The Best Primers For Rosacea

Written by Marissa DeSantis
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It’s true that your skin care routine (and in many cases, the right prescription) is key when it comes to treating rosacea. But you can also use makeup to help neutralize rosacea’s telltale signs of redness. To camouflage and calm rosacea, makeup artist Emily Gray tells Elite Daily that you’ll want to start with the right primer. “A green-tinted primer is going to help cancel out any redness in the skin, which makes it easier to cover with foundation and concealer,” Gray says of one defining trait all of the best primers for rosacea will share. Gray stresses that it’s also essential to pay attention to the ingredients included in your primer — and more importantly, the ingredients that are left out. “People with rosacea tend to have very sensitive skin, and the wrong ingredient can cause irritation,” she explains, noting that drying alcohols, fragrances, and certain oils are common triggers behind irritation and rosacea flare-ups.

The Expert

Emily Gray is a Nashville-based makeup artist who works across editorial, commercial, and red carpet events. Her celebrity clients have included Maren Morris, Kristin Cavallari, and Lily Aldridge.

How To Prep Rosacea-Prone Skin For Makeup

Because the wrong products (and even the application method of your products) can impact rosacea, Gray recommends following the National Rosacea Society’s guidelines when it comes to skin care and makeup. “When you prep the skin, use minimal products and be very gentle with the skin,” Gray says, adding that a cleanser or micellar water, moisturizer, and primer should suffice when it comes to your pre-makeup routine. You’ll want to avoid any extreme water temperatures when cleansing your skin, and you’ll also want to be careful to blot your face with a towel as opposed to rubbing at your skin (or, even better, just let it air dry). Lastly, be sure to apply sunscreen every morning, following those same skin care guidelines of avoiding irritants like fragrances and drying alcohols. And to further reduce the risk of a rosacea flare-up, try and opt for a mineral sunscreen.

The Best Way To Cover Rosacea With Makeup

“Sometimes just using a green-tinted primer will not be enough to cancel out the redness,” Gray says of using makeup to help cover up rosacea patches. “I like to add in an additional fuller coverage green color corrector,” she adds of the benefits of reaching for a green-tinted concealer. “Just as you would conceal a pimple, place the [green concealer] in the areas that are red, blend, and follow with your normal base routine,” she explains. “This prevents any of the redness peeking through the foundation.” (Speaking of foundation, you can refer to this list of makeup artist-approved formulas for rosacea.)

Shop The Best Primers For Rosacea

In a hurry? Here are the best primers for rosacea:

  1. Best Skin-Soothing Primer For Rosacea: Catrice The Corrector Anti-Redness Primer
  2. Best Primer For Mild Rosacea: NYX Studio Perfect Primer
  3. Best Primer For Rosacea & Dry Skin: Hero Rescue Balm + Red Correct
  4. Best Primer For Rosacea That Protects Against Environmental Damage: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Prep + Correct Primer
  5. Best BB Cream That Can Be Used As Primer: L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Cream Anti-Redness

1. The Pro’s Pick: Best Skin-Soothing Primer For Rosacea

For a multi-tasking primer that’s less than $10, Gray calls The Corrector Anti-Redness Primer by Catrice “perfect for people with rosacea.” Free from alcohol, parabens, oil, and fragrances, the vegan and cruelty-free primer won’t cause rosacea flare-ups or irritate sensitive skin types. As the green tint neutralizes redness, ingredients like centella asiatica leaf extract and allantoin work to soothe the irritation that tends to exacerbate redness.

Relevant Review: “Goes on green, smoothes out sheer and evens out silky smooth. Gets rid of all the red in my face. I’ll keep using this!”

2. Best Primer For Mild Rosacea

For mild rosacea, this lightweight primer has a mint green tone that will help to minimize blotchiness and redness before you apply your foundation and concealer. In addition to evening out your skin tone, the NYX Studio Perfect Primer was also developed to create an airbrushed finish. Silicone ingredients leave the skin with a smoother, more even surface, while silica helps to absorb excess oil to prevent shine from popping through your foundation.

Relevant Review: “Love this green primer. I have rosacea and this really helps hide the red while giving my [skin] a smooth shine free look. Much cheaper than other brands and works better!”

3. Best Primer For Rosacea & Dry Skin

If your rosacea is accompanied by dry skin, it’s important to choose a primer that contains more moisturizing ingredients to prevent dry patches or flaking, both of which can contribute to an uneven skin texture. Hero Rescue Balm + Red Correct is a lightweight primer that packs in multiple moisturizing ingredients, including shea butter, panthenol, glycerin, and peptides. The primer still contains a green tint to blur redness, as well as silica to keep your face shine-free. It also comes in a smaller, half-ounce size, if you just want to test the balm out (or if you have smaller patches of discoloration).

Relevant Review: “This product is absolutely perfect. I have rosy cheeks and this not only masks the redness, it also leaves my skin glowing. I can get away with just wearing this with no foundation. I always get complimented on how good my skin looks when I wear it.”

4. Best Primer That Also Protects Against Environmental Damage

Another drugstore primer that will help lock your makeup in place while minimizing the appearance of rosacea, Neutrogena’s Healthy Skin Prep + Correct Primer offers additional skin care benefits. Seaweed extract from red algae not only helps to moisturize skin, but it’s also an antioxidant-rich ingredient that provides additional protection from environmental stressors like pollution. You may also prefer Neutrogena’s primers if you have multiple forms of discoloration you’re trying to target, as it’s also available in peach and purple tints.

Relevant Review: “I love this primer! The color correction was amazing and it held my makeup together for hours. 10/10 [I’d] recommend this to anyone with blemishes or redness.”

5. You May Also Like: This Color-Correcting BB Cream

Technically this L’Oréal Paris Magic BB Cream isn’t a primer, but it still works to cancel out redness and create a more even skin tone whether you choose to wear it on its own or apply foundation over the top. Among the 20,000-plus five-star ratings on Amazon, you’ll find dozens of users raving about the BB cream’s ability to camouflage rosacea, which comes courtesy of encapsulated green pigments that adjust to your skin tone once applied.

Relevant Review: “I bought this after someone recommended it to me. When I say it covers up my rosacea, you can’t even tell I have redness in my face! Not to mention it helps my makeup last all day long! It’s a win win in my book!!”


Emily Gray, Nashville-based celebrity makeup artist.