08 November, 2014

Make-up experiment

November 9th 2014

It's almost 5:30 am and I can't sleep because I'm so stoked and hyper from last night. I had the La Roche-Posay make up ready for over a year (for product description, scroll down please), too afraid to try it. Last night I had a good reason to try it on, a communal meal I dreaded going to due to extreme indoor heating being on there. I used the make-up again and wrote about it here and here

All reviews are found on public forums and websites, and under 'wrote' (behind user names) are links to the exact source. I don't do advertisement or make any money in whatever shape or form off of this blog. 

Last night I had a chestnut meal and thought I should try it on. The place has fluorescent lighting and it is always roasting in there so this was the opportunity. Also I tend to leave early at such occasions and it just makes me feel so self conscious to be bright red and in full view and lightning. We were supposed to be there around 7 but the meal starts at 8 I know so I put my eye make up on by 7 pm and then left the foundation application till 7:30. The foundation comes in a cream base, no preservatives or any 'baddies' and it goes on the skin (even my dry skin) very easily and it covers it completely! No burning once I had it on, which I expected. But then, shock, horror! I put it on way too thick, it covered everything yes but I looked like a pantomime player. And given that there would be no dim candle light over there, I really felt I looked a freak. These pictures don't do the horror level of it all justice as they are very soft in color and lightning. I asked my friends, how bad does this look? "Uhm... well you don't look red :)"  But they agreed that it was a bit too thick and too pale. I had no other make up, no bronze blush to make the color more natural and the only thing I could think of, was to use a wet cotton pad and get the worst off and then apply a thin wet layer to fill it in. It worked! Looked tons better. Up close you could still clearly see the texture of my dry scaly skin underneath and it was to me prettttty obvious I had a layer of make-up cake on, but from a bit of a distance my skin looked even and it was just hard to get away from the mirror (or the camera lol), I loved it so much. So much.. I even felt I looked a tiny bit like my old self again and I wondered why; I think, because a pale even colored skin is like a 'canvas' as they say, in the sense that your eyes and nose and mouth pop out more, whereas with my red swollen cheeks (and no eye make up usually), they take up all the attention.

During the evening I could feel that I got a bit flushed, as it was really hot in there and I felt self conscious for a bit, but that soon settled and my skin didn't burn! I felt really protected and confident soon, even though I felt hot my skin looked normal colored. No pain, no tight feeling like I had with the mineral powder several years ago; that stuff made my skin burn badly within half an hour. Now I had this foundation on for 5 hours and my skin felt cool by the time I was ready to take the make up off. The biggest surprise I had in a long time :)
After taking the make up off, I was a bit more red, but not flushed. To get it off I needed to use warm water and lots of cotton pads and just soak it up, wipe it off and it worked like a scrub so I don't think I can use this make up daily. Maybe once a month but I am already over the moon with that.

I made a lot of pictures of the whole process:


                         Halfway through applying

                        All on but it's too thick a layer

After removing the worst and applying a thin new wet layer

Getting it off again 5 hours later, first one cheek then both, not even flushed and only mild redness after taking it off. 


Here is a product description:
Sand beige compact corrective foundation with La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water.
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Teint Compact Corrective Foundation Sand Beige is a velvety cream that corrects severe imperfections without overloading your skin. It contains 30% coated pigments which unify your complexion. The foundation is suitable for sensitive skin and for those prone to breakouts. La Roche-Posay Toleriane Teint Corrective Compact Corrective Foundations gives you a semi-matt powder finish.
  • SPF 25.
  • Fragrance free.
  • Preservative free.
  • Ultra-fine texture.
  • Waterproof.
  • Anti-friction sponge included.
It covers the following:
Under-eye circles.


  • Directions for Use: After applying day cream, pick up a small amount of the product using the sponge and spread it from the centre of the face outward
    Results: Severe imperfections are concealed, skin is left looking even and natural.

