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Rosacea is a common skin condition primarily affecting the face. It’s characterized by redness, swelling and often includes acne-like symptoms. It’s most common in those with fair skin. While rosacea is more common in females, it tends to affect males more severely. As it stands, the precise cause for rosacea remains unknown, we only know that it occurs more commonly between the ages of 30 to 50. Gentle cleansing is super important for those with rosacea as it’s the first step in soothing your skin, and helping to protect it from further damage. In saying this, the skin on the face is delicate and more prone to irritation in rosacea, so we recommend taking it gently and avoiding any scrubbing, rubbing, or exfoliating.
What does it look like?
Rosacea can vary in appearance from person to person, but there are some common shared symptoms. These include:
- Facial redness: This can appear as an ongoing ‘blush’ or patchy redness on the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin.
- Visible blood vessels: Small, visible blood vessels may appear on the skin of the face.
- Acne-like bumps: These small, red, pus-filled bumps can be mistaken for acne but are typically located in the central part of the face.
- Eye problems: In some cases, rosacea can cause eye dryness, irritation and redness.
What are the potential causes and triggers?
Despite rosacea being a condition that appears just on the skin of the face, it is not as simple as being a cosmetic condition. There isn’t a consensus yet on its specific cause, however there is ongoing research on a variety of interacting causes. These include:
- Overactive immune system: It’s thought that those with rosacea have an overactive immune system which can cause inflammation and contribute to the development of rosacea symptoms.
- Abnormal blood vessels: Those with rosacea may have blood vessels that are more reactive or prone to inflammation, which can cause the facial redness or flushing associated with the condition.
- Demodex mites: Demodex mites are a type of mite that lives in human hair follicles, and essentially everyone has them. In rosacea they are present in larger numbers – so the exact causative link is unknown, but they may play a role in triggering an immune response or inflammation.
- Genetics: Rosacea tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic contribution to the condition. However, as with any component of genetics, the environment plays a large role in determining whether you’ll express symptoms.
When it comes to triggers, these can vary from person to person, but it’s also important to be aware of them so you can try to minimize their effects. Triggers may include:
- Sun exposure: Harsh UV rays can cause skin damage and inflammation, leading to flare ups
- Temperature extremes: Temperatures at both ends of the extremes can cause redness and flushing in people with rosacea. A surprising aspect of this is that even hot drinks can be a trigger, as your morning cup of coffee causes blood vessels in your face to dilate, resulting in flushing and redness.
- Spicy food: Spicy foods can trigger rosacea, exacerbating flushing and redness.
- Stress: As with many skin conditions, stress is a very common trigger. High levels of stress can cause inflammation, worsening rosacea symptoms. This makes it hugely important to prioritize your self care, and have ongoing stress management techniques.
- Certain skin care products: Many skin care products contain harsh chemicals, or alcohol that can significantly worsen rosacea symptoms and overall cause lasting damage to the skin. Luckily, these are easy enough to avoid and you can opt for natural products with a straightforward list of ingredients.
- Medications: Certain medications including blood pressure medications, steroids, hormonal medications or contraceptives, and topical acne medications, can cause flushing or dilation of the blood vessels either triggering or exacerbating the redness and inflammation seen with rosacea.
Is it treatable?
—These include topical medications, oral antibiotics, laser therapy and lifestyle changes to avoid triggers. There may also be periods where symptoms improve and you can temporarily stop treatment. Finally, your doctor may give you advice on potential triggers to avoid, and stress management techniques to address underlying drivers of inflammation.
Since their launch in 2022, Blu Atlas have quickly risen to be stars of the beauty scene for both males and females, and are particularly dominant in the category of facial products.
Volcanic ash, the star of the show in this face cleanser, is a unique ingredient that works to absorb excess oil and impurities from your skin. This can help to tighten your pores, while evening out complexion. Lactobacillus ferment filtrate has been found to support your skin’s microbiome. Since your facial skin is its own ecosystem compared with the rest of the body, it’s important to nourish this as much as possible. Next up is pomegranate seed oil – this delicious ingredient has anti inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-aging properties making it a top choice for beauty products. High levels of vitamin A, K and C, and essential omega fatty acids help to nourish the skin and reduce irritation from rosacea.
