10 Essential Rosacea Make-Up Tips


Published by Dr. James Macdonald, MD and Sandy Jones, Celebrity Make-up Artist

We've been working with Rosacea patients for over 10 years. From our experience, while it is possible to hide your facial redness with make-up, there are many things you have to consider before doing so.  With the right tools and techniques you can look your best and avoid irritating your sensitive skin. 

Here are our top 10 tips:

1) Keep your make-up routine simple by using as few products as possible.  Remember Rosacea skin is sensitive skin and it's important to avoid products containing allergens such as dyes, fragrances, and formaldehyde-releasing agents as these could trigger inflammation and flare-ups.

2) Use products with ingredients that reduce the appearance of redness. You can often find these ingredients in daily use skincare (cleansers, serums, moisturizers) are applied before make-up.  Known ingredients associated with reducing facial redness include Beta-Thujaplicin and Vitamin E.  These molecules have proven antioxidant, anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory properties that may reduce the look of facial redness.

3) Begin with a green-tinted foundation that also contains sunscreen – Green hues in a foundation will help reduce the appearance of redness while a sunscreen should be mandatory and will help prevent flare-ups induced by UV radiation.  

4) Select an oil-free foundation and cover-up, then apply with a brush rather than a sponge, which can harbor bacteria.

5)  For those with moderate to severe redness, consider purchasing cover-corrective cosmetics, which offer heavier coverage

6) Mineral make-up is often a good choice for redness-prone skin as its ingredients are usually non-irritating

7) Select a gentle eye make-up if your eyes suffer from Rosacea symptoms – look for ‘ophthalmologist tested’, allergy-tested, and fragrance-free products

8) Choose a neutral color for your lips as opposed to red shades which can cause skin to appear even more flushed

9) Use specialized cosmetics. Some specialized cosmetic lines on the market these days are designed for those with rosacea who want to cover up and for all problem or unique skin types and colors. A few examples below show that with the right ingredients, skin-friendly make-up is possible.

Dermablendis skin and socially-conscious cosmetics line which supports the S.L.E. Lupus foundation and the Skin of Color Seminar Series.  According to the Customer Stories page, many have praised this brand’s products as effective for concealing blemishes among all skin types.

Finally, Sheer Cover carries foundation, concealer, powder and other products that are made from 100% natural minerals, and includes sun protection, stress-reducing botanicals and green tea.

10) Use clean tools (not your fingers) to apply make-up. Just as important as the type of foundation you use is its application. Since the skin on your face is extra-sensitive, remember to treat it as such when putting on make-up. Use a clean foundation brush or sponge and dab a small amount lightly around the affected areas—and try never to use your fingers!

To learn more about rosacea have a look at these links below:

The complete guide to rosacea treatment

What causes rosacea

What is rosacea? fast facts