The 8 Best Moisturizers for Rosacea of 2021

Sooth and hydrate your skin

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Moisturizer for rosacea

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First Look

Best Overall: Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer at Amazon

"The moisturizer’s tinted formula helps hydrate dry skin, which reduces the appearance of redness and evens out the skin tone."

Best Budget: Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer at Amazon

"It has ingredients that make for an ideal, gentle formula that doesn’t clog pores and doesn't irritate sensitive skin."

Best for Face: Vichy Mineral 89 Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Daily Face Moisturizer at Amazon

"This serum is free of parabens, oils, alcohol, and fragrance."

Best Tinted Moisturizer: IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ at Amazon

"It comes in 12 available shades to match a variety of natural skin tones."

Best Natural: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra at Amazon

"This soothing formula was created with Neurosensine and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water to evenly hydrate skin."

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

"Free of irritants like alcohol and fragrance, this moisturizer will be less likely to cause flare-ups."

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

"Combined with the moisture retaining power of Hyaluronic acid, this moisturizer will keep your face hydrated throughout the day."

Best Splurge: SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer at Dermstore

"It does a great job of combating environmental triggers and interrupting inflammation with the help of NeuroMed Complex."

Skin conditions aren't fun—especially one 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. “More rare types of rosacea can include changes in the texture or appearance of the skin on the nose or eye symptoms,” adds dermatologist Dr. 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.”

Treatment usually involves avoiding triggers, a well thought out skincare regimen, and sometimes prescription topical or oral medications. According to dermatologist Dr. Cynthia Robinson, MD, FAAD, triggers for some people may include caffeine, alcohol, hot beverages, spicy foods, sun exposure, and stress.

Finding the right moisturizer is just one of the ways to reduce symptoms of rosacea. 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 alcohol, fragrance, urea, camphor, menthol, glycolic acid, lactic acid, sodium lauryl sulfate, and other 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." Some ingredients to look for are: ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide or bisabolol,” recommends Dr. Luke. 

Here are some reliable moisturizers to consider if you’re struggling with rosacea.

Best Overall: Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer

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.

Best Budget: Vanicream Daily Facial Moisturizer

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.

Best for Face: Vichy Mineral 89 Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Daily Face Moisturizer

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.

Best Tinted Moisturizer: IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

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.

Best Natural: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra

This facial moisturizer 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 Dr. Robinson, 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.

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

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.

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

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.”

Best Splurge: SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer

SkinCeuticals Redness Neutralizer
Courtesy of Skin Store.

While this product is a major splurge, it does a great job of combating environmental triggers and interrupting inflammation with the help of NeuroMed Complex, which neutralizes, prevents, and corrects redness caused by rosacea. In doing so, the lightweight moisturizer cools the skin’s temperature and protects it from future irritation. If you decide to make the leap and buy this moisturizer, note that it’s only available online or in physicians’ offices. It’s also 1.7 fluid ounces, which is pretty small, so don’t overdue your daily drops too much.

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 Cetaphil Redness Relieving Daily Facial Moisturizer, especially if this is your first foray into moisturizers specifically for rosacea. If you’re well versed in this arena, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra is a great upgrade pick—without being too expensive—to try. 

What to Look for in a Moisturizer for Rosacea

Gentleness: 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. 

Sunscreen: 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. 

No Alcohol or Fragrances: Simple is always better; you don’t want a moisturizer that is doing too many things at once or combining a whole bunch of products together. Since rosacea makes the skin extra sensitive, it’s important to stay away from moisturizers with products that might trigger symptoms, such as alcohol and fragrance.

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.

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