If You Have Rosacea, Your Skin Will Love These Gentle Cleansers

Best Cleansers for Rosacea

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my rosacea skincare journey, it’s the importance of a good, rosacea-friendly cleanser. Because a cleanser sets the tone for your skincare routine. It’s the first step. If you start out harsh, you end up with red, irritated skin even before you start applying your skincare products.

Over the years, I’ve used numerous face cleansers and face washes. And I know it can be difficult to find one that doesn’t make rosacea worse. That’s why I’ve put together this round-up of my tried and true cleansers and face washes for rosacea.

On the other hand, rosacea is so unique. And what works for one person may not work for the other. So while these have been truly helpful for my skin, you need to take everything with a grain of salt. Keep reading for the best cleansers for rosacea.

Best Cleansers For Rosacea

1. Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser

Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser - Best Cleanser For Rosacea

This has been among my all-time favorite cleansers to use on my sensitive skin. It’s because even though it’s as potent as someone with normal skin would use, it’s still as gentle as someone with rosacea can use. It’s a foaming gel cleanser made with a blend of antioxidants like vitamin C.

It removes a good amount of makeup and it doesn’t dry my skin at all. I’ve used this one even when I used exfoliators and retinol. It still manages to clean up my skin and remove dirt and grime without causing rosacea flares or irritation. And it smells amazing!

Great for everyday use
Removes makeup too
Foaming but non-drying
Suitable for all skin types

Key Ingredients: Oat, cucumber, vitamin B5
Type of Cleanser: Gel
Skin Type: Normal, dry, combination, oily
Size: 8 oz/237 ml
Good To Know: Alcohol-free, cruelty-free, vegan

2. Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser

Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser - Best Cleanser For Rosacea

This is another personal favorite and I like it as a morning cleanser. But this is more like a calming cleanser than a purifying face wash. It’s in gel/cream form and it doesn’t foam. And it calms irritation and sensitivity all thanks to its anti-inflammatory formula.

It packs oatmeal, cucumber, vitamin B5, and aloe which naturally reduce redness. As it doesn’t foam, it does not strip your skin. On the flip side, it won’t do much to remove oils or oil-based makeup. So remember to double cleanse in the evening if you wear heavy makeup.

Great for dry rosacea skin
Non-foaming and non-drying
Better as a morning cleanser
Instantly calms redness

Key Ingredients: Oat, cucumber, vitamin B5
Type of Cleanser: Gel/cream
Skin Type: Normal, dry, sensitive
Size: 8.4 oz/250 ml
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, alcohol-free, cruelty-free, vegan

3. La Roche Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Face Wash

La Roche Posay Lipikar Wash AP+ Moisturizing Face Wash - Best 
Drugstore Cleanser For Rosacea

This is a unique cleanser in that it’s a cream cleanser that gently foams. Compared to a regular cream cleanser, it’s much more thorough at cleansing the skin and removing oils and debris. But compared to foaming cleansers, it’s way gentler on the skin. It doesn’t leave the skin squeaky clean or dry.

It contains niacinamide to support the skin barrier, glycerin to hydrate, and thermal water to calm redness. Personally, I love using this in cold winter weather in my evening routine. It cleans up my skin completely and leaves it soft and calm.

Cream but foams
Incredibly soothing
Perfect for harsh weather
Cleans better than regular cream cleansers

Key Ingredients: Niacinamide, glycerin
Type of Cleanser: Cream
Skin Type: Dry, sensitive
Size: 13.52 oz/400 ml
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, non-comedogenic

4. Fresh Soy pH-Balanced Hydrating Face Wash

Fresh Soy pH-Balanced Hydrating Face Wash

This one is a gel cleanser perfect for all skin types dealing with rosacea. It’s made with soybean oil, which is rich in amino acids that keep the skin smooth and soft. Plus, it has rosewater in it to soften and tone the skin. The cucumber extract and aloe calm the skin as you get rid of makeup, excess sebum, and dirt trapped inside pores.

It doesn’t foam, it’s invisible on the skin, and the cleanser has no distinctive scent. The way it works is similar to Dermalogica’s. You can safely use it to clean your skin without worrying about redness, tightness, or dryness.

Super hydrating
Non-drying formula
Leaves skin supple and soft
Works for all skin types

Key Ingredients: Cucumber, aloe, amino acids
Type of Cleanser: Gel
Skin Type: All skin types
Size: 5 oz/150 ml
Good To Know: Alcohol-free

5. Caudalie Vinoclean Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Caudalie Vinoclean Gentle Foam Cleanser

If you wear a lot of makeup, or your rosacea is mild to moderate or you’re simply looking for a foaming cleanser, this is one of the best face washes you can try. Foaming cleansers, because most of them contain skin-drying sulfates, are usually something I avoid. But this is as gentle as they come.

This is like a bubbling cleanser that lightly foams up and removes any trace of makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin. It’s sulfate-free but it does contain fragrance. While foaming cleansers tend to leave the skin dry and tight, this leaves your skin unbothered and pure.

Quick Tip: If you’re somewhat familiar with exfoliants and you’re looking for something to minimize acne rosacea, try Caudalie Vinopure Pore Purifying Gel Cleanser. It’s a very gentle salicylic acid cleanser I love to use whenever I’m experiencing breakouts and flare-ups. The concentration is really low, so it’s unlikely to irritate your skin.