-Skinni Peach wrote: "Another corrective foundation, another surprise and a saviour during the winter months. As with all La Roche Posay products, this is geared towards sensitive souls but this time with more emphasis on dry, sensitive souls. Never before have I used a foundation that doesn't cling for dear life on to dry patches. Instead this creamy bit of magic happens to smooth over, yet sink in at the same time. The sponge that's included and lives under the compact in its own little compartment is the only drawback. I hate using sponges. Filthy. But a few washes here and there and it does the job well. The colour I was sent is a little on the dark side for me (no. 13 Beige Sand), but I use it very lightly on my skin and the results are yet again, flawless."

-Fresh Look Beauty Blog wrote: "La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Teint Compact Foundation (RRP £14.50-18.50 for 9g) is a cream formula for hyper-sensitive skin types who need coverage for anything from acne to scarring or under-eye circles. This would also appeal to anyone who just wants a break from their normal foundation, thanks to its minimal ingredients list! [..]

The Longevity
I was really impressed with the staying power of this foundation - I've previously reviewed the Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation which has the same sort of aim as La Roche-Posay, but found my skin became very oily by the end of the day. With this product, I wasn't worrying about slippage and found that for your standard 8-hour day this holds up really well.

The Coverage
This foundation boasts 30% coated pigments, which means that a little goes a long way and allows you to keep a natural finish. It also layers fairly well on concentrated areas, so you may well be able to ditch the concealer. When I opened the compact, I was sure this would run out within 2 weeks. I used it everyday for over month, plus a few times a week for a further month (that's the beauty blogger in me getting bored), and I still have half the product left!

The Sensitive Skin Criteria
Fragrance-free, alcohol-free, paraben-free, SPF 25-35 depending on how much you use... tick tick tick! If you're worried about breakouts or reacting to your foundation, this has to be one of the safest bets after mineral make-up.

November 10th 2014

I slept ok, no flushing, but with the fan on low. Today I am a bit more red all over, but my skin just has that soft glow and stripped look (= more red) which a face scrub gives, so the extra redness could be from the make-up, but more likely from the removal of the make-up. I might need to use some mild cleansing milk next time. Less rubbing then no doubt. Cheeks are also a bit puffy. When I came home last night with it still on my face, I wasn't flushed, wasn't feeling hot or burning so it is probably the removal with some force and cotton pads (can't use make-up removal usually but will look into some mild one from La Roche-Posay or Avène perhaps just for these sorts of occasions). Here are the results from this morning, but it is still: The Netherlands gives "Douze points!" :)

The make up is quite rich and creamy by the way. It might not be ideal for rosaceans with oily skin type.. But my skin is so utterly dry, that a creamy greasy make up is the only thing possible. I used more dry mineral powder in the past and I looked like a crossing between a mummy and a lizard.

My friend wrote me about it: "Hello my dear! I'm so glad you found the right makeup and had a great night out! It really has a broader significance than just the way you look doesn't it, as it enables you to feel like you are taking a small part of your life back; the psychological impact of looking in a mirror and not seeing the redness is not to be underestimated (even though some people might say they didn't even notice the redness to begin with, it's all about the way you feel in your own skin). I until recently was using Jane Iredale pressed powder which I really liked, then switched to Vichy Dermablend as I was worried about infection/contamination risk using a powder given my history - it's pretty thick stuff but you can sort of layer on as much as you need and I mix it with Avene Tolerance Extreme which I like (I keep it in the fridge so it's nice and cool when I put it on)."

"Thank you. Your make up looks impeccable, very lovely. Yeh I agree it was not only about the way it looked but also about just having the confident feeling of looking like everybody else, not having to worry about the looks of worry or curiosity or whatever look they can give you when you are beet red. You get used to that but it always makes me feel even more of an outsider than I already am and the burning you feel sort of feels more hot when I know others can see it? And I start to worry that I should cool down or it will be even more visible. A catch 22 and now I did flush and burn for a short period (due to the temperature there) but I could just relax (and check that pocket mirror another time, lovely) and the flush went down sooner actually."

Update November 14th 2014

See here for more updates 

Skin has been flaring and burning all week :( It is cold here now, so I have no certainty whether the flare comes from the cold or the make-up trial. Hmmm :/
Feeling a bit down, tired, worn out from it all. I'm really done with the daily rosacea struggles. 

