These Are the Foundations I Swear by For Rosacea

Best Foundation For Rosacea

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I’ve been dealing with rosacea for almost a decade now. I love wearing makeup too! Some people assume that having rosacea, consistent redness, and easily irritated skin makes it almost impossible to find a good foundation. Well, that is so unless you have my experience! I’ve tried countless options and have finally narrowed things down to a handful of favorite foundations to use on my rosacea skin.

I always come back to these and always recommend them to fellow rosacea sufferers. And that’s what you’ll find below. But before that, here are a few things I’ve learned over the years from trying foundation after foundation and I think you should keep them in mind too.

First of all, I’ve stopped obsessing over the term ‘minimal’, which refers to products that contain few ingredients. This has been forced on us. But I’ve seen over and over again that not all minimal products are gentle.

Additionally, rosacea is a unique condition. When shopping for makeup products for rosacea, know that what works for one person doesn’t always work for the other person.

So no matter how hypoallergenic your foundation is, there’s always a chance your skin might react to something in it. Now, whether you’re looking to cover up acne or redness, below are the best foundations for rosacea.

Best Foundations For Rosacea

Best Overall: Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 25

Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 25

Serum foundations are meant to care for the skin while providing coverage in the most natural, breathable way, which is the ultimate combo for us. This serum foundation comes with a pack of hydrators, and anti-inflammatories to cover the skincare aspect. It’s made with hyaluronic acid, niacinamide green tea, and vitamin C. It also has salicylic acid, which would be questionable if this was a serum.

However, it simply complements other anti-inflammatory ingredients in the formula to calm the skin. It has medium but buildable coverage and a nice, natural finish. The formula is oil-free and fragrance-free. So it won’t clog pores, worsen acne rosacea, or irritate. Whether you have dry skin or oily skin, this is an overall great foundation for rosacea. The liquid formula applies super easily and leaves the skin looking healthy and radiant. And you get mineral SPF!

Finish: Natural
Coverage: Medium/Full
Shades: 42
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good to Know: Fragrance-free, oil-free

Best Powder: BareMinerals Powder Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15

BareMinerals Powder Mineral Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 - Best Foundations For Rosacea

Powder foundations aren’t always full coverage by default. But when rosacea is at stake, they are not as irritating as liquid foundations may be. If your skin is too sensitive, you can consider this mineral foundation that comes in loose powder form. It’s so minimal that all you get is sun protection besides light coverage with a natural finish.

It’s perfect for gently covering up full-blown rosacea flare-ups without further irritating the skin. The powder formula is also ideal for acne-prone skin that tends to get oily. To enhance the coverage, consider using a green-tinted primer underneath.

Finish: Natural
Coverage: Medium
Shades: 30
Size: 0.28 oz
Good to Know: Hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free

Best For Mature Skin: Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Perricone MD No Makeup Foundation Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 20

Given that rosacea is most commonly seen after your 30s, it’s only natural to want a formula that covers redness but does not accentuate wrinkles. That calls for a skincare-infused formula that’s light on the skin. This is a light-coverage, barely-there serum foundation for everyday makeup perfect for people with rosacea and mature skin with lines and wrinkles.

It’s like a CC cream to even out the skin tone without giving you a cakey base. Even though you can play with the coverage and build it up, the first application is great for no-makeup makeup days. The light formulation also contains neuropeptides for instant wrinkle-smoothing benefits. It has a natural finish, contains mineral SPF, and the formula is free of fragrance.

Finish: Natural matte
Coverage: Light/Medium
Shades: 6
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good to Know: Fragrance-free

Best For Everyday Wear: Erborian CC Creme SPF 25

Erborian CC Creme SPF 25 - Best Korean Foundation For Rosacea

Speaking of mature, aging skin prone to redness, here’s a more budget-friendly, cost-effective alternative. This is a CC cream that gives you light, medium coverage. And it’s incredibly helpful for everyday wear. I don’t know about you but I don’t have the energy to do full face makeup every single day. Sometimes, I just want to be able to slather my face with something and know that it is going to make me look better and less red! This is for those occasions!

It’s not going to give you that blurred-out, airbrushed skin. But it evens out skin tone and has a skin-like, radiant finish. And because it’s so thin and easy to use and apply, it doesn’t crease. So whether you have wrinkles or just looking for something natural, and light, this is an amazing foundation. Plus, it has skin-adapting shades. So you’ll find your shade match more easily. But in general, the shade Clair in all Erborian products works great for fair to medium skin tones.

Finish: Radiant
Coverage: Light
Shades: 4
Size: 1.5 oz/45 ml
Good to Know: Contains fragrance

Best Color Correcting: It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream With SPF 50+

Sun exposure is a common trigger for rosacea. 10 minutes under the sun can fire up red bumps on your face that won’t stop itching. For that reason, wearing sunscreen on a daily basis is vital. But if you don’t want to deal with layering products, this all-in-one CC cream is perfect.

It’s a skincare-makeup hybrid that cares for the skin while giving you flawless, full coverage. The color-correcting formula cancels out any redness and gives you the second skin effect. It cares for the skin with antioxidant-rich botanicals and peptides while protecting it from harmful UV rays with mineral SPF 50.

Finish: Natural
Coverage: Full
Shades: 12
Size: 1.8 oz/32 ml
Good to Know: Scented

Best Full Coverage: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup Foundation

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup Foundation - best foundations for rosacea

This one is perfect for people with oily, acne-prone skin and rosacea. It checks all the boxes for achieving flawless matte skin. It instantly smooths out any texture on the skin so it’s great for covering acne too. And because it’s full coverage, it evens out any discolorations on the skin as well. The formula is oil-free and fragrance-free.

