Embarrassment, too much to drink, too much sun. All of these can cause redness on the face. These are natural reactions to quite ordinary events, and the redness they cause is temporary. When the embarrassing moment passes, so does the redness. A minor sunburn usually disappears the next day as does the flush of too much to drink.
However, the unsightly redness that rosacea causes is something you want to deal with. In no way does it enhance the look and appeal you’re trying to create. Just the opposite. What to do?
Your makeup or foundation can contain ingredients and skin technology to help reduce or eliminate irritating redness. Products that use natural ingredients like licorice root and aloe not only hide unwanted color; they promote suppleness and smooth texture while helping to retain moisture and provide anti-aging properties.
Our review of the best drugstore makeup for rosacea gives you the information you need to choose the product that will work for you.
Best Drugstore Makeup for Rosacea: Our Top 6 Picks
These are the top six drugstore makeup products for not only covering up your rosacea but also helping to treat it.
1. Best Overall: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Neutralizing Color-Correcting Cream
- Natural ingredients
- Corrects colors
- Cancels redness
- One step, full coverage
- Works on all skin tones
This natural formula cream calms the skin and erases redness. Ingredients include aloe, avocado, colloidal oatmeal, peptides, and hydrolyzed collagen. Formula left-outs are sulfates, phthalates, and parabens. Developed by plastic surgeons and dermatologists, this cream is color-infused and acts as an anti-aging agent.
We think it is best overall because it is superbly blendable and provides coverage that will not crack or crease, so your skin is supple and radiant. Plus, it works all day while it soothes and covers age spots, broken capillaries, and blemishes as well as rosacea.
This is a loose-mineral formula made from five skin-improving ingredients. It feels weightless and will not cake. This foundation is non-oily and provides sheer-to-full coverage, and is breathable for healthy skin improvements over time. It does not cause breakouts or clog your pores. It is vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free, and you can wear it all day.
This powder’s main ingredients are iron oxides, which are natural mineral pigments for coverage and natural color; zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which provide SPF (sun protection factor) protection; plus bismuth oxychloride and mica for super-soft, silky skin. The product also arrives packaged in recyclable materials.
- Shade adjusting
- Reduces irritation
- Use alone or under makeup
This foundation includes many plant extracts that leave your skin smooth and toned evenly to ensure redness reduction. The mild-green color is universal and adjusts to your skin color when you apply it.
This primer covers small veins and is suitable for those with dry skin. Among the natural ingredients are chamomile flower extracts, soybean sprout extracts, and licorice root extracts. To use, apply gently over your entire face as a foundation with a focus on red areas. Watch the green color disappear as it reduces redness for an even, healthy look.
4. Best Cream Foundation: Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation
Formulated with jojoba oil, this cream foundation helps retain your skin’s natural moisture-blocking properties. It creates a seamless finish and buildable coverage, medium or full. The result is velvety-smooth skin texture and natural color with reduced redness.
With jojoba oil as the main ingredient, this talc-free foundation is made without harsh chemicals like petrolatum, silicone, paraffin, and phthalates. It’s great for sensitive skin and gives your face a lightweight feel.
5. Best Liquid Foundation: Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30
- Adapts to skin tone and texture
- Reduces touch-ups
- Enhances skin surface
This weightless foundation synchronizes with your skin allowing it to self-refresh. It works as long as 24 hours for a just-applied appearance. This liquid formula is for dry, normal, oily, or combination skin types.
Shiseido’s “Active-Force” technology protects the skin from imperfections that oil, sweat, and movement can cause. It’s “Responsive Sensory” formula adapts to your skin’s tone, condition, and texture. No sulfates, parabens, phthalates, or other potentially harmful substances are on the ingredient list, and the product is SPF 30.
6. Best for Sensitive Skin: Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation
- Oxygen-charged formula
- Wide-variety of skin types
The ingredients in this foundation promote healing while hiding rosacea, breakouts, wounds, scars, and blemishes. The oxygen-infused formula promotes cell production; the result is more natural coverage and a near flawless look.
This makeup foundation is good for a wide variety of skin types, including oily, dry, combination, sensitive, mature, and acne-prone. It is hypoallergenic, free of paraben, and non-comedogenic, and has an abundance of antioxidants, including aloe. Dermatologist recommended for sensitive skin and post-laser treatment use.
