Sunscreens For Rosacea Sensitive Skin #RosaceaReview

Last month was Rosacea Awareness Month and the folks at Buzzfeed asked me to write an article about living with rosacea which you can read HERE. It went viral and has currently had over 550,000 views and so many people got in touch with me to share their stories of rosacea and many of them had questions. A recurring question was asking for recommendations for sunscreens for rosacea sensitive skin. I try to wear factor 50 any time that I’m in the sun but it is hard to find sunscreens that don’t smother or aggravate rosacea or reactive skin. So here are my top 7 favourite sunscreens for rosacea sensitive skin!

Sunscreens For Rosacea Sensitive Skin

Some things you need to think about when considering sunscreen:

  • People with rosacea need to be worried about ultraviolet light, which means that you should be wearing it throughout the year (even when it’s cloudy and grey). Ultraviolet light also passes through glass so if you sit next to a window at work or do a lot of driving then you still need to wear sunscreen.
  • You should apply your sunscreen 15 minutes before make up or going out into the sun. You should use 1/4 of a tsp for your face and another 1/4 of a tsp for your need and chest – a lot of people forget that your chest and neck are exposed nearly as much as your face.
  • You need to reapply for every 2 hours that you are exposed to the sun. A common misconception is that you have to reapply every 2 hours total – nope. Add up the length of time you are in the sun: e.g. 20 minute walk to work, 10 minutes to get lunch, 2o minute walk home – you’re fine with your morning application (unless you get super sweaty/exercise etc. obviously!)
  • It’s also worth bearing in mind that you will need to double cleanse your skin (if you don’t already) when wearing sunscreen, as it is more tricky to remove so you need to make sure it’s completely cleansed from your face to avoid clogged pores.
  • Sunscreen included in your moisturiser or make up is not enough, sorry about that. To apply enough foundation to give you the sunscreen cover, you would need to use a LOT more foundation than you would ever need. It’s best to apply a separate

Sunscreens For Rosacea Sensitive Skin

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Tinted BB Cream* is a wonderful high factor sunscreen that has both UVA and UVB protection. It also has no fragrance, is non-comedogenic and is paraben-free. As with many of these tinted creams, it’s a one size fits all situation so if you’re at either extreme of the colour spectrum then this may not work for you.

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturiser SPF 47 – This is a combined SPF and moisturiser which I don’t tend to go for very often as I think they don’t give enough to be the best of either. But this mini is really lovely. I bought it as part of a Josie Maran set in Sephora. It’s quite a thick consistency but sinks in really quickly and doesn’t feel like it’s clogging my skin or aggravating my rosacea. Personally I would always recommend a separate SPF but if you are strapped for time, have no room in your overnight case, or just really can’t be faffed with too many stages in your routine then this one is a great halfway point.

Sunscreens For Rosacea Sensitive Skin

Bioré UV Aqua Rich – I bought this in Japan as they are famous for their high-protection sunscreens that are lightweight and great to use under make up. This one is described as a ‘watery essence’ which gives you an indication how lightweight it is. You barely notice it’s there but it’s not very long wearing under make up if you’re oily like me, so I tend to only wear this if I’m not going to be out for long (popping to the shop, going out for lunch etc.) But if you have dry skin this may be a winner for you!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Fluid* – The whole Anthelios range is flipping great and it’s just about finding the right one for your skin type. Typically fluid formulas (also sometimes called emulsions) are ideal for people with oily/combination skin types so I was excited to try this one out but – word of warning – it is VERY fluid! This means it’s very easy to apply and feels great on the skin, but it can be messy and can waste some product if you’re not careful.

Sunscreens For Rosacea Sensitive Skin

Neutragena Ultra-Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen – I got this in New York as I’d read a LOT of reviews before I went and this kept coming up. It’s a more traditional textured sunscreen in that it’s quite a thick consistency (but doesn’t feel heavy on the skin) and it does leave a little bit of a white cast on the skin if you don’t work it into the skin, but it’s a great high-street option if you can find it. It is water-resistant but is also non-comedogenic so those with blemish-prone skin shouldn’t have a problem. I have seen it on Amazon but I’m not going to link anything here as I can’t be sure which sellers are legit and which aren’t, so proceed with caution please!

