Rosacea & Hypersensitivity

Rosacea is hypersensitivity of the skin that results in large blood vessels, spidery looking veins, small red bumps, and larger bumps that can often be mistaken for acne...

...except that if you treat it like acne, it’s possible to make it worse instead of better. If you’ve tried every trick in the book to get rid of your acne and are worse off than before, you might have actually been mistreating rosacea. 

The most noteworthy difference between acne and rosacea is the location of the breakout. While acne is most commonly seen on the forehead, cheeks, chin, jaw, upper back, and chest, rosacea is more central. It is typically seen on the cheeks and nose, but can span across the entire face. We are fully aware that both of those location descriptions overlap, which is why we recommend asking a dermatologist if you’re not sure. 

Rosacea can have specific “triggers” that make you breakout. If you’ve ever had one sip of wine and suddenly looked like you have the world’s worst sunburn, alcohol is probably a trigger for you. Or if you’ve spent a summer day outside and ended up with splotchy red patches that show through your makeup, heat might be a trigger. While triggers can be specific to each person, the most common ones are spicy food, alcohol, heat, chocolate, and warm drinks. 

Once you know you have rosacea, you can manage it with the regimen below. Since a large part of rosacea is hypersensitivity of the skin, the key to managing flare ups is using exceptionally gentle products and protecting your skin at all costs. Basically, think of yourself as a secret service agent for your skin if your skin was the President.

The best defense against rosacea is to avoid your triggers and adopt the regimen below: 

(*However, if you’re already doing that and it’s still not working, talk to a doc about getting an Rx. They’ll know which options are best for your specific concerns.



Use a gentle, milky cleanser (morning and night) Milky cleansers have a texture that’s light on skin. Look for ones that utilize oat, lavender, or cucumber, as these ingredients act as calming agents. We love CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser or Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser


Moisturize (morning and night)
Use a soothing, thick moisturizer to help soften and calm your skin. Emollient ingredients reinforce the skin’s lipid barrier to protect it from environmental and internal triggers, which can reduce the amount of stress on your skin 
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream or Dermalogica Barrier Repair are both great options.


 Apply an Azelaic Acid (more alliteration!)
(morning and night, or once a day depending on your skin) This will help with inflammation, and decrease swelling and redness in the skin. We recommend The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% 


Apply an SPF (morning)
UV Rays will trigger rosacea and make symptoms worse, so be diligent with your sunscreen every single day. Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46 and La Roche-Posay Anthelios Mineral Zinc Oxide Sunscreen SPF 50 both contain a high enough SPF to protect your sensitive skin.


With sensitive skin, be cautious about branching out to products that contain AHAs, BHAs, retinoids, retinols, and bukachiols. We understand, we get excited about shiny new things, too. So if you must try the latest and greatest on the skincare market, test one thing at a time in small amounts, and ease your way in.