Header Image
Why trust BestReviews?
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. Read more  
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. Read more  
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.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

35 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
60 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

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.

Get emails you’ll love.
Learn about the products you’re wondering if you should buy and get advice on using your latest purchases.
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. 

pH

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.

STAFF
BestReviews

Features

Formula

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. 

Hypoallergenic 

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. 

Packaging

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
DID YOU KNOW?
There is no cure for rosacea, but with the right treatment and skincare products, you can keep it under control.
STAFF
BestReviews

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.

STAFF
BestReviews

Tips

  • 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.

FAQ

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.

 

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
Our Top Picks