A Skincare Routine for Rosacea

When it comes to a skincare routine for rosacea, you’ll want to start with a good cleanser that’s non-stripping and non-irritating. So essentially, you’ll want to avoid fragrance and plant actives. Once you choose a cleanser, you’ll also want to make sure that you avoid using overly warm or cold water. Make sure the temperature is mild because excessive temperatures can be a trigger for rosacea. Temperature changes can also be a trigger. 

So now that you have a little background information, what cleanser should you use for rosacea?  


Paulas Choice Hydrating Gel to Cream Cleanser  - $19


This is a nice, milky emulsion. It’s hydrating to the skin and non-stripping, but it’s cleansing without being irritating. This also has some calming antioxidants like green tea that defend the skin. It also has amino acids like glycine, alanine, isoleucine, and proline.  Amino acids are important nutrients required for wound healing promotion and repair of damaged skin.

This is a fantastic face wash, especially for rosacea-prone skin because it is very unlikely to irritate the skin. But generally, any non-stripping cleanser that has only a few or no actives will. Additionally, make sure it doesn’t have fragrance. 

Essences and Toners 

Cassandra doesn’t always recommend essences or toners because they’re not essential to a skincare routine. Moreover, toners from American brands often have things ingredients like exfoliating acids or treatments. With rosacea, we want to avoid strong ingredients and actives. The skin needs to be soothed so fragrance-free K-beauty essences or toners might be a better choice for rosacea-prone skin. 

Purito Centella Unscented Centella Toner 

Toners help to further cleanse and balance the skin. This toner has no fragrance, and it’s very hydrating and soothing to the skin. If you’re sensitive, prone to irritation, or looking for more hydration, this one can truly help.

This toner also has sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid, which can be drying for some people but hydrating for others.  So, here are two choices that don’t include sodium hyaluronate. 

Pyunkang Yul Toning Essence 


This is one of Cassandra’s favorites. It’s probably the most gentle essence she’s found, and it truly helps soothe the skin. The main ingredient is astragalus membranaceous root extract which protects against photoaging or light sensitivity of the skin. Arginine also has soothing properties and helps to repair visible skin damage.

This essence is fragrance-free and very hydrating. We want to hydrate rosacea-prone skin, and as another tip, a lot of people say that applying products like essences to moist skin helps to further soothe rosacea.  

Essences can also help other products in your routine like a mist or serum to penetrate more deeply.

Treatments and serums

Noid Superoxide Dismutase Saccharide Mist - $40

There are no ingredients in this product directly related to treating rosacea, but dismutase saccharide mist has been shown to help prevent free radical damage. Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme that has antioxidant benefits. The ingredient provides defense against oxidative damage in rosacea-prone skin. So, applying it topically could be helpful.

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% - $11.10

Azelaic acid is another great ingredient for rosacea. It calms down inflammation and makes the skin less sensitive. This product is affordable and effective, and people with rosacea have said it works very well. Some have complained that this product is gritty, but Cassandra doesn’t have a problem with the texture.

HoliFrog Galilee Antioxidant Dewy Drop - $48

This is an amazing serum with a light texture that contains azelaic acid as well as other ingredients like coq10 or coenzyme 10, otherwise known as ubiquinone. This is a very great antioxidant and support system. This product also has squalane, aloe, and sodium hyaluronate. So, this helps with the skin’s moisture. Plus, it’s fragrance-free. This does have orange extract though so keep this in mind if you’re sensitive to ingredients like this. But overall, it’s a great serum for rosacea-prone skin.

You can also look for serums with vasoconstrictors like green tea or caffeine in them. Vasoconstrictors reduce puffiness, redness, and the look of vessels in the face.

Benton Deep Green Tea Serum

The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% EGCG - $8.90

This is a caffeine serum so it’s also a vasoconstrictor. Cassandra feels that this is very helpful for rosacea-prone skin. 

In addition to caffeine, niacinamide moisturizers are a great option. Rosacea is largely associated with dryness so you’ll want to make sure that your skin is hydrated and you have an effective moisturizer to lock it all in. 


Purito Deep Sea Water Cream

This is a great fragrance-free, niacinamide cream.

Paulas Choice Resist Super Light Daily Wrinkle Defense-$13

And most importantly, SPF is essential when it comes to rosacea. Light sensitivity and UV radiation can greatly impact rosacea. 

This SPF is fragrance-free and hyaluronic acid-free. This also has antioxidants and resveratol so it’s really good for rosacea-prone skin.

But, regardless of what products are favorable here, rosacea should be diagnosed by a dermatologist. Yes, there are wonderful OTC ingredients, but check with your physician regarding what is right for you.