What is the Best Moisturizer for Rosacea ?


An excellent consumer report about how to choose a moisturizer. The linked article below gives some background on how moisturizers are formulated, how they work, and the operation of common active ingredients.

A table at the end of the PDF document compares about 75 available moisturizers, classifying them under Face, Hands and Feet.

This list of products is perfect for anyone searching for the best moisturizer for rosacea.

Moisturizers: What They Are and a Practical Approach to Product Selection, J. N. Kraft, BSc (Hons) and C. W. Lynde, MD, FRCPC

Skin Therapy Letter (PDF), Volume 10, Number 5, June 2005,

Abstract: Moisturizers are widely used products that are important in many dermatologic and cosmetic skin therapies. They contain varying combinations of emollients, occlusives, and humectants to achieve their beneficial effects, and there is an overwhelming number of formulations available. To develop a rational approach for prescribing moisturizers, commercially available products can be categorized on the basis of application site.

Key Words: dry skin, emollients, humectants, moisturizers, occlusives

There is a vast array of moisturizers available on the market today and consumer demand for these products is growing. These products range from value brands that provide basic moisturization to luxury therapeutics with claims of anti-aging benefits. A recent US study found that moisturizers are the third most commonly recommended OTC topical skin product (13.4%) behind hydrocortisone (27.6%) and anti-infectives (23.4%)

The article has the following sections:

  • What Are Moisturizers?
  • How Do Moisturizers Work?
  • Emollients
  • Occlusives
  • Humectants
  • Where Are They Used?
  • What is the Ideal Moisturizer?
  • Formulation Characteristics

The following moisturisers look to be of potential interest to rosacea sufferers. These are listed in the comparison table.

A summary of some Canadian-marketed moisturizing products/active ingredients by sites of use (many of these products are available in the US as well). This list does not profess to be all-inclusive but includes many of the popular brands used by dermatologists in their practices.

  • Facial Moisturizer, Active Ingregients
  • Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer (Galderma), Cyclomethicone, glycerin
  • Complex 15 Face Cream (Schering Plough), Dimethicone, lecithin
  • Dormer 211 Face Cream (Dormer), Hyaluronic acid complex, lecithin
  • Dove Sensitive Essentials (Unilever), Petrolatum, mineral oil, dimethicone
  • Enydrial (Roc Laboratories), Hypoallergenic base
  • Eucerin 5% Facial Cream (Beiersdorf), 5% Urea
  • Hydra + Destressant (Roc Laboratories) , Hypoallergenic base
  • Hydraphase UV SPF30 (La Roche Posay) , Glycerin, thermal spring water
  • Impruv (Stiefel), Glycerin, shea butter, squalene
  • Neutrogena Moisture Cream (Johnson and Johnson), Glycerin, dimethicone, petrolatum
  • Nutrilogie 1 Intensive Care for Dry Skin (Vichy Laboratories), Sphingo-lipid, urea, glycerin
  • Nutrilogie 2 Intensive Care for Very Dry Skin (Vichy Laboratories), Sphingo-lipid, urea, beeswax, shea butter
  • Oil of Olay Moisture Cream & Oil of Olay Complete All Day Cream (Proctor and Gamble) Hypoallergenic base
  • Spectroderm (Glaxo Smith Kline Consumer), Dimethicone, glycerin
  • Toleriane Riche Smooth Protective Cream (La Roche Posay), Shea butter, squalene, glycerin
  • Toleriane Soothing Protective Care (La Roche Posay), Glycerin, squalene
  • Vichy Thermal Fix 1 and 2 (Vichy Laboratories), Filladyn, sunflower oil, glycerin
  • Vichy Novadiol Intensive Re-Densifying Care Face and Neck (Vichy Laboratories), Phytocomplex, beeswax, glycerin

Featured Products

What do you like?

Have you found a moisturizer that you love enough to recommend to other rosacea sufferers?

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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282 Reader Comments

  1. Brenda says:

    Donna. My doctor prescribed the Epaderm It is used for eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditimineral ons. I cant use mineral makeup it makes the itching worse, how ever I find Dermalogica Foundation is fine though a bit exspensive.

  2. Donna says:


    Thanks, I am going to look into the Bare Minerals, when I get a chance. I was using some cheaper version, but it didn’t help with the redness. I still looked red. Then if I would apply a bronzer, it would only make me look me red. I think you probably have to be right about the colors….I am using Aveeno calming cleanser now for about 3 days and went to CVS and found Vanicream. I am going to see how this works. Also changed my mascara to a Physicians Formula with no oil for my lashes, I am going to see if this helps with my eyes, so they don’t sting.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.