Amazing foaming cleanser
Cleans thoroughly without drying
Smells nice
Great for acne rosacea

Key Ingredients: Chamomile extract, grape water
Type of Cleanser: Foam
Skin Type: All skin types
Size: 5 oz/150 ml
Good To Know: Alcohol-free, sulfate-free, vegan

6. SkinCeuticals Replenishing Cleanser

SkinCeuticals Replenishing Cleanser - Best Cleanser For Rosacea

Picking a cleanser for combination skin is tricky as it is. And it gets trickier when you add rosacea into the mix. Fear not, because this one is specially made for combination skin. It’s gentle enough to avoid irritating the skin with its replenishing texture. But it still removes makeup and grime.

With no parabens, no alcohol, and no artificial fragrance, the light-foaming cleanser purifies the skin while maintaining its moisture. Moreover, it contains skin-restoring ceramides to strengthen the skin barrier. And it has vitamin B5 to bind water into the skin and soothe it all the while.

Best Cleansers For Rosacea - SkinCeuticals Replenishing Cleanser
SkinCeuticals Replenishing Cleanser/Ejollify

Super moisturizing for the skin
Washes away dirt without stripping
Leaves no uncomfortable residue

Key Ingredients: Ceramides, vitamin B5
Type of Cleanser: Cream
Skin Type: Normal, combination, oily
Size: 5 oz/150 ml
Good To Know: Alcohol-free, fragrance-free

7. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser

This one is brimming with skin-caring ingredients you’d find in a soothing serum. It’s formulated without fragrance or alcohol and has a unique texture that works both as a cleansing oil and a face wash. It’s made with hydrating hyaluronic acid as well as vitamin B5.

It contains soothing allantoin and rose water to take redness out of the equation. This whole thing makes cleansing amazingly gentle, nourishing, and spa-like. The texture allows you to use the cleanser as a water-based face wash and as an oil-based makeup remover. If you have ocular rosacea and have trouble using cleanser around the eyes, this is great!

Multi-purpose formula
Cleans and removes makeup
Great for gently removing eye makeup

Key Ingredients: Allantoin, vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid, rosewater
Type of Cleanser: Gel/cream
Skin Type: All skin types
Size: 6 oz/177 ml
Good To Know: Non-comedogenic, alcohol-free, fragrance-free, cruelty-free, vegan

8. Motif Abundance Cleanser

Motif Abundance Cleanser - Best Cleanser For Rosacea

This is a super gentle cream cleanser that doubles as a brightening face mask! The creamy cleanser is formulated without irritants and packs a botanically rich blend of anti-inflammatory and brightening ingredients. Licorice extract, cucumber extract, pineapple extract as well as ceramides ensure your skin is unscathed post-cleansing.

You can comfortably use it in the morning to start off with redness-free skin, and in the evening to remove the day’s dirt and pollution from the skin. It’s equally effective as a face mask because it contains clay and finely milled luffa particles to purify the skin. It also removes light makeup!

Soothing formula
Smells amazing
Doubles as a face mask
Removes light makeup
Instantly soothes redness
Leaves skin soft and replenished

Key Ingredients: Licorice extract, ceramides, niacinamide, clay
Type of Cleanser: Cream
Skin Type: All skin types
Size: 3.4 oz/100 ml
Good To Know: Fragrance-free, clean, cruelty-free, vegan

Related: Motif Abundance Cleanser Review

The Verdict

If you need something you can use every day and something that also removes light everyday makeup, Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser is one of my favorite cleansers to use on my rosacea skin both morning and evening. It’s non-drying and doesn’t leave my skin red, or flaky. At the same time, it removes everyday makeup and oils, which is great for managing acne rosacea and keeping the pores clean.

If you regularly wear makeup, don’t forget to double cleanse. And if you’re not sure what to use for it, check out the best makeup removers for people with rosacea.

If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, below is your guide on how to choose a cleanser to use on rosacea skin.

What To Look For in Cleansers For Rosacea

Gentle Formula

Pay attention to the formulation of your cleanser to use on rosacea skin. And when I say formulation, I mean check if the cleanser contains common irritants such as alcohol, SLS, and fragrance.

When a cleanser doesn’t contain these irritants, it’s usually a good indication that the formulation of the cleanser is gentle enough to use on rosacea skin.

Soothing Ingredients

Look for soothing, calming, and anti-inflammatory ingredients in your cleanser for rosacea. These can be oatmeal, cucumber, aloe, or green tea.

Additionally, look for replenishing ingredients in your cleanser to minimize dehydration. These can be hyaluronic acid, squalane, glycerine, and vitamin B5.

Suitable for Your Skin Type

You should look for cleansers for rosacea that are also suitable for your skin type. For example, a gentle foaming cleanser can provide a very deep cleansing if you have oily rosacea skin. But it can be too cleansing for dry skin.

Similarly, if you have dry rosacea skin, a creamy cleanser would be a better choice because they are more moisturizing. On the flip side, they can leave a residue on the skin which is usually unpleasant for oily skin.

A safe middle ground is gel cleansers which are usually good for all skin types. So remember to choose your cleanser based on your skin type too.


Read Next: Best Exfoliators For Rosacea

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