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Can capers reduce rosacea?



There’s evidence to suggest that caper bud extract can help control and reduce the symptoms of rosacea.

Rosacea is caused when blood vessels just under the skin’s surface become inflamed and dilated.

Over time this results in a degeneration of the skin’s protective barrier function causing redness, inflammation, spider veins and a sense of prickling or itchy heat below the skin along with very sensitive and reactive skin.

Secondary symptoms of rosacea are small puss filled or rash-like spots, usually predominantly across the cheeks and nose.

While the underlying cause of rosacea is impossible to treat as it’s mostly genetic, the key to reducing the symptoms of rosacea is to reduce the inflammation and restrict blood vessel dilation below the skin’s surface.

Caper extract, medicinally known as Capparis spinosa, has been proven in targeted studies to carry out both these functions on skin prone to rosacea.

Capers are perennial winter deciduous plants which are native to the Mediterranean and some parts of Asia and South Africa and better known for their culinary status. They are picked by hand and then processed. 

However, they do have well documented evidence of their medicinal effects, even though these are not as well known.

Caper buds are rich in flavonoid compounds including rutin and quercetin.

Both these compounds are potent sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage, the main cause of inflammation in skin.

Rutin is proved to be helpful in treating strained or dilated blood vessels.

Research reveals quercetin has analgesic, anti- inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Specifically, for use in helping to reduce the symptoms of rosacea, caper bud extract has been shown to inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are the cause of the redness associated with rosacea.

Caper bud extract has been shown to constrict the capillaries to temporarily decrease erythema, which can bring down redness and inflammation associated with rosacea.

Patented ingredient Derma Sensitive by Gatuline includes caper bud extract and has been proven in a trial to reduce redness, irritation and hypersensitivity.

The company tested the ingredient as a topical cream at a 2% concentration of caper bud extract on 20 female volunteers with red and irritated skin and reported an improvement of 10-20% on nearly all parameters evaluated.

Results revealed increased comfort and reduction of redness, followed by improved suppleness, decreased stinging and burning, and skin softness.

Derma Sensitive is the principle ingredient in the Kalme skincare range, along with a basket of other natural ingredients to help combat the multiple symptoms of rosacea. 





Another published study (1) on caper bud extract reported its significant antimicrobial, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects.


  1. 2011 Mar;82(2):93-101. doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2010.09.006. Epub 2010 Sep 16.


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