  3. Donna says:


    Was wondering do you ever have problems with the skin around your hairline? I was doing some research on it and it said I could possibly have seborrhea dermatitis. Seems like when winter is here and it is warm and dry in the house, it gets worse around my hairline. When the humidity kicks in for summer, most of this is gone.

    Try to keep up with washing/conditioning as much as possible, usually every other day. I have tried to wait a couple of days and then it seems that it get worse. I do brush my hair everyday now because of it. I was looking into a shampoo that might help without chemicals.

    As far as the minerals not helping your skin, I guess we are all different. I was telling Linda that I was using cheap minerals that didn’t have good ingredients and were really not made to help with the redness of the skin, and the the bronzer just made it look worse, probably again because it was not the type my skin needed.

    I still have to get to the dermatologist and talk to him/her. I am on an HMO so I will have to find out how many are on the plan.

    I appreciate you explaining what products you taking, I will probably have to talk to my doctor about it. And the foundation I will look into that also!

    Thanks for taking the time to write me and let me know what is working for you.


    • Donnie says:

      Free and Clear Shampoo is Great for Rosaceans. You can get it at Walgreens.Also Cerave PM Moisturizer is good at night. It is oil free and will not clog your pores. I use Finacea as my topical medication. Hope this helps Cerave also makes a AM moisturizer with invisible zinc. It is the same as the PM with the zinc for sunscreen.

  4. sherry says:

    To Donna:

    For your concern about the dryness around your hairline it does sound like serb derm. I have it and use Promiseb cream. It is awesome and has no harsh chemicals in it and is steroid free. You can use it every day if necessary but you need a perscription to get it.

    Good Luck to you hope this helps.

  5. Brenda says:

    Hi Donna

    I have the itching and dryness in my scalp,the doctor prescribed Keoconazole 2% 240 ml. shampoo to be used daily, I now only use it twice a week, I use it more often if needed, it’s not a glamorised hair product but it helps and my hair is healthy. See what your derm thinks.

  6. Anita Monroe says:

    Donna, dry inside air in the winter makes Rosacea worse. I try to combat it by running vaporizers. You can have them added to your heating system, but that’s a complicated business that can go wrong. It’s a nuisance to keep filling those room-sized units, but it does make a different to skin that is dried out due to outside cold and inside dry heat.

    Living by the ocean is the ideal thing for skin, but not many of us can do that. I did live on the coast of Florida for many years, but now am inland… The coast is better.


  7. Donna says:


    Thanks for the information. Do you think this condition seems to along with Rosacea? Seems like there are many people who have both.

    I will have to talk to my dermatologist about the seb. dermatitis and ask. This winter for me has been the worst. I have had this for a number of years and didn’t really think to much about it, but I only had a small area on the right side by my temple. I just thought it was dry skin. It really didn’t bother me to much.

    Well this winter has been really dry and notice that my hairline has this going on, kinda embarrassing and I really thought maybe just dry skin again!

    Well this forum is teaching me a lot more about my skin! A little frustrating a times because we all have different types of skin and what works for some doesn’t always work for others. So I am taking things slowly at least with products and not going out and buying everything.

    I am trying to get the rosacea under control right now…

    I appreciate your help and think you have confirmed my fear of the seb. dermatitis. My aunt has this condition and my mom has the rosacea. They were both around my age when they started! Wish I could say there were helpful, but not so much.


  8. Donna says:


    Thanks for sharing the product you are using. I am still waiting to get into see my regular doctor so that I can get a referral for a dermatologist.

    I am writing down products that people are recommending to me, so I will be a little more informed and I am going to research these products too.

    I appreciate everything!


  9. sherry says:

    Hi all –

    I use cetaphyl gentle cleaner for my face, tepid water to rinse it and then pat dry. I then use Promiseb for my serb derm problems if needed. All other facial areas get Oil of Olay Complete. It is gentle and oil free w/spf 15.

    For my bletharitus I use baby wash cloths to clean my eyelids 2x a day. ( Always use clean ones) They sell really soft ones called Baby Kiss at Marshalls and T J Maxx. I heat them up with hot water from the faucet and gently wipe my eyes for about 2 minutes. As hard as it is to not wear any eye liner or mascara I try to only use them a couple times a week usually on the weekend. It helps to not irritate my eyes.

    I also find it is helpful NOT to use hot water in the shower, and not to wash my face in there either. I wait until I’m out and only use the sink.

    Wishing you all the best and to finding products that work for you.


