If you have rosacea, you know that it's more than just red skin. It can be a painful, frustrating, and sometimes embarrassing condition. This inflammatory condition can be mistaken for acne because of the similarities of the symptoms: small, pus-filled bumps, flushing, and general redness. Like acne, the causes are unknown and tend to be linked to genetics and environmental factors such as heat, stress, and spicy foods, or alcohol.
While there is no cure for rosacea, there have been a growing number of over-the-counter treatments that can help. We have searched for the best skincare products for rosacea that may provide some relief and tone down symptoms! La Roche-Posay's Toleraine Double Repair Face Moisturizer stood out to us for its ability to moisturize skin for a full 48 hours and soothe aggravated skin. Read on for the rest of our top 10 favorite products as well as a buying guide to help you make a decision.
Dr. Levy is a board certified dermatologist practicing in NYC and Westport, Connecticut. She has expertise in treating inflammatory skin conditions like acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis. She has an interest in skincare and takes a personalized approach to all of her patients.
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
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Table of Contents
When choosing a product to treat your rosacea, there are a number of factors you should consider. Here are some general points to keep in mind!
When choosing a skincare product for rosacea, make sure to read through what the product does and think about if it will help you with your type of rosacea.
With all types of rosacea, you will want to focus on soothing and calming inflammation - this may come in the form of sufficient moisturization, for example. Luckily, many ingredients are beneficial to all types of rosacea and skin, so you will get benefits from most products even if they aren’t specified for treating certain conditions!
Symptoms of ETR include dry, rough, or scaly skin, visible broken blood vessels, and a burning or stinging sensation. Some ingredients that provide relief from these symptoms include green tea, aloe vera, niancimide, and chamomile, just to name a few.
Facial redness, flushing, and burning is a major concern for patients with rosacea. The skin can feel hot like fire and anything that touches the skin can irritate it. This is because the skin barrier is impaired and there is upregulation of certain molecules that dilate blood vessels.
To treat the redness, dryness, and irritation, it's important to repair the skin barrier by using hydrating, non-irritating products which are soothing. Products with hyaluronic acid or lipid base products are very helpful. Avoid harsh scrubs, strong retinol, and AHAs like glycolic acid.
Always wear SPF as UV light can make the redness, flushing, and burning worse. You may need to add laser treatment to your skincare routine to get the best results.
Papulopustular rosacea, or acne rosacea, is a type of rosacea that is marked by small bumps, blemishes, and oily skin in addition to overall redness. Products with acne-fighting ingredients like tea tree oil or sulfur are an effective way to fight rosacea as well as treat clogged pores or oily skin.
Treating the papules and pustules (pimples) of rosacea requires finesse because many acne treatments are too harsh for rosacea-prone skin (i.e. salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide).
Sulfur-based lotions, creams, bar soaps, and washes are over-the-counter products that can minimize rosacea pimples without causing as much irritation as other acne products. Products with azelaic acid can also be used to help with rosacea papules and pustules and are usually well tolerated. Azelaic acid can also help reduce skin redness.
Each person has their own unique skin type, which means that a product that works for one person may not work for you in the same way. While the main problem you want to treat is your rosacea, you need to consider the other characteristics of your skin.
If you have oily skin, a heavy moisturizer may end up clogging your pores and leaving you even oilier or cause you to break out. The opposite is true as well - if your skin is dry, you may need a product that offers more in terms of keeping your skin moisturized and happy. Some products may treat other conditions in addition to rosacea as well!
As a general rule of thumb, products that dry out skin or are harsh should be avoided - these can make rosacea worse and cause pain. Added fragrances are a top skin irritant in skincare products, so consider choosing products with a label that says "fragrance-free".
Products with alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus oil, clove oil and salicylic acid should be avoided as well, as they tend to be harsh and may dry out your skin. While these may be suitable ingredients for some skin types, they aren't gentle enough for rosacea!
Many patients with rosacea are unable to tolerate AHAs like glycolic acid. If you get a facial, make sure you tell your esthetician that you have rosacea and to avoid these products. Washes or toners with alcohol can be extremely irritating and can make the skin turn red immediately after use.
In general, the fewer ingredients a product has, the less likely it is to irritate your skin. Check to see if a product is non-comedogenic, which means that it won’t clog your pores.
Many ingredients have overlapping benefits that can affect other skin troubles indirectly. Even the driest skin can benefit from ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, dimethicone, and ceramides because they moisturize skin gently.
These ingredients can reduce oiliness by providing sufficient hydration, so your skin doesn't have to produce as much oil. It can also have a plumping effect on skin that reduces wrinkles and offers an anti-aging effect.
Niacinamide, zinc, and sulfur are some ingredients that may be especially useful for those with oily or acne-prone skin. Vitamin C, antioxidants, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid are good for those with mature skin that want anti-aging benefits.
