It’s easy to mistake rosacea’s inflamed, red pustules for regular ole’ acne. (Studies suggest 78% of people with rosacea don’t even know it!)

But whereas trational acne responds well to ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, glycolic acid, and retinols, it’s these same ingredients that can cause increased flareups in rosacea, which is why it’s especially important to know the difference.

Here’s what you need to know about acne and rosacea – and how to tell which you have!

Rosacea or Acne: 5 Things You Need To Know For Clear Skin

1. While acne tends to be hormonally driven, appearing most often in teens, rosacea occurs later in life.

2. Rosacea tends to form in the center of the face, where as acne (especially acne occuring later in life) tends to occur around the jaw line.

3. Rosacea is often “triggered” by irritants, like spicy foods or drinking alcohol, whereas acne isn’t immediately affected by diet.

4. Whiteheads and blackheads are not present with rosacea, so if you have either, it’s acne.

5. Both benefit from an anti-inflammatory diet, so load up on fruit, vegetables and healthy fats for clearer skin from the inside out.

As always, consult a dermatologist if you’re unsure.

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