  10. Donna says:


    Thanks, I was just out tonight looking at moisturizers. I did not buy anything because I was not sure about a lot of it. I will look more into Oil of Olay complete. I am looking for something that can help with anti-aging, but not to the point it makes me break out and red all day!

    I have been taking my time before investing into anything. I did find a shampoo by Neutrogena called T/Sal. It contains 3% salicylic acid. I am going to try this on my hair and see if it helps.

    I am on a journey of finding what works….

  11. Shannon says:

    I’m 41 with a light complexion. I have suffered with Seb. Dermatitis along the hairline for about 3 years now,the first year only on the left side then slowly it’s spread to the hairline and sides,but still not the back of my head or top. (never had a problem with my scalp before this) Over the counter products were no longer helping, so I was prescribed the 2% Keoconazole shampoo about 6mo. ago and it helps a lot. I have used Neutrogena T/Sal in both the clear formula and the darker formula. (Walgreens has their own brand of those two products with the same % of active ingredients, and the price is much lower) I preferred the clear version and It did help for a while.

    For about a week now my face has been itchy and blotchy in areas, with redness and raised, tiny pimple like bumps are on the sides on my nose. (I have never had problems with acne breakouts,and my skin is too irritated for this to be just acne) I am calling to make an appt. with my MD this morning,but after doing some serious reading and viewing photos online I know these are symptoms of Rosacea.

    Donna, when I saw your post about there possibly being a connection with the two I thought I should post as I think it may be true as well. I will post again after I see my MD.
    Take Care Ladies,

  12. Donna says:


    Please let me know what you find out. I believe there is a connection. I did get to my doctor and I am waiting for a referral for the dermatologist and ophthalmologist. I have done much reading on this and think there is a correlation between all of this. I have started using different products, used the Selsun Blue (Menthol) and leave it on my cheeks for about 5 mins. then rinse over. I do this every couple of days. I put this product called Vanicream that I was told about on this website by another wonderful person. I was trying to use the Metrogel that my primary physician gave me to use, but every time I have used it I break out and get red. Not everyone gets good results with that product. I did use some tea tree oil on my pimples that I had on my cheeks to help dry them up. It did work and then would put the vanicream on after that. Have to be careful with these products and how you mix them and what you use after, because you could be worse. I dabbed the pimples with cotton swabs for the ear, but was very careful. I have read about the excessive mites that can be causing the flare ups and that is why I used the Selsun Blue (Menthol) the ingredient from what I have read will kill the mites and so will tea tree, but again caution with both! They can also dry the skin and you could have a bad reaction, this did not happen for me. Good luck on your journey!

    Please let me know how you do and what you find out, it would really be interesting. My skin has calmed down at this point, at least for now. Normally I would be getting to see my doctor faster and the referrals, but for some reason, everything is slow right now.

    Take care,

  13. Aurora says:

    Count me in. I have all rosacea concerns and my scalp is killing me. Selsun blue seems to help a little bit but just cleaning up the dandruf. It s still very itchy. I ll finally be seeing the specialist in June. Hope he prescribes somethings to relieve my facial and scalp itch. It s very discomforting.

  14. Anita Monroe says:

    There are several things that I wonder about concerning Rosacea. Could it be linked to hormone production? Is it related to dandruff? Is it a food allergy – an allergy to wheat, for instance?

    I never had any skin problems until I married. My first husband had a big problem with dandruff and acne. I developed Rosacea only after living with him. MAYBE it is infectious and can be passed from one person to another.

    The only time during the year that I have NO symptoms is during damp, warm weather. Dry weather, warm or cold, causes more severe outbreaks.

    Emotional upset makes Rosacea much worse. Does this condition possibly have its origin in the reaction of the body to emotional stress?

    For me, the first outbreak was when I was under severe stress, married to a man with acne. Unfortunately, divorcing him did not help clear up the condition.. (-:

    After many years of having to cope with this condition, I am hoping for a CURE and not having to spend the rest of my life trying to keep my face from uncomfortable flushing and even pain.

    • Anny says:

      Sorry but there is no cure for Rosecea. There are plenty of things to try and keep it in check. It’s different for everyone as to what works. Good luck. I love using Obagi and dermalogica products but cost has me trying other things.

    • Tammi says:

      Hi, I have rosacea, and I have thought for a long time it has everything to do with emotional/psychological problems. Specifically I think anxiety is a factor.I definitely feel it is what brought mine out.

    • Emily V says:

      The only time mine went completely away was when I went on the Metabolic Weight Loss program. I think there is a relationship to wheat for me. I am going to try to not eat any wheat for a couple months and see if this helps. I have Rosacea and vestibulitis, which when I was on the diet seemed to get better. Since both have some aspect of an inflammatory response to them, there could be foods that cause an autoimmune type inflammation that I think my body is reacting to.

