Rosacea is difficult to diagnose, as we all get a little flushed every now and again. Whether it’s caused by irritation, overheating, or a booze-filled night, redness is totally common. “Rosacea is triggered by episodes of blushing and flushing caused from overcirculation 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.”
There are triggers that exacerbate the problem (like spicy foods and overexfoliation) and helpful solutions (like calming, cooling products with anti-inflammatory benefits). And while treating the skin from the source is the most important step, there’s also specially formulated makeup that can work to neutralize and cover the redness. To score the best foundations for rosacea, we chatted with a few dermatologists and makeup artists who’ve seen and treated it all. Keep scrolling for the inside intel.
Enriched with calming ingredients like chamomile, calendula, and vitamin E, Honest Beauty’s soft cream foundation conceals and moisturizes your skin. “My skin is so sensitive,” celebrity makeup artist Kira Nasrat says. “Finding a foundation is always a difficult task. But this foundation doesn’t irritate, and a little goes a long way. I love the coverage—while it has medium to full coverage to mask any redness, it feels lightweight. If you’re dealing with serious inflammation, apply Dermalogica’s Redness Relief Primer ($46) to cancel redness and layer your foundation on top.”
“With foundations, it’s a trial-and-error thing,” Rouleau warns. “But mineral powders like BareMinerals generally work better than liquids, as they’re far less irritating.”
Remember the original BareMinerals powder foundation? I’ll never forget the before-and-after images captured on those commercials. It turns out the product has real results to back up its claims. “With foundations, it’s a trial-and-error thing,” Rouleau warns. “But mineral powders like BareMinerals generally work better than liquids, as they’re far less irritating.”
According to Rachel Nazarian, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology, it’s important to look for products with antioxidants. The Redness Solutions formula from Clinique is infused with just that, as well as probiotics and SPF to strengthen your skin’s barrier and minimize flare-ups as it color-corrects.
Derms and the internet agree: This smooth-finish, full-coverage foundation covers major redness without feeling heavy or looking cakey. It works because it’s noncomedogenic, nonacnegenic, and fragrance-free; protects your skin from the sun (a known rosacea trigger); and hydrates the whole day through.
Developed with plastic surgeons and dermatologists, this clinically tested, talc- and bismuth-free product completely cancels redness from view—that includes any red-toned skin discolorations, rosacea, broken capillaries, blemishes, skin irritations, sun damage, scars, and age spots. The magic is in the ingredients: colloidal oatmeal to moisturize, aloe-avocado oil to soothe, and green tea for antioxidant protection.
For easy-to-customize coverage, opt for this sample box of redness-canceling concealers. Seaweed extract, willow herb extract, and green tea extract help nourish and soothe with each application.
Apply the adaptive pigments with your fingers to neutralize rosacea and keep blushing and flushing at bay.
If you’re looking for a broader color range boasting impeccable coverage and a skin-friendly formula that plays nice with redness, hyperpigmentation, and sensitivity (aka rosacea), Huda Beauty’s splurge-worthy filter-esque foundation is one of our top recommendations. Creamy and full coverage, it’s also deeply hydrating thanks to strategic ingredients like argan oil and centella asiatica. ■
Looking for more dermatologist-approved product picks for rosacea? Check out the best moisturizers for rosacea here.
This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Erin Jahns.