Look for sulfur products if you have rosacea pimples. Also, make sure you are using creams and not gels which could be drying. Hyaluronic acid in a moisturizer can help repair the skin barrier and is an ingredient to look for.
Niacinamide, azelaic acid, and zinc can be very useful in treating rosacea-prone skin and help with both redness and inflammatory pimples.
When choosing a product for rosacea, it's helpful to determine what type of skincare you're looking for. Do you just need sunscreen? Or, are you looking to totally revamp your entire routine?
Perhaps you have your holy grail moisturizer that your skin loves and have been using for years. If you don’t want to give that up, you can focus on different skincare products like face washes or serums.
When shopping for skincare products, consider what you want to add or replace in your current skincare regimen and be realistic about how much time you want to spend on your skin.
The backbone of any skincare routine is a cleanser, moisturizer, and SPF for the daytime. SPF is a very important step for everyone, but it's especially important for rosacea.
Depending on your own skin and preferences, a toner after cleansing your face or a serum before your moisturizer may be a good step to have. Before bed, your routine might be essentially the same as in the morning, just minus the SPF. You can even substitute a face oil in lieu of SPF at night to further lock in moisture.
Toners may be better to use during the hot summer months because they will prep your skin to absorb your moisturizer better without making your skin overly sticky or oily. In the winter, a moisturizing serum before your moisturizer may further protect your skin against the cold, dry air.
Of course, it is absolutely fine to have both a toner and a serum incorporated into your skincare routine, but it isn’t absolutely necessary to use both! With the right products, you can keep your skincare as simple or as complicated as you want.
Most people with rosacea find toners too irritating. It's okay not to use one! Just wash your face well with a gentle cleanser. A good toner to try is an alcohol- and fragrance-free one as these are usually the best tolerated.
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Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
A Holy Grail for Moisturizing Skin
Ren Clean Skincare
Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask
A Calming Mask for Irritation and Redness
Redness Relief Night Creme
A Cream to Calm Redness and Provide Nighttime Relief
High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula
A Serum for Oily, Acne-Prone Skin
Vitamin C Serum With Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E
A Safe Anti-Aging Serum That Won't Cause Redness or Irritation
Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30
A Product to Balance Redness and Even Out Skin Tone
Redness Relieving Night Moisturizer
A Gentle Moisturizer to Calm and Hydrate Sensitive, Red Skin
Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Face Wash
A Gentle Cream Cleanser
Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
A Natural Mineral Sunscreen That Doesn't Leave a White Cast
SPF 30+ UVA/UVB Protection Mineral Sunscreen
Hydrating, Gentle Non-Chemical Sunscreen
With a mix of gentle moisturizing agents like ceramides, glycerin, niacinamide, and prebiotic thermal water, this moisturizer leaves your skin happy and moisturized. This product works by adding moisture to the skin and restoring the skin's natural protective barrier.
Reviewers of all ages and skin types rave about how deeply moisturizing it is while also being light and non-greasy. However, this caused pilling for some, which is a problem for those that plan to apply makeup over it.
Although his moisturizer doesn't specifically target redness, users with rosacea say this moisturizer gently and deeply hydrates their sensitive skin, which can have an effect on redness.
This 10-minute mask is designed to calm redness and irritation. Using White Mushroom Extract to block pain signals from the skin, this product is a must for when your skin is inflamed or irritated!
For some, the mask was a bit of a disappointment because it didn't seem to do much. While it didn't irritate their skin further, it didn't have any significant visible benefits.
However, other reviewers loved the relief this mask provided them. Some said this is a life-saver during flare-ups! Not only did the mask calm down redness, but it also left their skin soft, smooth, and hydrated.
This gel-cream is specifically designed to soothe redness and provide moisture. Checking off the fragrance-free, oil-free, and non-comedogenic boxes, this is a safe product to use for those with sensitive skin.
Reviewers with rosacea were excited about seeing an improvement in their redness in as soon as two days! Those with dry skin found that the cream was able to sufficiently moisturize their skin.
Because of how thick the cream is, it made some reviewers break out. Those with oily or acne-prone skin may find the cream to be too heavy for their skin. However, those with dry skin found that this was the only product they needed after cleansing.
Although this is primarily a blemish control product, the niacinamide and zinc combination works wonders in fight redness. This product may work best for those that have oily and acne-prone rosacea.
If you use other vitamin C-based skincare products, it's important to note is that niacinamide may have an effect on the integrity of vitamin C, making it less effective. Using niacinamide in the morning and vitamin C at night, for example, is a way to reap the benefits of both ingredients.
Some found the consistency to be thick and oily, but the positive effect it had on their rosacea redness was good enough to overlook this drawback.
