When you have rosacea your make-up steps are just as important as your skincare routine. Yes, you want to ensure that you are using the right skincare products to curtail any further inflammation, but having in your arsenal the best make-up for rosacea is just as much a part of your rosacea treatment plan.
Rosacea is an incurable skin condition and despite changes to diet, lifestyle and skincare products, sometimes flare-ups are unavoidable and that’s where make-up really takes centre stage.
Make-up artist Rose Gallagher and Lex Gillies, a skin positivity campaigner, rosacea advocate and British Skin Foundation ambassador, both have rosacea and use their platforms to show others that they are not alone. ‘Rosacea is something I’ve weirdly come to love because it has connected me with so many women!’ Gallagher tells us. ‘By day, a distracting patter of redness in my skin that can drive me mad and make me feel self-conscious. But by night, it is something that leads me to have long and interesting conversations with other people that have rosacea, who have fallen into my Instagram DMs and are amazed that I’ve had the balls to show my face make-up free.’
The important thing to remember is that a diagnosis isn’t the end of the world. ‘At 21, it was very difficult to hear that I had an incurable skin condition and that if I was “serious about treating it” I should give up alcohol, make-up, hair straighteners, sugar, junk food…’ says Gillies.
‘I had a very unsympathetic GP who made me feel very vain and stupid for worrying about my skin – but the psychological effects of my rosacea have altered every part of my life, from my relationships to my career and self-esteem.
‘One of the main reasons I talk about it so openly is to raise awareness of the condition; I hope that, by increasing public awareness, the act of showing my bare face to the world won’t be seen as “brave” anymore – that I’ll just be another face in the crowd.’
They’re also experts in the tips and tricks of managing the condition, so we couldn’t think of two people more appropriate to recommend products that actually help and work effectively.
Here are their favourite make-up products for rosacea:
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, £33 | Cult Beauty
Gallagher says: ‘This is honestly my number one pick for anyone suffering from rosacea. It’s a skincare makeup hybrid. It’s full coverage but doesn’t look or feel heavy. There are three finishes to choose from (the classic, an illuminating one and an oil-free matte one) so there’s one to suit everyone. The skincare base has niacin so it strengthens the skin barrier, which is typically always compromised in rosacea skin. I became the UK and Ireland brand ambassador for IT Cosmetics simply because I didn’t shut up about how well this covered my rosacea.’
Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment, from £15 | Cult Beauty
Another skincare makeup hybrid that Gallagher loves to use is this. ‘I have to say that this might just be one of the most misunderstood products on the internet. Whenever I mention this product someone will say but it didn’t work for me, it didn’t look right. It went viral on TikTok, yet everyone was misusing it on the entire face, so there’s a lot of misinformation about it. The key to using it is to gently press and warm into the skin and it will neutralise redness. However, it should only be used on the redness, not the whole face. Localised application is key. It is honestly fantastic to knock out the redness if used properly. If you don’t want to wear too much make-up, use this as your main complexion product. I love that it knocks out the redness, treats dryness and calms the skin.’
Beautypie Sheer Tinted Oil-Free SPF20, from £8.30 (for members) | Beautypie.com
Gillies loves to use this as her base. ‘I rarely wear full coverage make-up anymore, as I’m trying to get more comfortable with my natural skin. This is a lovely lightweight base that evens out tone, and adds a healthy glow but doesn’t feel or look like foundation.’
Daniel Sandler Anti-Redness Foundation Primer, £24.50 | Very
‘This is a very traditional green primer that uses the colour correction theory,’ explains Gallagher. ‘All of his makeup is silky, lightweight and pigmented. Red skin is often hot to the touch and it might also be textured, so this is a nice silky formula that won’t feel too heavy or exacerbate the skin. Lots of rosacea suffers leave the house with a full face of makeup, but very soon the redness starts to show through. This will help keep the makeup in place.’
Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer, £24 | Lookfantastic
‘It’s quite common for the redness to come through no matter what,’ says Gallagher. ‘So I recommend the Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer. It’s pigmented, yet lightweight. You can pat it in as much as you want and it won’t look or feel heavy but will give coverage throughout the day. It has a matte finish, so you wouldn’t have to powder you can just touch up with this and be on your way.’
Clinique High Impact Zero Gravity Mascara, £22 | Lookfantastic
‘Because of my ocular rosacea, my mascara needs to be suitable for sensitive eyes,’ explains Gillies. ‘It won’t end up all over my face and it’s easy to remove. As this is a tubing mascara it’s a doddle to take off and stays put throughout anything my weepy eyes throw at it.’
Another mascara that Rose recommends for those with ocular rosacea is the La Roche-Posay Toleriane Respectissime Mascara (£16.50 | Boots).