31/07/2009 08:21 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

How To Tackle Pregnancy-Related Rosacea

Sarah Brown, founder of award-winning organic skincare range Pai, has launched a free Ask Sarah service on the Pai website. Luckily for us pregnant ladies and new mums one question, from Mairead (pictured), is about rosacea, a skin condition quite common to pregnancy. Sarah has kindly provided Mairead and ParentDish with the answer!

Mairead's question: "I seem to have developed quite sensitive skin during and post-pregnancy. I now get very small hard spots on my cheeks. They're not like pimples as such and close-up you can see broken red capillaries. From a distance I just look a bit flushed. Please help!"

Sarah's answer: It sounds like you might have the beginnings of rosacea – a dermatologist would be able to confirm this. Rosacea is common in women over 30 and is often brought on by pregnancy. Rosacea surfaces mostly on the cheeks and along the cheekbone.

If it is rosacea then it is important you don't use any skincare products that contain alcohol (ethanol). Always check the ingredient lists – it's used a lot as a preservative. I would also recommend staying out of the sun. Direct sun exposure is considered to be one of the worst triggers of rosacea. Spicy foods and caffeine are also thought to cause flare-ups.

Read on for the key to moisturing and cleansing to combat rosaceaMoisturising:

  • Avoid chemical preservatives such as phenoxyethanol and sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. Both are commonly used by natural skincare brands as paraben replacements. Unfortunately they are skin irritants.

  • Only moisturise in the morning and leave your skin to breathe at night. This is when your skin does all its healing and regenerating so heavy moisturisers can often interfere with this important natural process.


  • Avoid face washes that foam as they contain chemical detergents which are very harsh on sensitive skin and not at all good for rosacea. The main detergents to look out for (and eliminate) are Sodium Lauryl Sulphate or Cocoamidopropyl Betaine. Opt for a detergent free cleanser instead and use just once a day to clean your face before you go to bed.

Pai Product Recommendations:

  • Pai Chamomile & Rosehip Cream - Chamomile contains azulene, a natural anti-inflammatory, which will help soothe away any redness. Rosehip is also a wonderful skin healer and regenerator, it also works to strengthen the skin making it more resistant to flare-ups.

  • Pai Camellia & Rose Cleanser - our detergent-free, super gentle cleansing cream which can be used to take off eye make-up also. It's been nominated for a UK Beauty Award. Massage into damp skin and remove with one of our muslin cloths.