Update November 18, 2014

I received some nice tips from a rosacea friend of mine (permission to post here, of course):

"Read and saw your makeup experiment. Was very proud of Your courage to try something new. I'm looking for a new makeup
So I will give it a go. Taking off makeup is one of my biggest challenges. Three suggestions: bio derma micelee sp ( sp?) cleanser. Looks like
Water. No odor. Soft brush of cotton pad brings it all off. Avene gentle
Eye makeup remover. I use it on my skin as well. Wash it in with my hands
And spray off with Avene water.  Last, microfiber towels that are so delicate
Only need water to remove makeup. I just bought one yesterday. So I can't
Tell you how it does only that reviews are great.  It is the seb derm that
Gets most aggravated for me as it loves to eat oils so I'm hoping this
Microfiber towel, working with water works. Let you know. Don't get
Discouraged. Sounds like you have made some progress. You
Did not mention diet. Still on it?  Cuz your skin looks very nice."

I am really curious how she will do with those make up removal tips, might try them myself.

After a week of increased redness and flushing, my skin seems to normalize again on the one week brink. I can also see that there is more of a natural looking epidermis cell build up again by now, so my guess is that it was mainly the removal of the make up, stripping my little collection of protective dead skin cell build up on the top (and I don't mean the excessive type which I pictured some time ago and which looks gross and unnatural, but the type that still looks like a more normal colored upper skin layer) that caused the flare up. Still, a full week of misery over one night of pretty make up'ed skin is a heavy price to pay for me, so I don't think I will wear the make up structurally, but I still am happy with the results, and to know it is there for something really important or special where I have to go for some reason and will be facing people I don't want to feel vulnerable and red and ugly with.

Read more updates in this post on general life. 

I also discussed the make up experiment with another friend with rosacea a few days ago:
 I'm not sure if it could be a reaction to the makeup... Maybe I used it once and I don't feel like it suited me, it gave me papilla and flushing I think 
yeh it could or just the rubbing off.. I have this thin layer of dead skin usually and it really protects my rosacea and makes it look les red. By removing the make up I ripped it all off, so it might just be the effects of that skin rub. But my cheeks look really dry and thin skinned and with eczema like red lines all over them, so I worry it is the make up
it did? Hmmm

I felt fine during using it so it must be a delayed reaction maybe
ill try it again in a few months, double check
I don't understand how your skin can handle the mineral powder though
it made me terribly burned up

Well it's unlikely that you could have an allergy to the mineral makeup because the minerals are very inert (they don't cause immune reactions)
But if your skin is very raw, and the skin barrier is damaged, I imagine brushing sharpish little rocks onto it can really irritate it
So I would think it was an irritant reaction you had, not an allergic one if that makes sense

thats what happened yes, and they contain Mica as a mineral and that one can cause irritation
my skin is very dry and thin and the minerals were like little roguh pieces of glass dust it felt
getting them on and off. Yeh it might be an irritant reaction
but I had a raw face for a week too then
now this cream make up from La Roche Posay is smooth and that went very well for my skin
but maybe there is something else in it again.... my skin just reacts to every topical

Mica is very irritating
And bismuth, the one I use has neither

yeh, oh which one you use again?

Just titanium dioxide which is opaque and acts as sunblock, plus iron oxides for colour
Cory cosmetics
It's better in summer but in winter can be drying
So I've just started washing my face as soon as I get home
And moisturising more

so does it cover well?
thanks Ill put it on the blog, your make up

Yes it does for me
But I suppose I see my skin as a lot worse than it really is
So there's not a huge huge amount to conceal usually

yeh.. my skin can be so red
I feel only dermaskin or the one I used can cover it

I received this comment from a reader, originally posted under the Dutch climate versus rosacea post:

LisaNovember 18, 2014 at 10:09 AM

I've been suffering with my rosacea flares since I was 12 or 13. I'm now 50. I read your skin is dry and cannot tolerate any lotions and such. I've been using the following to wash, moisturize and then conceal the redness for over 20 years. Nothing else works or is tolerated by my very dry, very sensitive, rosacean skin. I use Dr. Hauschka's Cleansing Milk and Rose Day Cream to wash and moisturize with. I use Dermablend Smooth Indulgence foundation as my make-up base. I find that my skin actually LIKES having this foundation on it. It covers the red (It's made for rosacea and other skin issues) and also protects it from further moisture loss. I use all three products everyday whether I'm flaring or not because they make my skin look great (oddly, I am complimented on having amazing skin a lot, despite the stupid rosacea!)

