We went on a fun research trip to Sephora and Ulta to see which foundations beauty experts recommend for skin with Rosacea, and these are the top two. There are other brands available online, but for our purposes, we are comparing these two top products.
In this article, we’ll test which of these foundations cover redness, breakouts, and scarring the best. We’ll discuss in detail areas that we are trying to correct, along with photo comparisons. We will award only one the title of “Best Foundation for Rosacea!”
Why Do We Use Foundation?
We understand how a little cover up can make you feel more attractive and more confident. Our founder, Candice Betty, has Rosacea. She is a true believer in natural beauty and what makes a person beautiful on the inside.
That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t use foundation and healthy makeup products. “I feel a sense of personal power I when look and feel my most beautiful,” she explains. “Looking polished makes me feel confident. This is how I want to feel when I’ve got an important business meeting.”
This is how we want to feel on date night!
We own it! We want our skin to look naturally flawless. We just don’t want the gunk that comes in most makeup products. We want to start fresh with a “blank canvas” to artfully accentuate our strengths! We want all eyes on our favorite lip color and our flirty eyes!
We love natural beauty AND we’re not against using makeup as a tool. We DO want the makeup we use to be healthy for our skin. Here’s what we learned in our testing of the best foundations for Rosacea!
Prepping Skin for Foundation
Making sure your foundation looks great is a process. Exfoliating without irritating is the key. We recommend a weekly scrub and a daily toner with fruit acids to aid your skin’s natural exfoliation process.
- To start, exfoliate once a week with a gentle scrub to keep skin from looking flaky under foundation. We do this on the weekend, usually in the morning, to avoid redness prior to going out.
- Wash skin daily with a gently exfoliating cleanser like Purifying Black Facewash.
- Use a toner with fruit acids, such as Clarifying Toner, to complete your gentle daily exfoliating routine.
- Next add moisture that will penetrate without leaving skin greasy.
- For oily to normal skin, use The Ultimate Cocktail Facial Serum with Helichrysum essential oil all over the face and neck. This is an anti-aging nutrient cocktail that functions as lightweight moisturizer during warmer months.
- For dry skin and winter months, use Herbe Sois Calming Moisturizer with Shea butter to plump away fine lines associated with dehydrated skin. Pat an eye cream into the skin around the eyes to plump up fines lines.
Use a foundation with sun protection in the form of a physical sunscreen rather than a chemical sunscreen. It cosmetics contains physical sunscreens zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which tend to sting eyes less for people with Rosacea. Protecting skin from the sun is a must if you’re prone to Rosacea.
As the final step before your foundation, apply a primer to smooth any flaky skin or blemishes and keep the foundation in place throughout the day. It Cosmetics Anti-Aging Primer is a good choice for mature skin, and COVER FX Mattifying Primer with Anti-Acne Treatment is good for preventing breakouts.
Avoid using a green tinted product all over the face. Use green for spot treatments if you need extra correction with a concealer. With high coverage foundations, you may be able to skip these altogether and save time.
Use a Clean Brush
If you’re using a liquid foundation, it is important to wash your foundation brush with soap and water. We wash our foundation brushes before every use to avoid reintroducing bacteria that causes breakouts onto clean skin.
What to Look for in a Foundation for Rosacea
For skin with Rosacea, we’re looking to cover redness, spider veins, and blemishes. To accomplish this, we need a foundation that can provide a medium to high level of coverage, rather than a sheer formula.
Now, before you freak out, this doesn’t have to look plastic or cakey! We’ll explain…
The higher the coverage, the more pigment in the makeup. This gives us the most flexibility in coverage. We can vary the amount we use across the face by starting a thin base layer for uniform tone. Then we cover stubborn dark and red spots by adding thin layers, which gives us natural looking full coverage.
Makeup experts prefer liquid foundation over powder for mature skin. Powders can tend to look heavy around the eyes, settle into fine lines, and accentuate any dry, flaky areas of skin.
For women of all ages, makeup experts recommend the liquid formulas from both It Cosmetics and Cover FX as the two best foundations for Rosacea.
It Cosmetics was founded by a woman with Rosacea. Your Skin But Better CC Cream combines color-correcting full coverage, anti-aging skincare, and SPF 50+ into one step.
This is great to use in the morning when you’re short on time because I don’t have to do as much prep. Using a foundation with SPF protection is convenient if you wear foundation on a daily basis, rather than just special occasions and evenings.
This foundation uses physical sunscreens zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which do not cause burning in our eyes like chemical sunscreens do.
If you’re looking for a foundation without sunscreen, Cover FX specializes in face makeup only. No eye shadows or lipsticks. Just foundations and powders that are free of irritants and suitable for sensitive skin.
