Facial Cleansing with Rosacea

Gentle cleansing is extremely important for skin with rosacea. Twice-daily cleansing removes excess oil, environmental debris, bacteria and other microorganisms, as well as the residue from skin-care and makeup products. It's the first step in helping to soothe and treat your skin.

Choosing a Cleanser

Rosacea Cleansing
To avoid irritation, use the fingertips, not an abrasive washcloth or sponge

Choose your cleanser with care according to your skin type. Keep in mind that unless your skin is oily, non-soap cleansers may be the best option — they contain less than 10% soap, rinse off easily, and have a neutral pH that's closer to the natural pH of the skin.

  • Dry to normal or combination skin. A wide range of non-soap cleansers is available, including a number of options developed specifically for sensitive or redness-prone skin.

  • Very dry skin. A creamy, low-foaming, non-soap cleanser may be ideal for skin that's very dry — these types of formulas often leave behind a thin film that helps skin hold moisture.

  • Oily skin. For very oily skin, wash with a mild soap, taking care to avoid scrubbing. Aggressive rubbing or over-cleansing can irritate skin.

Cleansing Tips

To minimize skin irritation, try this gentle, step-by-step cleansing routine developed by leading dermatologists for people with rosacea.

  1. Using your fingertips, wash skin with a cleanser suitable for your skin type. Avoid using an abrasive washcloth or sponge, which may irritate.

  2. Rinse away cleanser with lukewarm water. Hot or cold water may cause flushing or irritation. If your face is irritated by water at any temperature, try using a soothing cream cleanser you can simply tissue off.

  3. Gently blot your face dry with a thick-pile cotton towel. Don't rub skin, as this may cause irritation.

  4. Since stinging most often occurs on damp skin, wait 30 minutes for the face to dry completely before applying any topical medication. Slowly reduce the drying time until you find the least amount of time your skin needs to avoid a stinging sensation.

  5. After applying topical medication, wait five to 10 minutes more before applying moisturizer, sunscreen or makeup.

  6. If you have ocular rosacea, be sure to follow your doctor's directions for eyelid scrubbing and medication.


© 1996-2016 National Rosacea Society All rights reserved.

National Rosacea Society

This information is for general educational uses only. It may not apply to you and your personal medical needs. This information should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation with or the advice of your physician or health care professional.

Communicate promptly with your physician or other health care professional with any health-related questions or concerns.

Be sure to follow specific instructions given to you by your physician or health care professional.

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