Controlling the Redness of Rosacea

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

By Wendy Lewis and Dorene Kaplan, Glow Beauty Magazine

controlling the redness of roscacea, the three tomatoesHow do you control the redness of roscacea? Redness is actually a sign of aging and skin thinning – tiny red veins peek through the skin that creates blushing. The hallmark of rosacea,  also called “the curse of the Celts,” is facial flushing in response to sun exposure, red wine, spices, smoking, and steam heat. The exact origin is often related to the blood  vessels; most people have some broken capillaries and  redness around the nose, cheeks, and chin. Hormones play a role in rosacea, and flare ups are more likely during your monthly period or with menopause.

The National Rosacea Society (NRS) estimates the number of Americans with rosacea is 16 million – which does not include millions more who may be in temporary remission.  Rosacea typically begins between the 30 and 60 as redness  on the cheeks, nose, chin or forehead that comes and  goes. Over time, the redness tends to become ruddier  and more persistent, and visible blood vessels may appear. Left untreated, bumps and pimples often develop. Rosacea is more common in fair-skinned individuals — but almost anyone can have it. “The early signs of rosacea are often overlooked because they are easily mistaken for something else and tend to come and go,” statesd Dr. John Wolf, chairman of dermatology at Baylor University in Texas. Part of managing the condition of rosaea is use of appropriate skin care for cleansing and moisturizing, and effective application of makeup to reduce the signs of redness.


Use a non-soap, fragrance and alcohol-free cleanser, washing with the fingertips and rinsing with lukewarm water, not too hot. After washing, pat skin dry with a soft cotton washcloth. Do not rub.

B. Kamins’ Booster Blue Rosacea Cleanser ($36) is part of a five product  rosacea line created for founder Ben Kaminsky’s son. It contains anti-inflammatory bisabolol to relieve irritation and a blue tint to neutralize redness.

Likewise, international giant, Clinique offers a four product Redness Solutionsline.  Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser ($20.50) is a non-foaming, cream-gel that gently melts away makeup while cleansing without disturbing the skin’s moisture balance.

Aveeno’s Ultra-Calming Moisturizing Cream Cleanser ($6.99) contains the proprietary naturally calming Feverfew, which helps to reduce the appearance of redness. It’s also great for sensitive skin.

Murad’s Redness Therapy Regimen  includes Soothing Gel Cleanser ($25), which features goji berry extract, an anti-oxidant that rejuvenates flaky skin and reduces inflammation.

Moisturizers and Treatments

Dermatologists recommend daily usage of a moisturizer as a key measure to counteract the burning and irritation often associated with rosacea.

controlling the redness of rosacea, the three tomatoesBooster Blue Soothing Day Cream SPF 15 ($71) and Booster Blue Soothing Skin Concentrate ($75) both contain B. Kamin’s proprietary Bio-Maple Compound. Called a physiological humectant, the compound contains naturally occurring moisturizers, AHAs, anti-oxidant polyphenols and amino proteins.


While using makeup to improve the appearance of rosacea will definitely be a confidence booster, beware of products that can increase inflammation. For uber sensitive skin, use only products specially formulated to be non-irritating.

Capitalizing on its makeup expertise, Clinique offers Redness Solutions DailyProtective Base SPF 15 ($17.50), which protects and primes skin with sunscreens, anti-oxidants and a redness fighting green tint. It’s perfect for use with the Redness Solutions Instant Relief Mineral Powder ($32.50), a carefully formulated shade of yellow loose powder described as a “treatment at heart.”

A camouflage for red skin formulated to work with any skin shade, B. Kamins’ Booster Blue Corrective Concealer($30) neutralizes redness while it comforts irritated skin due to rosacea. Contains soothing, anti-inflammatory agents and moisturizing and healing ingredients.

A favorite among cosmetic doctors and skincare therapists, Lycogel Anti-Aging Concealer SPF30 ($60) covers redness easily, soothes inflammation and protects sensitive skin from UV damage.

Clinical Treatments To Get The Red Out

Early diagnosis and treatment are key to controlling rosacea. Treatments range from topical prescriptions, to prescription medications, and laser and light based therapies or a combination. Flushing and spider veins can be treated with a small electric needle, a laser or intense pulse light therapy. Usually, multiple treatments are required for best results and treatment does not prevent new veins for showing up.

Aveeno’s Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 ($14.99) contains the proprietary naturally calming Feverfew,which helps to visibly reduce the appearance redness, while providing UVA/UVB protection. According to the company’s clinical studies, the moisturizer visibly reduces the appearance of redness in as little as one week, all the while soothing and diminishing blotchiness.

DDF’s Redness Relief ($52), which can be applied morning and night, strengthens fragile skin with horse chestnut extract and reduces the appearance of redness with anti-inflammatory ingredient gatuline A. It also contains yeast extract to increase circulation.

