Foundation Works Fine Applied After Metrogel

This research comes up with the finding that using a foundation after applying Metrogel 1% won’t worsen rosacea symptoms.

Most of the participants in the trial were happy with the appearance of foundation, when used in combination with Metrogel.

How do you give your expensive prescription topicals their best chance at working while still gently caring for your skin with a cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen? Can you have them all work happily together and add a foundation?

Well this paper will help answer one small part of that question.

The authors tell us that there is little research into whether makeup both makes rosacea worse or whether those who suffer from rosacea can also successfully use makeup like foundation.

What Makeup Did they Apply?

We are told in the paper that no particular foundation was used, but that participants applied a foundation, powder and eye shadow. As a cleanser, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser was provided to each trialist.

Each participant was instructed to wash the face with the provided Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, rinse, and pat dry.

They then were told to apply metronidazole gel 1% once daily (morning) and wait 10 minutes for it to dry before applying their usual facial foundation (no particular foundation was used), powder, and eye shadow.

This regimen continued for 2 weeks. The first and last doses of metronidazole gel 1% and cosmetic applications were applied under the supervision of study staff at the study site during the baseline visit and the final visit at week 2

Foundation and other cosmetics, used for covering up rosacea symptoms can be a powerful weapon in the battle against rosacea. The boost in self esteem when one is able to cover over unsightly lumps and bumps and facial redness should not be underestimated.

Related Comments

This confirms the view held by Dr. Powell in his landmark book Rosacea: Diagnosis and Management. In Chapter 8, Dr. Powell tells us in italics that Drugs have priority-they go on first 

Your Tips

Have you any makeup tips you would like to pass on ? Feel free to leave a comment below, thanks.


The appearance of facial foundation cosmetics applied after metronidazole gel 1%, Cutis. 2011 May;87(5):251-9.

Draelos ZD, Colón LE, Preston N, Johnson LA, Gottschalk RW, Dermatology Consulting Services, High Point, North Carolina, USA.

The purpose of this study was to assess the cosmetic appearance of commonly marketed facial cosmetics when used after the application of metronidazole gel 1%.

An observational. open-label, single-site study was conducted with women (N=30) aged 20 to 75 years and diagnosed with moderate papulopustular rosacea (investigator global severity score of 3).

After cleansing the face with a gentle skin cleanser, participants applied metronidazole gel 1% once daily before applying their usual facial foundation.

Two surveys were conducted:

  1. investigator assessment of cosmetic appearance; and
  2. participant assessment of cosmetic appearance.

The investigator also evaluated erythema, disease severity, and tolerability at baseline and week 2. Adverse events were collected. The 28 per-protocol (PP) participants had a mean age (standard deviation [SD]) of 54.0 (10.3) years and a mean duration (SD) of rosacea of 15.4 (13.2) years. The median response score for both the investigator and participant assessments of cosmetic appearance was 10 (best) for each survey question.

Signs and symptoms of rosacea did not increase with use of metronidazole gel 1% and the participants’ selected cosmetic regimen. At baseline all 28 participants were classified as having moderate erythema. At week 2, 18 (64%) participants were classified as having moderate erythema and 10 (36%) mild. At baseline all 28 (100%) participants were classified as having moderate rosacea according to the investigator global severity score. At week 2, 10 (36%) participants were classified as mild and 18 (64%) moderate. In addition, few participants reported cutaneous irritation during the study. At week 2, 10 participants had dryness, 2 had itching, 8 had scaling, and 2 had stinging/burning.

According to surveys completed by the investigator and the participants themselves, most participants had a good cosmetic appearance with their facial foundation cosmetics that were applied after metronidazole gel 1%.

The use of various cosmetic regimens after application of metronidazole gel 1% did not cause rosacea symptoms to worsen and treatment was well-tolerated.

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About the Author

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

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1 Reader Comment

  1. Mary Anderson says:

    There is no way it doesn’t pile up when putting on foundation. So I assume there is no medication left on the face. I put it on before bedtime and is not as bad, but it also piles up when pillow meets face. I would like an answer. Thank you, Mary Anderson

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