While most women experience some facial redness from time to time, if you’re prone to having a flushed face or find yourself consistently dealing with red, blotchy, and bumpy skin, you may have rosacea. With 14 million US adults reported to be living with rosacea, it’s a common skin condition, to say the least. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there that you can use to help quell its symptoms. The beauty aisles of your favorite stores are stocked with the best products for rosacea if you know what to look for. Keep reading to find out more about the condition and what you can use for sweet, sweet relief.
What is rosacea?
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that causes skin redness and visible blood vessels on the face, particularly across the forehead, cheeks, nose, and chin. Typically seen in fair-skinned women between the ages of 30 and 50, rosacea can occur in one of four different types: erythematotelangiectatic rosacea, papulopustular rosacea, phymatous rosacea, and ocular rosacea. The condition can vary greatly from person to person, with symptoms that range from general redness to thick, swollen skin and acne-like breakouts.
What causes rosacea?
While the root cause of rosacea may still be unknown, researchers have made several discoveries about the condition that may hold clues to its origin. This condition tends to run in families, for instance, leading many to believe it may be a genetic disorder. Most sufferers also react to a bacteria called bacillus oleronius and have higher predispositions for an intestinal bug called H pylori, both of which may be underlying causes. Additionally, rosacea sufferers tend to see higher concentrations of common skin mites, which are known as demodex.
There are also a number of factors that can trigger rosacea flare-ups, including sunlight, wind, extreme temperatures, alcohol, spicy foods, stress, vigorous exercise, harsh skincare products, and drugs that dilate the blood vessels, like some blood pressure medications. While some of these may be harder than others to avoid, being aware of the things in your life that can trigger flare-ups is the first step to clearer skin.
How to Treat Rosacea
Currently, there is no cure for rosacea. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things that you can do to keep it under control. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, there are six ways patients can keep the condition at bay: cleanse your face twice daily, use a cream moisturizer, apply sunscreen (even on cloudy days!), carefully test new skincare products, avoid rough skin practices, such as rubbing and scrubbing of the face, and opt for skincare products that are made with rosacea in mind.
Best Products for Rosacea
From gentle cleansers and soothing creams to calming serums and redness-fighting face masks, there are tons of products out there that can ease rosacea symptoms. When used in conjunction with the pro tips above, you can better keep your problematic skin in check. Keep scrolling for FIRST for Women’s picks for the best products for rosacea.
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Best Cleanser for Rosacea
Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser
Where to buy: $8.99, Amazon
Most dermatologists will tell you that when it comes to facial cleansers for rosacea, the more basic the formula, the better — and it doesn't get any more simple than Vanicream's gentle facial cleanser. Formulated without any fragrances, dyes, parabens, formaldehyde, lanolin, oils, sulfates, or gluten, this face wash is a doctor-recommended pick for the condition. Manhattan-based dermatologist Dendy Englemen, M.D., shared, "It’s gentle formula provides thorough cleansing without the worry of irritation or skin reactions that many traditional cleansers can cause."
Best Rosacea Treatment
Eau Thermale Avène Antirougeurs Fort
Where to buy: $49, Dermstore
A favorite of rosacea sufferers everywhere, Eau Thermale Avène's Antirougeurs Fort is formulated specifically for those prone to redness. This prescription-free, concentrated cream's star ingredient is ruscus extract, which increases circulation and improves the appearance of blood vessels for immediate redness relief. Topped off with cooling thermal spring water and moisture-locking shea butter, this formula makes for a soothing treatment that anyone with sensitive skin can get behind.
Best Serum for Rosacea
La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense
Where to buy: $39.99, Dermstore
Serums are an effective part of any skincare routine due to their high potency and ability to deeply penetrate and treat the skin, but they're especially great for conditions such as rosacea. With a cult-following from both users and dermatologists, La Roche-Posay's Rosaliac AR Intense is a top serum contender thanks to its ability to effectively treat redness, clearing and comforting the skin in the process. In fact, a 2013 clinical study of this product found that it offered "significant improvement of all the clinical signs and symptoms of rosacea and a reduction of the skin reactivity to 'trigger factors.'"
