This post may contain affiliate links. All opinions shared are my own. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Click to view our full disclosure.
I dealt with perioral dermatitis around my nose, mouth, and lips for years before finding relief. The red itchy bumps and burning sensation from the rash could keep me up at night. Luckily, I found some of the best products for perioral dermatitis during my stint with it before finding an effective treatment option that got rid of it all together (more on that below!).
My perioral dermatitis started when I was 21. I was a senior year in college and was feeling really stressed out. That was about 8 years ago. Since then, I’ve found my favorite perioral dermatitis products that seem to help clear it up.
I also found a dermatologist that worked with me through topical creams, antibiotics, and then finally a combination of oral contraceptives and Spironolactone. You can read more about my perioral dermatitis treatment here.
You can check out the full story of my perioral dermatitis here.
First Off – What Can Cause Perioral Dermatitis?
Every doctor I’ve talked to and article I’ve read has said it can be hard to completely pinpoint it on something.
With that said, there are a few common things that can cause it.
- Steroid Creams
- Facial Products (including makeup)
- Hormones (mostly in women)
- Sodium Laureth Sulfate
- Fluoride in Toothpaste
- Exposure to Harsh Temps
- Birth Control Pills
Not every trigger will be a trigger for everyone, but the five ingredients below are common triggers for people.
I now avoid products with:
2. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)- This chemical is heavily restricted in Canada and Europe; however, it is even on baby products in the U.S.
3. Makeup with Parabens – Parabens are known to disrupt the body’s hormones and endocrine system. They are also very harsh irritants when applied to the skin. These chemicals are found in most cosmetics and cleansers.
4. Whiteners and Bleaches – Skip these all together! If it bleaches, it has to be harsh.
5. Flouride Toothpaste – Jason’s toothpaste is a great alternative.
Best Products for My Perioral Dermatitis
Some of these items are as low as $3, but some are also pricey. I literally just picked out what I knew what worked for me or what dozens of others have sworn by to help. I hope it helps you find your own favorite products of perioral dermatitis.
Best Face washes for Perioral Dermatitis: CETAPHIL
Cetaphil is a great cleanser because it’s gentle even on sensitive skin. If you’re looking for something with additional benefits, you may also like the black clay bar soap shown below.
Runner Up: A Gentle Soap like: Osmia Organics Black Clay Facial Soap
The black Australian clay and dead sea mud helps balance and tone the skin. It also has several ingredients to help nourish the skin which can help with the dryness and flaking you may have.
Best Perioral Dermatitis Moisturizer: Cetaphil Face Moisturizer
I love this gentle moisturizer because it’s oil-free and the hyaluronic acid can help if you have any cystic acne. Whether or not you choose this specific line or not, you want to choose lighter face creams over a night cream because the heavier creams can make it worse.
If you are looking for something with a little bit of antioxidants in it, the Yes to Blueberries line is great! It’s very soft, non-greasy, and helps soothe irritated skin. You can also find Yes to Blueberries at Target and drugstores typically. I also like their eye cream.
This is the best sunscreen I’ve found. If I travel, I’ll even squeeze it into a TSA-approved little container! I get the SPF 15, but they have a lot of options. Perioral Dermatitis is such sensitive skin that it needs a gentle SPF, and it definitely needs that sun protection!
Over the counter zinc
Yeah, I take an over-the-counter Zinc when I have a flare up. The Mayo Clinic says you can take 40-220mg for up to 6 months to treat skin conditions such as Eczema. I try to do it just when I have a flare up though.
Finding a toothpaste that met the requirements was so hard. Even Colgate’s Cavity Protection that seems so bare-minimum had Sodium Lauryl Sulfate in it!
“Organic” brands also had whiteners or sodium lauryl sulfate too! Crazy!
Kiss My Face and Jason’s have no additives, fluoride, or whiteners. The Spearmint and cool mint are easier on the skin than peppermint as well.
This stuff is pricey!! I totally understand if you skip this one. I included it because I really feel like it’s helped not only the bumps caused by dermatitis but also the red skin around it.
My mom’s medical esthetician recommended it to me a couple of years ago now. She recommended it because of the high concentration niacinamide (5%) which can help with bacteria — which dermatitis is linked to.
It also reduces the appearance of discoloration and the look of redness which was a problem of mine.
I still use it day and night even though my skin has cleared up.
Best Chapstick: ART NATURALS ORGANIC CHAPSTICK
My perioral dermatitis is around my chin and lips when it flares so a safe chapstick is a must.
Kiss My Face’s goes on well, is not too greasy or too hard, and it has sunscreen in it!
I love Skinceutical’s Phyto. I do my cleanser, then this serum, and then the blueberry moisturizer and eye cream.
My Skin Care Routine
- Wash my face with the soap above
- Apply B3 Metacell Renewal
- 1-2 Drops of Phyto Applied
- Then, I moisturize with the oil at night or lotion in the morning
Note About Rose Water Products
To freshen makeup put distilled water in a spray bottle–resist the urge to try a rose water, but if you do, check the ingredients. So many have parabens and sulfates and are over $30
Other Items for Perioral Dermatitis
This has to be the weirdest perioral dermatitis product at a glance, but it can help the areas that are broken out. The reason it helps is because it has non-nano zinc oxide, and zinc has been shown to help with dermatitis.
Also, I love Apple Cider and Coconut Oil.
My top two products are unconventional, but if you are to search Perioral Dermatitis you’ll notice several people love them too.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) and Coconut Oil Treatment
You can apply 1 part ACV with 1 part water to the affected area. Wash after 10 minutes.
You can also drink the ACV. I do 2 tablespoons straight and then have a little honey and drink approximately 8 ounces of water to wash it down.
I also will wash my face with Coconut Oil. It will be creamy to start, but if you rub it with your fingers it will turn to liquid. I apply all over and then wash off with a wash washcloth.
Make Up Tips
I wear makeup 3-5 times a week. I haven’t found specific things that work best for all people. I would just recommend choosing the non-SLS and paraben-free products. The only thing I will recommend is a concealer. It’s awesome when you have a breakout.
I LOVE this stuff. If nothing else, this is a must-have. It builds easily, and it even lasts pretty well on the bridge of my nose which gets very red. I put it on before my foundation on the red spots, let it dry, apply foundation, and pat with powder after the foundation is dry. (If you do it before it is dry, it will look cakey).
5 over the counter options for Perioral Dermatitis
Since publishing my struggle with perioral dermatitis a few years ago, people have written in and shared tips! I’m sharing those below!
1. Take Zinc Daily (Less than a year at a time)
The Mayo Clinic says you can take 40-220mg for up to 6 months to treat skin conditions such as Eczema.
Here is the Zinc I use, but it can be any over-the-counter Zinc.
2. Use pure tea tree oil
This can be diluted with a little water on the bumps when they are at the blister stage. This seems to help dry them out.
3. Apply Manuka honey (12+) on the infected areas
Because of the honey’s anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it seems to be helping soothe and moisturize the inflamed areas.
Vitamin E has also been helpful in the past for the same reasons.
4. Consider a probiotic
5. Always read product labels
I hope these products & tips help!
Remember even the “organic” or “sensitive” products can contain sodium lauryl sulfate or parabens. The price, marketing, and the brand do not matter. Always read the labels especially if you have perioral dermatitis.
I hope this extensive product guide will help anyone with Perioral Dermatitis or even just sensitive skin. These products are the most natural, safe products I have found in the past 3 years.