The 8 Best Moisturizers for Rosacea to Help Reduce Redness and Irritation

Vichy’s Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum soothes skin without drying

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Skin conditions aren't fun—especially ones like rosacea, which can leave your face dry and red. The redness and bumps brought on by this chronic skin condition are due to inflammation, which is believed to be caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors.

Reviewed & Approved

Our top pick is Vichy’s Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum because it soothes irritation without drying out skin. We recommend Vanicream's Daily Facial Moisturizer if you need a non-comedogenic and affordable moisturizer.

“More rare types of rosacea can include changes in the texture or appearance of the skin on the nose or eye symptoms,” adds dermatologist Janiene Luke, MD. “Another common feature for people with rosacea is that their skin often feels sensitive, with people feeling burning, stinging sensations or irritation after using certain products.”

Finding the right moisturizer is just one of the ways to reduce symptoms of rosacea. Rosacea symptoms often worsen when skin becomes dry, so a moisturizer can help people with rosacea reduce irritation and end up with healthier-looking skin. When looking for a moisturizer, Dr. Luke recommends looking for formulas that contain SPF and ceramides while avoiding moisturizers with alcohol or fragrances that could further irritate rosacea-prone skin. We researched dozens of moisturizers for rosacea and evaluated them for key ingredients, scent, SPF level, consistency, and price.

Here are the best moisturizers for rosacea on the market today.

Best Overall: Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum

4.9
Vichy Mineral 89 Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Fast-absorbing

  • Can be mixed into foundation

  • Clean formula includes only 11 ingredients

Cons
  • Contains phenoxyethanol, which some users may find irritating

  • Some users find it to be sticky on the skin

Who else recommends it? Today, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan all picked Vichy Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum.

Who else recommends it? 90% of 21,200+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

If you’re looking for a rosacea product that’s more advanced than the usual drugstore fare, we recommend trying Vichy’s Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum. This serum is a lifesaver for some—especially if your skin barrier has been damaged by other products in the past and needs some repairing.

“Anything that makes the skin sensitive will reflexively lead to blood vessels dilating, which results in flushing or blushing followed by breakouts,” says dermatologist Erum Ilyas, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology in Pennsylvania.

To avoid aggravating your skin’s delicate sensibilities, you need to gently moisturize. We like that this particular option from Vichy is actually a serum, which means you can mix and match it easily with other facial creams and lotions or even blend it into your liquid foundation. It doesn’t specifically address rosacea symptoms like redness, but the deep infusion of hyaluronic acid keeps skin hydrated, glowy, and firm. It’s also sensitive skin-friendly and free of parabens, oils, alcohol, and fragrances.

Key Ingredients: Glycerin, hyaluronic acid | Usage: Hydrate and repair dry skin | Dosage: Apply morning and night as needed | Scent: None

Best Budget: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic

  • Formulated for sensitive skin

  • Absorbs quickly

Cons
  • Skin may need time to adjust to this product

  • Some users report redness and irritation after applying

When skin is oily, it needs gentle hydration: too much, and your skin will feel greasy, but too little and your skin will overcompensate for dryness by producing more oil. We like the balanced approach you can get with this oil-free moisturizer from Neutrogena. It’s hypoallergenic and designed to be non-irritating while also providing soothing hydration without any excess oil or greasiness. It’s lightweight, non-drying, and won’t clog your pores, even if you have oily skin. Best of all? It's super budget-friendly.

It can be used twice a day, but you might want to take it slow—this lotion can take some getting used to, so give your skin some time to adjust before you go all-in.

Key Ingredients: None | Usage: Gentle hydration for sensitive skin | Dosage: Use twice a day morning and night | Scent: None

Best for Face: Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Formulated for sensitive skin

  • Contains hyaluronic acid, five ceramides, and squalane

  • Fragrance-free

Cons
  • Some users dislike the texture after application

If you want a lot of bang for only a little buck, Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer might surprise you. It doesn’t look like much on the outside—and it doesn’t market itself as being for people with rosacea, specifically—but thanks to a powerhouse combination of hydrating ingredients, this cream delivers a ton of moisture to your skin in the form of five different ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and squalane, an oil-based moisturizer.

We also love that you don’t have to sacrifice your delicate skin’s integrity to save a few dollars: Vanicream is made without any of the typically-irritating ingredients, like fragrances, dyes, alcohol, parabens, and formaldehyde releasers, so it won’t make your symptoms worse.

