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Guide to Sensitive Skincare for Rosacea

Guide to Sensitive Skincare for Rosacea

Constant flushing and blushing, red bumps and pimple-like lumps… that’s what rosacea often looks and feels like. Trust us — if you know, you know. While it can be frustrating, rosacea can be managed with the right sensitive skin products, plus a few helpful tricks, tools and tips.

In this guide, we’re going to go over the basics of rosacea, including how to live and thrive with it. Here’s what we’ll go over:

Ultimate Guide to Skincare for Rosacea

  • What is rosacea?
  • What causes rosacea?
  • Is there a cure for rosacea?
  • Does makeup make rosacea worse?
  • Skincare ingredients to avoid if you have rosacea
  • The best skincare products for rosacea
  • The best makeup products for rosacea

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a fairly common skin condition that causes extreme sensitivity and reactivity to environmental changes. It can look or feel very different from person to person. Common symptoms include frequent or permanent blushing, general facial redness from enlarged blood vessels, hot flushes, and often a pimple- or acne-like rash. 

What Causes Rosacea?

Unfortunately, the exact causes of rosacea remain unknown. Rosacea is different to normal sensitivity that almost everyone else faces occasionally — for someone with normal skin, it can be relatively straightforward to work out why your skin is suddenly sensitive. For someone with rosacea, there may be multiple causes that trigger a flare-up. Management comes down to experimenting and identifying rosacea triggers to avoid.

A few common things that are known to trigger redness include spicy food, alcohol, sun exposure, extreme heat or cold, stress and — perhaps unsurprisingly — harsh skincare products. Yep, choosing skincare and makeup designed for extremely sensitive skin can play a huge role in keeping those flares at bay.

Is there a Cure for Rosacea?

Unfortunately, there is no long-term cure for rosacea. Unlike normal skin sensitivity, it generally doesn’t come and go — the symptoms of rosacea just need to be managed a little each day.

The best ‘cure’ for rosacea’s symptoms is prevention: which means avoiding your own set of particular rosacea triggers and creating a unique skincare routine for your skin sensitivity. With that said, if you suffer from rosacea, there are a few treatment options that you can explore with your doctor or dermatologist. A common symptom of rosacea is permanent redness caused by dilated blood vessels under the surface of the skin — laser treatments and intense pulsed light (IPL) are designed to reduce this dilation. Likewise, oral antibiotics, topical creams, lotions, gels, and sensitive skincare regimens can help reduce inflammation and redness.

Above everything, it’s important to keep in mind that a treatment or management technique that works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone. It’s important to speak to a healthcare professional familiar with your unique skin needs about what is best for you.

Does Makeup Make Rosacea Worse?

Full disclosure: some makeup can make rosacea worse. However, the good news is that not all makeup products will necessarily cause a flare-up — it’s just one of the myths we are trying to crush about using makeup with sensitive skin

By using only dermatologically-tested makeup products (like ours at Innoxa), you can reduce the chances of causing redness, inflammation or irritation. Before you use any makeup all over your face, it’s important to perform a patch test. Just dab a small about of the product onto a small, inconspicuous part of your neck and wait 24 hours to see if redness or irritation develops. If there’s no change, you might just be in luck!

Skincare Ingredients to Avoid if You Have Rosacea

There are many common rosacea triggers hiding inside popular skincare and makeup products. Frustratingly, some of the worst offenders also happen to be some of the trendiest ingredients on social media. For example, Salicylic Acid and Witch Hazel are touted as wonder ingredients for acne-prone skin but can be triggers for anyone with rosacea. 

Some common ingredients that are known to trigger rosacea flare-ups include:

  • Sodium laurel sulphate (often found in foaming, bubbling products like shampoo)
  • Anything labelled as ‘fragrance’
  • Alcohol (sometimes labelled as ‘isopropyl’)
  • Witch Hazel
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Lactic Acid
  • Glycolic Acid
  • Glycerin
  • Rose Water
  • Glycerin
  • Peppermint oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Camphor
  • Urea
  • Menthol
  • Retinoids.

It’s important to stick to skincare formulated for sensitive skin, like Innoxa’s dermatologically tested sensitive skin range. It’s also a great idea to get comfortable checking the ingredients list on any new product before you try it. We recommend saving the list above to your phone for future reference!  

The Best Skincare Products for Rosacea

So now you know which ingredients to avoid, what should you be looking for in rosacea-friendly skincare and makeup? Three words: gentle, gentle, gentle! 

Flare-ups can be tricky to keep at bay if you don’t have the best skincare products for rosacea on hand. Firstly, daily sun protection is non-negotiable to protect your sensitive skin. Next, mild and dermatologically tested cleansers and light moisturisers free from triggering ingredients are a must. Products with ingredients like azelaic acid and hyaluronic acid, and anti-inflammatory ingredients that nix redness, like niacinamide, get a big tick of approval.

Don’t be tempted by face masks, facials, exfoliants, peels, and other non-essential treatments. These should also be approached with caution, as they can irritate the skin and trigger your rosacea. Now, let’s take a look at some specific products we recommend if you’ve got rosacea.

