Rosacea-or-IBF image

Do I have rosacea or do I have impaired barrier function?

Science | | 5 minute read.

Helping those with uncomfortable and inflamed skin is my job. 

But it’s much more than that. 

It’s not just my job. 

It’s my purpose. 

I love being able to carry out my purpose through my work because it helps people…

And I strive to help people. 

Even though Rosacea and an Impaired Barrier Function have different triggers and manifestations, they can sometimes coexist or exacerbate each other. 

They are distinct entities, with different treatment approaches.

The main difference between rosacea and impaired barrier function lies in their underlying mechanisms and primary symptoms: 

  • rosacea is primarily characterised by facial redness, visible blood vessels, and inflammatory papules or pustules.
  • an impaired barrier function is caused when our skin’s natural protective barrier is compromised or disrupted. 


Our skin is the physical barrier between the internal and external environment and plays a vital role in keeping us healthy. 


Our skin’s barrier, primarily composed of lipids, ceramides, and other substances, helps retain moisture, protect against external irritants, and prevent the loss of essential nutrients. When the barrier function is impaired it may present with symptoms such as dryness, itching, sensitivity, and increased susceptibility to irritation. 


My tips for rosacea + IBF flareups (plus remedies)


1. Notice any recent changes

If you’re not already aware of your triggers take a look at anything that’s recently changed…

Has the weather changed?

Are you travelling?

Have you been unwell?

Are you experiencing more stress than usual? 

Has your diet changed? 

Are you consuming more alcohol?

Some of these triggers can be avoidable or managed. 


For example, 

  • if you’re visiting somewhere especially cold take a barrier cream to protect your skin. 
  • Cut back on the amount of alcohol you consume if you notice that triggers a flareup for you. 

Can you address them before they happen?


P.S When you book a consultation with me you’ll receive a complimentary copy of my Skin Habits booklet which contains a lot more information on diet and our skin to help you manage future flareups.


Watch my Reel on Where Inflammation Comes From for more insight.


2. Pair back the skin products 

Have you introduced any new skincare recently? 

A change in your routine can easily flareup Rosacea or irritate the skin barrier if it’s not compatible. 

Use only minimal tried and tested products, that you know will keep your skin happy like a mild, non-foaming cleanser that is free of harsh detergents, fragrances, and alcohol. 

Avoid hot water, as it can strip the skin of its natural oils. Instead, opt for lukewarm water and gently pat the skin dry with a soft towel.


Use a Rosacea and IBF-friendly cleanser like our bestselling Dermaviduals Cleansing Milk :

Silky cream texture, pH-balanced formulation, protects against dryness, flakiness, redness, and sensitivity.



3. Introduce a barrier-repairing product

Look for skincare products specifically formulated to repair and strengthen the skin’s barrier function. These products often contain ingredients like Niacinamide, Panthenol (vitamin B5), Shea Butter, and Ceramides. 

These ingredients help reinforce the skin’s lipid barrier, improve resilience, replenish and seal moisture into the skin, improving hydration and reinforcing the skin’s barrier function. 


Olegel S is a multi-use product used as an occlusive healing layer. It protects against cold climates and acts as an additional moisturising boost on top of your moisturiser. Perfect for face, body, and lips.




4. Limit Exfoliants and Acids & Avoid Harsh Ingredients

Treatment for impaired barrier function involves restoring and strengthening the skin’s natural protective barrier to improve hydration, reduce sensitivity, and prevent further damage. 

Steer clear of skincare products that contain harsh ingredients such as alcohol, fragrances, sulfates, and exfoliating acids (like salicylic acid and glycolic acid), as these can further disrupt the skin’s barrier function and exacerbate irritation.

Exfoliants and acids can strip away the skin’s protective barrier and exacerbate dryness and sensitivity. 

If exfoliation is necessary, opt for gentle, non-abrasive methods, such as enzymatic exfoliants or mild chemical exfoliants used sparingly.


Liposome Concentrate Plus is a calming, anti-inflammatory serum containing fatty acids like Omega 6 to help repair and restore skin health.



5. Stay calm 

These skin flare-ups are temporary. 

Try not to stress, breathe, and trust it will pass.

Breathwork and mindfulness are important techniques to manage inflammation. 

By practicing deep, slow breathing, you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, reducing heart rate, and blood pressure, and activating the body’s relaxation response. 

This leads to a state of calmness and relaxation, and increases oxygen to the skin; you can breathe life back into your skin. 

There are a lot of apps available to help guide you into a state of relaxation and meditation. A few of my favourites are: 

Calm App


Breathwrk App 

SAMSUNG Watch Breathing App (for Samsung users)


My Senstate


Don’t forget to try and maintain a healthy lifestyle- stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, eat a balanced diet rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids. 

A healthy lifestyle can support overall skin health and enhance the effectiveness of barrier repair treatments.


6. Haircare and shaving products

We don’t often think about shampoos, conditioners, and shaving products as possible Rosacea and IBF triggers but quite often the chemicals in the ingredients can end up stripping the skin as they’re washed out/off. 

If you’re having a flareup, consider whether these could be a possible cause.

An alternative shaving product for anyone to use is BodyVerde Speed Shave.  

It doesn’t contain any irritants and is a natural formulation.

BODY VERDE SPEED SHAVE (not an affiliate link) 




I know the impact both conditions have on a person’s quality of life, self-worth, and confidence.

It’s difficult coping with these symptoms when you feel like the world’s eyes are looking at you and your skin. 

Your skin becomes your identity and your identity becomes defined by your skin condition.

Whether through natural remedies, lifestyle adjustments, or professional interventions (reach out for a 30mins chat about your skin if you are seeking further, more personalised, help with your unique skin) there are options available to minimize symptoms and promote skin health for individuals with rosacea & an IBF. 


You are not alone. 

Let me help you. 




Further reading you may find helpful:,out%20of%20every%2010%20patients.

Ingrid Raphael