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Products to Avoid With Rosacea

author image Gwen Bruno
Gwen Bruno has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009, with her gardening-related articles appearing on DavesGarden. She is a former teacher and librarian, and she holds a bachelor's degree in education from Augustana College and master's degrees in education and library science from North Park University and the University of Wisconsin.
Products to Avoid With Rosacea
Avoid using harsh soaps on skin affected by rosacea.

Rosacea, a chronic inflammation of the skin, can cause facial redness, visible blood vessels and breakouts, especially on the skin of the cheeks, nose and chin. Skin care products can make a big difference for those with rosacea. The best products can actually soothe the skin, helping to calm redness and bumps. Other products can cause stinging and irritation, and may actually trigger a rosacea flare-up. Always read labels carefully to avoid potential irritants in cleansers, lotions, makeup and sunscreen.

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Avoid cleansers, sunscreens and other products containing scent, as some fragrances can irritate sensitive skin. Look for “fragrance-free” or “allergy tested” on product labels.


Unless you have very oily skin, avoid ingredients that dry the skin, including bar soap. Look for a gentle non-soap cleanser. Skin affected by rosacea is very easily irritated by aggressive cleansing or scrubbing.


Avoid makeup foundation or concealer that contains oil, as it can worsen rosacea symptoms. Mineral powder makeup may be a good choice, since it is oil-free and can be gently applied with an antibacterial brush. This allows you to avoid both tugging delicate skin and contaminating it with oil or dirt from your fingers.


When the National Rosacea Society conducted a survey of rosacea patients about skin-care products, 66 percent reported experiencing irritation after use of products containing alcohol. Others ingredients frequently reported by patients as a trigger of rosacea symptoms include witch hazel, menthol, peppermint and eucalyptus oil. It is best to avoid toners or other products containing such astringents.

Exfoliants and Peels

The Skin Care Physicians website recommends avoiding any at-home peels or microdermabrasion products. While rosacea sufferers can still enjoy certain spa treatments, it is important to question the aesthetician about product ingredients. A mild salicylic acid peel can actually help control rosacea, but it should be performed by a dermatologist.

Waterproof Products

Avoid waterproof makeup or very heavy makeup, since it may require scrubbing or use of a special makeup remover, which can irritate skin. Use a light makeup that requires nothing more than a gentle cleanser to remove.

Other Ingredients

Individuals with rosacea may be bothered by numerous other ingredients, including acetone, bentonite, bergamot, camphor, chamomile, cinnamon, clove, cocoa butter, cornstarch, fennel, horsetail, lavender, lemon, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, papaya, phenol, sandalwood oil, thyme, wintergreen and ylang-ylang. The ingredients sodium C14-16 olefin sulfate, sodium lauryl sulfate and TEA-lauryl sulfate can also irritate rosacea-prone skin, according to the website Cosmetics Cop.

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