Ace your base with these top skin-enhancing foundations and tips & tricks from industry experts

Finding the best foundation for rosacea or sensitive skin prone to redness shouldn’t be stressful. In fact, quite the opposite – it should be a joy! The key? Seeking out nourishing formulas that work to minimise the look of redness, while being gentle on the skin.

But first, back to the basics. What is rosacea?

"Rosacea is a long-term skin condition mainly affecting the central face," explains Dr Sonia Khorana, a GP with a special interest in dermatology. "It’s often characterised by redness, particularly of the cheeks, chin and nose."

If you suffer from redness, or rosacea in particular, then you may have a few questions about make-up. Although it’s by no means a treatment, foundation can be a helpful way to temporarily enhance the appearance of your skin and help cover any unwanted redness, if you so wish.

Enter our industry experts, who are here to share with us everything we’ve ever wanted to know about redness and rosacea, from the ingredients that help soothe to application tips and tricks. Plus, we round-up seven of the best foundations for rosacea and redness-prone skin available at

If you need some tailored support or if your rosacea is particularly severe, visit your GP or check out the Boots Online Doctor Rosacea service*. After completing an online consultation, a clinician will review your answers and provide advice and prescribe treatment if appropriate – all within as little as 24 hours.

What type of foundation is best for rosacea & sensitive skin prone to redness?

If you’re wondering whether those with rosacea and redness-prone skin can wear foundation, you’ll be glad to find out that the answer is yes. But with so many products on the market, it can be tricky to make an informed choice.

"Foundation suited to rosacea should provide coverage and neutralise redness, while containing calming ingredients," says Lauren Montgomery, a celebrity make-up artist.

"Look for soothing and moisturising ingredients," Dr Khorana adds. "Anything infused with hyaluronic acid, centella asiatica, niacinamide or ceramides will calm and help the foundation to feel comfortable on the skin."

Which ingredients should those with rosacea & redness-prone skin try to avoid?

When choosing foundations, it’s helpful to avoid irritants.

"Avoid alcohol, which can be drying and irritating," says Dr Hayley Leeman, consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic.

Other ingredients that could act as potential triggers?

Dr Khorana suggests keeping an eye out for menthol, as well as being mindful of formulations containing retinoids and high percentages of exfoliating acids. "Triggers are of course specific to individuals, but in general, these ingredients can be treated with caution," she says.

Everyone’s different, so take a look at a product’s ingredients label to spot any culprits that have caused problems in the past. Retinol, retinly palmitate, retinyl acetate and retinyl lioleate on the label indicate retinols, while AHAs and BHAs are good indicators of exfoliating acids. The higher up in the list it is, the greater the potency.

How can you reduce the risk of a reaction?

A patch test is always a good idea if you’ve got any type of sensitive skin.

"In rosacea patients, it’s important to test the facial skin as it’s often more sensitive," says Dr Leeman. "Clean and dry the area, then apply your chosen foundation to a small section of the skin, leaving it on for at least 24 hours."

This should give a good indication as to whether you might react, but if you need some extra reassurance, "leave the foundation on for four days if possible", says Dr Leeman. "Occasionally, people develop a delayed hypersensitivity reaction."

And don’t forget you can pop into your local Boots store to try some samples. Ask an adviser to help you find your perfect match – they’re happy to help!

How to apply foundation on rosacea or redness-prone skin

Rosacea and sensitive skin prone to redness can be hot to the touch, which can affect your foundation’s staying power. Here are some application tips to help give it extra longevity…

1. Keep your cool

As rosacea can make the skin feel hot, keeping your products and tools in a cool place may be helpful. "If your products and tools are cold to the touch, this can have a cooling effect on your skin," says Dr Leeman.

2. Protect & prime

A perfectly primed base could work wonders when it comes to enhancing the longevity of your make-up and overall skin health. A good place to start? Finding a great day cream. Check out seven of the best moisturisers for rosacea and redness-prone skin in our guide for some add-to-cart inspo.

"If you have rosacea, it’s particularly important you apply SPF regularly," says Dr Leeman. "I’d advise applying a high-quality sunscreen prior to foundation for an extra layer of protection."

After this, go in with a primer.

"Choose a primer with (sun) protection and redness-reducing properties," says make-up artist Lauren. "This will create the perfect base before applying foundation."

3. Don’t be afraid to colour correct

Another useful consideration? Colour correction. While reaching for green-toned make-up might feel a little intimidating, it definitely shouldn’t be.

"Green colour correctors neutralise red tones," says Lauren. "Avoid anything too pigmented – mint hues correct without cancelling all colour in the skin. I find a little goes a long way, so apply sparsely with a sponge or clean fingers, focusing only on areas of redness. They can be used with or without foundation over the top, making the application versatile, depending on your desired look."

One colour corrector trending on TikTok? Dr.Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Colour Correcting Treatment – a green-to-beige cream that’s developed a cult following thanks to its abilities to even skin tone, minimise the appearance of redness and moisturise at the same time.

