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How to Choose the Best Products for Rosacea Prone Skin

8 mins

Andela Patrnogic

The market is saturated with skincare products for rosacea. This article is a detailed guide on how to pick the best face moisturizer for rosacea.

Rosacea can be a painful condition that needs to be handled with care and caution, which includes curating thoughtfully made and effective skincare products that are suitable for your rosacea skin. 

If you suffer from rosacea yourself or are looking to gift skincare products to a friend with rosacea, then this article is for you. 

You will find everything here you must look for before buying a product. Let’s begin our story on how to find the best products for rosacea.

Table of contents:

  • What is rosacea?
  • Symptoms of rosacea
  • What do experts say?
  • Can we make it go into remission?
  • Key ingredients to avoid in your skincare products if you have rosacea-prone skin
  • Key ingredients to look for in your skincare products if you have rosacea-prone skin

What is rosacea?

Rosacea is a skin disorder that produces flushing and visible blood vessels in the face. Tiny pus-filled lumps may also appear. 

These initial symptoms may appear for weeks or even months before disappearing. Rosacea is often confused with acne, other skin conditions, or natural red cheeks.

rosacea causes

Rosacea may strike anybody at any time. However, middle-aged women with pale skin are the most affected. 

Although there is no cure for rosacea, therapy can help to regulate and lessen the symptoms.

Symptoms of rosacea

The following are some of the signs and symptoms of rosacea:

  • Blushing or redness of the face. Rosacea can create flushing or blush in the center of your cheeks. On darker skin tones, this symptom of the disease may be harder to identify.
  • Bumpy and swollen. Many people who have rosacea get acne-like blemishes on their faces. Pus may be present in these lumps.
  • Blood vessels that are visible. Your nose and cheeks' little blood vessels rupture and become apparent. They are also called spider veins.

    best products for rosacea, rosacea
  • There is a scorching feeling. The afflicted area may feel hot and painful.
  • Nose enlargement. Rosacea thickens the skin of the nose over time, making it seem bulbous (rhinophyma). Males are more likely than females to experience this.
  • Problems with the eyes. Dry, itchy, and swollen eyes and eyelids are common symptoms of rosacea. Ocular rosacea is the name for this condition. Eye symptoms may appear before skin symptoms in some people.

If you have rosacea, you know how difficult it is to discover treatments that genuinely help your skin problems. 

Rosacea is a chronic inflammatory disorder that results in redness, visible blood vessels, pimples, and flushing all over your face. 

Rosacea patients often have dry, flaky skin in conjunction with undesirable redness, so selecting a moisturizing product is essential.

What do experts say?

"One of the defining characteristics of rosacea is a weakened skin barrier," says Jennifer Herrmann, MD, FAAD, of Moy, Fincher, Chipps Facial Plastic Surgery and Dermatology in Beverly Hills. "Daily moisturizer is absolutely critical for those with rosacea because it helps rebuild this barrier, keeping irritants and allergens out." Using high-quality choices that moisturize while producing gentle, non-irritating solutions is the key.

Although rosacea may not be a life-threatening ailment or one that has a significant impact on people's health, it has a profound psychological and emotional impact. 

A flushed, lumpy complexion wears you down, much like acne may make you feel like a hermit who'd rather conceal their face than go out in sight.

rosacea treatment causes flare up

"One of the features of rosacea is that the skin's barrier defense is fairly poor," says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi of Capital Laser & Skin Care. "As a result, many compounds that are acceptable for use on normal skin will be quite aggravating to rosacea-prone skin." 

So, even if something appears to be entirely safe in the bottle, it might be making your health worse. 

Although there is no treatment for the illness, there are some things you can do to reduce redness and flare-ups. 

Such as changing your diet, lowering alcohol intake, and being aware of the products you use, the latter of which is the subject of our discussion today.

Can we make it go into remission?

With that stated, remission from your rosacea concerns is a possibility.

Remission seems to be a cure since your skin is clear again, with no redness, irritation, or acne-like pimples. 

However, rosacea may readily replace this clean skin, especially if the incorrect chemicals are utilized. Or if you're going through a lot of mental stress, hormone fluctuations, or a shift in the weather. 

So, without further ado, here's a list of what substances to avoid if you have rosacea. It includes all of the big players that might trigger a flare-up.