Best Cleanser for Rosacea

Super Sensitive Skin Cleansing Milk

Extra sensitive skin needs a little extra TLC. So when it comes to cleansing for skin of excess oils, dirt and pollutants, you should use a mild, fragrance-free cleanser like
Innoxa Super Sensitive Skin Cleansing Milk. This gentle formulation is free from unnecessary irritants, foaming agents, and exfoliants — so there’ll be no painful rubbing or scrubbing for your skin. 

Cleansing twice a day is key for managing rosacea flare-ups. Some research has shown rosacea flare-ups can be worse in people who cleanse only at night. Dead skin, sweat and bacteria build up during sleep, so it’s important to get it off in the morning! Always rinse your cleanser off thoroughly with lukewarm water and gently pat skin dry with a towel (no rubbing!).

For someone with normal skin, the next step would usually be a toner or astringent serum, but these are a big no-no if you’ve got rosacea. These dry out and irritate skin and can cause flare-ups, so ditch any acne-targeted products. And yes, we know rosacea can sometimes look like pimples — but they aren’t the same thing. Harsh zit-busting potions can further irritate your sensitive complexion.

Best Moisturiser for Rosacea

Innoxa Super Sensitive Day + Night Cream

Formulated with high-performance antioxidants, Vitamin E & Edelweiss,
Innoxa Super Sensitive Day + Night Cream is a gentle cream that will leave your skin moisturised, soothed, and protected from environmental irritants. It’s been formulated without fragrance and contains a variety of nourishing fruit waters from apple, orange and jojoba seeds.

Whether your skin is oily or dry — when it comes to rosacea, things can go either way — moisturising regularly is an important part of managing flare-ups. Keeping your skin moisturised can help reduce peeling, dryness and roughness which may present itself as redness or bumpy skin texture. It’s important to only use a moisturiser formulated specifically for sensitive skin. 

Best SPF Protection for Rosacea

CC Cream

Let’s start with an important point: wearing SPF daily is essential for all skin types. However, sun exposure is one of the common rosacea triggers, so daily sun protection is even more important if you’ve got extremely sensitive skin. 

When choosing sunscreen, there are some key ingredients to look for if you’ve got sensitive skin. Dermatologists advise using a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection (that is, it blocks out both UVA and UVB rays) and contains SPF 30 or higher. Some other ingredients you should be after include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (or both), and silicone (which may be listed as dimethicone, orcyclomethicone, or cyclomethicone). These are friendly for sensitive skin.

It’s also important to choose a sunscreen that is fragrance-free. Hot tip: if it says ‘unscented’ rather than ‘fragrance-free’, put it back onto the shelf. These aren’t the same thing!

The Best Makeup Products for Rosacea

Once you’ve aced your base with a rosacea-friendly sensitive skincare routine, it’s time to get thinking about your makeup kit. All the gals are here: primers, foundations, concealers, colour correctors, you name it! With so much product variety out there, making good choices can be a murky business.

Like with skincare products, what matters most is identifying triggers and keeping an eye on that ingredient list! As a general rule, opt for fragrance-free formulations and choose mineral-based makeup if possible. If in doubt, chat to your dermatologist or GP and always test out any new products before applying them to your whole face!

Best Primer for Rosacea

Innoxa Anti-Redness Primer

The Anti-Redness primer is fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and contains natural ingredients like licorice extract, chamomile extract, and Vitamin E. This low-coverage primer has a subtle green tint to reduce the appearance of redness, all while soothing and protecting your skin against irritation. You can use the
Innoxa Anti-Redness Primer (or any of our sensitive skin primers) on its own, or right before your foundation as a base. 


 Best Foundation for Rosacea

Innoxa Anti-Redness Foundation SPF15

The best foundation for rosacea is one that is gentle, fragrance-free, neutralises redness and – above all – feels comfortable on your skin. The
Innoxa ​​Anti-Redness Foundation SPF15 is our top pick for a dermatologically tested foundation for sensitive skin. This foundation is enriched with grape seed extract, as well as Vitamins E and A, to soothe and calm your skin.

Your method for applying foundation is important for keeping rosacea in check, too. Whether you’re applying a liquid or powder foundation, going carefully is key. For a liquid formula, gently press and pat the foundation onto your skin rather than rubbing it in, which can be irritating. If you’re using a powder foundation, gently sweep it across the skin with a makeup brush and lightly buff it in.

Best Concealer for Rosacea

Innoxa Dark Circles Under Eye Concealer

The skin around your eyes can be extremely sensitive and prone to redness, dryness, rough texture, or inflammation if you have rosacea. If you’re looking for an all-in-one under-eye concealer for rosacea, we highly recommend the
Innoxa Dark Circles Under Eye Concealer. This concealer for sensitive skin is formulated with Vitamins E and B3, Shea Butter and Liquorice Extract to provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

If you want to bring redness down more, grab yourself a green-based concealer or cover-up like the Innoxa Prime, Cover & Correct Palette. Dot lightly on the area you’re concealing, and again, gently press the product onto the skin, taking care not to rub or pull at your face.

Taking Control of Your Skin 

Living with rosacea can be both painful and frustrating. While it might not have a ‘cure’ per se, there are still lots of techniques for managing the symptoms and reducing your chances of a flair-up. Above all, it’s important to know your own skin, seek expert advice, and try to reduce exposure to any known triggers.

With the right products, you can take back control over your skin and feel free to wear makeup without the fear of flare-ups. Check out Innoxa’s range of dermatologically tested products for sensitive skin and live your best life with confidence.

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