As a beauty editor who knows skin inside out, I rely on these 12 products to keep my rosacea under control

Acne rosacea is no match for these products

Best Rosacea Products: Tori Crowther
(Image credit: Tori Crowther)

Rosacea can be incredibly difficult to get a handle on. Even as a beauty editor with all of the products and expert advice at my fingertips, navigating the skin condition can be tricky. But just over 3 years after diagnosis, I’ve figured out what does and doesn’t work, and this consistency has been key with keeping flares under control. 

I was diagnosed with papulopustular rosacea, something I’d admittedly never heard of before even though I worked in the industry. I was at a pretty desperate place with my skin. I hated the way it looked and hated the way it felt even more—dry, itchy, sore and sensitive. Nothing I was doing seemed to be working and little did I know that's because I was doing the opposite of what my skin needed. Now, this was before the great skin barrier relief push. Products were still hyping up exfoliation to brighten skin and rid breakouts. Despite knowing better, I used acids to try and rid these pustules. Thankfully, we're moving away from that harsh exfoliation push now. But I know it can still be alienating when searching for skincare. 

Although it’s important to stress that everyone is different and what works for me might not work for you, I do, however, think it’s a helpful starting point. When there’s what feels like an infinite sea of beauty products out there, starting with a small list of rosacea-approved products might help you on your journey to finding your set of rosacea ride-or-die products. 

The number one question I’m asked as someone who tries beauty products for a living is what the best make-up for rosacea and best skincare products for rosacea are—and luckily, there are tons. 

Ahead, I’m going to run you through the 12 products I lean on when I’m struggling with redness, breakouts and irritated skin. But before that, let’s dive into the what-you-need-to-know about it all. 

What is papulopustular rosacea? 

Rosacea can be more than just a little flushing. The condition is divided into four subtypes: erythematotelangiectatic rosacea (redness), papulopustular rosacea (breakouts), phymatous rosacea (thickening of the skin) and ocular rosacea (rosacea of the eyes). 

I have papulopustular rosacea, which is what we’re focusing on today, a condition often self-diagnosed as acne. Since the two conditions are completely different, a misdiagnosis can lead to a rapidly worsening of the skin—speaking from experience. 

Papulopustular rosacea is typically associated with whiteheads, blemishes and bumps often in the central areas of the face. In addition to the breakouts, it also presents with the classic redness—in Black skin this often appears as being purple in colour or darker brown. You’ll also find that the areas are sensitive and may feel fairly irritated. Unlike acne, you won’t see blackheads with papulopustular rosacea. If you’re unsure, an expert diagnosis is always a good idea; saving you time, effort and money in the long run. 

Papulopustular rosacea triggers

Rosacea triggers are personal to you and it can take time to figure out which applies to you, but there are a few common ones that many people experience:


This is why you’ll see derms banging on about wearing SPF even when it’s cloudy. UV rays pass through even the most miserable weather conditions. The best way is finding a sunscreen you actually like using and easily slots into your daily routine.


One of the more difficult to manage, but the second most common rosacea trigger is stress. Evaluating where you have stress in your life and seeing if there are actionable steps to reducing that can have a big impact on your symptoms. 


Yep, exercise can cause a flare-up in symptoms so ways of dealing with this include trying out different types of exercise to see what suits you best. For example, you might find swimming gives you the movement you need without causing a flare-up where a HIIT exercise might. 


A big one for me is alcohol, which causes almost immediate redness and then breakouts to follow, often the next day. 

The weather

During the winter months, I always make sure to have some Cicaplast on hand to slather on before stepping out into the wind. It reduces the harsh conditions on my skin and provides an extra protective layer. 

Tips for managing rosacea

So, you know what you have and have decoded your triggers, but what about managing the condition? As with many skin conditions, the approach to dealing with it is multi-faceted. Step one is getting a diagnosis, then it’s about managing triggers and trying to reduce those. And finally, it’s nailing that skincare routine and sticking to it consistently. Aside from that, there are a few top tips to keep your skin feeling its best. 

  1. Only use tepid water. “Very hot showers or baths can irritate the skin and trigger rosacea,” says Dr. Catriona Maybury, consultant dermatologist at Dermatica. We know it’s tricky, but your skin will thank you for it. 
  2. Don’t buy into trending ingredients because TikTok tells you to. Perhaps one of the hardest is sticking to your consistent, often boring, routine when there’s a buzzy new product popping off on your FYP. But if happy, healthy skin is your aim, keeping things pared back and simple is the trick. 
  3. Moisturise regularly. “Low humidity leads to sensitive, dry skin in winter,” says Dr. Maybury. “Moisturise regularly with a gentle formula that won’t cause inflammation, and try applying it when your skin is damp.” 
  4. Avoid strong acids and exfoliation ingredients. This isn’t to say you can’t use them ever again, but avoiding chemical exfoliants at least until your flare is under control helps to repair the skin barrier. “AHAs and BHAs — including glycolic, lactic and salicylic acid — as well as alcohol, sodium lauryl sulphate and some retinoids can cause irritation and trigger a flare-up,” explains Dr. Maybury.  
  5. Minimise friction on the skin. This one may seem simple but using skincare and particularly make-up that involves lots of blending and brushing can cause irritation. Try to use products that require little blending and only light dabbing to reduce redness. 

Best products for rosacea, reviewed by a beauty editor

1. La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+

2. Dermalogica Stabilizing Repair Cream

3. Rhode Barrier Restore Cream

4. Dr Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Camo Drops 

5. Dermatica Rosacea Prescription Treatment 

6. Révive Moisturizing Renewal Oil

7. Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Face Shield Flex SPF 50

8. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser 

9.  Oskia Renaissance Mask

10. E.l.f Pure Skin Cleanser 

11. Supergoop! Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50

12. The Body Shop Camomile Jelly One-Step Cleanser

Beauty Contributor

Tori is a freelance beauty journalist and contributor for Marie Claire. She has written for various titles, including Allure, Glamour, Elle, Refinery29, Brides, and more. Currently training to be a nail tech, Tori is a total nail enthusiast and always has time to talk all things nail art. When she’s not writing about beauty and testing products, Tori can be found walking her rescue dog Pip, drinking great coffee, and eating as many croissants as humanly possible.