Makeup for Rosacea: Guide & FAQ
We’ll discuss the condition of rosacea and its symptoms, so you have a little background about it — its symptoms and potential remedies — before shopping.
What is Rosacea?
Rosacea (pronounced “roe-ZAY-she-uh”) is a skin condition that produces redness on the face. This redness is actually red blood vessels near the skin’s surface. The disorder may also cause small infections.
Rosacea can persist for weeks or months, disappear for a time, and then resurface. Middle age women with light skin are the most prone to rosacea, although it can affect anyone.
While rosacea produces other symptoms such as itchy eyes and red skin bumps, we are mostly concerned with the primary symptom, skin redness. This appears in the central area of the face, primarily on the cheeks and nose. The reason for the redness is small blood vessels that swell and therefore become visible.
What Causes Rosacea?
Rosacea is a condition that medicine does not fully understand, the causes might be a combination of environmental elements and heredity. Although science does not know the exact cause of rosacea, research indicates the following may worsen the symptoms:
- Hot, spicy food
- Hot tea or coffee
- Eating foods that may contain cinnamaldehyde, for example, chocolate, cinnamon, citrus fruit, and tomatoes
- Intestinal bacteria called helicobacter pylori
- Cathelicidin, a protein which protects against skin infections
- A skin mite known as demodex that can carry infectious bacteria
An easy way to lessen rosacea symptoms is to avoid foods and liquids that might aggravate the disease. While these probably do not cause rosacea, individually or collectively, they can aggravate its symptoms, making it more difficult for you to maintain the best skin conditions for your face.
Other effective ways to calm rosacea’s symptoms and reduce flare-ups include the following:
- Avoiding the UV light that you experience from the heat and sunshine of hot days
- Reducing the stress in your life that a high-pressure job or family situation might be causing
- Avoiding drinking wine, which has ingredients like alcohol and bacteria that can potentially irritate the skin
- Not participating in “hot” exercise like the fashionable hot yoga classes.
The Difference Between These Makeup Products
The products we recommend are different in many ways, yet similar. Similar in that you use them to enhance the beauty of your look and the skin on your face while reducing some or all of the symptoms of rosacea. Different in that the ingredients of each vary: some are liquid, some powder; some use advanced skin “technologies” to accomplish the goal of skin enhancement, and some contain more natural ingredients.
Keep these differences and similarities in mind while researching and shopping for the best drugstore makeup for rosacea.
Check out the many over-the-counter, self-care skin products that have cooling, anti-inflammatory ingredients as a first step toward living with a rosacea condition. Apply them as directed on your face, then choose a foundation who’s ingredients also address the redness that is the prime symptom of rosacea.
How to Choose the Best Makeup for Rosacea Symptoms
Much depends on your individual needs, such as color, liquid or powder preference, skin sensitivity, and desire for natural ingredients.
You want to cover the condition, but at the same time, you want to avoid clogging the skin’s pores.
Dr. Cynthia Price, M.D., a certified dermatologist with a specialty in pediatric dermatology, says: “I educate my patients to look for a good mineral foundation for rosacea, which typically has the added benefit of being more natural. Most mineral foundations on the market contain additional ingredients such as zinc, which is naturally anti-inflammatory and provides additional sun protection. Likewise, many green-tinted foundations aid in concealing redness.”
The bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 we reviewed above is a good choice because of its natural mineral content, which is useful for reducing inflammation and for sun protection.
The mild green color of Peter Thomas Roth Skin to Die for Redness Reducing Treatment Primer, also reviewed above, helps to conceal rosacea’s redness. (If you remember high school science, green is the opposite of red; in other words, green cancels out red.)
The UV in sunlight might trigger rosacea outbreaks on your skin. The foundation we review above Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30 has an SPF rating of 30. If your choice of makeup does not have SPF, you should apply sunscreen separately that has five to ten percent zinc oxide.
The Best Way to Use Makeup to Mitigate the Effects of Rosacea
Referring again to Dr. Price, she recommends that rosacea patients apply all rosacea products, starting from thinnest to thickest. This means your foundation is usually last.
Start with a makeup primer. This helps the makeup process go smoothly by evening out skin texture and tone. Applying primer also helps you achieve an even application of your foundation.
After you have cleaned and moisturized your face, spread a thin cover of your primer and massage it gently into the skin. Finally, apply your foundation, as usual.
