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Best Cleansers For Rosacea

Updated May 2022
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Best of the Best
The Yellow Bird Activated Charcoal Lemongrass and Lavender Soap Bar
The Yellow Bird
Activated Charcoal Lemongrass and Lavender Soap Bar
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Gentle for Everyday Use
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The perfect choice for daily use to keep rosacea under control and prevent acne-prone skin from breaking out.


This bar cleanser has a beautiful, refreshing scent that really wakes up the skin. Works effectively as a preventative acne treatment while actively keeping redness to a minimum. Gentle enough to not irritate rosacea symptoms. Prevents oily skin from appearing shiny while keeping your skin soft and supple all day.


Sits at a slightly higher price point considering how long the bar lasts.

Best Bang for the Buck
Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
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Creamy Formula
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An affordable everyday cleanser that's gentle on skin with rosacea.


This creamy formula keeps skin moisturized. The pump-style bottle is convenient and easy to use. The cleanser starts clearing up dry, itchy red patches within the first week of use. Gentle formula doesn't further irritate rosacea, and regular use will reduce overall redness, giving you a smooth, even skin tone.


Product has a strong chemical smell. Luckily it doesn't linger on the skin.

Era Organics Tea Tree Oil Face Cleanser
Era Organics
Tea Tree Oil Face Cleanser
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Natural and Cruelty-free
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This natural cleanser is the perfect combination of gentle on the skin and strong on rosacea symptoms.


This mild cleanser will leave skin feeling soft and clean. Has a pleasant scent and never dries out the skin. You will notice a reduction in redness within the first week or 2. Cruelty-free and packed with natural ingredients. It also works as a makeup remover, taking off waterproof mascara with ease.


The bottle is made from hard plastic, which makes squeezing product out difficult.

Paula's Choice Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser
Paula's Choice
Skin Recovery Softening Cream Cleanser
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Bottom Line

If you're looking for a quality cleanser this product is a solid option.


Unlike most cream-based cleansers, this one does not leave any residue on the skin. Effectively evens out your skin tone with regular use. This fragrance-free product leaves skin soft and moisturized. It works efficiently at removing even full-coverage foundations. The bottle is quite large.


The product doesn't lather so you might feel that you're rubbing lotion into the skin.

Clinique Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser
Redness Solutions Soothing Cleanser
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Gentle Cleanser for Everyday
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The extra gentle cleanser is perfectly balanced to reduce visible redness and soothe irritation of the skin.


Extra gentle facial cleanser. Gel-based and is effective for rosacea-related issues. It is non-drying and minimizes redness. Helps to maintain the moisture balance in the skin and is ideal for all skin types. Paraben-free and comes in a sturdy tube.


People with dry skin might find it too drying.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for best cleansers for rosacea

Rosacea is a tricky skin issue to deal with. It can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as stress, sun exposure, alcohol, and even spicy foods. Keeping your skin clean of dirt, oil, and product residue is essential, too, which is why finding the right cleanser for rosacea is so important.

Rosacea is a skin condition that results in redness and noticeable blood vessels in the face. In some cases, it may also cause small red bumps that contain pus. In addition to common environmental or lifestyle triggers, folks with rosacea often experience flare-ups if they use skincare products that contain potentially irritating ingredients. A cleanser for rosacea should have a gentle, mild formula that doesn’t strip moisture from the skin. While all rosacea cleansers are free of irritants, some also contain ingredients meant to soothe the skin and help reduce redness and inflammation.

rosacea cleanser
Rosacea is a common skin condition affecting more than 14 million people in the United States.

Key considerations

Ingredients to look for

The best cleansers for rosacea are gentle formulas that won’t dry out the skin or disrupt its natural protective barrier. Some cleansers do contain ingredients meant to soothe skin and help with redness and inflammation. 

Some skin-soothing ingredients to look for in a rosacea cleanser include the following:

Aloe vera is a natural ingredient that helps moisturize skin and provide antioxidants that protect against environmental irritants. It also functions as an anti-inflammatory to soothe rosacea flare-ups. Some folks are sensitive to aloe vera, though, so you should do a patch test with any cleanser before using it all over your face. 

