Acne vs. Rosacea
Do you have acne, breakouts, or redness on your face? Not sure whether its acne or Rosacea?
I’ve created this article and the video below to help you understand the differences.
These two conditions can present symptoms that often resemble each other. I had acne as a teenager and before I was diagnosed with Rosacea, I tried a bunch of different products.
Unfortunately, this lead to additional inflammation, dryness, and sensitivity in my skin. Then I turned to plant-based solutions and essential oils to help soothe my skin and break the cycle I was in.
Having been there myself, I can relate to the self-consciousness that pimples, redness, and blushing can produce, even in someone who is naturally pretty confident. I wrote this article to help take you out of this cycle, restore your confidence, and give you 5 Rosacea symptoms or indicators that point toward Rosacea rather than just adult acne.
If you’re still not sure, at the end I recommend a moisturizer that is used as natural remedy for both Rosacea skin care and acne care.
This is not an exhaustive list of Rosacea symptoms, but it will help you to differentiate acne and Rosacea from one another. Then you can discuss with your doctor what your Rosacea skin care routine should be.
1. Time of onset:
Acne and Rosacea first start to appear in different life stages. The onset of acne is usually during puberty, and Rosacea commonly starts to present symptoms after age 30.
2. Celtic background:
Rosacea has a hereditary component and is commonly found in people of eastern or northern European background, especially those who are blond and fair-skinned. 
3. History of blushing & facial reddening:
Dr. Jonathan Wilkin, chairman of the National Rosacea Society medical advisory board, says that “Rosacea most often begins with blushing and flushing, and that’s the early clue.”
There are many triggers for this type of facial redness, including strong emotions, spicy foods, and rapid changes of temperature, such as when you exit an air conditioned building. Figuring out when your redness occurs can help you prevent or be prepared for any self-consciousness you experience in social situations due to your condition.
4. Papules & pustules:
Acne rosacea symptoms include papules and pustules. These are also known as pimples, and they occur both in acne and Rosacea. Papules look like pink or red bumps, which have a soft white surface filled with fluid and oil. They are often sore to the touch.
Pimples form when the wall of a hair follicle breaks, and the inflammation that occurs with pimples is due to white blood cells.
4.1 Comedones (not rosacea):
Aka. Blackheads and whiteheads.
Closed comedones are known as blackheads, which occur when your hair follicle widens and fills with skin debris, bacteria, and oil.
Open comedones are known as whiteheads, which are small, hard, white bumps. Whiteheads look similar to pimples, but they don’t have the redness or swelling associated with pimples, and you can’t squeeze the contents out.
Blackheads & whiteheads are symptoms of acne, not rosacea. Blackheads can also develop into pimples. (Great!)
5. Sensitive to sunscreens or cosmetics:
“Rosacea sufferers are highly prone to facial discomfort, such as burning, itching and stinging, and this can make it especially challenging to care for the face,” said Dr. Jerome Z. Litt, professor of dermatology at Case Western Reserve University.
He warns that skin irritation may be worsened or even caused by skin-care products themselves. Acne creams tend to be drying and can make red skin even worse. People with Rosacea often report having sensitive skin, which may be irritated by some sunscreens and cosmetics.
“Before using any skin care products, choose them carefully by checking the labels,” Dr. Litt adds. “Avoid those with ingredients or preservatives that can be irritating.”
Sensitive Skin Care:
Whether your symptoms are from acne or Rosacea, your skin is likely to be sensitive and break out easily. For Rosacea, it’s important to not further irritate your skin.
“When you have sensitive skin, it is important to adjust your skin care routine in order to find what’s right for you. A sensitive skin moisturizer is very important, as is using a soap for sensitive skin.” Says ORS’s lead chemist, Candice Betty, who has acne Rosacea.
She recommends Rosacea skin care products that reduce inflammation are free of preservatives and harsh chemicals.
Candice formulated Herbe Sois Calming Moisturizer to care for her own Rosacea after trying many products that didn’t work for her.
While Candice and her company, Organic Radiance Skincare (ORS), don’t make any claims about ORS products, Herbe Sois Calming Moisturizer has become a popular natural Rosacea remedy.
Herbe Sois Calming Moisturizer is formulated with anti-inflammatory essential oils and healing herbal extracts. One of the best herbs for Rosacea and reducing inflammation is Helichrysum italicum (Immortelle) according to Candice. Immortelle is a very expensive essential oil, and Candice spares no expense when it comes to quality ingredients used in Herbe Sois Calming Moisturizer.
“I love the synergy between German chamomile and Helichrysum essential oils to produce an anti-inflammatory effect on my skin.” Candice says. Infusing calming essential oils into soothing ingredients like aloe and shea butter make Herbe Sois Calming Moisturizer a natural choice for one of the best Rosacea creams on the market today.
In field studies, people with both acne and acne Rosacea symptoms reported improvement in their skin’s condition after three weeks of using Herbe Sois Calming Moisturizer. While there is not currently any Rosacea cure, many longtime users think it’s the best moisturizer for Rosacea.
Rosacea Skin Care:
While these five ways to differentiate acne from Rosacea are not an exhaustive list, it’s my hope that you now have a clearer distinction between the two.
This article is not meant to diagnose Rosacea symptoms, which can’t be done without consulting a physician. I hope it helps you have an educated discussion with your doctor about your symptoms and how acne and Rosacea are potentially a concern.
I recommend that you see your dermatologist or naturopathic doctor discuss effective Rosacea treatments. Your doctor will help you determine what would be the best Rosacea treatment for you. They may recommend a prescription and a supplemental natural Rosacea skin care line like ORS.
Organic Radiance Skincare is carried in doctor’s office’s and available online at the ORS website.
 W. Steven Pray, PhD, DPh, Joshua J. Pray, PharmD candidate. Differentiating Between Rosacea and Acne. US Pharmacist 2004;29(4)
 Dermnet Skin Disease Atlas. Acne Pimples – Papules and Pustules http://www.dermnet.com/videos/acniform-eruptions/acne/acne-pimples-papules-and-pustules/
 Sala A1, Recio M, Giner RM, Máñez S, Tournier H, Schinella G, Ríos JL. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Helichrysum italicum. J Pharm Pharmacol. 2002 Mar;54(3):365-71. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11902802