Skincare for Rosacea
Rosacea-prone skin should be treated simply and gently. As mentioned in my Rosacea + Remedies blog post, rosacea skin is most similar to sensitive and dry skin, so keep this in mind when selecting skincare products. A simple routine is best - adding something with irritant potential may trigger a flare. Therefore, I suggest starting with three basics - a gentle cleanser that protects the skin barrier, a moisturizer for barrier repair, and sunscreen - the terrific trio to keep rosacea skin healthy! After you’ve figured out your trio, then you can consider adding on a serum or lotion with antioxidant or anti-inflammatory properties. I've also updated my Shop My Shelf (affiliate links) with a Rosacea Skincare section - if you do decide to purchase any suggestions here, I really appreciate your support using links on this page!
Ingredients to avoid:
Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA)
Ingredients to find:
Azelaic acid (if not already using an Rx)
Dimethicone (in sunscreen)
Check out some of my suggestions below (in no particular order - everyone's skin is different), and feel free to ask your pharmacist about what might work best for your skin!
Use fingertips (no scrubbing tools) to gently cleanse once or twice a day with warm water, and pat skin dry. Look for cleanser elements such as lipid-free, mildly acidic (non-alkaline), or a neutral pH.
Cetaphil | Foaming Face Wash Redness-Prone Skin Mild formula that removes makeup and minimizes redness and irritation with soothing allantoin and anti-inflammatory caffeine
La Roche-Posay | Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Facial Cleanser Milky face cleanser that is free of soap, fragrance, sulfate, parabens, and oil. Non-comedogenic, non-irritating with prebiotic thermal water, glycerin, niacinamide, and ceramide-3
CeraVe | Hydrating Facial Cleanser Moisturizes and restore skin barrier with ceramides and hyaluronic acid for normal to dry skin
Neutrogena | Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and non-stripping. Free of soap, oil, parabens, pthalates, and sulfates. Proven gentle enough for rosacea. Protects skin barrier and removes impurities
Aveeno | Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser Free of soap and fragrance, this gentle foaming cleanser is hypoallergenic and contains feverfew to reduce redness and irritation
Youth To The People | Superfood Antioxidant Cleanser Rich in antioxidants with a superfood blend of kale, spinach, and green tea. Sulfate and alcohol-free, cleanses skin without drying for balancing pH
First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Face Cleanser Maintains skin’s natural acidity and reduces flare-ups, a creamy pH-balanced formula This non-stripping, pH-balanced formula helps protect and calm irritated skin with aloe, allantoin, and glycerin
FRESH | Soy Makeup Removing Face Wash Gentle for all skin types, removes makeup without drying, softens and hydrates skin. It's pH-balanced, with soy proteins for elasticity, cucumber extract for soothing, and rosewater for balancing and calming
REN Clean Skincare | Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk Fennel seed extract protects against oxidative damage while Omega 3 and 7 soothe and support lipid barrier. Reduces signs of sensitivity and calms delicate and reactive skin
If you are not using any topical prescription treatments, apply your moisturizer when your skin is still damp, as it helps lock in moisture. If you are using a topical prescription, wait for skin to be completely dry after cleansing before applying your prescription treatment, then wait for that to absorb fully before using a moisturizer on top. Look for moisturizer ingredients that include emollients and occlusives (check out my dry skin blog post for details on these), as well as features like lipid-free, non-alkaline, ceramides, and polyhydroxy acids.
