the best rosacea treatment

Is there anything more frustrating than having rosacea?

You practically have to walk around with a red flush all over your cheeks and nose. And do we want to talk about those acne-like bumps? They’re everywhere!

To add insult to injury, no one even knows what the heck causes the problem. Kinda hard to find a rosacea treatment when you don’t know what the culprit is…

But, wait! Not all hope is lost. You can get rid of the redness and pimple-like bumps and everything else rosacea throws at you and get back your clear, flawless skin.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the best rosacea treatment to keep your skin under control and prevent another flare-up:

How Can You Tell If You Have Rosacea?

First things first. Let’s make sure you have rosacea and not something that looks like it.

Here’s a list of symptoms:

  • Acne-like bumps
  • Dilated blood vessels
  • Face swelling
  • Redness in the cheeks, nose, chin and forehead
  • Slightly burning sensation
  • Super sensitive skin (everything irritates it!)

Check, check, check? You’ve got rosacea.

The best thing you can do for your skin is go to a dermatologist. She can prescribe you the best rosacea treatment out there. Yep, even the prescription stuff you can’t get at Sephora.

In the meantime, there are plenty of things you can do to keep rosacea under control:

Want to know what ingredients you really need to avoid in your skincare products? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Skincare Ingredients To Avoid” cheatsheet:

The Best Rosacea Treatment To Cure & Prevent Flare-Ups

The best rosacea treatment is prevention. The key is to treat your skin as gently as possible and avoid everything that can irritate it and trigger rosacea. Here’s how:

cerave hydrating cleanser

1. Use A Gentle Cleanser That Doesn’t Strip Skin Bare

Cleansing is the foundation of a good skincare routine. It melts away dirt and impurities, leaving skin clean and ready to absorb whatever skincare product you use next.

Cleansing is also the most dangerous step in your skincare routine. A cleanser that’s too harsh or has a high pH (above six) will strip too much oil off your skin and destroy its protective barrier, leaving your skin drier and more prone to irritation.

The best cleanser for rosacea is gentle, moisturising and pH-balanced. Look for cream or milk formulas that replenish oil as it’s stripped away.

As a rule of thumb, if your skin feels tight and dry after washing, it’s too harsh for you.

While we’re talking cleansers, avoid bar soaps like the plague. They leave a residue on the skin that can easily irritate it. Ugh.

Best Picks:

Related: Are You Using A Low pH Cleanser? Here’s Why It Matters 

2. Avoid Harsh Toners That Irritate Skin

I’m a fan of removing any skincare product that’s not absolutely necessary – especially if you’re dealing with rosacea. Toners fall in this category. Heck, for a rosacea treatment, they can be downright dangerous!

It’s true a hydrating toner can help in some cases. But those toners loaded with alcohol, witch hazel and not much else? Leave them on the shelf.

They’re a recipe for dryness and irritation and can worsen your rosacea. Avoid!

Related: Are Toners Necessary?

3. Wear Sunscreen Daily To Protect Skin From The Sun

Did you know that UV rays can trigger a rosacea flareup?

Yep, wrinkles, dark spots and cancer weren’t enough. UV rays can inflame your skin so much, it gets all red and swollen.

Sunscreen isn’t optional. It’s the cornerstone of any good rosacea treatment.

But… not every sunscreen will do. Opt for mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide. I know they’re thick and leave a white cast behind but they’re super gentle and don’t irritate skin – and give you another flareup!

P.S. If you’re outside the US and have access to sunscreens with Tinosorb and Mexoryl, cool. They’re good alternatives to zinc oxide for rosacea sufferers too.

Best Picks:

  • EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 ($33.00): available at Dermstore and Walmart
  • La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra-Light Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 ($33.50): available at Dermstore and Ulta
  • MDSolarSciences Mineral Creme SPF 50 Broad Spectrum UVA-UVB ($30.00): available at Dermstore

Related: Sensitive Skin? Why You Should Stick To Mineral Sunscreens

niod modulating glucosides review

4. Use Product Loaded With Antioxidants And Soothing Ingredients To Calm Down Irritated Skin

When you’re shopping around for a skincare product – be it a serum, moisturiser or whatever – make sure it’s loaded to the brim with antioxidants and soothing ingredients.

Antioxidants like green tea and vitamin C neutralise free radicals before they can trigger the inflammation that destroy collagen, proteins, cellular DNA, and trigger a rosacea flare-up.

Most antioxidants – like green tea – also have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritations and calm down redness. Other soothing ingredients to look out for are aloe vera, allantoin and oats.

Best Picks:

Related: Common Antioxidants In Skincare Products

the ordinary salicylic acid 2 solution

5. Exfoliate With Salicylic Acid To Soothe Irritations

I’m a huge fan of exfoliation. Once you get those dead cells off your skin, your face is softer. Your complexion’s brighter. Your pores get smaller. Your wrinkles and dark spots slowly fade away.

If you’ve got rosacea, the best exfoliant for you is salicylic acid. This oil-soluble exfoliant has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce redness and sooth rosacea.

Whatever you do, avoid scrubs. They’re too irritating for you.

Best picks:

6. Add Azelaic Acid To Your Skincare Routine To Tone Down Redness

If you’ve tried everything to no avail, it’s time to add Azelaic Acid to your skincare routine. An acid made by the healthy bacteria in your skin, it has anti-inflammatory properties that tone down redness and irritation.

Studies show that 15% Azelaic Acid significantly decreases erythema and inflamed lesions in 6 months. Nothing works overnight, ladies! But, you can speed up healing by using it with antibiotics.

In skincare products, you’ll find lower concentrations (10%). They still work, just more slowly.

FYI, there’s a reason so few OTC products use Azelaic Acid. It works, but it has a very unpleasant texture. Don’t say I haven’t warned you…

Best Picks:

Related: The Complete Guide To Azelaic Acid In Skincare: What It Is, What It Does, And How To Use It

lemons in skincare

7. Avoid Irritating Ingredients That Give You Flare-Ups

I already told you about alcohol and witch hazel. But they’re not the only irritating ingredients lurking in your cosmetics.

Here are a few more to be on the lookout for:

  • Alcohol
  • Essential oils
  • Fragrance
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Menthol
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Witch hazel

Hint: if it smells good, it’ll likely give you a flare-up.

Related: Is Fragrance In Skincare As Bad As Paula Begoun Says?

8. Avoid Common Rosacea Triggers To Prevent Flare-Ups

This may be obvious but… the best rosacea treatment is to avoid anything that gives you rosacea in the first place!

Common rosacea triggers include:

  • Alcohol
  • Cold weather
  • Hot beverages
  • Spicy foods
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Stress
  • Warm baths

9. Use Anti-Rosacea Medication To Treat Flare-Ups

Preventing flare-ups is all well and good but what happens when your skin is in the middle of a rosacea episode?

The best rosacea treatment in this case is prescription medication like Finacea, Renovax, Novacet, MetroGel, Metronidazole and Accutane.

Only a doctor can prescribe them. Make that appointment.

What’s the best rosacea treatment for you? Share your experience in the comments below.