Formulated by the makers of MAC Cosmetics, Cover FX products are a healthier alternative for your skin. This is most important to us because we are constantly trying to reduce inflammation in our skin.
The COVER FX Natural Finish Foundation formula is free of the “Inflammatory Five:” parabens, fragrance, gluten, mineral oil and talc. This foundation is formulated with vitamins, emollients, and redness reducers. We feel good about using it because it’s also vegan and cruelty-free.
During our visit to Ulta, the makeup expert explained that most foundations contain about 8% pigment. Cover FX contains 40% pigment!
She explained how this gave us more flexibility with our coverage. She demonstrated how we could use more or less in different areas of the face, giving us total coverage in areas where we need it.
Testing the Best Foundations for Rosacea
During product testing sessions, we put her advice to use. Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation has a thick consistency. Areas that needed light coverage got a few light strokes with our brush. We continued gradually layering areas with redness, active breakouts, and acne scars.
We were impressed with its ability to correct our most stubborn areas of redness and blemishes.
Below are the side-by-side photos with both foundations and one with no makeup. We have documented all of Candice’s imperfections for you, our readers, and this took courage on her part!
Rather than shooting for a flattering portrait, we shot for a detailed comparison of how the foundations cover redness and blemishes. These photos were shot straight-on in natural light, and NO retouching was made to them.
Clean skin with ONLY moisturizer is seen on the left, Cover FX is pictured in the middle, and It Cosmetics is on the right.
In this set of photos, the photo on the left is the one with no makeup. For comparing the images, we are looking at the:
- Redness in cheek, nose, and chin areas
- Scar between the eyebrows
- Blemish to the right of the chin
- Blemish on the left forehead
In the middle photo, you can see that Cover FX gives a matt finish, providing the best coverage in the areas listed above. This shade looks slightly light on her skin here since she has a slight summer tan.
It Cosmetics provides great coverage as well in the photo on the right, although it is sheerer than the Cover FX. The blemishes on the chin and forehead are more defined than in the middle photo. The finish has a bit more shine to start with, and it develops shine more quickly with wear throughout the day.
Here are the left facing photos to compare coverage of problem areas. In this set of photos, we are trying to blend out the blemish on the chin in the photo on the left with no makeup.
These are the right facing photos to compare coverage on this side of the face.
In this set of photos, notice the differences in the:
- Redness in the cheek and nose areas
- Scar on the cheek (more visible in the photo on the right)
- Blemish in the hairline above the cheekbone
Setting with Powder
Once you have applied the rest of your makeup, set the foundation with a loose powder. Cover FX has one called COVER FX Perfect Setting Powder. It Cosmetics also makes one called It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores HD Micro, Finishing Powder.
During warm summer months, we’ve found that we need to reapply powder less when we’re wearing Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation. This is why we prefer a matt foundation. It doesn’t feel great to apply powder when you’re feeling hot and sweating.
We’re looking for a full coverage foundation without SPF, and we have a clear winner! Both of these top foundations for Rosacea won’t irritate your skin further and will give you the redness correction you want.
We usually only do full makeup for evenings or important days at the office. We’re looking for a makeup with a matt finish that lets us start fresh with a “blank canvas” to play up our strengths with.
In our testing, we preferred the look and feel of Cover FX. Therefore, we grant COVER FX Natural Finish Foundation the “The Best Foundation for Rosacea” Award!
Here’s Candice’s finished look with Cover FX. We’re aiming for a casual summer evening look that I would wear out to dinner with friends.
We prefer Cover FX Natural Finish Foundation because of the flexibility it offers. We can use it lightly on the forehead and around the jawline, then layer it onto areas we want to correct. We don’t need to use a separate concealer, which tends to crease in hot summer months.
We can still use a moisturizer to plump fine lines without looking greasy. Cover FX has a matt finish, which is important because we tend to develop shine throughout the day. Matt makeup looks better in photos too, especially when there’s a flash.
Candice’s complexion is brightened to her natural tone, providing her with the “blank canvas” she wants before adding in color where she wants it. This makes it so she can use blush without feeling that it adds to the appearance of her redness.
“This gives me the control over where the color in my cheeks is, and I don’t have to worry about blushing.” she explains.
Her brightened and even looking skin tone draws the attention to her green eyes and her lip color. “I’ve got the attention on my strengths now, and that’s where I want it!”
Where to Buy the Best Foundations for Rosacea
If you’re near a major city, you can pick up both of these foundations at Sephora or Ulta.
The Organic Radiance Skincare products used for prepping Candice’s skin are available at OrganicRadianceSkincare.com
Affiliate Disclosure: We want to be completely transparent with our readers. This website contains affiliate links, which means Candice may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. You will pay the same price for all products and services, and your purchase helps support Candice‘s ongoing research and work. Thanks for your support!