The 7 Best Moisturizers for Rosacea of 2022

La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Moisturizer is free of parabens and fragrances

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Rosacea is a chronic skin condition believe to be caused by a combination of genetics and environmental factors. And while there may not be a cure, according to Janiene Luke, MD, California-based dermatologist, a moisturizer can help manage and reduce the symptoms—which can include redness, bumps, sensitivity, and more.

Reviewed & Approved

Infused with shea butter, La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Face Moisturizer retains moisture and is free of fragrances and preservatives. We recommend Vanicream's Daily Facial Moisturizer if you need a non-comedogenic and affordable moisturizer.

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: 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

  • Preservative-free

Cons
  • May have a slightly greasy finish

We chose this facial moisturizer as the best overall choice because it was made for those with sensitive skin in mind: it contains a limited number of ingredients that provide hydration while restoring skin to its preferred comfort level. Ingredients that typically cause irritation and/or allergic reactions include preservatives, parabens, fragrances, and alcohol, and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra is free from all of the above.

According to Cynthia Robinson, MD, FAAD, dermatologist, people with rosacea often have sensitive skin, so “ingredients in some moisturizers can be irritating to sensitive skin, which can contribute to the redness and discomfort associated with rosacea.” Instead of using such ingredients, this soothing formula was created with Neurosensine and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water to evenly hydrate skin.

Key ingredients: Prebiotic thermal water, neurosensine, shea butter | Dosage: Apply after cleansing, morning and evening

Best Budget: Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Formulated for sensitive skin

  • Non-comedogenic

  • Fragrance-free

Cons
  • Rich formula may not work well under makeup

When it comes to choosing the right moisturizer for you, Dr. Robinson suggests selecting a gentle moisturizer, reading the ingredients list, and for new products, testing them on a small area of the skin first before applying it to the whole face.

Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer is a lightweight cream formulated with five key ceramides, hyaluronic acid, squalane, and is pH-balanced to make sure your skin locks in moisture throughout the day and night. These ingredients make for an ideal, gentle formula that doesn’t clog pores and doesn't irritate sensitive skin.

Key ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, squalane | Dosage: Apply twice daily morning and night, as needed

Best for Face: 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

Cons
  • Contains phenoxyethanol, which some users may find irritating

The main goal of Vichy Mineral 89 Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Daily Face Moisturizer is to strengthen, repair, and plump the skin barrier by adding moisture with the help of natural origin hyaluronic acid and Vichy Volcanic Water. This serum is free of parabens, oils, alcohol, and fragrance, and when used daily, it’s supposed to leave skin looking and feeling healthier.

Key ingredients: Glycerin, hyaluronic acid | Dosage: Apply morning and night as needed

Best for Sensitive Skin: Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer SPF 20

3
Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer
Pros
  • Includes SPF 20

  • Formulated for redness-prone skin

Cons
  • Lightly tinted, but doesn't match all skin tones

Cetaphil is one of those tried and true skincare products. Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer, like many of the products Dr. Luke tends to recommend, is formulated for people with sensitive skin—meaning it usually doesn’t “cause rosacea flares and people are often able to tolerate them.” The moisturizer’s tinted formula helps hydrate dry skin, which reduces the appearance of redness and evens out the skin tone. However, it’s important to note that the tint of Cetaphil Redness Relief doesn’t match all skin tones, particularly darker skin tones

Its combination of licorice extract, allantoin, and caffeine also assists in calming down skin and neutralizing redness. With its mineral-based, broad spectrum SPF 20 sunscreen, you’re protected from the sun’s rays and free to go about your day without worrying about irritation.

Key ingredients: Licorice extract, allantoin and caffeine | Dosage: Apply once a day in the morning before going out in the sun

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
  • Reapplying creates cakey makeup look

IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ comes in 12 available shades to match a variety of natural skin tones. This color-correcting moisturizer not only hydrates the skin, but also works as a full-coverage foundation, SPF 50 sunscreen, dark spot concealer, and more.

While it accomplishes a lot in one fell swoop, that doesn’t take away from it delivering a nice, natural finish. Its three main ingredients—collagen, peptides, and hyaluronic acid—work together to lock in moisture and create smoother, firmer-looking skin.

Key ingredients: Hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and vitamins |

Dosage: Apply once in the morning, wash off at night

Best for Oily Skin: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Hypoallergenic

  • Formulated for sensitive skin

  • Non-comedogenic

Cons
  • Skin may need time to adjust to this product

When your skin type is oily, the last thing you want is a moisturizer that clogs your pores and exacerbates the problem. This water-based moisturizer from Neutrogena is ideal for those with sensitive skin: its formula is lightweight, oil free, and extra gentle. Free of irritants like alcohol (which can be drying) and fragrance, this moisturizer will be less likely to cause flare-ups. 