Willow bark comes from black or white willow trees. It has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce inflammation and sensitivity. 

Feverfew is another plant-based ingredient that can help soothe rosacea. It works as an antioxidant and helps provide UV protection, which is important since sun exposure can cause rosacea flare-ups. 

Niacinamide is a B vitamin that’s effective in treating flushing and redness in the skin. 

Licorice extract works as an extremely effective anti-inflammatory. It can help reduce the swelling and redness associated with rosacea. 

Colloidal oatmeal is another natural ingredient that can help soothe rosacea. It aids in strengthening the skin and preventing moisture loss that can lead to flare-ups. Oatmeal is also known to reduce itching. 

Green tea is used in a variety of skincare products because it’s so rich in antioxidants. Not only does it protect against environmental irritants, but it can also help soothe the inflammation that occurs with rosacea. 

Vitamin C is an extremely potent antioxidant that can help fight inflammation and strengthen weak blood vessels in the face. It can soothe redness, too. 

Chamomile is a hydrating ingredient that also contains compounds that help fight inflammation. 

Ingredients to avoid

In addition to looking for ingredients that can soothe rosacea, you also want to avoid any cleansers that contain ingredients that might trigger a flare-up. Some common ones include the following:

Sulfates, including sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate, are ingredients that help cleansers and other personal care products lather. They can strip moisture from the skin and affect its natural protective barrier to cause irritation that leads to a rosacea flare-up. 

Phthalates serve as lubricants in cleansers and other skincare products. They can irritate sensitive skin and pose other health issues. 

Parabens are preservatives commonly found in skincare and other beauty products, which can irritate individuals with rosacea or sensitive skin

Fragrance helps give cleansers and other skincare products a pleasant scent, but chemical or synthetic fragrances can be extremely irritating for those with rosacea or sensitive skin. 

Alcohol is extremely drying and can easily irritate sensitive skin. 

Witch hazel, an astringent, can irritate the skin.  

Menthol, peppermint, and eucalyptus oils provide a cooling effect on the skin in cleansers and other products, but they can cause burning and irritation in individuals with sensitive skin. 

Glycolic acid is an effective treatment for many skin conditions, but it’s too potent an exfoliator for those with rosacea or sensitive skin. It often makes redness and inflammation even worse. 


The pH scale determines how acidic or alkaline something is. The scale ranges from 0 (acidic) to 14 (alkaline). A pH of 7 is considered neutral. The skin’s natural pH measures around 5, making it slightly acidic. If your skin becomes too acidic or too alkaline, its protective barrier doesn’t function as well. 

Skincare products can affect the skin’s pH, and cleansers are usually the worst culprits. Those that contain soap are too alkaline and can strip the skin of moisture, disrupting its protective barrier. For those with rosacea, that can lead to flare-ups. Any cleanser for rosacea should be pH-balanced, so your skin maintains its natural pH without irritation.

It helps to understand your rosacea triggers so you can avoid them. Keep a record of your symptoms, as well as weather conditions, foods and beverages you consume, activities you engage in, and skincare products you use every day for a few weeks to identify triggers and detect patterns.




When you’re shopping for a rosacea cleanser, choosing the right formula is critical if you don’t want to irritate your skin and cause a flare-up. Gels and foaming cleansers aren’t the best options for rosacea because they can strip the skin of moisture and disrupt its protective barrier. 

The best formulas for rosacea cleansers are the following:

Cream cleansers: These have a thick, rich texture and usually provide plenty of moisture to the skin. They’re effective at deep cleaning the pores and also remove makeup extremely well. 

Milk cleansers: These have a milk-like consistency and provide intense moisture to the skin. They aren’t as effective for deep cleaning as cream cleansers, though. 

Oil cleansers: These are usually used as a pre-cleansing step to remove makeup before a deep-cleaning cleanser. They effectively dissolve dirt and oil but don’t strip the skin at all. 


