4 "Must Buy" Papulopustular Rosacea Skin Products


What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is a common (more common in women), benign, and chronic skin disorder that manifests as reddish skin with papules and pustules on the face, especially near the cheeks, eyes, nose, and mouth. Rosacea starts to appear in your mid-twenties and often peaks during middle-age. If your are fair skinned and your family heritage includes Northern Europe descent (Irish, German or English ancestry), you are more likely to have rosacea, according to the former director of Dermatologic and Dental Drug Products at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Also, familial DNA plays a big part of rosacea sufferers. In an NRS survey of 600 rosacea patients, nearly 52 percent reported that a family member had also suffered from rosacea.

The cause is generally unknown, but there are many theories: Demodex Mites & Microbes, vascular changes, genetics, Innate Immune System, and [other theories](https://www.rosacea.org/patients/causes/othertheories. The condition can also be aggravated by a variety of factors, most importantly by alcohol consumption (see Triggers below).

There may be persistent papules and pustules on the face, and they may come and go over time (transient papules and pustules). It may resemble the common acne in many individuals. Eventually, Papulopustular Rosacea can lead to dry and thickened skin.

Best Skin Products For Papulopustular Rosacea

Papulopustular Rosacea is like time-traveling back to high school and having "acne-like" skin but without any known remedy for it, and (if possible) way more embarrassment. We don't list any natural remedies for rosacea in this list, but we are currently working on that content and will have it up soon. Essential oils, fish oil, and vitamin's A - K, are all on our list of to-try remedies. 

As mentioned above, the key symptoms of subtype #2 rosacea are facial redness with swollen red bumps and small visible blood vessels, and these symptoms can be triggered by a variety of issues.    

Potential Rosacea Triggers can be:

  • Extreme cold or extreme hot weather
  • Medications
  • Stress (of any kind)
  • Alcohol
  • Gluten/Dairy Intolerances
  • Chocolate
  • Certain fragrances or chemicals in facial products
  • Food Allergies
  • Exercise
  • Heat
  • Wind
  • Natural Additives in makeup/ beauty products
  • Caffeine
  • Avocados * Nightshades (tomatoes and peppers
  • MSG
  • Sugar
  • Friction
  • Sudden temperature changes *Certain drugs (prednisone)
  • Lack of sleep
  • Hormone fluctuations (PMS, etc)
  • Fast Food (McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell) 
  • Emotional Changes (embarrassment, crying)
  • Other triggers that are unique to you

Once you've figured out what your particular rosacea triggers are (They're different for everyone), you can start to persoanize your rosacea treatment and hopefully find a cure for your red skin.   

We have scoured the internet, rosacea forums, and medical blogs and found the top 4 "must-have" treatments for folks with papulopustular rosacea. Here they are (in no particular order):

1. The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

The Ordinary

Azeliac Acid has become the darling of the acne world and people claim that it is as effective as Benzoyl Peroxide (without bleaching your towels) and accutane when treating acne. The FDA has approved it as a primary treatment for papulopustular rosacea. In one study, 15% Azelaic gel was shown to control papulopustular rosacea over a period of 6 months by significantly decreasing erythema and inflamed lesions.

Also, you can use Azeliac Acic and antibiotics (for type 2 rosacea), and this combonation is shown to increase the effectiveness of its treatment against papulopustular rosacea by 75%. This 2009 study stated that "81.4% of subjects had reached a 75% or greater reduction in inflammatory lesion count, and 64% of patients achieved treatment success" when using the combo treatment.

Buy Azeliac Acid: The Ordinary 10% Azeliac Acid Cost: $7.90

Prescription Azeliac Acid: Finacea Foam 15% Azeliac Acid Cost: $373 for one tube 50 grams of 15% topical foam, depending on the pharmacy and insurance 15% Coupon for Azeliac Acid

2. Chemical-Free/Physical Sunscreen


Sun protection is absolutely critical and rosacea (especially papulopustular) patients are advised to stick to physical sunscreens (aka chemical-free sunscreens) as they're less likely to irritate the skin. Sunblock use alone can improve rosacea symptoms but also, when treating rosacea with topical chemicals or antibiotics, sunblock will reduce further damage to your sensitive skin.

