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Save Your Blushes – How to Avoid Skin Redness

The evening standard August 2012

Red Alert: according to doctors, Londoners have the rosiest faces in Europe. So how can we regain our cool and take the heat off our skin?

A staggering 65 percent of women over 25 report problems with skin redness, and Dr George Roman, who has clinics in Paris and London, says women in our city have the greatest problem with skin redness in Europe. “Many of my London patients complain that they suffer from redness”.

So what makes Londoners so prone to being scarlet women? Redness is caused by the tiny capillary veins under the skin becoming dilated so they show through. Sometimes they “break” and leak blood, making the redness permanent, usually in a “butterfly” mask of redness over the nose and cheeks.

Our lifestyles don’t help. Dr Dancey says: “London women like to present themselves as sophisticated, calm and controlled. But facial redness suggests otherwise. Things that put our skin on red alert include alcohol, sunburn, anxiety, anger and bad skincare.”. Dr Roman believes stress, pollution and our weather are also to blame.

Cosmetic doctor Vicky Dondos, of London’s Medicetics clinic, says: “Hormone changes, such as pregnancy, the pill and the menopause make reddening worse, especially as our skin thins with age, but the underlying issue is UV damage.” Harley Street dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting also says: “It’s important to get a proper diagnosis as red faces can be caused by many conditions, such as the most common, rosacea, but also rare but serious ones such as Lupus.”

But whatever the cause, there are solutions on hand to ensure that the future need not be rosy.

How to avoid red-letter days
Prevention first
Prevention starts with using a good sunscreen such as La Roche Posay Anthelios Extreme Fluide SPF50 (£16.50, boots.com) and gentle skincare or Cetaphil Cleanser and Moisturiser. Dr Dancey says Vitamin K deficiency can cause facial redness, so taking a probiotic supplement from green leafy vegetables, olive oil or healthy intestinal flora might help. Try Ling Vitamin K Recovery Cream right, to strengthen capillaries, £67, beauty workswest.co.uk. And avoid alcohol, overly hot drinks, hot baths and showers and saunas.

Hi-tech treatments
Whatever the cause of facial redness, lasers and intense pulsed light clinic treatments effectively target red pigment, sealing capillaries and destroying them. The bonus? They have anti-ageing, collagen-boosting effects. Dr Roman has introduced Radiance LHE treatment, which combines light and heat together to treat a whole face in less than 15 minutes. Up to three £350 treatments are needed. 020 7323 2123.

Dr Dancey has a new, genuinely pain-free treatment, Laser Genesis. The laser is wafted over the face with no contact, so the only sensation is of warmth. Up to six 40-minute treatments rejuvenate and clear redness. £200, bijoux-medispa.co.uk

Dr Vicky Dondos, of London clinic Medicetics, says: “IPL feels like hot fat spattered on the face but is the best treatment. I recommend three to five treatments, three weeks apart.” – £250 a treatment. medicetics.com

Calming creams
Specialist skincare such as the use of Provenance Rosacea and Blotchy Skin Cream or Eau Thermale Avene Anti-redness Rich Moisturising Cream can reduce redness and maintain the effects of high-tech solutions.

Rosaliac XL Skin Perfecting Anti-redness Moisturiser SPF15 is rich, protects against weather and pollution, calms redness. £15.50, boots.com

To hide redness while calming the skin, Vichy Dermablend Foundation Stick is recommended. £18, lloydspharmacy.com

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