6 rosacea skin care tips dermatologists give their patients
Even if you’re already treating your rosacea, the right skin care can make a noticeable difference.
A rosacea friendly skin care routine can:
Help your skin feel more comfortable
Improve the results you see from treatment
Boost your skin’s overall health
Reduce rosacea flare-ups
To help patients who have rosacea with skin care, dermatologists offer these tips:
Cleanse your face
Cleansing when you wake up and before you go to bed helps remove oil and dirt that can irritate your skin.
To cleanse without further irritating your skin, dermatologists recommend that you:
Choose a mild, rosacea friendly cleanser (not soap).
Apply the cleanser gently with your fingertips, using a circular motion.
Rinse off the cleanser with lukewarm water, using only your fingertips. You want to thoroughly remove the cleanser. If some of the cleanser stays on your skin, it can cause irritation.
Pat your face gently with a clean, cotton towel.
Studies show that applying a rosacea friendly moisturizer or barrier repair cream can also improve the results you see from treatment.
In one small study, patients applied a rosacea treatment (metronidazole gel) to their face twice a day. They also applied a gentle, non-irritating moisturizing cream twice a day to one side of their face.
After 15 days, the moisturized side of their face had less dryness, peeling, and roughness. It also felt more comfortable. Other studies have found similar results.
To reduce rosacea flare-ups caused by the sun, dermatologists recommend wearing sunscreen. To protect your skin, apply a sunscreen to your face every day before going outdoors. Even on cloudy days, it helps to apply sunscreen.
How to choose rosacea friendly sunscreen
Finding a sunscreen that won’t irritate your sensitive skin can be a challenge. Dermatologists recommend that you look for a sunscreen with:
Zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or both
Silicone (may be listed as dimethicone, orcyclomethicone, or cyclomethicone)
No fragrance (label may say “fragrance free,” but if it says “unscented” choose another sunscreen)
SPF 30 or higher
When shopping for products, dermatologists recommend that you read the list of ingredients before you buy. To reduce the likelihood of a buying a product that will irritate your skin, you want to avoid anything that contains:
Sodium laurel sulfate (often found in shampoos and toothpaste)
Go fragrance free
To reduce the chance of a product irritating your skin, choose fragrance-free (rather than unscented) products.
To reduce irritation, it’s also best to:
Choose a cream instead of a lotion or gel
Never use an astringent or toner
Making these tips a part of your skin care routine can help you take better care of your rosacea-prone skin.
If you have trouble finding skin care products or makeup that doesn’t irritate your skin, a dermatologist can assist you. A dermatologist can examine your skin and recommend products for your skin’s specific needs.
Related AAD resources
American Academy of Dermatology. “Proper skin care lays the foundation for successful acne and rosacea treatment.” News release issued August 1, 2013. Last accessed July 31, 2017.
Bowers J. “Unlocking the mysteries of rosacea.” Dermatol World. 2013;23(8):18-22.
Del Rosso JQ, Thiboutot D, et al. “Consensus recommendations from the American Acne & Rosacea Society on the management of rosacea, part 1: A status report on the disease state, general measures, and adjunctive skin care.” Cutis. 2013;92(5):234-40.
Pelle MT, Crawford GH, et al. “Rosacea: II. Therapy.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2004;51:499-512.
Two AM, Wu W, et al. “Rosacea: part II. Topical and systemic therapies in the treatment of rosacea.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2015;72(5):761-70.
Zip C. “The role of skin care in optimizing treatment of acne and rosacea.” Skin Therapy Lett. 2017;22(3):5-7.