Normal skin is well able to protect itself from the elements, but if you have rosacea your skin can get inflamed much more easily. One important component of this is the ability of the skin to deal with free oxygen radicals. These are potentially damaging and could lead to damage to blood vessels, particularly the small capillaries in the skin, which could worsen the facial and nasal redness.
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants that the body has available. If you have rosacea you need to be sure that your vitamin C levels are kept at adequate levels. This might mean taking vitamin C supplements if your diet is likely to be low in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is also needed to help the body make collagen, the essential binding protein that holds all the cells together. The skin of people with rosacea tends to be more fragile so again it is important that the there are adequate levels of Vitamin C so that collagen production is optimized.
It is also a good idea to use a moisturizer which contains Vitamin C. As well as protecting the skin from free radicals, there is evidence to suggest that the topical application of Vitamin C can also help to reduce redness in people with rosacea. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the formulation of the moisturizer doesn’t contain any irritants which people with rosacea are much more susceptible to.
An important aspect of protecting the skin is to use a good quality sunblock. Everyone should use a sunblock and it is even more important if you have rosacea as the ultraviolet radiation can lead to higher levels of free radicals in the skin which in turn damage already fragile blood vessels. The highest sun protection factor should be used, preferably at least a factor 30. Watch out for any alcohol content in the formulation of the sun block as this can irritate the skin.
The final aspect of protecting your skin is to avoid products that cause irritation. This can be very difficult as so many soaps, shampoos, moisturizers and cosmetics have ingredients that are likely to cause irritation. The usual suspects are the alcohol and fragrances used in these products. If you stick to products that are free from fragrance and cosmetics that are water-based or oil in water based you are less likely to run into problems with irritation.