Blu Atlas have committed to the natural approach, with 98% of their ingredients coming from natural origins. Free of synthetic fragrances, they are also choosing the power of nature for their delicious scents (you can choose between classic, coconut apricot, or keep things simple with their fragrance free option). We love their commitment to sustainable practices, shown by their recyclable packaging and their commitment to donating to environmental organizations. If you want the full package, they also offer an advanced skincare kit. This includes their face cleanser, vitamin C serum, eye stick, face scrub, face moisturizer and face mask.
If you don’t trust us, read their glowing reviews to hear how buyers have felt transformed by this face cleanser! Regardless of your age or gender, skin type, and lifestyle, Blu Atlas have designed this simple yet effective cleanser to cater to everyone and are definitely deserving of top spot on our list of the 16 best face washes for rosacea.
Pai Skincare’s gentle hydrating cleanser is suitable for all skin types, but is particularly formulated for sensitive or rosacea prone skin. Camellia and shea butter provide hydration to protect the skin’s natural barrier and prevent any further damage. Pai Skincare are experts at formulating soothing products, making them a top choice for anyone who is looking to reduce the symptoms of rosacea.
Pai Skincare is also a totally cruelty-free brand. They’re one of the few cosmetic brands on the market that choose to formulate their products themselves, rather than trying to save money by outsourcing production. This means they can assure their high quality standards and ingredients are maintained in every product.
This gentle face cleanser is great for those with sensitive skin, trusted by dermatologists. It has a few key ingredients that help it to effectively target rosacea symptoms. Firstly, glycerin, a humectant that helps to hydrate the skin and prevent dryness. Rosacea is often characterized by a compromised skin barrier which can make the skin more sensitive and prone to irritation. To tackle this, La Roche-Posay uses ceramides. Ceramides are lipids that help to strengthen the skin’s barrier function and protect it from external stressors. Finally, niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3) is used to target redness and inflammation, to soothe and calm the skin.
What do we love about La Roche-Posay? They’re recommended by over 90,000 dermatologists worldwide, and we can see why! With over 750 studies and at least 25 years of research, they are strict about standards and continue to deliver and innovate.
Bioderma is a great option for rosacea for its deeply hydrating ingredients, including glycerin which helps to build up the skin’s hydration and reduce irritation. Mannitol is another powerful hydrating ingredient, working to soften and smooth the skin while also delivering anti-inflammatory effects. Coco-glucoside is a gentle cleansing agent, helping to remove dirt and oils for the skin, giving your face a fresh start. Coco-glucoside also mimics the structure of the skin, providing additional reinforcement. All of these combine to help bring back your skin’s natural homeostatic balance, and to protect it from potential irritants or rosacea triggers.
When it comes to their philosophy, Bioderma sees our precious skin as a whole ecosystem that is continually interacting with its environment, requiring ongoing care. Rather than adding harsh, potentially toxic chemicals, their vision is to work alongside the natural resources of your skin’s ecosystem to support them and recover their natural functions.
Bring the spa day to your very own home with this gentle cleanser from Yes To Cucumbers. Cucumber, aloe vera and green tea unite to create a unique blend of deeply hydrating, antioxidant-rich ingredients. Soy proteins are packed with additional antioxidants, also helping to reduce skin irritation and smooth the skin. What’s more is that Yes To Cucumbers offers a huge range of options that are friendly on your wallet. So, if you’re wanting to add to your beauty routine without damaging your bank account, look no further.
Simple, highly effective ingredients aren’t the only notable feature of this brand. They also go above and beyond the status quo, saying yes to people, our planet, and consciously crafted products. With a commitment to high quality ingredients, 95% natural ingredients and zero animal testing, they are absolutely doing their part to reduce their impact on the planet.
This fragrance-free face cleanser is made for your daily routine. It’s pH balanced, meaning it isn’t stripping your skin of its natural oils or disrupting the balance of your skin. Aloe, allantoin, and glycerin all combine to smooth the skin and provide deep hydration. As rosacea is commonly associated with dry patches on the skin, these ingredients unite to smooth and hydrate the skin.
First Aid Beauty pride themselves on being cruelty free, meaning they do not carry out any animal testing. Their full range was previously 100% vegan and while some products now contain animal products, the great news is that their face cleanser is fully vegan! However, if you’re looking to buy some of their other products and if it’s something you want to avoid then make sure to check the ingredient list before buying.