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Sensitive Skin is good to use during both the day and night, but what’s especially nice about this moisturizer is that it meets broad spectrum sun protection. Dr. Robinson says she finds sun protection to be very important in managing rosacea, and unfortunately, this is often overlooked. “I recommend daily use of a physical sunscreen with at least SPF 30. Physical sunscreens contain zinc and titanium. Avoid sunscreens that contain chemicals such as avobenzone and oxybenzone,” she advises.

Key ingredients: Avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone | Dosage: Use twice a day morning and night

Best for Daytime Wear: CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30

3
Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
Pros
  • Contains SPF 30

  • Anti-aging ingredients

  • Releases moisture for 24 hours

Cons
  • May not work well under makeup

The key to the soothing power of CeraVe AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30 is niacinamide, which helps to calm skin. Combined with the moisture retaining power of hyaluronic acid, this moisturizer will keep your face hydrated throughout the day.

There’s also a nightly version of this cream, which Dr. Robinson tends to recommend to patients. Similar to other moisturizers she suggests to patients, it’s gentle and rarely do her rosacea patients negatively react to it. The moisturizer is simple and isn’t trying to do too many things at once. “ I think that's what gets tricky with choosing a moisturizer sometimes, there are some that are a combination of things,” explains Dr. Robinson. “And if you're not aware, you may choose those.”

Key ingredients: Ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide | Dosage: Use in the morning after cleansing and before going out into the sun

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 La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Sensitive Skin Face Moisturizer (view at Amazon), especially if this is your first foray into moisturizers specifically for rosacea. If you have particularly sensitive skin, Cetaphil's Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer (view at Amazon) is a great upgrade pick—without being too expensive—to try. 

What to Look for in a Moisturizer for Rosacea

Non-irritating

Harsh creams will only irritate your skin more, so you want to buy products that are gentle and not too heavy on your skin. When applying any moisturizer, a nice strategy to try is gently patting it on your face rather than rubbing it in. 

Dr. Luke and Dr. Robinson both agree that when shopping for a moisturizer, you should avoid ingredients that are irritating to the skin. This means avoiding products that contain ingredients like harsh astringents or exfoliators that have been proven to trigger rosacea flares. Instead, you should look for substances that "help hydrate and calm the skin." Dr. Luke recommends looking for ingredients like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide or bisabolol. 

Added SPF

Sunlight can be a common trigger for people with rosacea, reminds Dr. Luke, so it helps when there’s an added layer of protection already added into your moisturizer. When looking for a daily moisturizer, aim for one that includes SPF 30 or higher to help prevent sunburn and rosacea flare-ups.

No Alcohol or Fragrances

Simple is always better when it comes to products used to treat rosacea. You don’t want a moisturizer that includes ingredients like alcohol or added fragrances, which can be a trigger for flare-ups.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

    Those with rosacea should moisturize their skin twice to three times a day. It helps lessen dryness, peeling, and roughness. When you first begin, you can start with once a day and move up. If you are using a product for the first time, try testing it with a small dab near the area with rosacea for 72 hours before using it all over.

  • What ingredients can make rosacea worse?

    The American Academy of Dermatology Association notes that alcohol, fragrance, glycolic acid, lactic acid, menthol, camphor, sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), and urea may irritate your skin. It’s also best to avoid harsh astringents or exfoliators. Also, remember to use sunscreen, but avoid those with harsh chemicals such as avobenzone or oxybenzone.

  • How can you calm a rosacea flare-up?

    Learn what triggers your rosacea. This might include the sun, stress, heat, dry air, alcohol, certain medications, or spicy foods. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If cold is not a trigger for you, try a cool compress using a cool cloth rather than placing ice directly on your face. Follow a skincare plan using only gentle products and avoiding harsh ingredients. 


  • Why do I suddenly have rosacea?

    Rosacea commonly develops in your 20’s or 30’s but can occur throughout adulthood. You may have been exposed to a trigger that is different from the past. This could include a new medication, hot beverages, menopause, alcohol, stress, or exposure to new weather conditions. 

Why Trust Verywell Health

Having been raised by two medical professionals, Amari Pollard understands the importance of health literacy. As a seasoned health writer, she is committed to producing well-researched and well-sourced product reviews to help people make informed medical decisions.

Additional reporting by Brittany Leitner

As a health writer with over eight years of experience, Brittany Leitner understands how important access to information is when it comes to making educated health decisions. She has interviewed dozens of medical experts, tested out hundreds of products, and aims to provide quality recommendations that won't break the bank.

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8 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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