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Rosacea Dos and Don’ts

Published by DR. Bradley Ashpole


Rosacea is an uncomfortable skin condition that affects over 14 million people in the U.S. If you have this condition, you’re all too familiar with the painful flare-ups that affect your everyday life. Fortunately, following a skincare routine designed for rosacea can help you:

  • Feel better
  • Decrease flare-ups
  • Improve your skin health

Keep reading to learn the most important dos and don’ts of caring for rosacea-prone skin.

What is Rosacea?

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition that most commonly affects the face, ears, chest, and back. It shows up as patches of red and irritated skin, which may go away and reappear over time. The cause of rosacea is typically linked to genetics, although it can also be linked to blood vessel abnormalities, bacteria, and skin infections.


Follow these DOs to keep your skin healthy and feeling its best, even during rosacea flare-ups.

DO Cleanse

When your skin is already irritated from a rosacea flare-up, you probably don’t feel like washing your face. However, washing too little can actually lead to more severe rosacea symptoms. To wash your skin without making things worse, follow these steps:

  1. Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser made for rosacea-prone skin.
  2. Apply the cleanser to your face with your fingertips
  3. Gently rinse your skin with lukewarm water
  4. Gently dry your face by patting it with a soft, clean towel

DO Moisturize

Rosacea can cause both overly dry and overly oily skin. For this reason, it’s important to moisturize your skin every day. Using a daily facial moisturizer will ensure your skin stays properly hydrated without becoming overly oily.

If you have severe symptoms, consider using a barrier cream made specifically for rosacea-prone skin. Rosacea barrier cream is typically available over the counter.

DO Wear Sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is one of the most effective ways to keep your skin healthy and prevent rosacea flare-ups. To prevent irritating your skin, choose a fragrance-free sunscreen that lists zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as a main ingredient.

DO Choose Products For Sensitive Skin

It’s important to choose skincare products that are designed for rosacea care. Most dermatologists recommend avoiding any products that contain the following ingredients:

  • Camphor
  • Fragrance
  • Alcohol
  • Glycolic acid
  • Menthol
  • Lactic Acid
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate

It’s also important to test products before applying them to your face. If you are trying out a new product, place a very small amount near the area where your rosacea often crops up. Then, wait 72 hours before fully using the product. If you notice a reaction, you’ll know to avoid using that product.

DO Be Gentle

It can’t be overemphasized—always be gentle when handling your rosacea-prone skin! Use your fingers or a soft, microfiber cloth when you wash your face or apply skincare products. A gentle touch will go a long way in keeping your symptoms at bay.

DO See a Dermatologist

If you’re having trouble with your rosacea-prone skin, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A dermatologist can assess your symptoms and prescribe effective treatment options.


To prevent triggering your rosacea, avoid the following:

DON’T Overheat

Overheating is one of the most common triggers of rosacea flare-ups. On especially hot days or after exercising, spend some time in a cool, air-conditioned environment.

DON’T Drink Caffeine or Alcohol

While a glass here and there is generally okay, if you want to avoid rosacea flare-ups, avoid consuming excessive amounts of coffee, tea, or alcohol. For many people, red wine is a particularly potent trigger.

DON’T Eat Trigger Foods

While trigger foods will vary from person to person, spicy foods, tomatoes, citrus, onions, chocolate, aged cheese, and processed meats have all been known to trigger flare-ups.

DON’T Wear Rough Fabrics

Wool, lace, corduroy, and other types of rough fabrics can easily irritate your skin and cause symptoms. To protect yourself, opt for softer fabrics like cotton or silk, especially when it comes to scarves and turtlenecks.

DON’T Stay in the Sun

While you don’t need to avoid sun exposure altogether, it is very important to protect your skin when you go outside. Wear a rosacea-friendly sunscreen, a sun hat, and a lightweight long-sleeve shirt, whenever possible. If you know you’ll be in the sun for a long period of time, bring a shade umbrella for some relief.

DON’T Use Scrubs or Peels

While scrubs and peels can be beneficial for certain skin types, they will only aggravate your rosacea. While exfoliation is not beneficial for rosacea, there are other professional treatments available for this skin condition. Talk to an esthetician at your local MedSpa to find out if you’re a candidate for treatment.

Laser Therapy For Rosacea

If you’re looking for a medical spa treatment to ease symptoms of rosacea, the Clear + Brilliant® Complete Treatment may be able to help! Clear + Brilliant® is a laser treatment designed to reduce the early signs of aging, maintain a youthful look, and improve the overall appearance of your skin. It can also be customized to treat rosacea-prone skin. The best part? No surgery or injections are required!

Reach Out to the Ashpole MedSpa Team

If you’re interested in the possibilities of laser therapy, reach out to the team at Ashpole Plastic Surgery. We’ve designed our MedSpa to help patients with any type of skin condition look and feel their best. We’re your go-to choice for the Clear and Brilliant laser in Chicago!

Best of all, we offer free consultations for new patients, so there’s nothing to lose! Schedule your free consultation today.

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