For more tips and tricks, check out our guide to colour correcting, which is jam-packed with expertise from a leading make-up artist.

4. Press, don’t rub!

We know it’s important to be gentle with our skin, and those of us more prone to redness often have to take extra care.

"If you rub your skin repeatedly during make-up application, you can definitely make your skin redder," says Dr Khorana.

Rose Gallagher, make-up artist and beauty content creator, agrees. "Instead, you should press foundation onto your skin rather than rubbing it in," she says. "Using too much pressure will do two things – reduce the amount of coverage you’re able to build and potentially further exacerbate the redness. By gently pressing the foundation using your hands, a sponge or domed, buffing foundation brush, you can create a lasting, flawless finish without aggravating your skin."

5. Top up as you go

We’ve all been guilty of applying a thick layer of foundation in the hope it’ll last all day.

"Instead, bring a small compact mirror with you and top up as you go," says Rose. "It’s much more effective, and means you can wear a hydrating, comfortable foundation rather than a heavy duty one that will take a lot of rubbing and scrubbing to remove."

"Less is definitely more," adds Lauren. "Often, trying to mask something with foundation entirely can highlight it further."

7 of the best foundations for rosacea & redness-prone skin

From skincare-infused formulas to high-coverage heroes, here are seven of our top foundation picks for rosacea and redness-prone skin, suited to all budgets.

Shop more great foundations for rosacea and sensitive skin prone to redness in our full range.

Best mineral foundation for rosacea & redness-prone skin

Try: BareMinerals Original Liquid Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF20

• Size: 30ml

• 30 shades

• Suitable for vegans

• Synthetic fragrance free

• Non-comedogenic

• Cruelty-free

• SPF20

BareMinerals has long been a go-to for those with more sensitive skin, which makes this mineral liquid foundation – formulated with minimal ingredients – a great place to start. Just a sweep provides a healthy-looking medium coverage that refines skin texture and minimises the look of pores and redness. Its formula is also non-comedogenic, so less likely to clog pores.

Best foundation for lighter skin tones prone to rosacea & redness

Try: Clinique Redness Solutions Makeup SPF15

• Size: 30ml

• Four shades

• Oil-free

• SPF15

Just because you want to minimise the look of redness, doesn’t always mean you’ll want a heavily pigmented foundation. Clinique’s Redness Solutions Make-up provides a moderate, buildable coverage that never looks OTT and feels velvety to the touch. It helps colour correct and reduce the look of flushing and blushing and oh, looks super natural too.

Best long-wearing foundation for rosacea and & redness-prone skin

Try: Sculpted By Aimee Satin Silk Longwear Foundation

• Size: 30ml

• 30 shades

• Fragrance free

• Non-comedogenic

In need of something long lasting? Brimming with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E and niacinamide, this foundation adds nourishment to stressed skin, while delivering a beautiful medium level of coverage. A little goes a long way for a silky finish.

Best CC cream for rosacea & redness-prone skin

Try: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Colour Correcting Full Coverage Cream with SPF50

• Size: 30ml

• 14 shades

• SPF50

This won the Rosacea Saviour category at this year’s Boots Beauty Awards and is loved by influencers and beauty editors alike. IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream provides a dewy layer of buildable coverage that brightens and illuminates even very dry skin. And make-up artist Rose agrees. "My number one foundation recommendation is this one," she says. "It gives a completely full coverage, but because the formula includes so much skincare, it sits comfortably without exacerbating any redness."

Best full coverage foundation for rosacea & redness-prone skin

Try: NYX Professional Makeup Can't Stop Won't Stop Full Coverage Foundation

• Size: 30ml

• 30 shades

• Non-comedogenic

• Suitable for vegans

• Cruelty-free

If you’re a full-coverage fan, then look no further. This matte foundation boasts serious staying power and feels beautiful to wear. Lightweight, water resistant and available in a wide range of shades, it stays put from coffee to cocktails – just what we like to hear.  

Best colour-correcting foundation for rosacea & redness-prone skin

Try: Erborian CC Red Correct Cream SPF25 Anti-Redness Colour Corrector

• Size: 45ml

• Non-comedogenic

• SPF25

While, like IT Cosmetics’ CC cream, this isn’t technically a foundation (CC stands for colour correcting), it does contain similar blurring pigments. "I love this as it contains illuminating properties that bounce back light and enhance skin’s appearance," says Lauren. "It also adapts to your skin tone – perfect if you’re a fan of natural finishes."

Best affordable foundation for redness-prone skin

Try: Collection Cica Foundation

• Size: 30ml

• Suitable for vegans

• 15 shades

A fresh, satin-soft complexion anyone? Not only is this medium-coverage foundation a total beauty bargain, but it’s infused with centella asiatica to help minimise redness and soothe. According to fellow Boots customers, it provides a great low-cost alternative to more expensive finds.

Shop our full range of fabulous foundations for all skin types, tones and texture. Whatever your budget or skin tone, we have your perfect match.

*Access to prescription-only medicine is subject to an online consultation with a clinician to assess suitability. Subject to availability. Charges apply.