Key Ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, squalane | Usage: Gently moisturize sensitive skin | Dosage: Apply twice daily morning and night, as needed | Scent: None

Best Tinted Moisturizer: it COSMETICS CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

3.8
it COSMETICS CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Contains SPF 50

  • Can replace foundation for daily wear

  • Available in 12 different shades

Cons
  • Doesn’t work well for people with fine lines or wrinkles

  • Higher price-point for amount

If you liked the idea of Cetaphil’s Redness Reliever but struck out because the tint didn’t match your skin tone, listen up: The CC+ Cream by IT Cosmetics offers a similar benefit but in 12 different shades, basically guaranteeing that you’ll find the right one for your skin tone. Plus, the CC+ Cream is packed with good stuff, like SPF 50, hydrolyzed collagen, and peptides, making your skin look smooth, clear, and youthful all at once.

One thing to note: The CC+ Cream is more of an actual foundation than a tinted moisturizer (like the Cetaphil Redness Reliever), so you’re taking more of a jump into makeup territory with this product. You’ll still be plenty hydrated, but if foundation-level coverage in a moisturizer isn’t your thing, you might want to stick with non-tinted varieties.

Key Ingredients: Hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid | Usage: Correct uneven skin tone, hydrate, protect skin from sun | Dosage: Apply once in the morning, wash off at night | Scent: None

Best Natural: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra-Sensitive Skin Face Moisturizer

4.9
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra-Sensitive Skin Face Moisturizer
Pros
  • Formulated for sensitive skin

  • Fragrance-free

  • Can be used in morning and at night

Cons
  • May have a slightly greasy finish

  • Pump mechanism can be faulty

If you’ve struggled to find a product that doesn’t make your rosacea worse, it might be time to switch to a product that emphasizes natural ingredients over synthetic ones, along with one that specifically notes it’s fragrance-free.

The Ultra-Sensitive Skin Moisturizer by La Roche-Posay gets our pick for the best natural moisturizer since it relies on non-irritating ingredients like shea butter and antioxidants to get the hydrating job done. It was made with super sensitive skin in mind and is free of fragrances, oils, parabens, and preservatives. It is even allergy-tested for many common skin irritants to ensure it won’t cause added inflammation. We also like that it’s gentle enough to be used in the morning and again at night.

It's important to note that switching to natural products doesn't always mean that the product is totally free from fragrances. According to Dr. Ilyas, you should be "mindful of products that claim ‘no synthetic fragrances,’ as even natural fragrances can flare rosacea in some with sensitivities to these products."

Key Ingredients: Prebiotic thermal water, neurosensine, shea butter | Usage: Gently hydrate and soothe skin | Dosage: Apply after cleansing, morning and evening | Scent: None

Best for Daytime Wear: Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 20

3.8
Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer
Pros
  • Includes SPF 20

  • Formulated for redness-prone skin

  • Provides light color correction

Cons
  • May be too dark for fair skin tones

People with rosacea are often fighting two battles: inconsistently hydrated skin and redness from flushing or breakouts. The Cetaphil Redness Relieving Moisturizer addresses both of these issues: It soothes and neutralizes dry, inflamed skin, acting as a barely-there concealer for redness and breakouts. 

If rosacea redness is your biggest concern, this moisturizer tackles redness from multiple angles to give you calmer, cooler skin. Licorice extract, allantoin, and caffeine combine to reduce inflammation without drying out your skin, and the neutral tint of the moisturizer makes your skin look more even and less red. It also provides sun protection with SPF 20 and is formulated to be non-irritating and non-comedogenic.

Key Ingredients: Licorice extract, allantoin, caffeine | Usage: Neutralize red skin, prevent sunburn | Dosage: Apply once a day in the morning before going out in the sun | Scent: None

Best for Nighttime Wear: Eucerin Redness Relief Soothing Night Creme

Eucerin Redness Relief Night Creme

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Contains soothing licorice root

  • Fragrance-free

  • Works quickly to reduce redness

Cons
  • Some users with sensitive skin find it irritating

  • Not as hydrating as some other formulas

Eucerin’s Redness Relief Night Cream combines licorice root extract and squalane in a powerful nighttime formula for rosacea sufferers with serious redness. The gel cream promises to deeply soothe and hydrate inflamed skin while you sleep.

Eucerin Redness Relief Night Cream is free of dyes and fragrances and can even be used on other parts of your body that suffer from dryness-related redness. It’s not the most moisturizing cream out there, so if hydration is your number one rosacea concern, this product alone may not be enough—but as far as redness goes, this little tub is a powerful tool.

