Every day over 16 million Americans are seeing red due to rosacea, a chronic skin condition that in addition to redness can also produce acne-like bumps and lesions on the face. The worst part about the condition is that calming your complexion can seem like a lost cause when nearly every product you try exacerbates the symptoms.
The list of things that potentially aggravate rosacea is so long, we could write a whole story on it. Instead, InStyle turned to Robyn Gmyrek, M.D. of Union Square Laser Dermatology for advice on what those of us suffering from rosacea can do to control and camouflage redness from the skin condition in our regular routines and put our best face forward.
Read on to learn how to choose the products essential to your daily beauty regimen that are rosacea-friendly, and will help minimize and mask signs of the skin condition.
1. Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser
Cleansing is an important step in any skincare routine because it removes makeup, impurities, excess oil, dead skin, and toxins. More often than not, if you’re dealing with rosacea, your skin is on the dry side, so Dr. Gmyrek recommends using a non-soap cleanser, which contains less than 10-percent soap in its formula. “Soap emulsifies and removes oils from the skin creating further dryness,” she explains. “Non-soap cleansers also have a more neutral pH (i.e. they are not acidic) so they tend to be less irritating than soap based cleansers.” The cleanser should be applied using your fingers and cold to lukewarm water to prevent aggravating your skin.
2. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid
Moisturizers act like Saran Wrap for the skin, by helping support its barrier function that keeps water in and harmful environmental elements out. “When the barrier of the skin is damaged by the inflammation associated with rosacea, then allergens and irritants can enter the skin more easily, causing more redness and inflammation,” says Dr. Gmyrek.
When picking out a moisturizer, the doctor suggests a product with ceramides and humectants that aid in repairing the skin’s barrier and that bring hydration to the skin, such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid. As for ingredients from which you should keep your distance? Alcohol, witch hazel, fragrance, menthol, peppermint, and eucalyptus oil will all spur further irritation and redness. A moisturizer should be applied following a cleanser, but Dr. Gmyrek recommends waiting several minutes after you gently dry off the cleanser for your skin to damp skin to dry even further before moving on to the moisturizer.
3. Bare Minerals Originial Broad Spectrum SPF 15
If you’re self-conscious about redness caused by rosacea, a foundation can help even out your skin tone. Dr. Gmyrek suggests using mineral-based makeup because they don’t penetrate the skin but simply sit on top of it, and are less likely to result in additional inflammation. For extra prevention against potential irritation, the doctor says to choose a foundation with no preservatives.
4. NYX Concealer Wand
To target specific areas that require extra attention when masking redness, apply the color wheel theory of complementary colors by dabbing on a green-based concealer to cancel out the harsher red spots.
5. Radical Skincare Skin Perfecting Sunscreen SPF 30
The sun has a significant relationship with rosacea. According to a National Rosacea Society survey, 81 percent identified sun as a major trigger of their rosacea. Needless to say, if you have rosacea, wearing sunscreen year-round should be a priority. Dr. Gmyrek recommends that “sunscreen should be applied every 4 hours and it should be labeled ‘broad spectrum’ meaning that it blocks both UVA and UVB rays. It should have an SPF of at least 30.” When it comes to choosing a sunscreen, she suggests one that is mineral-based that contains titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide to block out damaging rays, because chemical-based sunscreens that absorb rays have been found to trigger irritation.