Even with treatments, a skin care routine can make a difference in the signs and symptoms of rosacea.

Properly caring for one’s skin is an important part of managing rosacea. Using products with certain ingredients, avoiding other ingredients, and using sun protection can help reduce rosacea flare-ups.

This article explains why skin care matters. It also gives tips for choosing products and building a skin care routine.

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A healthcare professional can recommend medications to help manage rosacea. Individuals should use these as directed, especially during a flare-up.

Even with effective treatment, a skin care routine can help manage rosacea in many ways. The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) states that a skin care routine can help in the following ways:

  • help skin feel more comfortable
  • reduce rosacea flare-ups
  • boost overall skin health
  • improve results from treatments

A person with rosacea may want to speak with a healthcare professional before using any new products.

Learn about some of the best skin care products for rosacea.

When building a skin care routine, it is important to select products that will not trigger a rosacea flare-up. An individual should also test a product on an area like the neck before using it fully. If there is a reaction, then they should discontinue use of the product. Rosacea triggers can vary from person to person, so allowing one’s body to be their guide can be helpful.

It may be important for individuals with rosacea to also consider their skin type. People with oily skin may be more likely to develop rosacea. This may be due in part to the fact that rosacea can feed off the sebaceous oils on the surface of the skin.

However, many people with rosacea report having skin that feels dry and tight. Using a daily moisturizer can be one of the most effective ways to rebuild the barrier on the skin to help alleviate dryness.

Other tips for rosacea-friendly skin care routines include:

  • Choose fragrance-free and rosacea-friendly skin care products and cosmetics.
  • Use a minimal amount of products. Choosing multi-functioning products can help reduce the number of products a person uses.
  • Gently cleanse the face twice a day.
  • Use a moisturizer daily.
  • Use sun protection year-round.

Cleansing tips

It is important for a person to cleanse their face regularly. This can cause irritation to the skin, however.

Follow these tips to help prevent irritation while cleansing:

  • Choose a mild cleanser and avoid using soap.
  • Gently apply the cleanser with fingertips in a circular pattern.
  • Rinse the cleanser with lukewarm water. Be sure to remove all the cleanser. Any left behind can cause irritation.
  • Gently pat the face dry with a clean cotton towel.

Tips for choosing a sunscreen

The AAD lists the following recommendations for choosing a rosacea-friendly sunscreen:

  • Look for a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide, titanium oxide, or both.
  • Look for a sunscreen with silicone, dimethicone, orcyclomethicone, or cyclomethicone.
  • Look for a sunscreen that is fragrance-free. Remember, “unscented” is not the same thing.
  • Look for a sunscreen that is labeled as broad-spectrum protection.
  • Look for a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher.

There are many ingredients that an individual can look for to help reduce the symptoms of rosacea.

Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid can help to reduce the appearance of bumps, lesions, and swelling that often occur with rosacea. It can also decrease redness and discoloration.

Azelaic acid is available in gel, foam, or cream form. It is also available by prescription or over the counter. A healthcare professional can recommend the correct formula based on an individual’s symptoms.


Niacinamide or nicotinamide is a form of vitamin B3. While there has been an increasing number of studies done on the dermatological uses of niacinamide, more research is needed to verify its value.

However, research has shown that moisturizers with niacinamide have been helpful in improving the skin barrier function in people with rosacea. This helps to reduce their reaction to irritants, such as cleansers and cosmetics.


Ceramides are major lipids found in the outermost layer of the skin. They help keep the skin moisturized and create the skin’s barrier against environmental factors, such as UVB rays.

Research has shown that using products that contain ceramides can help reduce the symptoms of dermatological conditions like rosacea. Ceramide products work by increasing the skin’s moisture and resilience, supporting the health of the skin’s natural barriers, and helping to decrease the occurrence of dry skin.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera has been used for centuries to aid in skin healing. It has anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps to retain the moisture and integrity of the skin.

This means aloe vera and products that contain aloe vera may be beneficial for people with rosacea. It can help improve dryness and reduce inflammation.

Certain ingredients can trigger a rosacea flare-up and worsen symptoms. When choosing a product, it is important to avoid ones with these ingredients in them:

  • alcohol
  • camphor
  • fragrances
  • glycolic acid
  • lactic acid
  • menthol
  • sodium laureth (or lauryl) sulfate
  • urea

Triggers for rosacea can vary from person to person. Knowing what triggers rosacea can help to reduce flare-ups, prevent it from worsening, and allow treatment to be more effective.

Common triggers for rosacea flare-ups include:

  • hot drinks
  • spicy food
  • alcohol
  • sunlight
  • hot or cold temperatures
  • aerobic exercises, such as running
  • stress

The following are questions people frequently ask about skin care for rosacea.

Is vitamin C serum good for rosacea?

Vitamin C serum has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe inflamed skin. This can be beneficial for skin conditions like rosacea.

What moisturizer should I use if I have rosacea?

Choose a moisturizer that has rosacea-friendly ingredients like aloe vera, ceramides, and niacinamide. Be sure to avoid products that may trigger a flare-up.

A skin care routine is an important part of managing rosacea. Using a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen daily can help reduce flare-ups and manage symptoms like redness, dryness, and inflammation.

Looking for products that contain ingredients like azelaic acid, aloe vera, and ceramides is most effective in helping manage rosacea. Avoiding ingredients like alcohol, menthol, and fragrances can help reduce the risk of flare-ups.

An individual should speak with their healthcare professional before using any new products.