Behind the Redness: Your Complete Guide to Rosacea

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Skin Care
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Behind the Redness: Your Complete Guide to Rosacea

Let’s dive into the notorious skin condition that makes cheeks flush and blood vessels visible – rosacea. Whether you’re familiar with this sensitive topic (pun intended) or just starting to explore its nuances, we’ve got you covered. Read on to explore the causes, top treatments, and preventative tips to treat this frustrating skin concern. 

What is Rosacea?

A common inflammatory skin condition, rosacea appears as redness on the face, often on the cheeks, nose, forehead, and chin. Some people experience small blood vessels becoming visible on the skin's surface, along with bumps or pimples that resemble acne. 

Rosacea can cause discomfort, such as a burning or stinging sensation, and in severe cases, can lead to the thickening of the skin. No fun at all. 

What Causes Rosacea?

The exact causes of rosacea are still unknown, but several factors can contribute to its development. 

One possible cause is the dilation of blood vessels, which leads to redness and flushing of the skin. 

Another factor is an abnormal immune response, where the body's immune system reacts to certain triggers, causing inflammation. 

Additionally, genetics may play a role, as rosacea tends to run in families. In fact, rosacea was previously branded as “Irish Acne” because it often appears on people of northern or eastern European descent with light-colored skin.

What Triggers or Worsens Rosacea?

Factors that can trigger or worsen a rosacea flare include:

  • Hot drinks
  • Alcoholic beverages 
  • Spicy foods
  • Extreme temperatures
  • Exposure to sunlight or wind
  • Stress
  • Exercise 
  • Certain medications, cosmetics, or skincare ingredients  

How to Treat Rosacea

Proper treatment for Rosacea depends on the type and severity of your symptoms. A board-certified dermatologist may prescribe one of the following options: 

  • Topical Medication: Creams and gels are available that you can apply to the skin to reduce redness, inflammation, and bumps. Some examples are Brimonidine (Mirvaso), Oxymetazoline (Rhofade), Azelaic Acid (Azelex), Metronidazole (Metrogel), and Ivermectin (Soolantra).  
  • Oral Medication: Prescribed pills that you can swallow to fight infections or inflammation are another option. Some examples are Doxycycline (Oracea) and Isotretinoin (Amnesteem).
  • Laser Therapy: A procedure that uses light beams to shrink blood vessels, laser therapy can improve the skin’s overall appearance. However, it may temporarily cause swelling or bruising. 
  • Dermabrasion: This procedure removes the outer layer of skin to smooth out bumps and scars. It may cause temporary redness or scabbing. 
  • Electrosurgery: Using electric currents, this procedure removes excess tissue from the nose and cheeks. It can cause temporary scarring. 

How to Prevent Rosacea Flare-Ups

In addition to following a board-certified dermatologist’s advice on medication use and appropriate in-office procedures, you can also make these lifestyle adjustments to prevent future rosacea flare-ups:  

  • Avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, alcohol, and other foods that make your skin flush 
  • Wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher daily 
  • Protect your face from cold weather by wearing a scarf
  • Manage stress with relaxation techniques including meditation or yoga 
  • Apply gentle cleansers and moisturizers that suit your skin type  

As you can see, prevention involves avoiding triggers and taking good care of your skin. 

Skincare for Rosacea Prone Skin

When it comes to skincare for rosacea, it's important to stick to a gentle and consistent routine. 

Start by using a mild, fragrance-free cleanser (check out our product recommendations here) and lukewarm water to wash your face. Avoid harsh scrubbing or rubbing that can irritate the skin. 

Next, opt for a toner and serum specifically formulated for sensitive skin or those labeled as suitable for rosacea. 

Our Calm Revival Green Tea Resveratrol contains an ultra-soothing blend of 1% Green Tea EGCG, Resveratrol, and Cica Asiaticoside to target redness, inflammation, uneven texture, and dryness—while combating fine lines and wrinkles. It's perfect for sensitive-skin types who are looking for anti-aging solutions.

exponent beauty Calm Revival Green Tea Resveratrol
pictured: Exponent Beauty Calm Revival Green Tea Resveratrol

Suitable for rosacea-prone and sensitive skin, the Calm Revival System transforms our Green Tea Resveratrol Active Powder and Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Hydrator in seconds, creating a fresh daily dose of serum.

Lastly, choose a non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic moisturizer and broad-spectrum sunscreen to keep your skin hydrated and protected. 

Rosacea Friendly Retinol

exponent beauty Time Rewind Retinol System
pictured: Exponent Beauty Time Rewind Retinol

If you’re interested in incorporating a Retinol into your skincare routine but are nervous about possible sensitivity, our Time Rewind Retinol has got you covered. Our clinically tested 0.25% Retinol is gentle yet effective at targeting fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin texture, and breakouts. Clinically tested on subjects with sensitive skin, our Time Rewind Retinol showed reduction in fine lines and wrinkles without irritation.

Interested in trying it out before investing in the full size? Check out our Bestsellers Discovery Set! 

The Exponent Discovery Set contains our precision-dosed clinical Vitamin C Brightening Boost, Time Rewind Retinol, and Firming Filter CoQ10, all activated with our Quadruple Hyaluronic Acid Hydrator for immediate, visible anti-aging effects. 

exponent beauty Calm Revival Green Tea Resveratrol
pictured: Exponent Beauty Bestsellers Discovery Set

Here’s to trial and discovery – without the irritation. 


We hope this guide helps you feel equipped and empowered to tackle this irritating skin condition head-on. You’ve got this. 


Powered by clinically-proven, pure Active Powders combined with a Hyaluronic Acid Hydrator, our Superior Serums are made fresh in an instant at peak potency.