Key Ingredients: Licochalcone, squalane | Usage: Relieve and reduce redness | Dosage: Apply once per day, in the evening, after cleansing | Scent: None

Best for Sensitive Skin: Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer For Sensitive Skin

Aveeno Calm + Restore Oat Gel Moisturizer

Amazon

Pros
  • Absorbs well

  • Reduces redness quickly

  • Leaves skin feeling soft

Cons
  • May be too oily or greasy

  • May pill on application with some skin types

Rosacea-prone skin, unfortunately, means sensitive skin, so you need to be extra careful when choosing products designed to hydrate or combat redness. Sometimes it’s hard to even know where the source of your sensitivity lies—only that a lot of products seem to irritate and inflame your skin.

That’s why we like the Oat Gel Facial Moisturizer: The lightweight cream uses soothing oats and anti-inflammatory feverfew to calm rosacea symptoms and prevent future flares and offers deep, nourishing hydration to your dry skin. 

“Many people consider themselves as having ‘sensitive skin’ and believe they have product allergies, when in fact they have sensitivities due to rosacea,” says Dr. Ilyas. “Addressing the rosacea directly may make it easier to choose products for your skin.”

In other words, before you go on a quest to find makeup that covers your rosacea without worsening it or anti-aging serums that decrease wrinkles without increasing redness, you’ve got to get your rosacea under control. A product like Aveeno’s Calm + Restore Oat Gel Facial Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin can help improve the overall quality and integrity of your skin, making it easier to shop for other facial products without worrying about flares.

Key Ingredients: Oat extract, feverfew | Usage: Gently moisturize | Dosage: Massage into face after cleansing | Scent: None

Final Verdict

While in some cases prescription topical or oral medications are needed to tackle rosacea symptoms, there are tons of great over-the-counter moisturizers that help keep the condition under better control. A reliable go-to is Vichy’s Mineral 89 Hyaluronic Acid Serum since it keeps skin hydrated and moist without feeling oily. If you’re well-versed in this arena, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra is a great upgrade to try that won’t break the bank.

How We Selected the Best Moisturizers for Rosacea

To find the best moisturizers for people with rosacea, we asked four dermatologists to tell us what to look for and avoid when choosing a product. They suggested lotions and creams loaded with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid but free of any ingredients that are typically irritating to redness-prone skin, like alcohol, fragrances, retinols, and acids. 

We scoured the internet for well-rated moisturizers with nourishing formulations and ingredient lists; if a product was designed for sensitive skin or included SPF, even better. We also tried to keep the options wallet-friendly—taking care of rosacea-prone skin is a challenge, and the costs can add up over time. Your moisturizer, we think, should leave room in the budget for more advanced care products when needed.

What to Look for in a Moisturizer for Rosacea

Gentle, Hydrating Ingredients

If you have rosacea, you need to keep your skin consistently hydrated, but the type of hydration you choose is important; harsh creams will only irritate your skin more. 

“If you have rosacea, making sure your skin is consistently hydrated with the right moisturizer can significantly help symptoms,” Dr. Palm says. “Look for ingredients like ceramides or hyaluronic acid.”

When applying any moisturizer, a nice strategy to try is gently patting it on your face rather than rubbing it in; remember, you want to reduce inflammation, not cause it.

Physical Sunscreen Ingredients

Whether you’re looking for a moisturizer that contains sunscreen or opting for a tinted product that can calm and cover redness, Dr. Palm recommends avoiding products with chemical sunscreen agents (usually oxybenzone or avobenzone, though there are others). Instead, choose a product with physical sunscreen blockers like zinc and titanium

“Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide act as anti-inflammatory topicals, helping rosacea,” she says. “[You can also] look for tinted sunscreens with niacinamide or resveratrol, both of which can reduce redness and inflammation associated with rosacea.”

Avoiding Harsh Ingredients

Per Dr. Ilyas, you may not want to focus too much on products for mature skin if you have rosacea since many common anti-aging treatments can actually trigger rosacea flares. 

“These products can contain ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids that are intended to make your skin irritated a bit to make it look more ‘youthful,’” she says. “[You might just get] irritation from these products, [because people] with rosacea don't always tolerate alpha hydroxy acids, retinol, and other anti-aging additives.”

Bottom line? Avoid buzzwords like “ageless,” “age-defying,” and “anti-aging,” since these are more likely to hurt your rosacea-prone skin than help.

Fragrance-free

People with rosacea should take care to skip products containing alcohol or fragrances since they are usually pretty irritating; Dr. Ilyas says choosing products without fragrance can be an important step in avoiding a flare. But it isn’t as simple as passing over all those deliciously scented products at the drugstore.

