Skin Care for Rosacea: 7 FAQs About Ingredients, How To, and More – Healthline

Posted: May 3, 2022 at 1:44 am

Rosacea is a chronic condition that typically causes facial skin, especially around the cheeks, to blush or flush more easily.

Along with discoloration, rosacea can also cause visible blood vessels, as well as swelling, skin thickening, and textural changes to your skin.

People living with rosacea may have a hard time building an effective skin care routine because this condition can make your skin more sensitive to many common ingredients, says Jeffrey Hsu, MD, a board certified dermatologist and founder of Oak Dermatology.

Whats more, since rosacea can cause a stinging and burning sensation, your skin may be more prone to irritation from certain skin care ingredients.

Ultimately, the best way to manage and improve rosacea involves working with a dermatologist, who can offer support with:

That said, if you dont have the opportunity to consult a dermatologist, you might have some questions about caring for rosacea-prone skin. The guide below can help you develop a rosacea-safe skin care routine at home.

Theres no cure for rosacea, but Hsu says the right skin care products can help minimize symptoms.

Once you identify what ingredients trigger rosacea flare-ups and remove them from your routine, you may notice significant improvements in your skin.

Not only that, but after eliminating products with harsh ingredients, you can replace them with products that boost hydration and strengthen your skin barrier two things particularly important in rosacea treatment, according to Cybele Fishman, MD, a board certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC.

Not taking care of your skin which could mean under- or over-washing, neglecting to moisturize, or skipping sunscreen can make rosacea worse, says Michele Green, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in private practice.

Choosing skin care products with these specific ingredients may help relieve and calm rosacea symptoms:

If you have rosacea, or suspect you might have rosacea, you may want to avoid skin care products with the following ingredients:

These ingredients can irritate your skin and they might make rosacea symptoms worse.

According to Wood, retinoids like tretinoin may also worsen rosacea, causing increased skin dryness, flakiness, and discoloration. Its always a good idea to check with a dermatologist before using retinoids.

Cannabidiol (CBD), which is extracted from the cannabis plant, has also drawn attention as a potentially beneficial skin care ingredient, mainly due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Authors of a 2020 review acknowledged that CBD may prove helpful for strengthening the skin barrier, which is impaired in most people with rosacea. To date, though, not much research has explored the benefits of applying CBD topically.

Hsu notes that more studies are needed to confirm whether CBD can actually help treat rosacea and if so, how much CBD you should apply to get these benefits.

The following signs might suggest that a skin care product is making your rosacea worse, according to Wood and Green:

Whenever you introduce a new product into your routine, dermatologists strongly recommend doing a patch test first to check how your skin reacts.

Just keep in mind that patch testing doesnt offer a failproof way to test for sensitivity. Even if you dont have a reaction in a patch test, the skin on your face may react differently to that product.

The skin on the face is thinner and more sensitive than skin elsewhere on the body, like the inner arm where most patch testing is done, says Green. However, patch testing is still a great means to assess whether or not a skin care product will likely cause a reaction.

Whats more, while patch testing can help identify allergies, it doesnt always identify all possible unwanted reactions.

You can have a negative patch test to an ingredient and experience irritation from it, Fishman explains.

Overall, dermatologists agree that less is more when it comes to caring for rosacea-prone skin.

Using too many products, products with too many ingredients, or washing your face too frequently, can all damage your skin and increase sensitivity and irritation, says Hsu.

These general tips offer a place to start developing your skin care routine:

Sunscreen is a must for everyone. But if you have rosacea, youll want to take particular care to apply (and reapply) sunscreen each and every day.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, just several minutes of sunlight exposure can trigger redness and flushing.

Green recommends using a fragrance-free, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Mineral-based (physical) sunscreens, like those with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, are less likely to cause irritation than chemical sunscreens, like those with avobenzone or oxybenzone.

Learn more about the difference between physical and chemical sunscreens.

A 2020 study considered 2,783 Chinese participants: 1,245 with rosacea and 1,538 without rosacea.

Study authors found that certain habits appeared closely linked to developing rosacea, including:

While the study focused on skin care practices that could lead to rosacea, these habits could worsen symptoms, too.

Its not always possible to manage rosacea symptoms on your own.

If you notice your symptoms getting worse, even after youve made changes to your skin care routine, Wood recommends connecting with a board certified dermatologist.

A dermatologist can offer more support by:

Learn more about what dermatologists do.

Many dermatologists have adopted telemedicine platforms to better serve people searching for more accessible healthcare options.

Your insurance may cover a virtual visit, says Hsu, but if it doesnt, or you dont have insurance, some dermatologists offer a reasonable out-of-pocket cost for a consultation.

Managing rosacea starts with building an effective skin care regimen. Dermatologists advise keeping your routine as simple as possible: Use a gentle non-foaming cleanser once or twice a day, follow up with moisturizer, and apply SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen daily.

As you adjust to your new skin care routine, pay attention to your rosacea symptoms. If they start getting worse or dont improve within 2 to 4 weeks, consulting a dermatologist is a good next step.

Rebecca Strong is a Boston-based freelance writer covering health and wellness, fitness, food, lifestyle, and beauty. Her work has also appeared in Insider, Bustle, StyleCaster, Eat This Not That, AskMen, and Elite Daily.

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Skin Care for Rosacea: 7 FAQs About Ingredients, How To, and More - Healthline

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