Key Ingredients to avoid in your skincare products if you have Rosacea-prone skin

Some of these ingredients might not be found in moisturizers, but it is still important to look out for them while buying a product for your face. But primarily, your products for rosacea skin shouldn't include the following:

  • Tea tree oil: It has long been used as a natural cure for a variety of skin problems. Studies have revealed that it has antimicrobial characteristics, which means it can destroy germs and fungi. So, why isn't it a suitable option for rosacea? Tea tree oil in higher doses can aggravate the skin irritation. Small amounts may have a favorable impact, but little research has been performed on this topic, so it's difficult to say what concentration might be advantageous. If you still want to try it, ensure that tea tree oil is put as low on the ingredient list as possible to minimize any unwanted problems.

  • Scent or fragrance (of any sort, including "natural" or essential oils) - According to a poll done by the National Rosacea Society, 30% of respondents indicated fragrance as rosacea triggering aggravator. Furthermore, "fragrances induce more allergic contact dermatitis than just about any other substance," according to the American Academy of Dermatology. This also includes the scents that can be found in nature. It doesn't mean it won't trigger inflammation just because it's an organic or natural compound.

  • perfume can flare up rosacea

  • Camphor oil: Oil taken from the wood of camphor trees and treated by steam distillation is known as camphor. It can be used externally to relieve pain, itchiness, and irritation. When used in excessive dosages, however, it can exacerbate such symptoms, similar to tea tree oil. It's also risky to apply to damaged skin because it's toxic.

  • Lactic acid: Lactic Acid is another one of those unsuspectingly useful compounds. It has the ability to increase collagen production and tighten the skin. It also aids in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation, which typically relates to sunspots or aging spots, is not the same as rosacea. Lactic acid removes dead skin cells by breaking down the connections that hold them together. Exfoliators of any sort irritate and aggravate rosacea symptoms since the skin's natural barrier is already weakened.

  • Tretinoin: While tretinoin (or retinoids) is often used to heal rosacea to help minimize the severity of pustules and bumps, Dr. Tanzi advises against it. (Dr. Tanzi from Capital Laser and Skin). Because people with rosacea have hypersensitive skin, retinoids, which are powerful and presumably aggravating, could exasperate redness and the appearance of spider veins.

  • Salicylic acid with benzoyl peroxide: According to Dr. Tanzi, benzoyl peroxide, a popular chemical used to treat acne, is rosacea's enemy. Since it encourages oxidative stress, it causes inflammation and expedited aging. Because of its keratolytic, mild comedolytic, and antibacterial effects, including the decrease of P. acnes and Staph. aureus on the skin, benzoyl peroxide has been used to treat acne. Salicylic acid, another acne medication, works by breaking cell accumulation, which may be excessively irritating and drying for rosacea sufferers.
    Salicylic acid, Salicylic acid with benzoyl peroxide

  • Glycolic acid: Glycolic Acid is a type of lactic acid. While we love glycolic acid for its glow-inducing and skin-tone-evening properties, doctors urge anyone with rosacea to avoid it. The exfoliating acid is too abrasive for rosacea—consider this: glycolic peels may irritate normal skin, so imagine what it would do to already irritated and red skin.

  • Hydroquinone: Hydroquinone is a skin-lightening agent that is commonly prescribed for dark spots and hyperpigmentation, but is it effective for rosacea? According to most dermatologists, the answer is a resounding nay. It's a little too abrasive for rosacea to take, and it might easily inflame and burn the skin, much like the other components.

  • Witch hazel: Dr. Patricia Ceballos of Schweiger Dermatology Group advises against using this unpleasant toner. Although some witch hazel toners are alcohol-free, many commercial toners sold in drugstores include 15-30% ethanol, which is a skin irritant, and a horrible ingredient for rosacea.

  • witch hazel

  • Peppermint or menthol: Moisturizers with menthol have become quite common because of how cool and refreshing they feel on the skin. That is because these chemicals normally have a "cooling" effect, but in rosacea, that sensation presents itself as burning and itching. This is due to the inherent smell that each of them has, which comes from natural oils. Almost all moisturizers with natural oils are bad news for rosacea-prone skin.

