Gentle cleansing is extremely important for skin with rosacea. Twice-daily cleansing removes excess oil, environmental debris, bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as the residue from skin-care and makeup products. It's the first step in helping to soothe and treat your skin.
Choose your cleanser with care according to your skin type. Keep in mind that unless your skin is oily, non-soap cleansers may be the best option — they contain less than 10% soap, rinse off easily, and have a neutral pH that's closer to the natural pH of the skin.
Dry to normal or combination skin. A wide range of non-soap cleansers is available, including a number of options developed specifically for sensitive or redness-prone skin.
Very dry skin. A creamy, low-foaming, non-soap cleanser may be ideal for skin that's very dry — these types of formulas often leave behind a thin film that helps skin hold moisture.
Oily skin. For very oily skin, wash with a mild soap, taking care to avoid scrubbing. Aggressive rubbing or over-cleansing can irritate skin.
To minimize skin irritation, try this gentle, step-by-step cleansing routine developed by leading dermatologists for people with rosacea.
Using your fingertips, wash skin with a cleanser suitable for your skin type. Avoid using an abrasive washcloth or sponge, which may irritate.
Rinse away cleanser with lukewarm water. Hot or cold water may cause flushing or irritation. If your face is irritated by water at any temperature, try using a soothing cream cleanser you can simply tissue off.
Gently blot your face dry with a thick-pile cotton towel. Don't rub skin, as this may cause irritation.
Since stinging most often occurs on damp skin, wait 30 minutes for the face to dry completely before applying any topical medication. Slowly reduce the drying time until you find the least amount of time your skin needs to avoid a stinging sensation.
After applying topical medication, wait five to 10 minutes more before applying moisturizer, sunscreen or makeup.
If you have ocular rosacea, be sure to follow your doctor's directions for eyelid scrubbing and medication.
The National Rosacea Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of people with rosacea by raising awareness, providing public health information and supporting medical research on this widespread but little-known disorder. The information the Society provides should not be considered medical advice, nor is it intended to replace
consultation with a qualified physician. The Society does not evaluate, endorse or recommend any particular medications, products, equipment or treatments. Rosacea may vary substantially from one patient to another, and treatment must be tailored by a physician for each individual case. For more information, visit About Us.