one of the most common mites that live on the skin – the Demodex mites. These mites have been seen to play a role in the incidence of rosacea, worsening the inflammation process. Demodex mites are not only seen in people with rosacea but also on the skin of any human adult. 

However, people with rosacea have a six-fold increase in these mites’ density compared to healthy individuals of the same age. In turn, these mites release chitin, which is essential for their survival and activates a receptor (TLR2) in charge of recognising harmful substances and triggering an immune response. Because of the increase in Demodex mites and chitin, this immune response is amplified and excessive, causing rosacea.  

Other microorganisms connected to the Demodex mites – such as the Bacillus Oleronius and the Staphylococcus epidermidis – also play a role in the worsening of rosacea and flare-ups.  

It is crucial to notice that all these microorganisms are vital for skin health – the problem only arises when there is an imbalance in the skin microbiome.  

Balancing the skin microbiome to ease rosacea 

Rosacea flare-ups are strictly linked to an imbalance in the skin microbiome, which causes a weaker immunological response and high levels of inflammation. You can bring balance back in your skin microbiome by: 

  • Following a healthy diet 
  • Being mindful about your skincare and hygiene products 
  • Exercising regularly 
  • Drinking enough water 
  • Reducing the use of antibiotics 
  • Reducing stress 
  • Buying clothes made of natural fibres and dyes 

Ultimately, the ecosystem of microorganisms on your skin is self-sufficient and tends towards balance. However, several factors can throw it off balance, increasing inflammation and reducing your skin’s ability to fight malign microorganisms and infection.

Some of these factors include: 

  • Environmental factors, such as pollutants, UV, extreme temperature, and environmental stress 
  • Lifestyle factors such as high stress levels, limited activity, and unhealthy diet 
  • Skincare products. Lotions, creams, and chemicals that aim at drying, deodorising, or sterilising your skin can end up disrupting the ecosystem in which your skin microbiome thrives.

Skincare and makeup for rosacea 

When trying to bring balance and harmony to your skin microbiome, it is essential to understand that, unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits-all” formula. In fact, each skin type is unique and boasts a microbiome composition that is different from any other.  

Some of the causes that are thought to worsen a skin microbiome imbalance include high-stress levels, a diet that lacks essential nutrients, and insufficient exercise. However, before committing to a certain treatment, it is necessary to know what your skin microbiome is like and what rosacea makeup and skincare products can help you relieve the condition. The Skin Trust Club offers you a simple way to do just that!  

Thanks to our simple test, you can better understand the skin microbiome and identify any imbalance. In turn, help you ensure that the skin products you are currently using are the right ones for your skin type and microbiome – and you can get a cruelty-free, personalised skincare routine to help you fight rosacea!