Updated 1/3/18. Whether it’s redness around the corners or the top of the nose, the cheeks, chin or wherever they may be, red, broken capillaries can be a frustrating condition to deal with and there’s not a quick and easy way to get rid of them once they appear. In this post, I share my expert tips for everything you need to know about how to prevent them as well as making them less noticeable.
For starters, It’s important to know that capillaries are like rubber bands in that you can only stretch them so many times and eventually they lose their elasticity and will no longer spring back to their original state. Every time you increase blood to your face, (for some of the reasons listed below), the capillaries dilate to accommodate the extra fluid. Eventually, the capillaries will constrict and the excess blood goes away. Years and years of dilating and constricting, eventually they stay dilated and stretched out and this is when they rise closer to the surface of the skin and become visible to the eye.
Take a vitamin C supplement with the added benefit of bioflavonoids. Vitamin C, when taken orally, is essential for your skin and body since it’s an amazing antioxidant to help reduce inflammation and lessen free radical activity that leads to aging. But did you know that the added benefits of bioflavonoids can help prevent both bruising and help to strengthen fragile blood vessels? As we age, capillary walls get weak and they start to permanently dilate and become more visible on the face, especially the cheeks and around the nose. Vitamin C with bioflavonoids helps to give strength to blood capillaries internally so they may not break and form a bruise or dilate as quickly.
As an esthetician with a skin type #2 and someone who makes caring for my skin and body a top priority, I personally take 1,000 mg of vitamin C with bioflavonoids twice daily. Once in the morning with breakfast and another with dinner. I have fair skin and prone to visible capillaries, I consider this to be an important part of my daily routine to keep my skin looking even toned. (Tip: Looking at your mother’s skin is like looking into a crystal ball. If she has a lot of capillary activity showing, this means that more than likely, you’ll be getting them, too. Prevention is important.)
Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These will most definitely contribute to this condition so you’ll want to think about lessening this or completely omitting it from your life if you’re very concerned about this condition. Read how alcohol is really affecting your skin.)
Avoid microdermabrasion treatments. The older microdermabrasion machines use a loose crystal along with a strong vacuum attachment that creates a suction that allows the exfoliating crystals to lift off dry skin cells. The problem is that the suction can pull and tug on fragile capillaries, so I really don’t recommend this procedure at all for anyone with fragile capillaries. If you want to see the damage it can do to capillaries, see how microdermabrasion can go seriously wrong. (I personally witnessed this at a skincare trade show in Paris, France. Yikes!)
Go easy (or avoid completely) the use of a sonic cleansing brush. I have not been shy about my personal thoughts about the Clarisonic brush (read my review) but you really need to careful when using it. When the bristles are massaged over the face (especially if you are pressing hard on the skin), it can quickly stimulate blood and cause the capillaries to dilate which can cause weakening over time.
Use soothing ingredients in your skin care products. Especially if you are prone to redness and rosacea, such as a skin types #5 and #9, you want to create an environment in the skin where it can stay acting calm. The less redness you have appearing on the skin, the better it is for the strength of your capillaries. Ingredients include various types of algae like red marine algae, white tea, green tea, allantoin, sea whip, oat kernel, bisabolol, chamomile, and azulene. Recommended product: Redness Care Firming Serum
When choosing a vitamin C serum formula, look for one that won’t sting the skin and is considered to be stable. The studies are endless about the benefits of using a vitamin C serum applied every morning underneath sunscreen to prevent visible damage caused by the environment. Not all vitamin C serums are equal but certain ones have excellent calming and anti-redness properties making them ideal for those with redness or rosacea. The key is to find a no-sting and stable formula so it can have a soothing benefit without inflaming the skin. There are many forms of vitamin C but my favorite is magnesium ascorbyl phosphate for its ability to not only provide a calming anti-inflammatory effect for redness but also for how incredible it works for fading brown spots and discoloration. (See what happened when I put a vitamin C serum on an apple.) Getting your daily dose of vitamin C, both inside (with a supplement) and outside (with a serum) may create less visible redness and dilated capillaries on the face. Recommended product: Vitamin C&E Treatment
As for how to get rid of them once they appear, you can consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional to explore the best treatment for removal. Some laser treatments can be effective or there is also a procedure where an electric needle is used to cauterize surface capillaries. Either way, there are options out there for once they appear but don’t forget about the importance of trying to prevent them from appearing in the first place.
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