If you have sensitive skin, Dr. Price suggests trying samples to see how your skin reacts. Then if it works well for you, purchase the full-fledged product.
Anti-Aging Properties in Makeup
The skin of people in their 30s or 40s has different needs compared to people in their 20s. Jessica Wu, M.D., a dermatologist practicing in Los Angeles, indicates many women’s oil glands begin to shrink when they reach their mid-30s. This often leads to dry skin.
An excellent way to maintain moisture in facial skin is to choose makeup with moisture-retaining properties like the Honest Beauty Everything Cream Foundation, which we reviewed above. Its main ingredient is jojoba oil, which is naturally moisture-retaining.
Other ingredients that help retain moisture are the glycerin and hyaluronic acid that you find in cream and liquid foundations. Other anti-aging substances include antioxidants like peptides and retinol.
Natural Ingredients, Cruelty-Free, Fragrance-Free, Gluten-Free
Other factors that may influence your choice of the best drugstore foundation for rosacea is the prevalence of natural ingredients that the products contain. Some say the closer to nature a product or ingredient is, the better it is for you.
If you prefer makeup with fewer and closer-to-nature ingredients, many of the products we present contain all-natural ingredients so you can feel confident that the product does not contain harsh chemicals, solvents, or petroleum.
You may also prefer that the maker tests the makeup or foundation using only cruelty-free methods. It’s important for some to recognize and honor the feelings and emotions that come into play regarding the use of animals and the methods the manufacturer uses to test products meant for humans.
Other possible concerns are if the product is fragrance-free and if it is talc-free, i.e., if the maker formulates it without talcum powder. People are becoming increasingly aware of how fragrances, especially strong ones, can affect moods as well as nasal and lung functions, so this can be a factor in choosing makeup.
Some studies have linked the use of talcum powder with an increased chance of ovarian cancer. This can also influence your choice of foundation or makeup.
Gluten-free means the product does not contain any gluten, a gooey protein that comes from wheat, barley, malt, spelt, and other grains. Of particular concern is dermatitis herpetiformis or DH. This is a type of celiac disease (a disease caused by gluten intake) that prompts the immune system to assail the skin.
While this happens when people eat foods containing gluten, most of the makeup products we recommend are gluten-free. Our product recommendations address many of these concerns. For example:
- The Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation drugstore makeup for rosacea is vegan, and cruelty- and fragrance-free.
- The Peter Thomas Roth Skin to Die for Redness Reducing Treatment Primer we recommend has many plant-based ingredients such as soybean sprout and chamomile flower extracts, which help the primer do its work of hiding and blending in the redness of rosacea.
- The bareMinerals Original Loose Powder Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 we reviewed is mineral-based and made without talc for those allergic to this substance. The maker states that this makeup is also gluten-free.
Of particular note is Japan’s Shiseido Company’s “Active Force” technology. The company states that this process harnesses “the combined power of science and nature” to activate “the power of touch to awaken unresponsive skin,” which increases its products’ performance. Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30 is our choice for the best liquid foundation.
The product we recommend for sensitive skin, Oxygenetix Oxygenating Foundation is based on an “oxygen-charged” formula. Oxygenetix states that this formula allows your skin to breathe better, and the result is a light (in weight) makeup that you hardly notice you’re wearing.
Additional factors to address when choosing the best makeup for rosacea include whether the product irritates your skin. Trying the product before you buy it can save you time and, well, irritation.
Is the product long-wearing? Some of those we recommend expressly state that the product remains effective for a long time, in one case, Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30, up to 24 hours.
Is the product buildable, in other words, can you apply other makeup onto it, or do you have to use it alone? Does it cake? Is it breathable? What about matt? Perhaps most importantly, is the product effective against rosacea?
You’ve determined that the redness on your face is more than the effects of that last martini you know you should not have imbibed. It’s not sunburn or embarrassment either but a condition called rosacea. Time to choose the correct beauty product or foundation that can help achieve the great look you deserve.
The products we present address the many factors you’ll want to consider before choosing the best drugstore makeup for rosacea for you. These include skin tone, liquid or powder, buildability, ingredients, effectiveness against rosacea, and price.
We hope you use our research well and derive maximum benefit from the information. We want you to emphasize your beauty and enjoy life based on feeling confident that you are looking your best.