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Post-spin class, a cringe-worthy moment, one too many martinis—all of the above can leave you a little bit red in the face. But there’s a significant difference between the occasional blush and perma-flushing. If your cheeks and nose are chronically red, you may have rosacea.
It’s an incredibly common condition; according to the National Rosacea Society, 415 million people worldwide deal with it. “Rosacea is triggered by episodes of blushing and flushing caused by over circulation of the blood,” celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau says. “It presents as sensitive, red, or inflamed skin that shows telangiectasia (small, visible blood vessels) near the skin’s surface, which can become pustular, often causing it to be mistaken for adult acne.” Like many other conditions, the exact cause is unknown, though genetics, as well as sensitivity to mites and bacteria that live on our skin (file under: gross but true) can play a role.
The good news is that, while the root of the issue is undetermined, we do know what types of triggers can exacerbate the flushing. Common ones include sun exposure, alcohol, spicy foods, hot temps, and more. The other piece of good news? There is plenty of OTC skincare that can help; we’re talking calming, cooling products packed with anti-inflammatory ingredients that effectively help quell redness. Make those the first part of your routine, followed by makeup that’s specially made to help knock out redness. There are more options out there than ever before, all of which can help camo and conceal flushing.
Case in point: These rosacea-approved makeup products.
Best Overall: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Correcting Cream
This color corrector is repeatedly recommended by derms and makeup artists alike, thanks to its top-notch ability to camo redness. (It’s no surprise, given that the formula was developed by dermatologists and plastic surgeons.) A heavy-hitting combo of calming in colloidal oats plus aloe-avocado oil soothe skin, while green tea offers antioxidant protection. And while it’s technically not a foundation, the full coverage pigments cover redness—be it from rosacea, pimples, irritation, you name it—so well that you very well may be able to get away without wearing any other makeup.
Best Full Coverage: Dermablend Smooth Liquid Camo Foundation
“Full coverage” and “lightweight texture” are often an oxymoronic pairing in the makeup world, but this formula somehow manages to achieve both. Super pigmented, it’s choice for those looking to completely and totally even out their skin tone. Still, it’s nice and hydrating, won’t clog pores, and offers a dose of important sun protection to boot.
Best Powder: Bare Minerals Original Foundation
“With foundations, it’s a trial-and-error thing,” Rouleau warns. “But mineral powders like Bare Minerals generally work better than liquids, as they’re far less irritating.” And less irritating is a very good thing if you have rosacea; after all, the last thing you want is more redness to deal with. Credit a minimal ingredient list of only five minerals, which also somehow never look chalky. Bonus points for the fact that there’s an impressive array of 30 shades to choose from.
Best Primer: Peter Thomas Roth Skin to Die For Redness-Reducing Primer
Prepping skin with a green-tinted primer pre-skincare, post-makeup is one of the most effective ways to knock out rosacea-induced redness. The principle goes back to basic color theory. Because green is opposite red on the color wheel (remember that from your elementary art school class?), it neutralizes the redness, making skin appear more even instantly. This particular primer touts both a green tint and a litany of soothing ingredients—think niacinamide, centella asiatica, and chamomile, to a name a few—to further up the redness-reducing benefits.
Best CC Cream: La Roche-Posay Rosaliac CC Creme SPF 30
CC stands for color-correcting, making this a great category in general for those looking to minimize redness. But this one takes the cake for rosacea-sufferers, thanks to the addition of ambophenol, a plant extract that reduces the size of blood vessels. Translation: Less redness, fast. Dimethicone, shea butter, and vitamin E give it a silky feel and texture that glides onto the skin beautifully.
Best Concealer: Armani Beauty Power Fabric Concealer
This is one of our constant go-to's for covering everything and anything from spots to dark circles to yep, excess redness. A tiny dab of the fluid formula hides it all, while time-released oils make it creamy and blendable, and ward off caking and creasing, no matter how long you wear it. It also comes in 20 shades, a major achievement for any concealer.
Best Cream Foundation: Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation
Ultra-silky and creamy, this feels as good going on stressed skin as the final result looks. Chamomile, calendula, and vitamin E both hydrate and soothe your complexion. It’s a top pick for celebrity makeup artist Kira Nasrat. “My skin is so sensitive. Finding a foundation is always a difficult task. But this one doesn’t irritate, and while it has medium to full coverage to mask any redness, it still feels lightweight,” she says.
Best Liquid Foundation: Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30
As anyone who has ever tried to cover-up some major complexion imperfections (i.e. redness) will tell you, touch-ups often seem unavoidable in order to maintain the results you want. Well, this base renders those touch-ups totally unnecessary. Credit unique technologies that help it constantly refresh, all while protecting the finish from the effects of sweat, oil, and even face movements—aka the things that can lead to makeup meltdown. Another win for those dealing with rosacea, and who may have both redness and bumps? The formula also adapts to and enhances your skin’s unique tone and texture.
Best With SPF: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream SPF 50+
Wearing sunscreen daily is a non-negotiable for everyone and their mother, but diligent sun protection becomes even more imperative when you’re dealing with rosacea. Not only can sun exposure trigger a flushing flare, but sun damage also exacerbates the redness (it weakens and can even break down blood vessels). That’s why we appreciate that this overachiever packs an impressive punch of broad-spectrum SPF 50+.
And the benefits don’t stop there. It’s also highly hydrating, contains youth-boosting collagen and peptides, and offers coverage that works equally well on its own, under foundation, or dabbed on as a spot treatment.
Best Budget: NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation
A little bit of this wallet-friendly option not only goes a long way (it’s crazy pigmented), but it also lasts all day, thanks to a waterproof formula that stays on for up to 24 hours. That’d be good enough for us, though on top of all of that, there’s also an extensive selection of 45 shades. Finding your perfect match has never been easier.
Best for Sensitive Skin: Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation
Many dermatologists we’ve spoken to recommend this foundation for use post-laser treatment. And if it’s gentle enough to use then, you can feel pretty darn confident that it’s going to be gentle enough to use on sensitive, rosacea-prone skin. The formula is featherweight and breathable, and contains soothing aloe, as well as plenty of anti-inflammatory antioxidants. (But yes, you get great coverage, too.)
Best Color-Correcting: Algenist Reveal Concentrated Color Correcting Drops
Customization is the name of the game here. You can either use these green-tinted, redness-neutralizing drops solo or add a few to either your foundation or moisturizer to instantly transform it into a rosacea-hiding superstar. (Decide on how many to add based on how much redness you have.) We’re here for it.