Indie Lee products contain a powerful natural blend of deeply soothing ingredients, including chamomile, lavender, and seaweed extract. These can help to tone down the symptoms of rosacea, and the delicious scents of chamomile and lavender can also help you wind down at the end of your day. Their non-drying formula is great for rosacea, as it prevents further irritation that can aggravate symptoms. Seaweed extract is full of antioxidants and minerals that help to nourish and hydrate the skin too!
All packaged in a glass bottle, this chic design will fit nicely into your home. Like our other favorites, Indie Lee products are free of phthalates, parabens, and over 1300 other ingredients that could potentially harm. They’re also totally vegan, meaning them absolutely worthy of a spot on our list of the 16 best face washes for rosacea.
Plant-based skincare is taken to new heights with Province Apothecary. High in antioxidants, Vitamins A, E and Omega 3, your skin will be thanking you for all the hydrating and restorative benefits these ingredients provide. Pure plant oils are neutral on the skin, allowing your face to maintain its natural oil production. In addition, rosacea can make your skin prone to dryness and irritation, but avocado and jojoba oil ensure that your skin stays hydrated all day long. Since this cleanser doubles as a makeup remover, it’s great if you’re looking to save time in the morning or evening.
After struggling with severe allergies and eczema all her life, Province Apothecary founder Julie Clark decided something needed to be done. After some experimenting at home with natural ingredients, she was able to heal her own eczema, and decided to extend the reach of her products by founding her own skincare line.
We love Josh Rosebrook as a brand for its gentle yet powerful approach to skincare. This is achieved by the totally organic set of ingredients that their products have. Aloe vera is packed with anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the redness and irritation commonly seen in rosacea. Both coconut oil and jojoba oil are known for their antioxidant and vitamin-rich power, making them a great addition to this face wash.
While it’s more expensive than some of the other face washes on our list, you’ll be glad you’ve spent the extra money as you’re rewarded with potent, nutrient-rich ingredients. All of their ingredients are 100% earth-friendly, and totally biodegradable. This cleanser has also been crafted with conditions like rosacea, eczema, acne, and sensitive skin in mind, so your skin is in safe hands.
With a blend of organic and wild-crafted ingredients, this facial cleanser is not one to be missed. Oat kernels and chamomile flowers are sourced for their potent antioxidant properties, and their soothing effects on the skin. Seaweed is another key ingredient that balances your skin, delivering huge nutritional benefits. Our favorite part about this cleanser is that you can even customize it to suit your skin’s specific needs! Dr Alkaitis offers a range of organic herbal toners that can be mixed with the cleanser to create a personalized solution.
The brand recommends using their cleanser morning and night to get the best results. Their founder’s slogan is ‘if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin’. We couldn’t agree more! By treating your skin as the whole organism it is, giving it what it needs to restore a healthy glow.
Green tea is the savior for your skin in True Botanicals’ clear nourishing cleanser. Rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea reduces redness and soothes skin. Catechins, also found in green tea, work to protect the skin from free radical damage. Next up on the ingredients list we have neem oil. This unique choice hydrates, but also targets bacteria found on the face, helping to prevent any breakouts. This is complemented by the action of tea tree oil which has additional antibacterial and antifungal properties.
True Botanicals certainly live up to their name with their clinically proven approach to natural skincare. They’re also looking at the life cycle of their products in the context of climate change – from how ingredients are produced and extracted, to how quickly they break down after use, looking at ways to optimize this process and minimize their impact.
Odacite has brought back the wow factor with their Blue Aura turmeric and holy basil face cleanser. This no-rinse cleanser is great for those looking to simplify their routine as it only requires one simple step of spraying on to remove impurities, and protect the skin. Sometimes, a self-care routine can feel overwhelming, daunting or just a little too time-consuming for a busy life. If this sounds a bit like you, then look no further.
Built for rosacea-prone, sensitive, or irritated skin, Odacite has created a gentle yet highly effective cleanser. Blue green algae, witch hazel and calendula are the secret weapons in this great cleanser. This harmony of ingredients is full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to protect the skin from free radical damage, and promote a youthful, radiant look. Ayurvedic herbs, including turmeric and basil, are highly sought after for their ability to combat the pollutants that can damage skin.
