5 Things I Did to Get My Rosacea Under Control

I’d always had perfect skin. Of course, I had the occasional “Aunt Flow is here” breakout, but overall, my skin was divine. It was the one thing I didn’t really have to work hard at, but I have always tried to take exceptional care of my skin.

That is until two years post-hysterectomy.

As a beauty professional, our own skin is a walking advertisement for what we do. After all, lots of people probably think, “if her own skin looks like shit, how the hell can I trust her with mine?”

So, when I started getting acne all over my face, I was perplexed as to why. For years I was treating it like acne, but it wasn’t working. I had a suspicion at one point it was rosacea, but it didn’t present itself as a classic case of rosacea. Many dermatologists agreed.

I suffered for 10 years even though I was gentle on my skin, I used fewer products, and I avoided triggers. Nothing worked. My skin barrier was broken so badly that everything burned my face. Even water. And when the cold of a Chicago winter was kicking my ass, my face just downright hurt.

before and after rosacea

This is why I understand what it is you’re going through. This shit fucking sucks!

In Chicago, I rented my home most of my adult life. But recently, we moved to Austin, Texas for warmer weather and bought our first house. Let me tell you what changed and how I was able to get my rosacea under control. Mind you this is what worked for me, so I hope you find this helpful. Remember, everyone's situation and SKIN is different but I hope you find some inspiration here.

In June of 2020, my skin was HORRIBLE. The stress of Covid, current world events, and worrying about whether our small biz was going to survive the pandemic, not to mention living in a new city and completely uprooting life as I knew it, was showing all over my damn face. So I decided to really focus on my skin and make some adjustments not commonly discussed. 

In the world of beauty, everyone seems to want to push 300 products in one routine. But I knew better. So I decided to stop.

While using our skincare products is truly exceptional for sensitive, rosacea-prone skin, it isn’t the only thing we must do to care for our delicate skin. Plus, there are several grades of rosacea, and everyone’s skin is different.

When I look at my own skin back then, I would say I was a grade 2-3 rosacea with more acne pattern and red nose more than anything else.

Here are the 5 steps I took to give me clear, glowing skin that has lasted over a year now.

1. Invested in a Water Softener

Hard water can definitely have an effect on your skin. Chicago has exceptionally hard water. Because I lived in rental units in Chicago, a water softener wasn’t an option. I knew hard water could be the cause of a lot of skin problems, but I couldn’t really fix this as it was out of my control. I tried the filters on my shower heads, but it only got a little better.

Then we moved to Austin. And I thought Chicago’s water was hard...Austin is even worse.  So, here’s what I did and what you can do:

  • Check the hardness of your water here. You can also do a quick Google search in your local water municipality. Or watch this cool bubble test video on YouTube.
  • Research water softeners. But let me tell you...shit’s not cheap. Some of the quotes we got ranged from $3,500 to $7,000. But after a deep dive into research and a few conversations with “water softener salesmen,” I determined that we could do it ourselves.
  • My husband purchased a water softener at Lowe’s (according to the home size and water usage) for under $600. Then we hired a local plumber to install the water softener for $400. So, for less than $1K we had a water softener installed in our home.
  • Now, there is upkeep. You have to buy the salt, but it's so worth it. Salt runs us about $7 a bag, and we go through about a bag a month. So for $7 a month, that's cheaper than most skincare products. HA! (And I own a skincare brand! I prolly shouldn't tell you this!)

ANYWAY...within two weeks of installing our water softener,  my skin was 70% better. It felt softer and smoother, and makeup products didn’t seem to irritate my skin as much. I definitely think it made a tremendous difference.

So, if you live in an area where you have hard water and you’re having skin issues that you can’t get under control--especially when it comes to dry, broken skin barriers, rosacea, eczema, or psoriasis--consider getting a water softener.

2. Started Taking a Daily Probiotic

I hate taking vitamins. I dunno why. But after a bad toe infection and a course of antibiotics, I was instructed to take them while I was on the antibiotics. Once the antibiotics were done, I kept taking them. And my skin never looked better! Combined with the water softener, I noticed a huge improvement in my skin.

I take this cheap Nature’s Bounty Probiotic that I got on Amazon. Works like a dream for me. 

3. Switched from Regular to Half-Caf Coffee

This one hurt. Not gonna lie. I decided to cut back on my caffeine intake. But I need a little jolt most days, so I made the switch to half-caf. It has definitely helped my skin look less red and less irritated, and it’s actually cut down  my anxiety tremendously.

Peet’s half-caf selections are amazing and are now my standard go-to. The House Blend half-caf, HALF-CAF MAJOR DICKASON'S BLEND®,  and French Roast are my faves. I wasn’t a big fan of HALF-CAF ARABIAN MOCHA-JAVA, but you may like it. I love me some Peet’s, and they have a subscription where you can get your coffee delivered regularly.

As someone who needs coffee in the morning, I didn’t think I could do take this step.  But I think the ritual of a warm cup of joe was where it was, not necessarily the bump in caffeine.


4. Simplified My Skincare Routine

I literally only use my own skincare products now. I am testing other products for a future launch (like other gentle exfoliators for sensitive skin), and sometimes that can get me in trouble. I always giggle that we don’t test on animals, only on Sonia. If I can handle it, I feel like it's a winner as my skin is so sensitive.

I also only rinse my face in the morning, as I have very dry skin and live in a very dry climate most of the year now. If you’ve done a proper bedtime prep ritual at night (unless you’re having sweaty, mind-blowing sex), a good rinse for most sensitive skin types in the morning will do. Overusing skincare products can also aggravate rosacea, so keep that in mind. Remember...we must protect that barrier!

5. Began to Reapply Water Elixir and Water Oil and Water Balm Throughout the Day

When it gets really dry in Austin, I reapply skin prep throughout the day, even if my face feels good. I like to keep it moisturized and hydrated, and if nothing else, I will refresh with Water Elixir (it's great on top of makeup too!). Remember, the key to a healthy skin barrier is moisturized, hydrated skin. 

Bonus tip! Don’t forget your sunscreen. At least SPF 50. I was always using SPF 15-30, but SPF 50 definitely helped. 

What steps have you taken to get your rosacea under control? I would love to hear what is working for you! Leave me a comment below!



  • Jac

    This is experienced I experience well. My fave was so bad, my eyes were swollen shut. Everything hurt on my face. I had to get rid of all kinds of foods- I had already cut out gluten, dairy, yeast, pork. My chiropractor had me on a strict diet of only good proteins, and veggies- LOTS of greens, and a detox tea. No starch. I also added more probiotics. After a couple weeks, the acne, swelling, and crust was visible gone. I still had to be careful what I used on my face. Sunscreen still triggers it. I can only use a certain mineral powder on my face as sunscreen- a recent discovery. I currently have 2 big patches of ‘acne’ after using a ‘gentle’ sunscreen. . At least now I know!
    Good for you, Sonia, it’s a battle!

  • Laura

    Thank you so much for this! I’ve been dealing with this exact problem and will definitely be implementing a few of these things in to my routine!

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