You Have Rosacea. Are Facial Scrubs Safe For Your Skin?

Facial scrubs exfoliate dead skin. This process is meant to help make the skin look fresh and radiant. When you have rosacea, exfoliation can irritate already red, itchy, and pimply skin. If you're trying to soothe your rosacea with facial scrubs, you may be doing more harm than good.

Do you still feel that exfoliation is your best bet? If you must use facial scrubs for rosacea, stick to some of the more gentle brands. Here's a comparison of some of the facial scrubs people with rosacea rely on.

A Comparison of Facial Scrubs for Rosacea

Here's a breakdown of some of the products I've tried that were either recommended by other rosacea sufferers or my dermatologist.

1. First Botany Gold Mica Face and Body Scrub

First Botany Gold Mica Scrub only has natural ingredients within the product. In addition to the plant-based oils (Apricot Kernel Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Sunflower Oil, and Sweet Almond Oil) that help nourish the skin, the facial scrub has salt to help gently buff away dead skin.

In my opinion, this facial scrub was too oily for me. I tend to have dry skin in areas and oily skin in the T-zone. If you're similar, you may not want to opt for this one. I do find I love this face and body scrub for my knees, elbows, and feet. It's especially great on my feet, which do have a tendency to be dry.

Bottom Line:

  • Rich in oils, which benefits dry skin
  • Smells light and citrusy
  • Does make my knees and elbows look better

2. HoneySkin Gentle Exfoliating Formula

This is my favorite of the products. First, it contains manuka honey, a rarer form of honey with incredible antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Second, it lacks things like salts or shell pieces that rub and irritate the skin. It’s a microdermabrasion scrub that uses fruit acids rather than things that scrape.

Ingredients in Honeyskin Organics are simple. There's the honey as I've already mentioned and there's aloe vera gel. There's also Cehami, a plant extract from an Australian daisy, that reduces itching, pain, and redness.

Bottom Line:

  • Comes with a money-back guarantee
  • Aloe soothes the skin while the manuka honey is medicinal in nature and eases irritation
  • PH of your skin is taken into consideration to keep the facial scrub as gentle as possible

3. First Botany Vitamin C & Avocado Skin Brightening Scrub

First Botany Vitamin C & Avocado Skin Brightening Scrub is a gentle exfoliator that is rich in fatty acids and vitamin C to help improve your skin's health. Main ingredients include aloe vera, sea salt, coconut oil, avocado, spinach extract, and jojoba oil. It has a very light scent, so it's perfect for people that don't like products that are heavily perfumed. It's also free of irritating parabens.

I did find this one a little too oily for my T-zone areas, but it was ideal for elbows, knees, and feet. For that use, I highly recommend it. I'm not as pleased with how it made my face feel and redness was a clear issue after this product.

Bottom Line:

  • The salt was too harsh for my skin
  • Loved the scent
  • Did a great job on feet, but I hesitate using it on my face again

4. Cleure Sensitive Skin Hypoallergenic Exfoliating Facial Scrub


Cleure Sensitive Skin Hypoallergenic Exfoliating Facial Scrub
was recommended by my dermatologist. It does contain pumice, but it's very finely ground, so I didn't feel it really ripping or tearing at my delicate skin. I also loved that it was fragrance-free, didn't contain paraben, and lacked formaldehyde. All of those are known to irritate my skin.

It is a pricier option, but I found it did a good job. I'm not sure I'd make it my usual brand, but it's definitely one of the two I'd recommend for your face. It only lost out to HoneySkin by a very narrow margin.

Bottom Line:

  • Allergen-free product
  • Very fine pumice powder
  • Recommended by my dermatologist

Tips to Follow Before You Exfoliate

Before using any new facial product for rosacea, test it in an inconspicuous area first. I have bangs, so I start on my forehead. If I notice a reaction, I don't use the product again.

Avoid pairing a facial scrub with a washcloth. Washcloths tend to be harsh on rosacea skin. Instead, just use your fingertips or a soft microfiber cloth.