Rosaliac ($30) from La Roche-Posay — the name alone let’s you know its purpose — is reportedly the number one anti-redness moisturizer in Europe. Featuring  the brand’s signature thermal spring water for anti-oxidant protection, the lightly green tinted formula also contains vitamin CG to strengthen sensitive skin and xanthine, a strain of caffeine  known to calm the skin and ease redness.

Murad’s Correcting Moisturizer SPF 15 ($37) includes licorice extract and goji berry to reduce inflammation and irritants, in addition to cooling peppermint extract and  a correcting tint to minimize redness. It’s formulated for use withRecovery Treatment Gel ($52), which includes azelaic acid to retexture and hydrate and zinc oxide to reduce stinging.

Clinque offers two moisturizing solutions. Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream ($39.50) is appropriate for skins with persistent redness—an oil free formula with a slight green tint.

Redness Solutions Urgent Relief Cream ($30.00) is formulated for occasional redness, particularly flare ups triggered by weather, pollution or allergens and it calms itchy skin.

Vitamin K is the “cosmetic secret” in ClearChoice Advanced K ($36) from Dermastart, Inc., available only through certified aestheticians. The topical ointment also includes squalene to soothe traumatized skin while vitamin K reportedly supports the body’s ability to reabsorb blood around reddened areas.


Plexion – The only prescription cleanser for rosacea containing sodium sulfacetamide 10% and Sulfur 5%, comes in a lotion formula as well as Plexion Cleansing Cloths and works by shedding the the top layer of skin.

Topical Creams, Gels, & Lotions:

PyratineXR Lotion or Cream – Clinically proven to relieve redness, soothe irritation, increase moisture and repair damaged skin.  Pyratine XR contains cytokinins, plant-based growth factors that can help regulate the skin’s inflammatory response.

Finacea – Finacea gel is an azelaic acid that helps the skin to renew itself more quickly and therefore reduces pimples and bacteria that causes rosacea.

Azelex Cream – Topical azelaic acid based antibacterial that fights bacteria.

Noritate, Metrogel, Metrocream, Metrolotion, Rozex – This category of topical antibiotics falls under the category of Metronidazole and fights the infection caused by rosacea. It reduces inflammation, redness and bumps.

Klaron Lotion – This Sodium Sulfacetamide lotion is also used to control inflammation.

Oral Medications:

Oracea – The first and only oral therapy (doxycycline) that targets the bumps and pimples of rosacea and helps get your skin under control. It is taken once daily.

Doryx Delayed-Release Capsules – Tetracycline antibiotic pellets.

Doxycycline, Minocycline, Amoxicillin, Tetracycline – These antiobiotics may all be prescribed to treat rosacea.

Laser & Light Based Solutions:

controlling the redness of rosacea, the three tomatoes

Left before.  Right 3 months after 3rd treatment.
Cutera Laser Genesis treatment.
Photos courtesy of David Goldberg, M.D.

Cutera Laser Genesis – By gently heating the upper dermis below the skin’s surface, Laser Genesis simulates collagen regrowth and additional heat is generated in dilated capillaries to reduce redness. A series of Laser Genesis treatments can help keep vascular lesions under control.

Cutera CoolGlide Xeo – The CoolGlide Xeo targets the lower layers of the epidermis to treat rosacea and other skin conditions that cause redness. CoolGlide XEO combines two types of laser energy; pulsed light for treating pigmented lesions and long-pulsed Nd: YAG.

Candela V-Beam – Pulsed dye laser and intense pulsed light are the gold standards for zapping the redness of rosacea.  V-Beam is a pulsed dye laser that works best for thicker blood vessels, while intense pulsed light treatments work nicely  for fine vessels.

Syneron eMatrix Sublative Rejuvenation – Using a combination of Bi-Polar Radio Frequency (RF) and high-power Diode Laser energies for effective treatment of vascular lesions.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) – PDT uses Levulan (aminolevulonic acid), a topical photosensitizer liquid that is applied to the skin and a blue light to activate it.

If you think you have rosacea, visit, or call 1-888-NO-BLUSH


  • Anne brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as The Three Tomatoes’ Beauty, Health and Wellness Editor. As a champion of health and well-being for all, she is the Founder/Publisher of GLOW Beauty, Health and Wellness magazine; previous Founder of Castle Connolly Graduate Medical Publishing, publishing educational review manuals for doctors to pass their board exams in 15 different medical specialties and co-Founder of, publishing and marketing books for health professionals. A winner of the SMART CEO award for "entrepreneurial spirit with a sense of give back to the community," Anne sits on many Boards for women's health, with a particular passion for Veterans and her current role as Special Advisor to Operation Warrior Shield, "healing their hidden wounds". Visit Anne at: or:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.