Sunscreens For Rosacea Sensitive Skin

Shiseido Anessa Perfect UV Sunscreen – Another sunscreen I picked up in Japan and the one I’ve used the most in the past year. This is the most lightweight formula I’ve ever tried, never leaves a white tint on the skin, feels really soothing and doesn’t make my skin react at all. It’s dreamy, I only wish I’d stocked up more as it’s not a range that’s widely available here. This is another product that’s probably available on Amazon but just use your judgement!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Cream* – As I mentioned earlier, because I have oily skin I was more interested in the Anthelios XL Fluid. But if you have a drier skin type, this may be the one for you.

Sunscreens For Rosacea Sensitive Skin

What are your favourite sunscreens for rosacea sensitive skin? Let me know in the comments!


*Products with a ‘*’ next to them were provided as PR samples, some of these links are affiliate. For more information on this please see my disclaimer tab.



  1. 20th May 2016 / 11:43 am

    Hi Lex! Love this post on sunscreens, it’s good to stress the importance of using it through the year, even if you don’t have rosacea. I don’t have rosacea, but very sensitive skin on my cheeks due to scars left from an old acne. Anthelios is one of my favourites SPF, and it’s perfect because of its matte finish. Right now I’m using the Clarins anti-pollution spf 50, which is the lightest formula I’ve ever seen (maybe even lighter than Shiseido’s..?), I love it, though it’s a bit more expensive.
    Btw, I love your podcasts and need to catch up with the last one xx


    • Lex
      23rd June 2016 / 6:13 pm

      Thank you for commenting Silvia! I totally agree, I think SPF is the thing that every single person should wear, even if they have no other skincare routine. It’s so important.
      I may look into the Clarins one, it sounds lovely!

      And thank you for listening to the podcast, it’s still very new but we’re really enjoying it! x

  2. Marie
    20th May 2016 / 7:56 pm

    Hi Lex, thanks so much for this post, it’s really informative! I use the Paula’s Choice spf 30 skin recovery lotion and I think it’s brilliant, really gentle and no irritation at all. They also do one for rosacea which I’m dying to try and they do a whole rosacea range which I also really want to try! I’ve used the dermalogica one from the ultra calming range and while I find it definitely protects your skin I found it really drying on me and its leaves the white chalky cast too which I hate :/ ! Great post, I really enjoy your blog 🙂 🙂

    • Lex
      23rd June 2016 / 6:14 pm

      I’m intrigued by the Paula’s Choice range as well, I’ve heard very good things. Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

  3. Veronika
    21st May 2016 / 8:07 pm

    Hi Lex, I just started to use the Avene SPF 50 emulsion – not enough experience yet but since my other products are mainly from Avene I thought its a safe choice. Did you try it as well. If yes, is there any reason why its not among your top products? Thanks, Veronika

    • Lex
      23rd June 2016 / 6:15 pm

      Hello! I actually tried the Avene SPF 50 when I was first diagnosed with rosacea and really liked it but it was very heavy and thick – however I know they have reformulated it so it’s now lightweight so I really need to try it again! I didn’t want to include an out of date product and give it an unfair review 🙂

  4. Elizabeth Stewart
    22nd May 2016 / 3:13 pm

    Hi Lex, I heard of your blog through our newspaper, and am very glad I did. I like this post very much. My own favourite sunscreen is Anthelios spf 50 matte formula, because it suits my oily, rosacea skin and doesn’t look ghostly when it’s on. I used to really like the Neutrogena Ultra Dry Touch spf 55 which you mention, but a few months ago my skin suddenly reacted to it and it began to sting and sting. I cannot tolerate it any more, which is a shame. I don’t know why products do this, but I’m very glad there’s the Anthelios to take over. When I can afford it I will also give the Shiseido a try!