Best Over-the-Counter Face Cream for Rosacea
Honeyskin Ultimate Face and Body Cream
Where to buy: $22.47, Amazon
When it comes to treating rosacea, calming the skin is key. As such, you want to make sure you're buying a face cream that's loaded with skin-soothing, anti-inflammatory ingredients, and Honeyskin's Ultimate face and body cream definitely fits the bill. Rich and nourishing, this fragrance-free formula comes packed with cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut oil, hempseed oil aloe, blue-green algae, and, most importantly, anti-inflammatory powerhouses manuka honey and Australian Cehami.
Best Probiotic Cream for Rosacea
Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream
Where to buy: $49.50, ULTA
With studies showing the positive effect that probiotic skincare can have in the treatment of inflammatory skin ailments like eczema and rosacea, we couldn't leave Clinique's Redness Solutions Daily Relief cream off this list. Loaded with the company's own probiotic microbiome technology, it instantly reduces redness and persistent blotchiness. Over time, this gentle formula even works to improve the appearance of broken capillaries for clearer, healthy-looking skin.
Best Sunscreen for Rosacea
EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46
Where to buy: $35, Amazon
One of the biggest triggers for rosacea is sun exposure. Protect your skin from its harmful rays with a healthy application of EltaMD's UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 sunscreen. Made specifically for sensitive skin, this zinc oxide-based, tinted blend not only shields your complexion from UVA and UVB rays, but simultaneously soothes rosacea-prone complexions thanks to its niacinamide (a form of vitamin B), hyaluronic acid, and vitamin E. Aah!
Best Face Mask for Rosacea
Origins Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience
Where to buy: $37, Sephora
Treat your inflamed, rosacea-riddled epidermis right with this Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience soothing face mask from Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins. Creamy and calming, its star ingredients include a superfood blend of reishi, fermented chaga, and coprinus mushrooms, all of which are known to reduce the appearance of redness and nurture irritated skin. As one of the most nutrient-rich masks on this list, your face will feel supple and even in no time after use (literally — it only requires a 10-minute application)!
Best Gentle Exfoliator for Rosacea
NEOGEN's Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine
Where to buy: $27, SOKO GLAM
You may be surprised to find an exfoliator on this list, but even those with rosacea need to slough away dead skin every now and then — and the best way to do it is with this K-Beauty staple. Unlike typical exfoliators, which contain abrasive granules or beads that only cause more irritation and redness to the skin, these chemical exfoliating pads are gentle, yet powerful. Infused with top rosacea-soothing ingredients, including resveratrol, a polyphenol found in wine, and glycolic acid, these pads also help to protect the compromised skin barrier of rosacea sufferers from free-radical damage.
Best Natural Treatment for Rosacea
InstaNatural Niacinamide Serum
Where to buy: $15.97, Amazon
Niacinamide is a natural nutrient that has long been touted as an anti-redness juggernaut. Derived from vitamin B3, its ability to calm, even, and nourish irritated skin make it an essential part of any rosacea skincare routine. For a simple, clean niacinamide treatment, we love InstaNatural. Featuring an additional blend of hydrating hyaluronic acid, moisturizing avocado oil, and wrinkle-fighting rosemary oil, it's also great for those with dry, mature skin.
Best Light Therapy for Rosacea
Quasar MD Clear Rayz
Where to buy: $199, Dermstore
For those with severe rosacea, laser light therapy may be a route to explore. Research has proven its effectiveness in treating acne and reducing redness, making at-home systems, like this Quasar MD Clear Rayz machine, a popular pick. With a dual-sided design, this FDA-approved device lets you target and treat acne with one side for blue light and another side of red light to reduce redness, all from the comfort of your own home.
Best Makeup For Rosacea
IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting-Cream
Where to buy: $32, ULTA
Since the brand's launch in 2008, IT Cosmetics has been a leader in solution-based makeup, and rosacea is no exception. The brand's Bye Bye Redness neutralizing color-correcting cream is formulated specifically for those with those prone to redness in mind, making it a dream for rosacea sufferers looking for light coverage. Rich in anti-aging peptides, calming colloidal oatmeal, hydrolyzed collagen, soothing aloe, and avocado, this is more than just coverup — it's a skin treatment and a makeup base all in one!