  15. aileen says:

    My face itches enough to drive me crazy. I had a herpes simplex thing (cold sore) under my nose and doc reckons that damaged the nerve there. I could rip my nose off at times. Not IN the nose, under it. I hope you find something to help, I can’t and I have tried anything anyone suggests. I think it is from inside so putting it ON the skin is probably a waste of time. Ears are often bloody from scratching.

  16. Brenda says:

    Hi Aileen I had the itching and it was terrible I felt like scratching my face off, my doctor perscribed a antibiotic called Oxytetracycline 1000 mg a day and it has done wonders. I have a little itching sometimes but nothing like it was a year ago and the rash and redness is so much better, your right it needs to be handled from the inside. hope this helps.

  17. cara says:

    Often your body is trying to tell you something. Are you allergic to something? Do you have candida? Are you out of balance? After dealing with some very scary years of rosacea, some serious hair loss, seb derm, and pathological dry skin I felt I needed something drastic to get me back into balance and went on a week’s veggie fast and all the skin issues cleared up in three days. now i juice or blend everyday; sometimes fun things like raspberries and lemon, micro kale and cucumber with stevia or sometimes more serious green juice only from the health food store fresh. no sugar, no fried foods, no saturated oils, very few simple carbs….and i use the miracle moiturizer pure glycerin….cut with a little water. i even wash with it now and along with a treatment/wash with some apple cidar vinegar in water, at first once a month or so to get the ph back to normal this program has brought me so far I cannot tell u. Virtually stopped all topicals as they were irritating my skin to no end, i finally discovered. I also have been taking some much needed vitamins and suggest to everyone to meet with a nutritionist. Start a food diary for a week and really see what you are eating while checking in with how you feel after you eat certain foods. your body is communicating to you…..just like a red light on a dash board of a car. i had resisted anti biotics as i have too many friends completely dependent on them to clear up repeated issues; in other words the anti-biotics have caused new problems. All my hair grew back too!

    • Evie Fishkin says:

      I like what you had to say. I believe it all begins in the gut. I believe my rosacea, dx recently, has to do with immune factors. I have stage iv breast cancer, however declined chemo and tumors are shrinking…given but months to live, and I’m doing well. But … while on steroids I had my first rosacea breakout. Went to Derm- who dx it. My face is very itchy. I got off of the antibiotics my Derm- doctor put me on (after a week)> I feel that with meds and all that my immune system is compromised and probably have a yeast infection. I am going to do the veggie diet and see what happens. I bought a lot of expensive rosacea creams. I heard the scabbie lotion or whatever it is kills the mites…but what is encouraging it might be yeast and diet.

  18. elizabeth says:

    Great advice! I too have found my skin improves when I follow a vegan diet, although I do include some fish. Our bodies get clogged with all the junk we put into them. I also avoid sugar in all its forms, as I think this is poison for my skin. Still, my rosacea hasn’t completely gone away so I keep it in check with mild skincare products, antibiotics (they help my ocular rosacea) and annual maintenance treatment with IPL. Thank goodness for all these remedies!

  19. aileen says:

    Thanks Brenda, hope someone will prescribe it for me. I could tear my nose off most of the time, ears as well. Do you have Sjogrens as well as Rosacea? Aileen

  20. Brenda says:

    No Aileen I don’t have sjogrens but I have very itchy ears caused by a lack of ear wax, I can relate to the itchy nose as even with medication and creams, it’s still there but it’s a lot better, I hope you can get the medication, good luck Brenda.

  21. aileen says:

    Hi Brenda, Most of my problems are due to dryness too, mouth eyes skin. A bad day today, my eyes feel as tho I could poke them out and it would be great to cut off my tongue. Not much help available. I never have any ear wax either.We can just hope I guess. Good luck to you too. Aileen

  22. Jan says:

    Hi everyone, I am 63 and English. I suffered with rosacea and facial seborrheic dermatitis for years. About a year ago I found the site of a dermatologist in California. Her name is Cynthia Bailey. She also suffers from those two conditions, which go hand in hand. She has a soap and moisturiser for this which is fantastic. Within days my skin was clearer and now I have both conditions under complete control. As long as I stay away from chocolate I am okay. I urge you all to go to her site. I have spent years and thousands of dollars trying to fix this. Now I have. Don’t give up hope, but you must try to find out your personal triggers. As I said, I can stay clear and pale unless I binge on chocolate. Then I can regress within days and have to start again. I hope that you all can find help with this, I sympathize with everyone with this. Good luck and let me know if her site helped you. Jan

  23. Rose says:

    Hi Jan, Could you Please send Cynthia Bailey EMail address so I can read her site. I cant find her with the information you gave in your note. I found your note on the Rosacea Support Group page. ( David Pascoe ) Pages.Thank You. Rose3646@aol.com

  24. debbie says:

    I have rosacea. I find that along with the normal triggers, nuts, esp pistachios, cause a severe outbreak. I have recently started using Nerium,and find that it helps control the redness, dryness and burning.