“Just because a product says it’s ‘unscented’ does not mean there is no fragrance added,” she says. “The term unscented only means that you will not be able to discern a scent from the product, but there are often masking scents or fragrances added to [cover] the scents of the actual ingredients.” 

Instead of choosing unscented products, look specifically for the words fragrance-free since these won’t include any synthetic or natural fragrances that could be irritating.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How often should you moisturize your skin when you have rosacea?

    When you have rosacea, there’s no question about whether or not you need a good moisturizer: Dr. Ilyas says moisturizing is an essential step since the product can serve as a barrier that protects your skin from the environment while it hydrates.

    That said, it can be hard to judge how often you should be moisturizing: You don’t want your skin to be overly oily and even more prone to breakouts, but dry skin isn’t ideal for your rosacea, either.

    “Moisturizing at least once a day is important,” says Dr. Ilyas, “and if you live in a cold, dry environment, considering moisturizer twice daily may help more.”

    You should also pay attention to how your skin responds to moisturizing once or twice per day; if once per day seems to keep your skin sufficiently hydrated and comfortable, stick with it. On the other hand, if you feel like your skin would benefit from more moisture, bump up your application to twice per day.

  • What ingredients can make rosacea worse?

    According to Dr. Palm, the ingredients that could irritate rosacea-prone skin include lactic and glycolic acids, added fragrances, alcohol, and menthol, as well as harsh active ingredients like retinol, AHAs, BHAs, and essential oils. The reason? These ingredients can damage your skin barrier, which may make rosacea symptoms worse.

  • How can you calm a rosacea flare-up?

    To know how to avoid rosacea flares, you first have to understand how they happen. Dr. Ilyas says you can think of rosacea as a reactive skin condition that results in dilation (read: opening up) of the blood vessels. It’s related to an increased sensitivity of the skin overall, so anything that makes the skin sensitive, she explains, will lead to dilation of the blood vessels and then flushing, blushing, and breakouts. According to dermatologist Cynthia Robinson, MD, FAADtriggers for some people may include caffeine, alcohol, hot beverages, spicy foods, sun exposure, and stress.

    If you’re looking to prevent a flare-up, choosing fragrance-free products and gentle cleansers and moisturizers helps, as does avoiding products with harsh or irritating ingredients. But what about when you’re already dealing with a flare?

    Per Dr. Ilyas, you have two options when it comes to calming down a rosacea flare: Physically cool your skin, or use OTC or prescription products to reduce inflammation. 

    “Cooling the skin can help reverse the flushing process through vasoconstriction,” she says. “Cooling can be achieved through keeping a moisturizer in the refrigerator, using a jade or ice roller [to] soothe and cool the skin quickly, [or using] cool washcloths or a fan.”

    These cooling methods can calm a flare on the spot, but if they don’t work, happen frequently, or just aren’t practical for you, you may need to break out the big guns. 

    “Calming a rosacea flare can [also] be achieved through the use of skin care products with an anti-inflammatory or antioxidant effect, as well as oral medications, when needed, for severe flares,” says Dr. Palm. According to NYU Langone Health, some oral medications commonly prescribed for rosacea include low-dose antibiotics and isotretinoin.

  • Why do I suddenly have rosacea?

    If it seems like you developed rosacea totally out of the blue, the truth is that you’ve probably had symptoms for a while but just didn’t notice (or realize they were pointing to the early stages of rosacea).

    “Rosacea can vary in its progression and appearance, but for many people, it's a chronic progressive disease,” says Dr. Ilyas. “It starts with flushing or blushing that comes and goes—this initial stage is often missed or considered to just be how our skin naturally behaves without realizing the progression [to rosacea].”

    Eventually, without treatment, you will notice more persistent flushing, followed by skin that fluctuates between feeling oily and flaky or dry, as well as skin more prone to breakouts, she adds. At this point, many people wonder what happened to their skin; by the time they get to a dermatologist and are diagnosed with rosacea, the onset seems sudden to them, though they’ve likely been experiencing mild symptoms for a long time.

    The other reason that rosacea often seems to have a sudden onset is how under-diagnosed the condition is in non-white people, says Dr. Ilyas, since it’s typically associated with fair skin or people of Northern European ancestry.

    “I routinely have patients of color that have seen numerous other doctors and had their diagnoses missed, simply because their skin type did not show the classic ‘rosy cheeks’ since it’s not as apparent [in darker skin tones],” she says.

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7 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  7. National Rosacea Society. Q & A: Skin sensitivity and ice cubes.