My rosacea story is the same as yours and winters are terrible for me (except that I live in the New York City area). Triggers like stress, hormonal changes, emotions and weather effect me primarily. Trigger foods antagonize flares further (I do not eat sugar in any form, gluten, processed foods, etc. I keep a 90% organic kitchen and eat a whole foods diet.)

If you haven't tried the skin care I suggested, I hope you do. Topically nothing else has worked for me. It might bring relief to you as well.

PS-- I forgot to mention in the post I just submitted...

I do not take any medication for my rosacea. I've tried numerous medications and all they did were make it worse. My skin hated them. I self-treat with the right nutrition and elimination of bad foods and use the three products I told you about. Doctors don't know how to treat this and I'm tired of ending up worse than when I started. I have found that a natural, holistic approach has helped me the most. Btw, the Dr. Hauschka products are all natural :)

Thanks for the tips Lisa. Here is some more information on these products:

Dr. Hauschka's Rose Day Cream: 

And for Dermablend Smooth Indulgence foundation: 

Update November 24th 2014

Things are still going so so, skin wise. I've been having burning pain, flushing and redness basically for the past 2 weeks. Although before the make up trial I had a bit of a rough time as well, but not at this scale. I don't know if this flare is the result of the cold weather, of my seb derm flaring, the make-up giving some sort of delayed skin reaction, no more sun bathing nor vitamin D production, all of the above or something else. But I've woken up flushed and burning almost every morning the past 2 weeks, and have not been able to cool matters down as normally is the case. I think my cheeks look really rough and inflamed, they have a rough texture and I have had that happening before actually. Two years ago round the same time of year, then triggered by splashing jojoba oil all over my face (my cheeks seem too sensitive to tolerate anything, I can use the jojoba fine around my jaws, on the chin and nose and forehead and right around my eyes). I went to my German dermatologist with it back then, thinking it was some sort of eczema rash but he said it was a rosacea flare and to let it run its course and keep taking my anti flushing meds. It died down after some weeks then. I hope the same will happen this time.
I've been listening an audiobook though while out there, Child 44, its great! Bit of a thriller but set in the former Soviet Union and its about an MGB agent who goes after a fugitive spy (I'm only at the 5th chapter so this summary might be very off) but you see in the minds of both him, the fugitive and others and it gives such a good impression of how everybody was guilty back then unless proven otherwise. Am also watching Lena Dunhams serie Girls and another nice series, The Knick, about a New York fictitious hospital The Knickerbocker at the start of the 20th century. The top surgeon, played by Clive Owen (delicious and great actor here!), is based on a real historical figure.

These pics are from today and after cooling my face for hours, best moment of the day and it looked more red than the camera seems to show, and also burns a lot more than it normally does when my skin is only this shade of red. At night it's bright red again, like now :(

Then again, this was my skin a week ago, it seems to have calmed down a little bit at least, although it still feels as much on fire and painful (sorry for the poor quality pictures, not my own camera):

Update December 5th 2014

Things have normalized again with my skin. It took exactly 3 weeks for everything to return to normal. I can see that a normal layer of skin has restored itself over the cheeks, I really think the make up experiment itself went ok but that the removing of the make up and the scrubbing effect made my skin so red and frail. All of the top layer of dead skin cells was removed at once, I had the same thing happening after thoroughly cleaning my skin of any build up in the past. So now things are all good again and had a very good week actually, with calm skin. Woke up with pale skin, went out in the cold, it has been -1 here most of week!! All wrapped up in scarfs and a hoody and my skin still did fine. A bit rosy when out in the cold but no bad flushing or pain. Only this morning I have one red cheek again, from sleeping on the other cheek consistently.
I also forgot to take my clonidine at night, so am cooling with cold pack and fan again now. We are heading off to a theme park for 4 days with my mamma and her partner and my sister and Tim, so it's kind of bad timing, as I need to sit in the car for 3 hours soon, but well.

