As I mentioned in a previous post, I consulted with a functional medicine or integrative medicine doctor as a means to improve widespread inflammation, including my rosacea. This process has been really eye-opening for me, and I wanted to share an update. Let me reiterate that you should consult with your doctor before starting any diet on your own.
What I appreciated most about this doctor was that it was scientifically based. He utilized lots of lab work in order to devise an individualized plan. It took some time to get all the results in so that I could begin this program. What surprised me and at the same time, did not, was that all of the healthy foods I had been regularly consuming I had become sensitized to and were causing inflammation. Hard to believe that broccoli, spinach, ginger, and blueberries were a problem! I’ve always known I did not tolerate wheat and dairy, even since infancy, however I was shocked that I also had an egg allergy among many other things. Because I have a dairy intolerance, I had been using coconut milk and almond milk products, but this testing revealed I was now sensitive to these as well. Thankfully, macadamia milk and oat milk are not off limits for me. This doctor put me on a very restrictive rotation diet. The foods I was not reacting to were allowed, but I had to rotate them every four days so that I would not become sensitized to those. In addition, I was placed on supplements to heal my leaky gut. Unfortunately, none of this was covered under my insurance so it can mean a lot of out of pocket cost. I guess when you compare it to the cost of poor health, there is no comparison!
What was the result? After a couple months, I noticed many of my symptoms were improving including anxiety and swollen hands. I had been unable to wear any rings for almost nine months prior and had even had my wedding ring resized so that I could wear it. I very quickly lost ten pounds and now my resized wedding ring was too big!
The downside to this rotation diet is that it did not fix all of my problems. My rosacea has improved over time, but I’m not sure how much is just related to using sunscreen and other topical treatments. It has also become increasingly difficult to stick to the diet. Currently I’m travelling quite a bit and it is really challenging to plan and pack all my food while still working. Since I’ve been slacking off some on the diet, I have noticed more headaches, body aches, and malaise setting in. After four to six months, I am supposed to try reintroducing problem foods to see if I can tolerate them. I will likely always avoid dairy and wheat. It doesn’t mean I won’t ever cheat but I just do not feel well when I do. I miss eating foods I love, so I am hoping as I reintroduce foods that if I keep them on a rotation, I will be able to tolerate them. My evening snack used to always be coconut milk yogurt and blueberries, but I’ve learned people like me who become sensitized to their food cannot eat the same things every day.
One benefit to this experience is that it helped me to open up to all new foods. It has been fun to grocery shop just for me and it was a way to nurture myself which I had neglected for so long. Be encouraged, mamas, that God will lead you when you seek Him! We live in a fallen world, so perfect health is likely not attainable, but God is our healer! More than physical health, spiritual health should be our focus. I Timothy 4:8 tells us “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
For the longest time I used CeraVe’s Foaming Facial Cleanser with having oily skin. I still love that cleanser but wanted to try a couple of LaRoche Posay cleansers. Their Tolerian Purifying Foaming Cleanser is probably my favorite, even more than the CeraVe cleanser I had been using. This cleanser has ceramides and niacinamide in it. It does not burn my skin at all. It leaves my skin feeling cleansed and soft, not stripped. I like that it foams up and feels like it is cleansing my oily skin. I still use Hada Labo Cleansing oil as a first cleanse at the end of the day to remove sunscreen and mascara.
Most recently I ordered the LaRoche Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser since it was supposed to be formulated for intolerant skin, hello, yes! I thought I would love this; however, I do find it stings a little. It is a creamy formula similar to Cetaphil’s Gentle Skin Cleanser. It does not remove my mascara nor does it feel like it fully removes sunscreen, so I’m using this one up in the morning, but only occasionally since it does sting a bit.
Keeping my skincare simple is key for rosacea, so I will likely continue to purchase the LaRoche Posay Tolerian Purifying Foaming Cleanser. Why keep trying new products when you find something that works? It’s also a reasonable price and you get a big bottle.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed using DRMTLGY’s Universal Tinted Sunscreen for a while now. It’s been really hydrating through the winter for my sensitive skin. With the steamy days of summer here, I’ve been seeking out matte sunscreens since I can be very oily, especially on hot days. I have enjoyed the Replenix matte sunscreen in the past, but it has not been available for a while now. I believe they may be reformulating it and it is supposed to be available sometime this summer.
Recently I purchased two sunscreens from MD SolarSciences. One is their Mineral Crème SPF 50 and the second is Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30. With rosacea the tint in sunscreens have been giving a really nice finish to my skin. I do not wear any make up over my sunscreen so these tend to do the job.
The MD SolarSciences Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30 may be my favorite sunscreen yet. My skin is medium in tone with pink/red undertones. The tint in this product is just the right shade for me. My daughter is very pale and counted this a success also for color. The product goes on silky smooth and leaves a matte, but dewy finish. It did settle in lines a bit when I used around my eyes. For younger ones, this might not be an issue! My little tip is to use the DRMTLGY Universal Tinted Sunscreen all around my eyes because it does not settle into lines at all because it is a combination sunscreen. I love the MD SolarSciencesTinted sunscreen on my neck also since it hides some redness I have there. It does settle into some deep neck wrinkles for me, so lately I've been using the DRMTLGY sunscreen all over my neck and using the MD SolarSciences Tinted on the sides of my neck to camouflage redness. I have found that with consistent sunscreen use, my neck seems less red overall.
The non-tinted mineral MD SolarSciences SPF 50 sunscreen had the same beautiful texture I love as an oily individual. It melted right in and left a nice dewy, yet matte finish. However, this did leave too much of a white cast on my redness prone skin. It wasn’t terrible, but enough to make me not totally happy with the product. I actually tried to return it because I don’t like to keep things I don’t love. I was a bit disappointed to hear they would not send me a prepaid label for the return. For the cost of return postage, I decided to keep it, use it up and not reorder. This product settles into the lines of my neck and leaves visible white, horizontal lines which bothers me. I am using this up on my face on the weekend or for days at the beach. I like that it is SPF 50, but my tip is to use Cetaphil’s tinted sunscreen which is SPF 20 in areas on my face where I want a little bit of color – forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. If you’ve ever used this Cetaphil product, you know it is quite colored which I like to use almost as make up in specific areas.
I will definitely reorder the MD SolarSciences Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30, but before I do, I’d like to venture into some Colorescience sunscreens first. Watch for a review on those before the summer is out. More than anything, make sure you use sunscreen! Any kind that you use is working to protect and improve your skin. This is the number one thing that I feel has greatly improved my sensitive, rosacea skin.