Redness is a common, treatable skin issue that happens for many different reasons, but rosacea — a condition that affects somewhere near 16 million Americans — is when that redness is chronic and caused by an underlying issue with blood circulation. The best moisturizers for rosacea can’t cure it, but they can help soothe the area and eliminate the acne, bumps, sensitivity, or inflammation that comes with it. As with any most other skin conditions, there are ways to treat flare-ups and ways make them worse.
First, when choosing a moisturizer, consider your skin type. Why? It’s unlikely that any over the counter product will claim to help rosacea since, technically, they can’t. According to Dr. Patricia Ceballos of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York, “People with rosacea have particularly sensitive skin which tends to be on the drier side of normal. It also tends to be hyper-reactive to certain ingredients commonly found in cosmetic products, moisturizers, and cleansers.” She then adds that, “In general, products containing alcohol, fragrance, and parabens should be avoided,” and lists argan oil, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and antioxidants like Vitamin C as ingredients to look for. Similarly, Dr. Ceballos says that "astringents and other drying agents are best avoided."
To generalize, this means that if you have rosacea, you likely have dry, sensitive skin and should avoid treating acne topically even if you have it. Instead, choose gentle, chemical-free formulas and products that reduce redness. If you're still confused about your options, try one of the eight moisturizers on this list. They're all gentle and contain ingredients that can help keep any unwanted rosacea symptoms at bay.
1Best For Everyday Wear: An Oil-Free Daily Moisturizer That's Great For All Skin Types
Dr. Ceballos named La Roche-Posay Toleriane Fluide specifically as an excellent option for people with rosacea. It combines the brand's signature thermal water with ultra-hydrating ingredients, resulting in a lightweight lotion (the texture is more reminiscent of a fluid than a cream) that's comfortable enough to wear all day. It's free of parabens, fragrances, preservatives, and oil, so it's safe to use on sensitive skin.
2Best For Nighttime Use: A Gel Cream That Replenishes Moisture While You Sleep
For people looking for deep, overnight hydration Biotherm Aquasource Nuit provides just that. With an oddly satisfying jelly-like texture, this night cream uses highly innovative ingredients, like thermal plankton cellular water, to increase your skin’s water reserves for more radiant, hydrated skin. It absorbs incredibly fast, and fans with oily skin say it works wonderfully with their complexions. Plus, how gorgeous is that bottle?
3Best For Sun Protection: An All-Natural Tinted Moisturizer That's Loaded With Argan Oil
A great way to counteract redness is with a lightly tinted moisturizer, like this one: Josie Maran Protect + Prefect Daily Moisturizer. The non-toxic formula not only contains the brand's star ingredient — 100% pure argan oil, which is super hydrating — but it also has a SPF of 47. Since sun and environmental damage are common triggers for rosacea, this antioxidant-packed lotion is a great choice for daily skin protection.
4Best For Environmental Protection: A Vitamin C-Infused Moisturizer With An SPF Of 30
If you're looking for an option with SPF but don't want any tint, this moisturizer by Murad is a wonderful alternative to the Josie Maran cream above. Made with an antioxidant-packed suspension of Vitamin C that offers protection against the harmful effects of sunlight and other environmental exposures (like pollution and free radicals), this formula hydrates skin all day long while also improving its radiance, firmness, and elasticity.
5Best For Hyper-Sensitive Skin: An All-Natural, Organic Face Cream That Also Helps Treat Eczema
Since this cream was specifically created for babies with sensitive skin, it's a no-brainer for adults with the same problem. Weleda White Mallow Face Cream is a fragrance-free homeopathic formula made with organic white mallow and pansy extracts to moisturize and calm highly sensitive or irritated complexions. It absorbs quickly, is non-oily, and is also recommended for people struggling with eczema or severely parched skin.
6Best For Hydration: A Prestige Moisturizer With 30% Hyaluronic Acid For Day And Night Wear
According to Dr. Ceballos, hyaluronic acid is one of the post powerful natural humectants, so it's something to look out for in rosacea-friendly moisturizers. This super popular cream by Peter Thomas Roth is a great place to start because it has a 30 percent of hyaluronic acid, making it especially hydrating. It's light enough to wear during the day but is concentrated enough to make a great night cream, too. Fun fact: According to InStyle, this best-selling moisturizer is so popular that, for a while, Sephora was having trouble keeping it in stock.
7Best For Inflammation: An Oil-Free Moisturizer That Also Reduces Redness
EltaMD's oil-free daily moisturizer contains niacinamide, which reduces inflammation and redness, dimethicone, which evens out skin tone, and willow bark, a skin stimulant that increases cell turnover for a healthier, smoother complexion. A great option for anyone who's struggling with flaking, it also helps with eczema and dermatitis and is often recommended by dermatologists post-procedure.
8Best For Wearing Under Makeup: A French Pharmacy Favorite With A Cult Following
The popularity of Embryolisse Concentrated Lait Cream amongst models, makeup artists, beauty editors, and bloggers stems from the fact that it's very simple formula that evens out the skin's texture in preparation for makeup application (which can be an issue if you have rosacea). It also works to restore the skin's pH and natural moisture barrier, and can be used as a makeup remover or after-shave. Also known as the 24-Hour Miracle Cream, this French pharmacy staple is non-irritating and oh-so-subtly scented.
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