Devanshi Garg Sareen

The Best Cleanser and Skincare Routine for Rosacea

The best skincare routine and cleanser for rosacea and sensitive skin

Rosacea—a simple definition on Mayo Clinic reveals that it is a common skin condition that causes blushing, flushing and visible blood vessels in the face. These symptoms may flare up for weeks to months and then disappear for a while. 

Rosacea can be mistaken for acne, or other skin problems. There’s no cure for rosacea but treatment can control and reduce the signs and symptoms. Rosacea symptoms can be experienced on the face including the eyes, neck, chest, ears and scalp.

My own rosacea diagnosis at age 26 came as a surprise. I had been experiencing perpetually flushed cheeks, sometimes extending onto my forehead. My skin appeared to be dry, rough, flaky and inflamed. There were times this would flare up and other times it would seem to have disappeared, only to remerge again when I least expected it. 

During a bad flare up, my skin would feel hot and tender. At first, I thought my skin was just dry or sensitive but at some point, it became chronic and I knew it was time for me to seek professional help. I dragged myself to a dermatologist who confirmed that I had rosacea. Years later, I’ve finally figured out a rosacea-friendly skincare routine (which inspired Motif!) and the creation of the Abundance Cleanser as the best cleanser for rosacea. 

What Causes Rosacea?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, rosacea affects approximately 14 million people in the United States. It most often affects people who have fair skin and is more likely to affect females, with symptoms usually manifesting after the age of 30. 

On the contrary, I was in my late 20’s and had brown skin. Rosacea can also run in the family, however this wasn’t the case in my family history either. Studies also suggest that it could be caused by an overactive immune system or an imbalance in the skin’s microbiome.

So I asked, how do I make this go away? My dermatologist warned me of common rosacea triggers such as sun exposure, extreme hot and cold temperatures, alcohol consumption, spicy foods, hormonal changes, stress, and cosmetic skin or hair products. 

After diligently following her advice and making changes to my diet and lifestyle—the final culprit I began to examine was my skincare products and regimen. 

Common rosacea triggers and what to avoid when you have rosacea and sensitive skin

Rosacea Skincare Ingredients to Avoid

Before I knew I had rosacea, and when I was experiencing a flare up, I would either attempt to wrestle it into submission by exfoliating it away or use progressively more aggressive peels spending a lot of money on expensive skincare products. 

Many of these products, in spite of being clean and natural, still contained ingredients that were perpetuating my condition and I was advised by my dermatologist to stop using most of my skincare products.

Most of the skincare ingredients one should avoid when suffering from rosacea are very similar to skincare ingredients one should avoid when suffering from sensitive or sensitized skin in general or any other skin state or condition where there is a compromised skin barrier.

  • Harsh Acids - such as glycolic acid 
  • Witch Hazel - a lot of witch hazel products contain alcohol which can further aggravate rosacea 
  • Essential Oils (especially mints, oregano, and citrus) - they may seem soothing but these can actually worsen redness and inflammation
  • Physical Exfoliators - salt, sugar grains, jojoba beads, crystal powders, as well as some seed and shell powders need to be avoided as they can
  • Retinol - can worsen redness and the appearance of broken capillaries 

Skincare Ingredients Good for Rosacea (According to Dermatologists)

*Rosacea-friendly ingredients are those that have been scientifically measured and concluded to decrease inflammation and redness, to improve the skin barrier function and to hydrate and nourish the skin. Some of my favorites are below: 

  • Niacinamide - a form of Vitamin B3, that is scientifically-backed for its anti-aging, brightening as well as anti-inflammatory benefits making it great for rosacea. 
  • Azelaic Acid - this compound, typically derived from wheat, rye or barley is found to be effective at reducing inflammation. 
  • Ceramides - hydrate dry skin, restore the skin barrier and help to repair and soothe rosacea-prone skin. 
  • Centella Asiatica (aka Cica)- a rich source of bioactive natural substances triterpenoid saponins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, amino acids and sugars reducing redness and inflammation while improving hydration and epidermal barrier function. 
  • Zinc or Titanium Dioxide - sun exposure along with heat are triggers for rosacea and it is especially important for those with rosacea to protect their skin from UV rays.


It is also important that these ingredients are in the formula in quantities that have been found to be clinically efficacious. 

The best skincare for rosacea-prone skin are products that are fragrance-free as well as free from irritating essential oils. 

Rosacea Self-Care

Devanshi Garg Sareen shows the best skincare routine and best cleanser for rosacea and sensitive skin

As someone who suffered with rosacea for years, it was important to me that Motif products were formulated with rosacea and sensitive skin in mind. For me, that meant creating products that not only contained rosacea-friendly ingredients mentioned above (and are free from essential oils!), but are also dermatologist-backed or approved (vs. just tested). 

Fast forward to today, I’m proud to say that I’ve been rosacea-free for the past 3 years thanks to my Motif routine. I always start and end my day with a mild and gentle face cleanser, which is the best kind of cleanser for rosacea. Then I follow with a brightening and barrier-repairing antioxidant serum. And in the AM, I always follow up with a rosacea friendly moisturizer and SPF. 

*all of these rosacea-safe ingredients can be found in Motif products, Shop Now 

Abundance Plumping Phyto Ceramide Cleanser next to hydrating orchid ingredients in bathroom sink

How Do I Repair a Damaged Skin Barrier?

A Gentle Face Cleanser That Works in Sync With Your Skin

Elevate your everyday face wash to a hydrating facial cleanser that treats your skin with the respect and nourishment it needs. Powered by rich, high-performance botanicals typically reserved for luxury serums, the Abundance Cleanser repairs dry, damaged, and sensitive skin.