Sunblock should be applied every morning, even if you don't think you are going outdoors. Rosacea subtype #2 patients generally have sensitive skin, and therefore a sunblock without irritating chemical ingredients is the best option. This will really help with the red bumps and acne-like appearance of the inflamed skin.

The /Rosacea sub-reddit has many threads about the best sunscreen for rosacea-prone skin. Take a look at these converations and see which chemical-free sunscreen will do the best for your skin.

Here are a few of the favorite's from NYMag's The Strategist of our favorite Chemical-Free Sunscreens For Rosacea: The Strategist has their community called "People's Choice", in which they find the best-reviewed (that's four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing

  • CoTZ SPF 40 UVB/UVA Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin Amazon $22
  • MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Amazon $30.00
  • Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Dry-Touch Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Amazon $10
  • CeraVe Baby Sunscreen SPF 45 Amazon $17.00

3. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream


According to the Totalbeauty community, CeraVe is one of the best lotions for papulopustular rosacea sufferers; "If you are taking a prescription medication for a skin condition, CeraVe Skin Care products are designed to enhance a medication's therapeutic effect. That's why many dermatologists recommend CeraVe Skin Care products as part of their therapeutic regimen. The gentle and moisturizing ingredients in CeraVe Skin Care products can also help offset the drying effects of certain prescription medications used to treat conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea."

Buy It: Amazon Cost: $12.69

4. Anti-Inflammatory Serums/Creams

Courtesy, Time Inc Library

"Redness-relief moisturizers contain the same ingredients as traditional moisturizers, but have added skin-calming ingredients," explains dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "The foundation of a moisturizer is a combination of occlusive, humectant, and emollient ingredients."

The combination is the magic formula for Papulopustular Rosacea: occlusives form the protective seal; Humectants, as Dr. Zeichner explains, act as a sponge and pull in water to the outer skin layer; and Emollients smooth out rough spots on the surface of the skin.

Here Are Some Of The Cult Favorites for Rosacea subtype #2: Anti-inflammatory(Anti-Redness) Serums and Creams:

  • Eucerin Sensitive Skin Redness Relief Soothing Night Creme Amazon $11.00
  • Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream Amazon $48.00
  • Paula's Choice Calm Redness Relief Moisturizer Amazon$29.00
  • Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Face Cream Amazon $75.00

How many of you are flying over Memorial Day Weekend? I'm on a 24 work trip, and here's my airplane travel must-haves. . Did you know being up at 10,000 feet puts you at higher risk for UV light exposure since you are closer to the sun? In fact, studies have shown that flight attendants and pilots are at a high risk of skin cancer. . First, shut your window. (Mine was open only for this photo.). Make sure to apply your antioxidant serum followed by sunscreen. Sunscreen protects the skin fron UV light, while antioxidants calm inflammation from free radicals. Here I have products from @skinceuticals and @neutrogena. . Since airplane air is dry and recirculated, I always have a lip balm with me. Today I brought this mini jar of @CeraVe healing ointment. (Your Dermatologist has samples, so make sure to ask next time you are there!). . 👨‍⚕️Joshua Zeichner, MD 🏅Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology 🏥Mount Sinai Hospital Faculty Practice 5 East 98 Street, 5th Floor New York City ☎️212-241-9728 💻www.ZeichnerDermatology.com. . . #AskDrZ #dermatology #antiaging #skincaretips #beauty #skin #glow #skincare #freshface #fresh #skincareproducts #productjunkie #skincancer #sunscreen #traveltips #healthyskin #clearskin #airplane #vacation #delta #memorialdayweekend #lips #worktrip #sunburn #lipbalm #neutrogena #antioxidants #doctor

A post shared by Joshua Zeichner MD (@joshzeichnermd) on

Products you love?

What products do you love and cannot live without? Has there been anything that is a "must-buy" for anyone with papulopustular rosacea? Let us know by tweeting at us on Twitter or telling us in our Facebook Community!