Take Control of Your Cheeks.

In the previous scrub me secret blogs we’ve covered ways to navigate sensitive skin, acne, rosacea, extreme dryness, and much more. We wanted to focus specifically on the cheeks in this blog because we’ve found that so many people struggle to get this area of their face healthy and clear. For a lot of us, the cheek area of our face can get red, sensitive, small bumps, or break out without warning. Fluctuations or problems with the skin on our cheeks is often an indicator that our body is trying to tell us something about our lifestyle, diet or digestive system.

scrub me secret: when we talk about diet related to problematic skin on the cheeks this doesn’t necessarily mean we are only looking at the ‘junk food’ an individual eats. we are looking for foods that can be causing an allergy or foods that don’t work well with a specific individual.

We’ve created a list of some of the most common skin issues seen in the cheek area to help you better pinpoint the best way to help clear your skin. These are not medical diagnoses and we always suggest going to a doctor for an allergy check or anything serious.

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Flushed Skin/ Broken Capillaries

Reddened, warm to the touch, slightly inflamed skin in the cheek area often goes hand in hand with broken capillaries. Some people may experience a few or all of these issues and can’t figure out how to keep them at bay or best remedy them. Knowing the root of the problem is the first step; this extreme flushing and heat is coming from many blood vessels in the skin dilating. This type of blood vessel dilation can happen from exercise, extreme cold/heat, alcohol consumption, or eating spicy foods. Some skin types are more sensitive and prone to flushing.

What can you do if your cheeks flush? Apply a cool, not freezing, cloth or cotton pad to your skin when you feel it starting to flush. We also suggest keeping a refreshing toner in the fridge (we love a rose water toner!) and spritzing it onto your skin when your cheeks are feeling warm. Jade rollers are great tools to keep in your freezer so they stay cool to help calm skin. Anything slightly cool to the touch will really help take the flushing down, causing less broken capillaries.

scrub me secret: not sure what broken capillaries look like? they show up as tiny, red, uneven lines at the skin’s surface. these lines are small but visible to the naked eye and can sometimes occur in clusters. broken capillaries are caused by damage due to blood vessel dilation.

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Acne/Pimples

Acne and whiteheads along the cheekbones and near the area can be an indicator that your body is reacting to something in your diet. If breakouts are mainly in your cheek area and are not easily remedied it’s best to start a food log to try and pinpoint what types of foods trigger a pimple. You can also check in with a nutritionist to better understand how your body processes foods. These types of breakouts can also be caused by a drastic change in diet.

There are some common foods that cause breakouts. This list does not apply to all, it’s just a small list of foods that we know to cause cheek pimples. Nuts, avocados, refined sugar, dairy, and foods with gluten (for those with gluten allergies).

scrub me secret: even after determining which foods or drinks cause your cheeks to break out we know it’s not 100% realistic that you can always avoid everything that makes you break out. if you happen to ingest something that causes you to get a pimple a few days later throw a clay or charcoal based spot treatment on the spot asap.

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Small Red Bumps

These small red bumps are different than blackheads and whiteheads. If these tiny red bumps appear on your cheeks often and come with no itchiness there is a possibility this is a rosacea flare up. These can be as little as a couple of reddened bumps or they can come in clusters that make the area appear more inflamed. These small bumps also often pop up in the same place on your cheeks over and over. When we see rosacea bumps on the cheeks it’s typically from skin care that is too harsh or from dietary sensitivities. A good clue in determining the cause of the bumps is how the condition of the skin around the small bumps. If skin care you are using is too harsh, skin will feel tight, dull, or flaky. If your skin feels healthy, well balanced, and hydrated then these bumps may be triggered by something in your diet. Dietary triggers are often, but not always foods that cause inflammation in the body. This includes alcohol, spicy foods, processed sugars, and tomato based sauces.

These small flared-up bumps are best remedied with ultra calming and anti-inflammatory products that contain ingredients like aloe, oats, lavender, or hydrocortisone. Cool toners also help relieve redness. If your bumps are caused by harsh skin care consult with your esthetician to get help transitioning to more gentle products or products that are right for your skin type. If they seem to be more related to diet or alcohol then it’s best to try and avoid ingesting whatever is causing rosacea. If you do end up eating or drinking something that gives you a few rosacea bumps, it’s best to not touch or agitate them and apply hydrocortisone lotion or calming products.

scrub me secret: if you’re experiencing small, red bumps that are itchy feeling then this could be something called atopic dermatitis which is an allergic reaction caused by a skin care product, laundry detergent, perfume, or other product. this is different than rosacea and can be remedied by finding out which product is causing the reaction, discontinuing use of it, and applying calming products to the skin while it heals.


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