  25. plumage says:

    I second that Glycerin is a great product for rosacea. I only use products based on Glycerin on my skin- and avoid anything with petrolatum or mineral oils in it. The good thing about it is you can use it to cleanse and moisturise. Pure glycerin is easy to find in shops catering to black (Afro) hair care (a tip off from a woman working on the Clinique counter in my local department store).

  26. holiday says:

    Found The Moisturizer from Somaluxe to be a godsend – I tried a sample in the duty free at the airport have to say immediately my skin felt hydrated. Really important when you are in your sixties. The lines round my eyes have really started to fade and my skin seems to have a lovely glow not at all greasy (I do put a moisturiser on top as have a very dry skin).

  27. DeAnna Goar says:

    I was told never to use anything on my face which I have (pustular rosacea) with any type of oils in it. The rosacea is just waiting for oils to appear, this is not good. So I have Clinque is the only thing that use on my face.

  28. carl says:

    what is best for men in there 60’s to use to moisturize the skin? my dermitologist has me using metronidazole topical creme,0.75% seems to work no breakouts acne like spots,drys the skin some,any one use this? going back in a couple weeks for follow up ask about moisturisers ,along with the topical,i have a lot of axiety,have all my life severe,and dpression,can an outbreak of shingles bring on rosacea? anyone heard of this ,it does attack the nervous system thanks ladys.

    • dawnlyn says:

      Hi Carl, I also had shingles prior to getting rosacea. I wonder if they could be connected. I have appt. with dermo on 16th of January, it might be a great question to ask.
      This rosacea is getting me very depressed.

  29. carl says:

    forgot to check the notify me of new comment by e-mail.

  30. Joha says:

    I use Physiogel, It’s European, recommended by my dermathologist. It contains very few ingredients.. it’s oily and sometimes not enough to make you feel moisturized but it goes very well with the ointment I use (protopic) and it feels very natural.

  31. ” Galderma sucks to be honest”

    “As a nurse consultant in dermatology I would not recommend Cetaphil Cleanser as it contains Sodium Laureth Sulphate, which can actually make Rosacea worse. Face washes containing azelaic acid are preferred. As for a moisturiser, these can also contain ingredients that can make rosacea worse, like preservatives, oil and fragrances. Please just stick to recommendations made by dermatologists and not sales people.”

    “Try The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
    and Salicylic Acid 2% Solution, AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, and for moisture: Buffet + Copper Peptides 1% and I haven’t had a breakout in months.”

    “Its actually normal, everyone have different skin and one can use one and other cant. Sometimes for one person it works, but for other person no. I think have to look individual”

    “I was told by my Skin Specialist to avoid any moisturizer if possible”

    ” >> So how would your skin specialist suggest you moisturise your skin? Isn’t that one of the problems of rosacea that it flares up because of lack of moisture in the skin? Sometimes using a topical cream dries it out.”

    ” >> I have no idea, the cream I have I only dab on the individual spot, so it only dries those spots. I have never used moisturiser as my face as it has never needed it”

    ” >> My rosacea is worse when I don’t mousturize.”

    “I use cetaphil and I find it very good on my skin”

  32. Mary OConnor says:

    I’ve just been diagnosed with rosacea. I’m 67 and eat whole food, plant based foods with little to no preservatives or refining. I take good care of myself. My skin was beautiful. I eat cinnamon, spicy foods and vegan dk chocolate. I enjoy coffee and teas and every once in awhile a beer or wine. I had my 2 COVID vaccines, got shingles 2 weeks later, and now, this diagnoses of rosacea came 3 weeks after that. I am not buying that it just ‘happens’. Such a vicious reaction was triggered by something. I had no idea so many people were suffering from this and I am broken-hearted for all of us. I’m told this is a chronic lifetime ailment. I do not believe this life altering facial ailment should quietly be accepted. I believe it can be studied and healed and am praying for answers. Thank you all for sharing. There are so many decisions to be made, and lifestyle choices to be changed. I don’t use makeup or skin products that are not EWG. Something is not adding up.

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