Skincare for Rosacea: What Works & What Doesn’t

Skincare can help treat rosacea, but it can also make it worse. Keep reading for our top skincare tips and products for rosacea. 

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by reddened skin, usually on the cheeks or nose. Symptoms of rosacea include:

• Rosy skin

• Visible blood vessels

• Thickening skin

• Swelling

• Textural changes

• Stinging or burning

Unfortunately, scientists do not yet understand what causes rosacea, and there is no cure for this skin condition. It’s thought that developing rosacea has to do with your genetics (if either of your parents has it, you’re more likely to have it as well), but many lifestyle factors come into play. 

If you think you have rosacea, visit a dermatologist. Besides recommending products for rosacea and lifestyle changes, your dermatologist can also recommend laser treatments that can eliminate symptoms of rosacea. 

The Best Skincare Products for Rosacea

Many people with rosacea see a marked improvement in their condition by using skincare products for rosacea. Here are some guidelines.

A Gentle Cleanser

Dermatologists recommend washing your face twice per day. If you have dry or dehydrated skin, you can skip using a cleanser in the morning and just wash your face with water. 

The key is using a mild cleanser like 3LAB Perfect Cleansing Foam. This cleanser gently washes away impurities without disrupting the skin’s natural protective moisture barrier. 

Apply the cleanser to your skin with your fingertips in a circular motion. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Removing all the cleanser in this step is essential since leaving any cleanser on your skin can create more irritation. Next, gently pat your skin dry with a soft, clean towel. 

A Hydrating Moisturizer

Moisturizing daily is essential, especially when you have rosacea. A high-quality moisturizer keeps your skin hydrated by trapping in moisture and imbuing irritated skin with nourishing ingredients. 

The best moisturizers for rosacea include soothing and hydrating ingredients like:

Niacinamide – Reduces redness and strengthens the moisture barrier

Azelaic Acid – Antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory

Ceramides – Fatty acids that help skin retain moisture

Aloe – Provides temporary calming for irritated skin

Apply a rosacea cream after cleansing to lock in moisture and prevent irritation. 

A Physical Sunscreen

Sun exposure can worsen rosacea and cause flare-ups. That’s why protecting your skin from the sun year-round is so important. 

We recommend using a sunscreen that’s friendly for sensitive skin, like Perfect Lite Sunscreen SPF 30. We formulated this rosacea-friendly sunscreen with micronized titanium dioxide that creates a physical barrier to prevent damage from UV rays. Plus, it’s lightweight, fast-absorbing, and doesn’t leave a white cast. 

You can also protect your skin from the sun by wearing a broad-brimmed hat, avoiding peak sunlight hours (usually 10:00 am to 2:00 pm), and seeking shade. 

10 More Rosacea Skincare Tips

  1. Choose cream formulas over lotions or gels. Cream formulas are more hydrating and less likely to be formulated with alcohol. 
  2. Avoid using astringents or toners. These products are often made with alcohol, which can be irritating to rosacea-prone skin. 
  3. Test all skincare products and cosmetics before applying them. Dab a small amount of product on your neck, wrist, or inner arm. Reapply once or twice daily (depending on the product's instructions). Observe for 24 hours. If you experience no irritation, continue reapplying for seven days. If at the end of the period, you experience no burning or stinging, the product is probably safe for you to put on your face. Remember that this method is not foolproof since the skin on our faces differs from the skin on other body parts. 
  4. Don’t exfoliate. Rubbing your face with a washcloth or facial scrub will only irritate your skin more. 
  5. Learn what foods or drinks trigger flare-ups. Some common triggers are spicy foods, hot beverages, caffeine, and red wine. Keeping a food diary can help you keep track of your triggers. 
  6. Protect your skin from the cold. Use a scarf to guard your skin against the cold and wind in frigid weather. Just make sure to use a scarf that feels smooth to the touch. Wearing an itchy scarf will only worsen matters. 
  7. Be careful with your hair products. When styling your hair, don’t get any product onto your face. Hairspray is especially bad for rosacea because its high alcohol content can irritate the skin. 
  8. Avoid overheating. Take warm baths or showers instead of bathing in hot water. Dress in layers so you can remove clothing when you feel warm. Sip a cool drink whenever you start to feel too hot. 
  9. Keep your skincare routine simple. The fewer products you use, the more quickly you’ll be able to identify which ingredients irritate your skin. 
  10. Look for products that are specifically formulated for treating redness or sensitive skin. These products for rosacea will have the least chance of irritating your skin. 

Rosacea can usually be significantly improved by following a skincare routine for sensitive skin and avoiding triggers. If you’re struggling with rosacea, talk to a dermatologist.