• Use gentle, nonirritating products, and minimize
scrubbing or exfoliation at first.
• Avoid foaming cleansers, except for only the most oily
• Synthetic detergent cleansers, such as Cetaphil*, are
excellent to use.
• In addition, a medicated cleanser, such as a soap
with 2% pyrithione zinc or a prescription sodium
sulfacetamide/sulfur cleanser (a sulfa antibiotic and
sulfur combination), should often be used once a
day as a great way to deliver treating ingredients.
Alternate this medicated cleanser with a nonirritating
synthetic detergent cleanser, because some of these
products can be drying.
• For excessive facial scales and engorged or clogged
pores, you can very gently try using a facial sponge or
automated skin-cleansing brush on a gentle setting
with a delicate brush only. However, the skin may not
tolerate this, so only try it when rosacea is in remission.
• Generally avoid facial toners for all but the most oily
rosacea complexions. If you do use them, stick to
alcohol-free, gentle products only.
• Use high-concentration green tea antioxidant
and caffeine combination products. This should
be considered part of treatment because studies
have shown that clients with rosacea have skin
that is antioxidant-depleted, so it is important to
use products that contain extremely high levels of
soothing green tea antioxidants. When combined with
caffeine, they are even more anti-inflammatory. Avoid
vitamin C as an antioxidant because it is too acidic for
most rosacea-prone skin.
• Facial dandruff often occurs with rosacea and needs
to be treated, too. A soap with 2% pyrithione zinc, and
green tea antioxidant and caffeine products together
may be sufficient treatment. If not, clotrimazole
cream can be used twice a day until it’s under control.
• There are prescription U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA)-approved and “off label” skin
care treatments that dermatologists use. These need
to be worked into the skin care routine by the treating
physician. Typically, clients should be asked to apply
medicated treatments after the green tea antixoidant
and caffeine products, but before their moisturizers
or sunscreens. Some of the FDA-approved products
include metronidazole cream or gel, sodium
sulfacetamide, sulfur cleansers and azelaic acid.
• Moisturizers are important to heal the compromised
skin barrier. Choose only nonirritating moisturizers,
meaning no alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy
acids (BHAs) or vitamin C. Pick your moisturizer
based on skin type, selecting heavier, richer,
*Cetaphil is a trade name of Galderma Laboratories,
Fort Worth, TX.