Cetaphil | Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 20 for Redness Prone Skin Made specifically for redness-prone skin, this tinted moisturizer soothes dry, sensitive skin, reduces redness, evens tone and hydrates. Fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic. Also has 100% mineral-based sunscreen
CeraVe | Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM SPF 30 Restores skin barrier and soothes with ceramides, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. Non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, oil-free, fragrance-free, broad spectrum UVA + UVB protection with SPF 30
CeraVe | Facial Moisturizing Lotion PM Similar ingredients to AM lotion, without SPF. Hydrates and replenishes skin barrier with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and niacinamide. Oil-free, non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free
Clinique | Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream Calms skin with visible redness, even rosacea! Contains lactobacillus, a probiotic that helps strengthen the skin barrier and balance the microbiome. No sulfates SLS/SLES, parabens, pthalates, or mineral oil. Gentle and oil-free, soothes blotchiness, improves skin comfort and reduces appearance of broken capillaries
SkinMedica | Redness Relief CalmPlex Clinically shown to reduce facial redness, it targets inflammation of weak blood vessel walls. Contains niacinamide and Jojoba oil
Eucerin | Redness Relief Night Cream Improves skin sensitivity and reduces redness. Gently soothes and hydrates with licochalcone (licorice root extract). Dye and fragrance-free, non-comedogenic
La Roche-Posay | Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer Lightweight cream texture hydrates and soothes skin. Non-comedogenic, oil-free. Glycerin and prebiotic thermal water replenish moisture, and ceramides restore protective skin barrier
Aveeno | Ultra-Calming Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 15 Light quick absorbing moisturizer calms and soothes irritation and actively manages sensitive skin, improving tone prone to redness. Feverfew (related to chamomile) soothes. Reduces blotchiness. Oil-free, non-comedogenic, mineral sunscreen. *Contains fragrance but dermatologically tested and safe for hypersensitive skin; Allure 2008 Best of Beauty Award for Sensitive Skin Facial Moisturizer
Neostrata | Bionic Face Cream Soothes, hydrates, and reduces redness. A good option for aging skin, contains 12% PHA (polyhydroxy acid) blend of gluconolactone + lactobionic acid. Non-comedogenic, fragrance-free
For rosacea make sure you look for a mineral sunscreen with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, with SPF of at least 30 - and use it daily. Dimethicone or simethicone may also increase tolerability of a sunscreen. Remember to apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside!
La Roche-Posay | Anthelios Mineral Tinted Ultra Fluid SPF 50 Facial Sunscreen Ultra-light, oil-free broad-spectrum UVA + UVB protection suitable for sensitive skin. Fragrance and paraben-free, universally tinted (non-whitening) 100% mineral sunscreen absorbs quickly for uniform complexion
EltaMD | UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 Lightweight and silky, calms and protects sensitive, acne-prone, or rosacea skin with niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, and vitamin E. Fragrance, oil, and paraben-free, non-comedogenic. Mineral (zinc oxide) and chemical (octinoxate) sunscreen
Blue Lizard | Australian Sunscreen Face SPF 30 A lightweight gel formula with both mineral (zinc oxide) and chemical filters (octinoxate). Contains green tea, caffeine, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid. Paraben and fragrance-free, non-comedogenic. Bonus: bottle or cap turns blue in sunlight as a reminder to reapply!
If you’ve found your basic cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen routine, here are some other products that you may consider adding. Make sure to check with your pharmacist/dermatologist before adding any actives to your routine, especially if you are already using a treatment (eg prescription azelaic acid).
REN Clean Skincare | Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask A 10-minute rescue mask for redness-prone, blotchy, stressed, dry skin. Contains white mushroom extract, beta-glucan, and arnica to protect against discomfort, support skin barrier, and soothe
Aveeno | Calm+ Restore Triple Oat Serum Restores protective barrier, tones down redness and eliminates dryness with prebiotics, oats, and feverfew extract. Fragrance, alcohol and dye-free
La Roche-Posay | Rosaliac AR Serum Reduces redness and soothes skin with ambophenol. Parabe, oil, and fragrance-free
Hopefully this has given you some ideas of products that may be appropriate for rosacea-prone skin - but remember to patch test any new product (on your inner arm, looking for a reaction) before applying to your face! Best of luck, and for more details on how to care for rosacea, check out my Rosacea + Remedies post!
DISCLAIMER: The contents of this blog are for educational purposes and are not intended as medical advice. I enjoy researching but the information is general and not comprehensive. Please seek the advice of your healthcare provider (pharmacist/physician etc) with any questions you may have regarding your personal health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online. Any mention of specific products or personal recommendations are my opinion and not to be taken as medical advice. SHOP MY SHELF and AMAZON SHOP are affiliate links where I may receive a small commission from purchases. Thank you for your support!