Individuals with rosacea have such sensitive skin that many nonirritating ingredients can still trigger a reaction. That’s why it’s a good idea to choose a cleanser labeled as hypoallergenic. These products are formulated so they’re less likely to cause an allergic reaction or rosacea. 

Keep in mind that hypoallergenic cleansers aren’t guaranteed to prevent a reaction. You should still do a patch test to ensure that you can use the product safely. 


Many cleansers for rosacea come in squeeze bottles with a pop-open top. They work well to keep the cleanser’s ingredients protected from air and light, but they can sometimes require significant hand strength to get all the product out of the bottle. Many cream cleansers come in a squeeze tube, which usually doesn’t need as much force to dispense the product. Some rosacea cleansers come in a bottle with a pump dispenser. These don’t require much strength to get the product out, but they only work for cleansers with a thin to medium consistency. 

rosacea cleanser2
There is no cure for rosacea, but with the right treatment and skincare products, you can keep it under control.

Cleansers for rosacea prices

Cleansers for rosacea vary in price based on the ingredients and the size of the container. Most cleansers cost between $6 and $32.

Inexpensive: The most affordable rosacea cleansers are mild drugstore formulas that don’t contain any ingredients that are likely to irritate the skin. However, they also don’t include any ingredients specifically meant to soothe the skin or treat rosacea. These cleansers typically cost between $6 and $13

Mid-range: These rosacea cleanser formulas are free of ingredients that are likely to irritate the skin and cause rosacea flare-ups. They also contain ingredients that can help soothe redness and inflammation. These cleansers generally cost between $13 and $24.

Expensive: The most expensive rosacea cleansers are specifically formulated for rosacea and don’t contain any ingredients that are likely to irritate the skin. They contain ingredients that can help soothe redness and inflammation and maintain moisture in the skin. These cleansers usually cost between $24 and $32.

Exercise can trigger rosacea flare-ups, but it’s vital for your overall health to stay active. Opt for several shorter workouts of 15 minutes or less throughout the day rather than a single hour-long session.



  • Do a patch test first. Do this before using a rosacea cleanser all over your face. Apply a small amount of the cleanser to the inside of your wrist or elbow, and let it sit for a few minutes before washing it off. If you don’t experience a reaction within 24 hours, you can use the cleanser. 
  • Don’t use hot water to wash your face. It can strip moisture from your skin and increase its sensitivity, making you more prone to flare-ups. Use warm or lukewarm water instead.
  • Use your fingers to apply rosacea cleanser to your face. Brushes, washcloths, and abrasive sponges can irritate your skin. Massage the cleanser into your skin with a circular motion to help it penetrate more deeply and break down dirt, oil, and makeup. 
  • Rinse your face thoroughly after using a cleanser. Leaving residue behind may irritate the skin. 
  • Pat your face dry with a soft, clean towel. Rubbing a towel over your skin may irritate it. 
rosacea cleanser3
You’re more likely to have rosacea if you’re between 30 and 50 years of age and have fair skin.


Q. What causes rosacea?

A. Studies are still ongoing to determine why one person gets rosacea and another doesn’t. Family history can play a role, so you’re more likely to have it if others in your family do. If you have acne-like rosacea, a bacterium known as Bacillus oleronius may cause a reaction, which causes the immune system to overreact. Dust mites on the surface of the skin may also be responsible for rosacea in some people. The way your body processes cathelicidin, a protein that helps protect the skin from infection, can sometimes trigger redness and inflammation in the face, too. 

Q. Should I see a dermatologist if I have rosacea?

A. If you suspect you have rosacea, it’s best to work with a dermatologist to control the condition. Not only can they recommend cleansers and other over-the-counter products that can help keep flare-ups to a minimum, but they can also prescribe medications and topical treatments that keep you looking and feeling good.

Q. How many times a day should I use a rosacea cleanser?

A. Most dermatologists recommend washing your face with a rosacea cleanser morning and night. That can effectively remove dirt and oil that might trigger a flare-up.