    • Lex
      22nd May 2016 / 6:30 pm

      Hi Elizabeth, thanks so much for your comment. Which paper did you read about my blog in? I didn’t realise it was going to be featured somewhere!
      That’s such a shame about the Neutragena sunscreen, I hate it when something suddenly turns on you! Thanks again for reading my blog!

      • Elizabeth Stewart
        22nd May 2016 / 7:49 pm

        Thank you for replying. I read about you in the “You” magazine that comes with the Mail on Sunday! I have really been enjoying this blog and have read some more articles since I posted my comment – all really interesting. I’ve had rosacea for more than 20 years now so I really understand how it feels and am happy to read about products that have worked for you, in case they do the same for me. Best wishes!

        • Lex
          23rd June 2016 / 6:16 pm

          Thanks so much for letting me know that I was featured, I had no idea! I’m so pleased that you have enjoyed my posts about rosacea, I hope they help in some way 🙂

  5. Jan
    3rd June 2016 / 10:06 pm

    Hi Alex, have you tried the Athelios spray please?

    • Lex
      23rd June 2016 / 6:30 pm

      Hello! I’ve tried the body spray one but not the face one I’m afraid.

  6. 4th February 2017 / 8:59 pm

    Hi Lex!
    I just tried the anthelios fluid and it made me instantly super red and irritated 🙁 Do you think the cream will do the same? I tend to be dry so I probably should have tried that. I live in Paris so any other recommendations I can get here that would work for dry and super sensitive would be great. No gross “sunscreen” feeling (sounds like you don’t like that either!) thanks!

    • Lex
      16th February 2017 / 4:49 pm

      Oh no that’s not good! It sounds like you might be irritated by something in that formula so the cream may be similar. I really like the SkinCeuticals one – not sure if you can get that in Paris? That’s very light and slightly tinted as well, which I love.

  7. Lu
    17th February 2017 / 5:36 pm

    Hello there ! I’m wondering : how do you reapply sunscreen every two hours when you’ve got make up on ? I’m travelling and therefore outside a lot so I cannot really clean up my face every two hours… /:

  8. Kathleen
    23rd February 2017 / 7:48 pm

    Our Colorado sun is very strong and one is easily sunburned here. I used to use the Neutrogena sunblock daily but started having rosacea flareups to it as well. My newest brand is Dr. JART BB balm spf 45. The added tint allows for one step on my good days.

  9. Janie
    24th July 2017 / 5:01 am

    Hi Lex, I have rosacea too and find that I always come back to Clinique City Block Oil Free SPF25. I live in Sydney so the UV is no small thing, and find this does me fine unless I am literally outside all day long, in which case I might step it up.

    I find using a physical sunscreen better than a chemical one, even though they tend to be lower SPF. The city block has a light tint which I increase with a couple of drops of Clinique’s BIY pigment drops and voila you’ve done your foundation as well. 🙂 I don’t find it necessary to use a moisturiser as well bc like you I’m quite oily, so just apply my serums underneath.

    Thanks so much for talking about your rosacea and all for your product recommendations! It’s such a trial and error and there is almost no unbiased opinion out there! keep up the good work. 🙂

  10. 3rd December 2017 / 5:05 am

    Hi Lex, great work on the blog and congrats on being a skin ambassador, go the sisterhood!
    I have dry rosacea skin and found that Chantecaille Just Skin with SPF 15 is fantastic.
    I’m in Oz so in summer I mix it with Invisible Zinc.
    I’m convinced actually that zinc in this form is really great for rosacea.
    All the best and thanks for bringing the conversation to the centre of the beauty world. T

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome to Talonted Lex, the go-to online destination for anyone seeking guidance and inspiration on managing rosacea.

From rosacea skincare tips and sensitive skin makeup tutorials to lifestyle adjustments for rosacea relief. Whether you’re looking for the best rosacea treatments, gentle skincare routines, or just a supportive community that understands your skin concerns, Talonted Lex is your ultimate guide.