The Best Skincare Ingredients To Treat Rosacea (And What To Avoid)

You’re a rosacea-combatting superhero, and all these ingredients are your trusty sidekicks.
BY Sarah Lim
| September, 2021
ingredients to avoid for rosacea

Rosacea is a term that encompasses four different skin conditions that can vary in intensity. Some people with rosacea simply have redness that comes and goes. Whereas others have severe cases of extra skin growth that require surgery and blemishes which can resemble acne. And so, we need to know the ingredients to avoid for rosacea.

Although you can’t technically cure rosacea, you can manage it, and management is essential, as rosacea can worsen over time. Even if your rosacea is intermittent now, there’s a chance it can progress and affect your skin permanently.

Knowing the common rosacea triggers and what’s your trigger is an essential part of rosacea management. This is why we’ve compiled a list of the ingredients to avoid for rosacea, as well as some helpful ones you may want to consider for the best rosacea skincare regimen.

So which ingredients are the best? Which should you avoid? Let’s find out!

Ingredients You May Want To Try

For rosacea sufferers, focusing on anti-inflammatory skincare ingredients may help prevent flare-ups and protect your skin barrier, which can be an essential component of rosacea treatment.

The following are a few ingredients you may want to consider when you’re trying to find the best rosacea skincare regimen!

Aloe Vera

Aloevera

Naturally anti-inflammatory and helps soothe skin irritation, aloe vera is gentle and effective for rosacea sufferers. You can also take aloe vera internally to help with rosacea potentially. Make sure to always follow up with your physician before incorporating a new supplement into your diet!

Antioxidants

Antioxidants

Antioxidants come in different forms. Green tea extract and licorice extract are two types of antioxidants to consider in your rosacea skincare regimen. Green tea can reduce inflammation in people with rosacea, and licorice extract can “significantly” reduce rosacea skin redness when regularly applied for people who have rosacea.

Ceramides

Ceramides

Humectants, including ceramides, are skincare ingredients that help bring moisture back into the skin and naturally help protect the skin barrier. Protecting the skin barrier with ceramides may help reduce the length of rosacea flares or help people who have flare-ups recover faster.

Chamomile

Chamomile

Chamomile, a flowering plant that’s been used for thousands of years to treat everything from inflammation to anxiety, is beneficial for people who live with rosacea. You can find chamomile in toners, face washes, moisturizers and masks, and can have a calming and anti-inflammatory effect on the skin.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid

Don’t let the word “acid” throw you off too much—like ceramides, hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant. It can help protect the skin barrier and support proper moisture retention in the skin; both are important functions for people with rosacea. Research shows that those who suffer from rosacea tend to tolerate topical applications of hyaluronic acid very well.

Niacinamide

Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B that’s hailed for being anti-inflammatory and soothing in skincare. This ingredient can also support a healthy skin barrier in people with rosacea, which may help manage flare-ups. Using a moisturizer with niacinamide can benefit all skin types but may have added benefits for people with rosacea.  

Ingredients To Avoid For Rosacea

The list of ingredients to avoid for rosacea can seem extensive, but looking out for these ingredients may help you minimize rosacea flare-ups and keep your skin calm and happy.

Alcohol

Alcohol

If you’re suffering from rosacea, alcohol can be too harsh on your skin. Also, it has a drying effect, which can be doubly harsh and compromise the skin barrier. So, try using alcohol free skincare products. Alcohol can go by different names, including ethyl or ethanol, benzyl, methanol, Isopropyl, and SD alcohol, so be sure to read the label of your skincare products before deciding to try it.

Synthetic Fragrance

Synthetic Fragrance

The word “fragrance” or “parfum” are umbrella terms covering thousands of different natural and synthetic chemicals. Many of these are toxins and can be triggers for people with rosacea, but they’re unfortunately found in many skincare products. If you have rosacea and see the word “fragrance” or “parfum” on a label, be mindful that it could trigger a flare-up. And make sure to go for fragrance-free products.

Glycolic Acid

Skincare-Ingredients-Checker-H

As a chemical exfoliator, glycolic acid has many benefits, but it can be too harsh for rosacea sufferers. Glycolic acid comes in different concentrations. So, if you wanted to try a lower concentration to see how your skin reacts to it, you could. However, it may be best to avoid this ingredient favoring a gentler chemical such as lactic acid, mandelic acid or physical exfoliant.

Peppermint Oil And Eucalyptus Oil

Peppermint Oil And Eucalyptus Oil for rosacea

Although natural, these oils can be too harsh on the skin for people suffering from rosacea. They may be used to scent a product or to provide a cooling effect. You may also see peppermint oil on a label as “menthol.” In fact, essential oils of any kind may be too harsh for rosacea sufferers, even if they’re used to scent a product naturally.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

Knowing your skin type can help you avoid cleansers that are too harsh for your skin, especially when you have rosacea. These cleansers are more likely to be foaming cleansers, so you may want to stick with gel or oil cleansers or cleansing balms. Avoid face washes that contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), as they can be particularly drying and harsh for people with rosacea. The result can be a compromised skin barrier and increased flare-ups.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is an astringent, meaning it tightens pores and can be used as a toner. However, 30 percent of people with rosacea said this skincare ingredient was a trigger for their symptoms. Witch hazel often contains alcohol as well, a separate trigger, so it may be worth avoiding this ingredient entirely if you have rosacea.

What Affects Your Rosacea?

Everyone is different, and even people with the same type of rosacea can have different triggers for their condition. What are some ingredients to avoid for rosacea that you’ve found? Do YOU find that these ingredients correlate with ones that are bad for your skin type? Let us know in the comments below. And while you’re here, take our free quiz to find out your skin type!

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