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8 top make-up tips for rosacea

Georgina Smith / 19 August 2016 ( 25 February 2020 )

Rosacea is more common than you may realise, perhaps because many sufferers have discovered these helpful make-up tips to cover up the redness…

An older woman has strawberries on her face to symbolise the red hues of rosacea

Looking and feeling your best

Rosacea is a skin condition that may affect up to 1 in 10 people in the UK. It's characterised by red, irritated skin that can flare up in reaction to triggers such as certain foods, sun exposure and alcohol.

Some who experience rosacea report anxiety and depression because of the impact the condition has on their appearance. But thankfully, many say that finding an effective make-up regime can do wonders to hide redness and reignite their inner confidence.

Whilst medical treatment is the only way to help combat the underlying symptoms of rosacea, these tips can help you look and feel better about your skin. Always talk to your doctor first about how to best manage the condition and before you apply anything to affected areas.

Rosacea: symptoms, causes and treatments

1. A nice gentle cleanse

Before you apply any make-up, gently cleanse your skin. Use a product that's best suited to your skin type and talk to your doctor about what cleanser might be best to avoid unwanted flare-ups. Pat your face dry with a soft towel and avoid rubbing your skin too harshly.

2. Moisturising is a must

Make sure you use a moisturiser that's gentle on your skin. The fewer fancy ingredients the better; you simply want to rehydrate the skin and stop it from drying out, not bombard it with concoctions that may make it irritated.

Does your moisturiser work?

3. Go green

The best way to counter the redness of your skin is to use a green-tinted base. On clear, healthy skin this would not have a desirable effect: unless you're going for that zombie look (which is, as far as I know, not currently en trend). But on red skin affected by rosacea, it will do wonders. So simply apply the green-hued base to the red areas only.

Use Clinique's Redness Solutions Daily Protective Base – at £21 for 40ml, it's also SPF15 and suitable for all skin types. (note: it's always wise to test any product on a discrete area of skin, like the inside of your arm, before you take it to town on your face.)

4. A good foundation

Once you've applied a green-tinted base to red areas, apply a foundation suitable to your skin colour. Avoid oil-based products as they may not cover your skin as effectively. Instead, try a mineral-based foundation: they often contain fewer unwanted ingredients and offer good coverage.

5. A gentle touch

To avoid irritating your skin, use a make-up brush to apply your foundation. And make sure you clean it after every use; a clean make-up toolkit is a must for everyone, but especially important if you suffer from a skin condition prone to flare-ups.

Antibacterial make-up brushes are available online, but it may be more effective to use an antibacterial brush cleaner on your usual brushes after each use.

5. Concealer

If you have areas that need an extra touch of cover, use a concealer a shade lighter than your skin tone. Dab on the concealer gently and blend using a clean blending brush.

If you're looking for advice about hiding dark circles, here are some useful make-up tips you could use around your eyes.

6. Precious minerals

To help achieve an even look, a yellow-tinted mineral powder can be a good touch. 

Mineral powders are often less likely to irritate your skin and the yellow hue will work to counter any remaining signs of redness under your make-up. 

However, powders can often collect in the fine lines and wrinkles of mature skin, in which case it may be better to ensure you've blended your make-up well rather than use a powder.

7. Subtlety is key

When choosing your finishing touches of make-up such as lipstick and eye shadow, keep it subtle. 

Bright red lips will only exacerbate any remaining redness in your skin and bright eye shadows will do the same. Instead, choose neutral tones. 

And since your skin already has a degree of colour, blusher is usually an unnecessary addition – and it's a good idea to introduce as few ingredients and products to your sensitive skin as possible.

8. Corrective make-up

If you still find that these make-up tips aren't giving you the coverage you desire, there are still options. Corrective make-up is available that offers high coverage for conditions such as rosacea.

A wealth of rosacea advice and information

If you suffer from rosacea, not only can it be managed with medical treatment and self-management, but equipped with some good make-up and handy tips, you can look and feel your very best.

Never feel alone: rosacea is a very common condition and there's a raft of useful advice available online; the National Rosacea Society in particular, based in the US, is also a great resource for those suffering with the condition.

Rosacea: symptoms, causes and treatments


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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