Keep your complexion cool, calm and collected with these top skin hydrators formulated to help protect and soothe

If you have rosacea, chances are that you’ve become a pro at steering clear of the things that can lead to irritation. Common triggers include alcohol, hot drinks, spicy foods and aerobic exercise such as running – but what about your skincare? 

While not a treatment for rosacea (it’s best to speak with your GP or visit the rosacea treatment* available on Boots’ Online Doctor Services for that), a well-formulated moisturiser may help to hydrate and soothe. What’s more, it can also strengthen your skin barrier to make skin more resilient against environmental aggressors and irritation.

*No charge if we can’t help. Clinical review within 2-24 hoursIt can take a lot of trial, error and frustration to find the right one though, as certain ingredients can irritate and therefore aggravate rosacea symptoms. 

What should you look for and what’s best to avoid? Here’s what you need to know when shopping for a moisturiser for rosacea-prone skin or sensitive skin prone to redness to help keep it well-hydrated from the beginning to the end of your day.

Which moisturiser is best for rosacea?

Try gentle formulas that have been created for sensitive skin and are designed to provide all-day hydration.

Choosing products that have no or minimal fragrance in them is a good place to start as it can be a common irritant. “Look for additional soothing ingredients such as niacinamide and ceramides to help reduce redness and reinforce the skin barrier,” advises consultant dermatologist Dr Thivi Maruthappu.

Knowing what subtype of rosacea that you have can also better inform your moisturiser choice. You can find this out by booking in with your GP. You might also want to visit the rosacea treatment* available on Boots’ Online Doctor Services, a new private health service that is all about giving you convenient and confidential access to pro advice from the comfort of your own home. 

*No charge if we can’t help. Clinical review within 2-24 hours

Just fill in a quick online consultation (it takes just five minutes to complete), and you’ll receive advice from a clinician on appropriate treatments within two to 24 hours. Where appropriate, they’ll also prescribe medication for you to collect from your local Boots pharmacy or have it delivered straight to your door (charges apply for any treatments provided). What’s more, you’ll also receive some handy tips on how to help your skin as an added bonus.

 “The most common subtypes are erythematotelangiectatic and papulopustular rosacea,” explains Dr Maruthappu. Those with erythematotelangiectatic rosacea may find that they experience facial flushing, swelling and broken capillaries. 

Those with papulopustular rosacea (also known as acne rosacea) tend to find that they have persistent redness across the centre of the face as well as pustules and papules. 

“Generally, the same principles apply when it comes to choosing soothing anti-inflammatory formulations for these,” says Dr Maruthappu. “However, lighter formulations may better suit those with papulopustular rosacea.” Look for products labelled as non-comedogenic too, which have generally been formulated in a way that are not likely to cause pore blockages and breakouts.

Can moisturiser worsen rosacea? 

It can if it contains irritants. Try to avoid ingredients that have the potential to weaken your barrier function. “Moisturisers rich in fragrance, essential oils and actives such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids and retinol can sometimes be problematic for rosacea-prone skin,” cautions Dr Maruthappu. “Benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid in acne treatments may also be an issue, too.” 

When it comes to your moisturiser, keep things simple – the gentler the formula, the better. Oh, and remember to wear a high factor sunscreen of at least SPF 30 on top every day to protect skin from UVA and UVB rays as sunlight can aggravate symptoms. Look for sunscreens specifically formulated for sensitive skin types or ones that include mineral sun filters such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (as opposed to chemical ones) in your ingredients labels as they are generally better tolerated by sensitive skin types.

3 of the best moisturisers for rosacea

If you suffer from rosacea, choose a cream specifically formulated with your particular needs in mind. Here are three great ones to consider.

 Dermalex Rosacea Treatment (£19)

• Size: 30g

• Perfume-free

Created for those with mild to moderate rosacea, this skin barrier strengthening cream helps to protect and soothe and may reduce the appearance of redness, flushed cheeks and spider veins. 

Eucerin Anti-Redness Soothing Rosacea Care Day Cream for Hypersensitive Skin (£20.50)

• Size: 50ml

• Fragrance-free

• Non-comedogenic

Full of skin softening ingredients and two actives – SymSitive, a sensitivity regulator, and licorice extract, a skin soother – this cream works a treat when it comes to calming and moisturising reactive and redness-prone skin types. 

Grahams Natural Skin Rosacea Cream (£19.99)

• Size: 75g

• Fragrance-free

Containing mild anti-irritants and soothing emollients, this cream may help to alleviate redness and relieve dryness.

Sensitive skin prone to redness?

If you have sensitive skin prone to redness rather than rosacea, these gentle and hydrating picks may fit the bill. Whether you’re looking for something non-comedogenic or tinted, they’ve got you covered.

Avene Antirougeurs Day Cream SPF30 Moisturiser for Skin Prone to Redness (£16.50)

• Size: 40ml

• SPF30

This rich day cream – designed with the needs of dry to very dry sensitive skin types in mind – provides benefits in both the short- and long-term. As well as soothing Avene Thermal Spring Water, it also contains ingredients to relieve discomfort and overheating, hydrate and strengthen the skin barrier. What’s more, it also has a green tint to help neutralise redness. No wonder it’s one of Dr Maruthappu’s top picks.

On the hunt for something lighter weight? Try the Day Emulsion SPF30 (£16.50) from the Avene Antirougeurs range.

La Roche-Posay Rosaliac Anti-Redness Light Cream (£17.50)

• Size: 40ml

• SPF15 

• Fragrance-free

• No alcohol

Vitamin B3, an SPF of 15 and La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water offer up a formula that calms, conditions and protects. For a more intensive treatment, Dr Maruthappu recommends also dabbing the brand’s Rosaliac Anti-Redness Intense Serum (£20) on to reddened skin, to target areas of sensitivity. 

IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC+ Cream with SPF50 (£32.50)

• Size: 32ml

• SPF50

• Medium to full coverage

• 12 shades

This multitasking base containing niacin, hyaluronic acid, calming aloe leaf extract and more, answers a range of skincare and coverage needs. Creamy and buildable, a little goes a long way. 

CeraVe PM Facial Moisturising Lotion (£13)

• Size: 52ml

• Fragrance-free

• Non-comedogenic 

As well as three ceramides to support the skin barrier, you’ll also find calming niacinamide and hydrating glycerin in this lightweight, non-greasy night cream. A great bedtime skincare upgrade for your routine, which we’ve found works brilliantly during the day, too.

Shop more great moisturisers for rosacea and sensitive skin prone to redness here

All prices correct on date of publication
*Consultations consist of an online questionnaire filled out by the patient that is reviewed by a clinician to assess suitability for prescription-only medicine. Charges for Online Doctor services apply