Survey Says Green and Yellow Can Hide the Facial Redness of Rosacea

BARRINGTON, Illinois (October 27, 2003) -- A traffic stoplight may just be the visual reminder people with rosacea should keep in mind when visiting the cosmetic counter, as a new survey found that green-tone and yellow-based makeup often help control the redness of this acne-like facial disorder affecting an estimated 14 million Americans.

In the survey of more than 900 rosacea patients conducted by the National Rosacea Society and published in Rosacea Review, 88 percent of the respondents said cosmetics help or somewhat help to conceal its effects on facial appearance. Of those surveyed, 54 percent said they turn to yellow-based natural tones or green-tone makeup to offset the rosacea redness, compared with 25 percent who reported using more traditional pink-based natural tones.

"In addition to medical treatment, creative and knowledgeable use of makeup can hide the redness and visible blood vessels often seen with rosacea," said Dr. Zoe Draelos, clinical associate professor of dermatology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. "Camouflaging with green- and yellow-tinted skin-tone foundations usually works best, while most should avoid those covering products with pink or orange hues."

The types of cosmetics used to cover rosacea included liquid foundation for 45 percent of the survey respondents and cream foundation for 19 percent. This was followed by pressed finishing powder and loose finishing powder, each for 25 percent. Nineteen percent said they used a stick concealer and 16 percent reported using liquid concealer, while 18 percent said they used powder blush and 3 percent used gel or cream blush.

More than 60 percent reported using pencil, crayon or powder eye makeup, and mascara is used by 62 percent of respondents. Only 7 percent said they used liquid eyeliner and less than 3 percent use liquid eyeshadow, either of which may irritate patients with ocular rosacea (eye symptoms).

Rosacea typically begins at any time after age 30 as a flushing or redness on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that may come and go. Over time, the redness tends to become ruddier and more persistent, and small dilated blood vessels may appear. Without treatment, bumps and pimples often develop, and in severe cases, the nose may become swollen from excess tissue. In many patients, the eyes are also affected, feeling irritated and appearing watery or bloodshot.

Over 59 percent of those responding to the survey said they use cosmetic products that are hypoallergenic -- associated with a low occurrence of an allergic reaction -- and 49 percent use fragrance-free makeup. Forty-eight percent of the respondents said they used cosmetics that are SPF-enhanced -- containing a sun protection ingredient -- and 44 percent use products that are oil-free.

Among various cosmetic ingredients reported to have irritated their skin, alcohol was cited by 49 percent of the survey respondents, followed by fragrance for 33 percent, alpha hydroxy acid for 30 percent, witch hazel for 24 percent, salicylic acid for 17 percent, peppermint for 12 percent, and eucalyptus oil for 11 percent.

For information and educational materials on rosacea, write the National Rosacea Society, 800 S. Northwest Highway, Suite 200, Barrington, Illinois 60010, or call its toll-free number at 1-888-NO-BLUSH. Information and materials are also available on the society's Web site at, or via e-mail at

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Publication Date: 
Monday, October 27, 2003

Press contacts:
Mary Erhard, Emma Terhaar

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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

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