No matter the season, moisture and sun protection are key.

By Martha Upton
July 30, 2020
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We’ve all been there; whether it’s experimenting with one too many new products at once or neglecting to rinse the day off a few nights in a row—please don’t do this, I’m begging you—we’ve all woken up with angry, irritated, reactive skin. But for those of us who have been diagnosed with rosacea, this can happen on a daily basis if you don’t have the right trusted products in your beauty arsenal to calm a flare-up immediately. 

My rosacea developed more fully as a teen once hormones were involved, and I’ve been identifying my trigger factors —a key step since there’s no definitive cure—and trying to find an effective skincare routine since I was 15. 

I have tested (and tested and tested) almost every calming, soothing, redness-reducing, capillary-shrinking product I could get my hands on to find what works for my skin. I’ve found that what works to reduce redness in mostly normal skin might not always have the same effect on rosacea, that tingling is not always a good thing, and that patience with your skin is key. We may not be able to control the type of skin we’re #blessed with, but we can control how we treat it. These are the tried and true products that always calm my skin; let’s proceed in order of my skincare routine, shall we?

Cleanser

Courtesy of manufacturer

$54, revolve.com

A really effective cleanser is always the most important first step in a skincare routine. With rosacea, taking note of the ingredients is imperative. This cleanser is pricey for me, I’ll admit, but I like knowing it’s organic, cruelty-free, and formulated without sulfates or fragrances. In the past, overly-fragranced formulas have caused immediate bad reactions.

Face Mists

Courtesy of manufacturer

$19, amazon.com

I can’t say this enough: face mists. What may seem like a superfluous part of any routine is absolutely necessary for mine. Isn’t this just fancy water from France? Yes, yes it is. But, I’ll let you in on a little secret, depending on how my skin is feeling when I wake up, sometimes I don’t feel the need to do a full cleanse. On those days, a spritz of this thermal water wakes me right up and does less to strip my skin of its natural oils than splashing tap water from the sink.

Courtesy of manufacturer

$28, sephora.com

A relatively new addition to my routine and the beauty world, in fact, this face mist is made primarily of Hypochlorous Acid. After extensive research on this ingredient (you’re welcome), I found that it’s an acid that naturally occurs in your body—much like hyaluronic acid—so reactive skin won’t react against it while it helps to kill bacteria on the skin. When my skin is feeling dry and tight but also blemish-prone, I’ll use this rather than cleansing in the morning. I’m not kidding when I say any blemishes I picked the night before appear less red and swollen almost immediately.

Moisturizer

Courtesy of manufacturer

$35, amazon.com

I don’t go anywhere without this cream. It comes in both regular and rich—I use the rich for an extra moisturizing night cream—and contains the same thermal spring water that comes in the face mist plus glycerin for gentle hydration. It also comes in a hypoallergenic squeeze tube, so you never have to worry about the product being contaminated.

Sunscreen

Courtesy of manufacturer

$16, amazon.com

No matter what you’ve heard about rosacea, the one consensus among scientists and dermatologists is that sun exposure makes it worse. Even people with normal skin should be wearing sunscreen daily; any individual whose skin has aged beautifully will tell you they started wearing sunscreen at an early age. But finding the right one is tricky, and after trying the cult status Elta MD, which made my skin feel tight, and La Roche-Posay Anthelios, which made my skin white, I finally found my sunscreen companion for life in Purito’s Centella Green Level Unscented. Beauty editors raved about the original formula when it was released, but the key for rosacea-prone skin is the updated formula is completely unscented with absolutely zero essential oils. No lavender oil or chamomile to aggravate skin, just a refreshing formula somewhere between a cream and a gel to shield your skin for brighter days ahead.