 I will update a bit more soon and also am working on making selections of pictures I took over the years, adding some here to show per year how winter affected my rosacea.

I wrote in response to a friend about the make up experiment:
"Yeh I agree, I also think the make up removal is what caused the reaction and the stripping of the upper layer of dead skin. Now that it grew back so to speak, I am less flushed and less sensitive, although as you can see I still flush and get red. Oh you ordered the same make up? Very curious if your skin will tolerate it! I looked into dermablend but it has preservatives, parabens, and I don't want them on my skin as they are irritants. Thanks for the derma sensibo H2O make up remover suggestion and the microfiber washcloth sounds good too. I think removing the make up next time with a very soft and irritant free make up remover lotion will be wise, and not rubbing it with cotton pads and water as I did last time; too aggravating for the skin surface!"

February 2015

Here are some pictures of my make-up results :)


(Getting half of the make up off my face)

Update June 1st 2015

I have in the mean time used the La Roche Posay foundation on two other occasions and it definitely agrees with my skin. The last times I used La roche posay milk cleanser for sensitive skin to remove the think foundation with and that gave me far less skin effects. I didn't have the weeks long after redness the next times I used the foundation. I still try to limit it to maybe a couple of times a year though.

Update August 8th 2015

I read this Daily Mail article, where a girl in her twenties was asked to not wear any make up for about a week. It appeared to be quite an extraordinary thing in her world! Interesting to read for me.. I used to wear a lot of make up too in my teens but since rosacea I basically wear no make up. Not even anything to fill my thinning/half missing eye brows in with. It does make for a bland face. I sometimes wonder if the lack of anything on my skin might have a hand in me having less wrinkles than some other friends of my age. The article says that many women wear make-up for the equivalent of 60 (!) years of their lives. How can that be good for your skin. Although I did wish I could just put make-up on every day, to be honest. It makes you feel just that bit more sparkling and it can mask your imperfections.


  1. Hey! I just wanted to tell about tinted creams that help me. I use Bioderma's Photoderm AR (with SPF 50). I use it every day, it's a really good cream. When I flush, it doesn't cover it completely, but it sure helps. I also use BB cream from Bioderma, it is also AR. It's a bit too dark (I'm very pale), so I mix it with a normal AR cream. Also, Avene has a good fluid foundation corrector for sensitive skin. It looks much better after an hour or so when it ''sits'' on the skin. My skin is very reactive and pale, but these things help. Also, thermal water (La Roche Possay, a bit better than Avene). Avene has a great mask for irritated skin. I use it twice a week. But Bioderma is my skin's best friend for now. I clean my face with it's AR micelle solution. I hope this helps.
    Best regards,

  2. Thank you Sara! I will look into your products, I'm still looking for a moisturizer that doesn't make me burn and flare, hope your suggestions work for me too.
    Best wishes Nat

  3. Hi! I have rosacea for about 3 years now (I'm 23) and the last 2 months have been terrible because I developed papulopustular rosacea. The pimples are better now (after applying Finacea) but the flushing is still there mostly at night (I almost can't stand the AC and any kind of heat source). For my dry skin, which was flaky, my derm gave me samples of creams and the one that I tolerated better was Xemose from Uriage. It's really rich and does't break me out or make me more red. I'm using also LetiSR for about 3 weeks now and I think it's the best cream that I tried for redness. Sometimes, when I need coverage I use the CC Cream from La Roche Posay, also. It covers most of my redness
    Best wishes,
    Maria João

    1. Thank you so much for those suggestions Maria! I can do with a cream that covers redness, moisturizes yet doesn't make my skin more burned up. I'll look into your suggestions.

      Best wishes SN


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