This product is loved by people of all skin colors because it brightens and evens out their skin and reducing redness while still maintaining their natural skin color. Some say that it helped to get rid of broken capillaries on their skin and shrink their pores.
Products for anti-aging are hard to find when you can't use harsh ingredients such as AHAs or acids. Well, this product is the solution! It's packed with vitamin C to help your skin produce collagen and get rid of free radicals while still being gentle and moisturizing on sensitive skin.
Some found that the product didn't end up doing much for their skin. A few reviewers also said the product irritated their rosacea further. As always, it is important to try a patch test!
Overall, reviewers loved how the product soaks into their skin quickly and helps lessen redness - it has a softening effect, too. Since the serum is highly moisturizing, it helped to calm down some rosacea irritation. Those with acne scars or dark spots liked how much it helped to lighten their hyperpigmentation as well!
Green products counteract redness because they are on opposite sides of the color wheel. This product is a green cream that is loaded with antioxidants and gentle ingredients to keep the skin calm and nourished while toning down redness.
As an added bonus, this also has SPF 30, which is extremely important for sun protection for people with rosacea. It's better suited for people with light complexions, however. People with darker complexions found that it left them with a white or grey-ish cast. Some found the consistency to be too heavy and greasy, as well.
However, many reviewers found that this product allowed them to use less makeup or to get rid of their foundation completely! They said that using a translucent powder after applying the product was good enough for all-day redness correction.
Cetaphil is a consistently gentle and reliable option for those with sensitive skin. This moisturizer is specifically designed to calm red and irritated skin immediately and checks off the three boxes of being non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and fragrance-free.
It's important to note that the product doesn't claim to minimize redness due to rosacea; it claims to minimize redness due to dryness. Some reviewers found that this moisturizer just didn't agree with their skin and caused breakouts.
A few also found that this moisturizer doesn't do much to lessen redness itself. However, many liked that this moisturizer is extremely hydrating, absorbs quickly, and has a soothing, cooling effect on the skin. Some found this product to be the key to soothing their rosacea!
This cleanser is designed to gently remove impurities, such as dirt, sweat, and makeup, and shield your skin's natural protective barrier. Many feel that gentle cleansers can be too gentle to the point of not cleansing at all, but reviewers were pleased with the balance this product strikes between sufficient cleansing and being non-drying.
This cleanser did trigger some irritation in some reviewers, though. Others said it didn't remove makeup well enough, so if you tend to wear a lot of makeup, a separate remover might be necessary.
Not only were reviewers surprised at how soft the cleanser left their skin, but they also they appreciated how easily it can be rinsed off. Others commented that a little goes a long way, and this product lasted quite a while before it ran out.
This vegan sunscreen has a variety of natural ingredients that hydrate and protect your skin. Unlike other physical barrier sunscreens (those with zinc or titanium oxide), it doesn't leave you with that dreaded white cast!
Please note that there were very few reviews for this product for rosacea directly. However, based on other reviews from people with sensitive skin, as well as the list of ingredients in the product, it seems like a safe product to use for those with mild rosacea.
Some buyers found that they had a reaction to the sunscreen and it caused some irritation. Others felt that the product had a strong smell to it. However, the ingredients used are all-natural.
Many loved the non-greasy formula and how gentle it was on sensitive skin. People found that it was easy to apply makeup on top of this sunscreen as well, which is an added benefit for those that wear makeup to conceal redness.
This sunscreen has zinc and titanium oxide to protect you from UVA/UVB rays, which are a big trigger for rosacea flare-ups. It's non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, too! It also has hyaluronic acid that will keep you moisturized.
On top of that, it's reef-safe. However, this sunscreen caused some users to break out. Others felt that the thick consistency of the sunscreen made it difficult to apply.
An important factor to note is that most reviewers said they are very fair-skinned, so those that have darker skin tones may find this product to leave a noticeable white cast. Since this is a mineral sunscreen, meaning that it blocks UV rays by making a physical barrier, a white cast is a fairly typical characteristic.
Overall, reviewers loved how this sunscreen was non-greasy, despite feeling quite thick out of the tube. It did a sufficient job of protecting their skin from sun damage while being gentle.
Check out the links below for more highly-rated products that may help you manage your rosacea!
This expert reviewed the contents of the buying guide for accuracy and provided factual corrections when necessary. They did not participate in the product selection process, nor are they affiliated with any of our choices unless explicitly stated so.
No. 1: La Roche-Posay｜Toleriane Double Repair Face Moisturizer
No. 2: Ren Clean Skincare｜Evercalm Ultra Comforting Rescue Mask
No. 3: Eucerin｜Redness Relief Night Creme
No. 4: The Ordinary ｜High-Strength Vitamin and Mineral Blemish Formula
No. 5: InstaNatural｜Vitamin C Serum With Hyaluronic Acid & Vitamin E
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