  • Sodium laurel sulfate: this is a strong cleaning surfactant to avoid. It's been touted as a major "no-no" for skincare, irrespective of rosacea. Avoid it if you see it.

  • Any form of soap: soaps contain a lot of detergents, which causes the natural oils of your skin to be stripped. Formaldehyde and sodium laurel sulfate, for example, are frequently found in them.

  • Scrubs or brushes: Physical exfoliator of any kind

  • Adapalene: Adapalene, a retinoid found in products like Differin Gel, is comparable to tretinoin and can assist with acne rosacea pustules. However, if not handled appropriately, this chemical might aggravate rosacea's irritation and redness.

  • Chemical sunscreens: Chemical sunscreens soak into your skin and react with UV radiation, whereas physical sunscreens prevent them. This causes a chemical reaction that converts UV photons into innocuous byproducts such as heat. However, heat is a significant trigger for rosacea, so it's not that "harmless." Oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, and avobenzone are some chemical sunscreens to avoid.

  • Key ingredients to look for in your skincare products if you have rosacea-prone skin

    When looking for moisturizers for rosacea patients, products with a small ingredient list that also include the following components will give you the best results:

  • Ceramides: Ceramides are a kind of fatty acid that everyone needs and generates naturally. Ceramide levels are lower in those with rosacea-prone skin than in others, contributing to dryness, sensitivity, and skin inflammation. Including them in your skincare routine can assist in restoring moisture balance.

  • Hyaluronic acid: Hyaluronic Acid is also created naturally by skin cells to help them maintain moisture. Because rosacea sufferers often have a compromised moisture barrier, using products with this component in skincare can be beneficial.

  • Azelaic acid: Azelaic Acid is a medicine that helps to reduce skin edema and redness. It can be used to treat acne by destroying microbes that infect pores, reducing irritation and redness. To be honest, this is a hit-or-miss component. It irritated my skin more, but there are people who say it absolutely soothed their skin and eliminated all uncomfortable lumps.

  • Niacinamide: There is proof that this substance can aid in the production of ceramides (the first item on this list), collagen, and the smoothing of the skin's surface.

  • Seaweed: contains anti-inflammatory effects, can reduce irritation, and has been found to help with acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema, among other skin conditions.

  • Bentonite clay is excellent for extracting toxins from the skin and absorbing them. It's a non-abrasive, gentle technique to exfoliate skin that's prone to rosacea. To minimize irritation, combine this clay with other calming substances like green tea, almond oil, or aloe and only apply once a week/every two weeks. Even though clays are not the ingredients found in moisturizers, they are very effective in themselves.

  • clay face mask for rosacea treatment

  • Kaolin clay is the gentlest and moisturizing of all clays, making it an excellent rosacea therapy. It aids in the removal of debris and dead skin cells and, like bentonite clay, is best used in conjunction with other skin-soothing components to exfoliate the skin.

  • Green tea - Green tea has been demonstrated to be an effective therapy for rosacea in studies. Antioxidants aid in reducing inflammation, which helps to reduce redness. It's very beneficial for people who have papulopustular rosacea (a.k.a. acne rosacea).

  • Rosehip oil is one of the rare exceptions to the "no oils" guideline for rosacea sufferers. Vitamin A, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids are all beneficial to the skin. To be clear, the usage of this oil in the treatment of rosacea is primarily anecdotal because there isn't enough study to back it up. It is also significantly influenced by its surroundings, and if not properly preserved, it may soon grow rancid.

  • Aloe Vera - helps to relieve the burning and irritation associated with rosacea flare-ups. It isn't a cure for inflammation, but it can help ease the pain. It may aggravate rosacea in certain rare situations, so always test a tiny patch of skin first.

    aloe vera for rosacea

  • Mineral sunscreens: Chemical sun barriers can often cause rosacea; however, these components are "physical" sun barriers (meaning they aren't absorbed as readily by the skin). Mineral sunscreens are usually mild and efficient in preventing rosacea from worsening.

  • Almond oil: Vitamin A, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc are all found in sweet almond oil. These are essential elements for decreasing UV damage and repairing acne and rosacea scars.

  • Ingredients that are good for rosacea might work for you or might not. But it is essential that you pick products that are free from aggravating ingredients. This will ensure that your skin remains healthy, and you don't worsen your condition.

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