What is the Best Makeup to Cover Rosacea?

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Many people suffer from rosacea or unnaturally reddened skin. The good news is you can cover it up using the right makeup products.

In my studies on rosacea (see What is Rosacea?) I've learned that about 40 percent of people suffer from rosacea, so if you suffer from the tell-tale reddened cheeks and nose, you are in good company.

Covering up redness can seem tricky, but all you really need is a yellow-tinted sheer, tinted moisturizer.

Anything thicker will give you "cake face," masklike appearance, according to makeup guru Bobbi Brown. The yellow in the tinted moisturizer or foundation will offset the redness. Skip blush and use bronzer instead. The brown in the bronzer also offsets the redness in your cheeks.

Bobbi Brown has great tinted moisturizers, but my favorite is Laura Mercier hands down. I would highly suggest heading to a makeup counter at Sephora or a department store and ask someone to help match you to the right foundation. Foundations are worth spending money on, because if you think about it, the money you spend on one great foundation is probably less than you spent on all the wrong ones. Finding the perfect foundation is one of the greatest joys you'll have when it comes to makeup.

Here are a few tips for smoother coverage:

  1. Consider your skincare regimen. Chances are some of your redness is caused by using products that are too harsh for your skin and irritate it. Avoid skin products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids.
  1. Exfoliate skin once a week. Foundation will look flakey, especially on dry, winter skin if you don't exfoliate because it just sits atop dead skin. But because you suffer from sensitive skin, stay away from microbeads in facial scrubs and instead use a baby soft washcloth to exfoliate. You can also use a Clarisonic Mia to both cleanse and exfoliate the face. Just make sure to use the sensitive brush head that comes with it.
  1. Always, always, always apply moisturizer with SPF before foundation. The moisturizer plumps up skin, offers sun protection and allows the foundation to go on much smoother. Many women use primers before foundation, but I find moisturizer works just as well. Stick with moisturizers that contain no fragrance. I like Cerave and Eucerin moisturizers.
  2. To avoid a "cakey" look, apply foundation with a sponge (you'll use less than you would if you used your fingers), only on those areas that need it most. In your case, you need coverage on your cheeks and around your nose due to the butterfly rash lupus causes. You might also use a bit on your chin. Contrary to popular belief, foundation is not meant to cover the entire face. Make sure to blend well into your jawline.
  3. Rosacea skin is extra-sensitive to the sun, so you should always wear sunscreen under your foundation, or better yet, consider a foundation WITH SPF.

More on foundation:

  • Best foundation primers
  • How to pick the right foundation
  • How to avoid "cake face"
  • Should you splurge or save on foundation?
  • 20 secrets to gorgeous skin