Treating rosacea on your own can be tricky, confusing, and often, downright frustrating — but armed with the right knowledge (and the right products), it is possible. To learn more about the best over-the-counter rosacea treatments, Bustle spoke with board-certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idriss, who advises using gentle, fragrance-free products and avoiding potentially irritating ingredients such as witch hazel and certain essential oils, like peppermint and eucalyptus. (The American Academy of Dermatology says that menthol, camphor, and sodium lauryl sulfate are common triggers, as well.) "Less is more," explains Dr. Idriss, because, "The more ingredients and products that rosacea patients apply to their skin, the higher the likelihood that an ingredient or product may aggravate the condition and cause a flareup.”
Dr. Idriss adds that gentle cleansing is extremely important, while moisturizing is “key for preventing the burning, stinging, itching and irritation often associated with the condition.” Finally, daily sunscreen use is essential, because sun exposure can aggravate rosacea symptoms further. And for any new product you're introducing, be sure to do a patch test on your inner arm before using it on your face.
When possible, people with rosacea should also avoid certain lifestyle and environmental triggers that can aggravate the condition and provoke flareups, such as sun exposure, emotional stress, hot or cold weather, wind, alcohol, spicy foods, heavy exercise, hot baths, and heated beverages, says Dr. Idriss. Finally, though over-the-counter products can help calm skin and reduce the severity of flareups, Dr. Idriss suggests speaking with a dermatologist to discuss your concerns and review prescription treatment options.