It’s waterproof, lasts all day, and does not even budge! It doesn’t stain clothes either! If you use different foundations for different seasons too, this is summer-friendly because it has a matte finish. And it is winter-friendly because it’s weather-proof! The long-lasting foundation also has an insanely wide shade range!

Finish: Matte
Coverage: Full
Shades: 56
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good to Know: Fragrance-free, oil-free

Best Drugstore: Loreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation

Loreal True Match Super Blendable Foundation - best drugstore foundation for rosacea

It’s essential to find the right foundation formulation when you have rosacea. It’s equally important to find the right shade for your skin tone so that it blends in and looks natural. With about 45 shades, this one is unlikely to disappoint. And because rosacea is more common in lighter skin tones, the wide range of neutral, cool, and warm undertones helps.

The medium coverage is buildable and has a natural finish. The affordable foundation is great for everyday use. So if you wear makeup every day, this will be cost-effective. There’s also a little bit of sun protection, a mineral one, to help out your sunscreen. It’s oil-free, but it won’t look flaky or patchy as it’s infused with a hydrating blend.

Finish: Natural
Coverage: Medium
Shades: 45
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good to Know: Fragrance-free, oil-free

Best For Flawless Look: Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation SPF 30 - Best Foundation For Rosacea and Acne

Well, your redness is no match for Shiseido foundations! And this particular formula combines amazing makeup with an irritant-free formula so you can enjoy gorgeous, flawless skin without irritation whatsoever! This is one of my all-time favorites from the brand. It has medium but buildable coverage. The consistency is neither thick nor thin.

So it doesn’t look unnatural or heavy. But it’s creamy enough to smooth out uneven skin texture and neutralize redness. And because it’s self-refreshing, it lasts long without melting and separating. Lastly, the oil-free fee formula is non-comedogenic, which is great if you’re prone to acne rosacea. Plus, it has SPF 30!

On a side note, Shiseido has an amazing range when it comes to flattering foundations. If you have dry skin that tends to get patchy after applying foundation, try their Synchro Skin Radiant Lifting Foundation, which is creamy, dewy, and equally amazing.

Finish: Natural
Coverage: Medium
Shades: 30
Size: 1 oz/30 ml
Good to Know: Fragrance-free, oil-free, waterproof

So these are some of the best foundations you can use if you have rosacea. They’re as gentle as they come. If you find foundations to be too heavy though, you can always try alternatives like tinted moisturizers for rosacea. But remember, good makeup starts with skincare. So don’t forget to care for your skin before reaching for makeup. Additionally, don’t forget to completely remove your foundation!

Read Next: The Best Makeup Removers For Rosacea

What To Look For in Foundations For Rosacea

Gentle Formulation

The most important thing to look for in a foundation for rosacea is a skin-friendly formulation so that it doesn’t irritate your skin. Foundation stays on your skin all day!

Even if you won’t see it the first time you use it, an irritating foundation can make you wake up to bumpy skin the next day!

So make sure your foundation is fragrance-free or contains only small amounts of it, and if you’re prone to acne rosacea, make sure it’s oil-free too.

Ideal Shade

Again, rosacea is more common among people with lighter skin tones. To make sure your foundation blends naturally with your skin, don’t forget to consider your skin tone as well as its undertones.

For that reason, I never buy a foundation online. I go into the store and swatch the shades first. Then I go back home and wait for the sale so that I can shop online. But I digress.

We have our skin tone, its undertone, and we have this redness. Though every skin is unique, people with rosacea usually have cool or neutral undertones. So keep that in mind.

Ideal Coverage

Coverage is personal. You can go full coverage or minimal coverage. But you should know what’s at stake. Higher coverage foundations can give you smooth, flawless skin for the day.

But light coverage foundations like skin tints or serum foundations offer more skin benefits. These usually have SPF or at least some sort of a blend of hydrating and/or calming ingredients.

So each has its advantages. Prioritize and decide accordingly. Personally, if I’m not having flare-ups, I go for lighter coverage foundations.

How to Apply Foundation on Rosacea Skin

Step 1: Skin Prep

Before applying foundation, remember to prep your skin with a good hydrating skincare routine. Apply your rosacea-friendly skincare products starting from toners and serums and apply your moisturizer and then your sunscreen.

Step 2: Primer

Though this is optional, consider using a makeup primer of your choice to extend the wear of your foundation. In the case of rosacea and redness, green-tinted primers work amazingly well! They neutralize redness so you get more coverage out of your foundation.

Step 3: Brush Choice

You can use a makeup sponge, a foundation brush, or your fingers to apply foundation on rosacea skin. Whatever you choose, remember to apply it gently so that the rubbing doesn’t cause redness. Also, make sure your brushes are clean. If you’re on the lookout for a new tool, I can swear by Chanel Les Pinceaux De Chanel 2-in-1 Fluid/Powder Foundation Brush N-101. It’s incredibly soft so it doesn’t irritate my skin and it works for all kinds of foundation formulas.

Step 4: Focus on the Center

When applying foundation, focus on the center of the face and start building from there. Instead of putting your foundation all over the face, just do one pump for each cheek and start blending outward. You’ll see that the forehead and the chin area don’t need that much foundation. Keep blending your foundation until you have an even, seamless layer and there are no visible streaks.

Step 5: Build

If you don’t like the coverage you get from the first layer, build your foundation to get more coverage. Once your first layer starts to dry down a bit, you can go ahead and start laying down the second layer. It’s best to apply no more than two layers as anything more than that can make your face look cakey and unnatural.


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