How to treat rosacea at home with over-the-counter products recommended by skin doctors.
If you suffer from rosacea, you know how difficult it can be to find skincare products that work for you. Rosacea is a skin condition, usually on the face, that can cause redness, flushing, bumps, and acne, as well irritation, enlarged capillary veins, tingling sensations, dryness, and flakiness. It’s especially important for people with rosacea to find a moisturizer that works for them because they have a weak skin “barrier,” or outer layer of skin, says Jessica Wu, MD, a Los-Angeles dermatologist. “When the barrier is broken, nerve endings are exposed to air and any skincare products you apply, making skin more sensitive and easily red and irritated,” she says. “Using a good moisturizer helps preserve and replenish the barrier.”
Still, it’s not as simple as finding a super-hydrating moisturizer. People with rosacea are also prone to breakouts, so it’s important to find a moisturizer that’s hydrating, but not so heavy that it can clog pores and create further irritation, says Bruce Katz, MD, a New York City dermatologist.
Below, they’ve outlined the ingredients you should look for in a moisturizer if you’re having a rosacea flare-up. If your symptoms continue to get worse, it’s important to talk to your dermatologist, because you may need medicated prescription products.
Since rosacea makes skin sensitive and easily irritated, it’s important to do a small test on products to see how your skin reacts, says Dr. Wu. She suggests a patch test with new products. To do this, apply a small amount in front of your ear before bed. If there’s no redness or irritation when you wake up, apply it on the rest of your face. To seal in the most moisture, wash your face with lukewarm water (hot water can dry out your skin), then pat dry and apply your moisturizer. If your dermatologist has prescribed rosacea cream, apply the medicine first, wait a few minutes, then moisturize.
With these tips, and a light, soothing moisturizer, like the ones below, you’ll be well on your way to clear, calm, soft skin.
Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Face Cream
This lightweight gel-cream has a variety of hyaluronic acids, which help hold moisture in the skin without causing breakouts, says Dr. Wu. It also contains soothing rosewater to help ease irritation.
Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil
This luxe face oil features plant-derived squalane, a compound that helps the skin barrier retain moisture without clogging pores, says Dr. Wu. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant and helps build healthy skin.
Robin McGraw Revelation Hydra Qwench Moisturizing Night Cream
Dr. Wu recommends this cream (she's the exclusive chief medical advisor for the brand). It contains both hyaluronic acid and olive oil derived squalane to help build up the skin’s moisture barrier.
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat Daily Moisturizer for Oily Skin
This light moisturizer is perfect for people experiencing a breakout and rosacea flare-up at the same time. It contains dimethicone, which Dr. Katz recommends for smoothing and improving skin texture.
Clearogen Acne Lotion
Another option for acne and rosacea, this light lotion contains sulfur, which helps clear breakouts, as well as green tea, aloe vera, and antioxidants to help soothe and heal skin. Dr. Katz notes that sulfur and green tea are great ingredients for rosacea (check out 15 green tea skincare products).
SkinMedica Redness Relief CalmPlex
If you’re struggling with redness, this is the moisturizer for you. It’s formulated to help with weak blood vessel walls and inflammation while providing lightweight hydration through squalane and jojoba oil.
Avene Antirougeurs Fort Relief Concentrate
This skin treatment’s key ingredient, Ruscus extract, increases microcirculation, which helps to improve the appearance of blood vessels. Shea butter helps to calm the skin.
EltaMD UV Elements Broad Spectrum SPF 44
If you have rosacea, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun, which can create even more redness and irritation, says Dr. Katz. This oil-free sunscreen is meant for sensitive skin and features hyaluronic acid to help retain moisture. Plus, a light tint will help cover up any redness.