Makeup Tips for Rosacea-Sensitive Skin

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If you have rosacea, you don’t have to shy away from wearing makeup. In fact, cosmetics can improve your skin’s appearance and boost your confidence. To look and feel your best with makeup, follow these tips.

Prepare Your Skin             

Before putting on makeup, gently wash your skin with a non-soap cleanser. Avoid using abrasive washcloths or sponges, which can irritate. Instead, cleanse lightly with your fingertips. Blot your face dry with a soft towel.

Know the Ingredients

Be choosy when shopping for cosmetics. Look for makeup formulated for sensitive skin that is fragrance-free and allergy-tested. Mineral makeup may be a good choice since it usually doesn’t contain irritating substances. But always read the ingredients label before buying. Be wary of makeup that contains alcohol, retinol, glycolic acid, or vitamin C. These have been found to cause flare-ups in some people with rosacea. In addition, test all products on your neck before putting them on your face. If you have a reaction, don’t use the product and note its ingredients to help guide future purchases.  

Keep It Minimal

Opt for cosmetics that serve more than one function. You’ll use fewer products on your skin, which lowers the chance of irritation. For example, look for a green-tinted makeup base that also has UVA/UVB protection. It will correct redness, even out your skin tone, help your makeup stay on longer, and protect you from the sun’s harmful rays.

Tone Down Redness

The key is to play down red tones, enhance your features, and avoid irritation. Try these ideas:

  • Eyes: Choose shadow and pencils in neutral colors. They may be less irritating than strong jewel tones because they contain less pigment.

  • Cheeks: Consider skipping the blush, or use a sheer formula. The skin already has a lot of color. If you do use it, apply sparingly with an antibacterial brush.

  • Lips: Opt for lipstick in neutral colors, close to your natural lip color. Red lipstick may intensify the look of redness in the skin. 

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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2019 Feb 20
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