The 13 Best Products for Rosacea That Fight Redness and Irritation

Calming, soothing, and redness-reducing skincare, recommended by editors and dermatologists.

A selection of rosacea treating skin creams layered on a backdrop to illustrate a guide to the best products for rosacea
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rosacea is a bit of a medical mystery. Experts like board-certified dermatologist Dr. Azadeh Shirazi know what it is: "a chronic skin condition that causes redness, broken capillaries, flushing, blushing, and red bumps on the face, particularly on the nose and cheeks.” More than 14 million people in the United States have rosacea (including yours truly). Still, doctors don’t know exactly what causes it or how to get rid of it for good. But, there is proof that factors like skin mites and bacterial imbalances in the small intestine play a role. Super sexy, right?

Treatments such as prescription creams and purple light therapy temporarily soothe redness and decrease inflammation, but incorporating the best skincare products for rosacea into your daily routine is one of the most effective methods to manage flare-ups. Finding out what works best for your rosacea flare-ups is a journey—one I’ve been on for the greater part of a decade. Moisturizers for sensitive skin, calming serums, and soothing lotions with ingredients like centella asiatica and aloe vera are staples for handling rosacea at home. Ice rollers are game-changing, anti-inflammatory supplements can actually work, and a gel sleep mask might soothe redness in a pinch.

rosacea skin

Rosacea can present differently on individuals, but is commonly associated with redness and small acne-looking bumps.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

There’s no singular miracle product or lineup to cure rosacea for good. But if you’re looking for a sound place to start soothing your skin, read ahead for the best products for rosacea I've tested. I also consulted Dr. Whitney Bowe and Dr. Shirazi, two board-certified dermatologists specializing in the skin condition, for more expert-vetted recommendations.

Editor’s note: Rosacea is a medical condition, so over-the-counter products, like the ones found below, don’t have clinical trials proving they treat rosacea. For a true treatment, you will have to visit a board-certified dermatologist for a prescription.

The Best Products for Rosacea

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What Is Rosacea?

What should be a simple question is actually fairly complicated. The reality is, “Rosacea is not fully understood,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Azadeh Shirazi says. The chronic skin condition comes with many visible symptoms, including redness, broken capillaries, flushing, blushing, and red bumps across the nose and cheeks. However, the underlying causes are not yet definitively known.

Rosacea is most common in women with fair skin between the ages of 30 and 50, but that’s not to say that men, younger individuals, or those with more melanin rich skin are exempt from the condition. “Rosacea is also seen in those with sensitive or reactive skin, with patients complaining that most products they use cause stinging, burning or irritation,” adds Dr. Shirazi. 

What Causes Rosacea?

While the causes rosacea aren't crystal-clear, scientists have determined a few factors that contribute to its onset. “Genetics plays a major role,” notes Dr. Shirazi. If anyone in your family has rosacea, you have a greater chance of developing the skin condition as well.

Studies have also found that patients with rosacea have an overgrowth of demodex mites living on their skin. Everyone has little mites living in their pores and on their lashes (so cute, right?), but those with rosacea have more than the average person. Such overactivity is thought to contribute to rosacea. 

Despite the true cause of rosacea remaining fuzzy, doctors have been able to determine certain triggers that exacerbate the condition. “Environmental factors and lifestyle choices such as alcohol, sun, extreme heat or cold temperatures, spicy foods, stress, and certain products can trigger rosacea symptoms,” Dr. Shirazi says.

a side by side image comparing a person having a rosacea flare up to a person who is not having one

The difference between skin with an active rosacea flare and without a rosacea flare is drastic.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Which Products Should You Avoid With Rosacea?

Harsh skincare products, particularly those formulated with alcohol or intense acids, will typically cause added irritation for rosacea patients. “It’s best to avoid astringents and toners, while exfoliating scrubs can cause more broken capillaries and redness in those with sensitive skin or rosacea,” Dr. Shirazi advises. High concentrations of vitamin C can also cause irritation.

Sorry, fragrance lovers: Even the best new perfumes could cause a rosacea flare-up. "If your nose loves a product and you have rosacea, your skin probably won’t. That goes for both synthetic fragrance as well as many natural ones, including essential oils,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe says. “Pleasant smelling ingredients, be they natural or synthetic, can be very irritating for my rosacea patients.”

The Best Ingredients to Treat Rosacea

“When incorporating new ingredients into your skincare routine, it's essential to introduce them one at a time and observe how your skin responds,” Dr. Shirazi recommends. “Rosacea can be highly individual, and what works for one person may not work for another.” That said, there are a few ingredients that most rosacea sufferers have success with. 

Gentle Exfoliants: While harsh exfoliating acids like salicylic acid or glycolic acid might irritate rosacea, azelaic acid is a safe bet. “It’s dermatology’s favorite ingredient to treat rosacea as it helps calm inflammation, treats breakouts, and redness, in addition to reducing demodex skin mites,” Dr. Shirazi explains. 

Anti-Inflammatories: Knowing that rosacea is an inflammatory condition, any ingredient that helps decrease inflammation in the skin is a win. Licorice extract, which has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, as well as niacinamide, are two hardworking options. “Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that helps reduce inflammation and redness, improve the skin barrier function, and decrease the amount of skin oil (sebum) that is produced,” Dr. Shirazi adds. 

Soothing Hydrators: Calming and hydrating ingredients like allantoin, aloe vera, and cucumber extract all soothe rosacea flare-ups.

Mineral Sunscreens: Dermatologists report that mineral SPFs with zinc or titanium dioxide are typically less reactive on rosacea-prone skin. 

Meet the Dermatologists

Dr. Whitney Bowe

Dr. Whitney Bowe, is a renowned, board-certified dermatologist and scientist based in New York. More than a decade ago, Dr. Bowe championed a focus on the skin-gut-mind connection. Her “three-dimensional” approach to skincare—treating skin from both the outside and inside—challenged long-held beliefs within the field of dermatology. 

Dr. Bowe’s practice has been capped for six years. Now with Dr. Whitney Bowe Beauty, you get access to one of the most in-demand derms in the country, from home.

Dr. Azadeh Shirazi

Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, MD is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology. She received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University Of Kentucky College of Medicine. She then went on to do a Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine. She embodies a strong passion for dermatology and truly enjoys the art of aesthetics every day, and she can arguably be called the most skilled dermatologist La Jolla has to offer.

Samantha Holender
Beauty Editor

Samantha Holender is the Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, where she reports on the best new launches, dives into the science behind skincare, and shares the breakdown on the latest and greatest trends in the beauty space. She's studied up on every ingredient you'll find on INCI list and is constantly in search of the world's glowiest makeup products. Prior to joining the team, she worked as Us Weekly’s Beauty and Style Editor, where she stayed on the pulse of pop culture and broke down celebrity beauty routines, hair transformations, and red carpet looks. Her words have also appeared on Popsugar,,,, and Philadelphia Wedding. Samantha also serves as a board member for the American Society of Magazine Editors (ASME). She first joined the organization in 2018, when she worked as an editorial intern at Food Network Magazine and Pioneer Woman Magazine. Samantha has a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs. While at GWU, she was a founding member of the school’s HerCampus chapter and served as its President for four years. When she’s not deep in the beauty closet or swatching eyeshadows, you can find her obsessing over Real Housewives and all things Bravo. Keep up with her on Instagram @samholender.