Got Rosacea? These Makeup Tricks Will Make It Disappear

Updated: Apr. 06, 2021

These rosacea-friendly skin care and makeup formulas instantly calm and cover redness, allowing your natural beauty to shine through.

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Person with rosacea on their skin (cheeks and nose).
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Understanding rosacea

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that affects more than 16 million Americans, according to the National Rosacea Society. It’s characterized by visible blood vessels (often enlarged capillaries), redness, flushing, and pesky acne-like bumps (known as acne rosacea)—most commonly on the cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead. As it is a chronic condition, sufferers often experience rosacea flare-ups and remissions.

Spicy food with green onions in a bowl on a table.

Rosacea triggers

According to Arash Akhavan, MD, a dermatologist and founder of The Dermatology & Laser Group in New York, NY, rosacea triggers include eating inflammatory foods, such as alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods, and environmental factors, such as sunlight and wind. “We also tell our patients to avoid certain ingredients in skin care and cosmetics, such as retinol, alpha hydroxy acids, and beta hydroxy acids, which can be too harsh for sensitive rosacea-prone skin.” Concerned your skin care might be making symptoms worse? Read up on the 8 signs your products are secretly damaging your face.

Picture of lots of yellow ceramides for skin.
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Soothing skin care

While makeup can cover rosacea symptoms, the fewer symptoms there are to cover the better, right? “Anti-inflammatory ingredients such as niacinamide and ceramides can be particularly helpful for combating the redness associated with rosacea,” says Dr. Akhavan. For particularly dry skin, he recommends cleansing with Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, which has an abundance of hydrating ceramides. Moisturizer is a must as it strengthens the skin’s natural protective barrier, keeping moisture in and irritants out. Look for sensitive skin-friendly formulas with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and humectants, like DERMAdoctor Calm Cool & Corrected. Here’s some advice on finding the best rosacea skin care products that work for you.

Woman applying sunscreen onto her skin from a tube.

The importance of SPF

As sun can trigger symptoms, it’s a good idea to invest in a daily lotion with SPF protection. “A great sunscreen for rosacea sufferers is EltaMD UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF 46, which contains niacinamide, and comes in both tinted and untinted options,” says Dr. Akhavan.

Redness correcting primer

JoAnn Solomon, a celebrity makeup artist in New York, NY, recommends using a neutralizing, green-hued primer, like L’oreal Correcting Primer or Makeup Forever Color Correcting Primer, before applying foundation. On the color wheel, green is the opposite of red, so it will help cancel out any redness on your face.

Bowl of oatmeal on a wooden table.

Neutralizing correcting cream

For the rest of your face, Solomon suggests IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream, which is formulated with nurturing botanicals, like colloidal oatmeal, green tea, and aloe, to calm and soothe skin.

Woman applying a stick of concealer to her cheek.

Green-hued concealer

If you have any red spots that require extra coverage, green is going to be your go-to hue, Solomon says. Pro picks: COVER FX Correct Click Color Corrector and NYX Professional Makeup HD Concealer Wand Green. These 12 magical makeup tricks make scars, spots, and dark circles disappear.

A palate of concealer in shades of brown and tan.
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Medium to full coverage concealer

Once major redness is taken care of, you still may have some more minor spots to treat and even out. For that, Solomon says you’ll want a medium to full coverage, sensitive skin-tested concealer, like Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Concealer or Rosacea Care Concealer Sample Box.

A foundation brush in a jar of makeup powder.

Mineral foundation

“Mineral foundations are great because they are natural and less aggressive than traditional foundations,” says Solomon. A mineral formula with SPF not only offers comfortable coverage but also shields against harmful rays and inflammatory environmental factors. “My favorite is Colorescience Loose Mineral Powder Foundation Brush SPF 20. It combines all-over coverage and sun protection (thanks to natural minerals, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide). And with its go-anywhere tube, you can touch up and cover up on the go.” If you prefer a mineral foundation sans SPF for the evening, she recommends Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation, with free radical-fighting centella asiatica and white tea.

A foundation brush and jars of foundation in shades of beige.

Liquid foundation

While mineral foundation is a great choice, if you prefer liquid foundation, that’s totally fine too—just be sure to read the label. Steer clear of formulas with ingredients like fragrance, alcohol, propylene glycol, and mineral oil, which can irritate skin and exacerbate rosacea. Look for formulas that heal and conceal (yes, they exist!), like Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup Broad Spectrum SPF 15 With Probiotic Technology. It’s oil-free and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores. Plus, it contains soothing ingredients to calm irritation and probiotic technology to boost “good” bacteria and bolster your skin’s barrier against aggressors.