The unique ingredients of organic lemon juice and cherry juice in this cleanser help to maintain skin barrier function, and bring back skin homeostasis. Cherry juice is packed full of antioxidants, enabling it to fight off free radical damage in your skin. Aloe vera locks in these key ingredients with potent moisturizing abilities, helping to showcase all these benefits. Salicylic acid works to exfoliate the skin and unclog pore by breaking down the build up of dead skin cells and oil that can contribute to skin irritation and breakouts.
Juice Beauty concentrates their formulas on totally organic ingredients because they have a much higher proportion of antioxidants, and this also avoids the potential harm of using pesticides, benefitting both humans and the planet!
Earth Tu Face has opted for pure, organic plant oils to achieve a cleansing, sudsy wash. Their products work well with both oily and dry skin types, helping to restore their natural harmony. Jojoba oil creates a tight seal on your skin to lock in moisture, protecting the skin from further damage. Rosemary offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits, helping to reduce redness with rosacea.
Recently, they even switched to using a metal cap on their bottles as a more environmental option. Their sustainable skincare products are focused on the philosophy that what’s good for nature is good for us, too. Every ingredient is active, with no added ingredients to act as ‘fillers’ in their products. Most of the line is hand made in small batches in their apothecary, so you can rest assured that a huge level of care and consideration is going into your face wash.
This gentle, non-stripping face wash is another favorite, particularly for those with dry, irritated or uneven skin. As the name suggests, one of the key ingredients in this face cleanser is soy. Rich in amino acids, soy helps to even out skin tone, reduce redness and reduce sun damage. Cucumber extract complements these anti-inflammatory effects, adding to the soothing nature of this cleanser. Finally, rosewater helps to neutralize the pH of the skin. You can choose between a gel, foaming, oil, rinse, or non rinse formula.
As a brand, Fresh is at the intersection of science, ancient rituals, and natural ingredients. This harmony has enabled them to create unique products that you didn’t know you needed! While they started in New York with humble beginnings, you can now find them all over the world.
Last but not least on our list of the 16 best face washes for rosacea is Alaffia’s facial cleanser. Neem is a powerful ingredient that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a range of skin conditions, including acne and rosacea. It offers both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that fight off acne-causing bacteria, and reduce redness. Turmeric is another star ingredient known for its potent anti-inflammatory powers. It’s also great for evening, and brightening out skin tone, and helping to protect the skin from potential environmental stressors. Shea butter, rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids, completes the formula and helps to lock in these powerful ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will a face wash get rid of my rosacea?
While face washes can be hugely beneficial at addressing the symptoms of rosacea, they may not address the root cause. Since the exact cause is complicated, it’s best to consult your doctor or dermatologist to get their advice, particularly around links to inflammation. Everyone’s skin is different, so face washes can provide varying degrees of symptom relief. Regardless, they are a great addition to your routine to help protect the skin and boost your self care.
Is rosacea associated with any other medical conditions?
While rosacea is commonly understood as a cosmetic condition, given its links with inflammation and immunity, its relationship to other conditions becomes quite complex. It has been linked with diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, migraines and autoimmune conditions. Whether these are direct clinical links, or simply correlations is to be determined, but they’re important to keep in mind given the association of rosacea with your blood vessels, inflammation, stress, and immune system health. This may help you take preventative measures or lifestyle adaptations to boost your overall health.
Rosacea has impacted my self-esteem – what should I do?
Since rosacea doesn’t have a clear cause and course of treatment, it can be quite a challenging diagnosis to receive. In addition to this, the face obviously plays a huge role in our lives and interactions, our perceptions of ourselves, and how we are perceived too. While it’s typically easy to offer treatments to address physical symptoms, the side of medicine that is often lacking is that addressing the psychosocial impact of this condition. It’s quite common amongst those with rosacea to experience a drop in self-esteem and self-confidence. But, there are many steps you can take to restore your self image and to see yourself for the brilliant person that you are.
Depending on how significantly you’ve been impacted, it may be worth taking the time to see a psychologist to work through some of these feelings. Continuing to nourish your body with good food, good company and enriching experiences goes a long way too. On top of all this, recognizing that you’re not defined by certain features is key. Overall, it’s important to know that you’re not alone if you’re feeling down after a rosacea diagnosis. So take it easy, and know that this is a temporary experience that will improve with time!