What Is Epsolay? Experts Break Down the New FDA-Approved Rosacea Treatment


Usually, choosing the right rosacea treatment depends on the type and severity of symptoms of a patient may have. These include other topical creams and antibiotics, oral medication, laser treatments, and even surgery for extreme cases. But Dr. Lain says that oftentimes, these options come with some downsides, and it can take a while to notice if your skin is getting better or not. The other benefits that set Epsolay apart from its predecessors are its minimal side effects and quicker results. 

“[Its] patented technology encapsulates BPO at the core of a shell structure made from layers of silicon dioxide,” adds Dr. Lain, explaining how the cream mitigates side effects. “The shell creates a barrier between the medication and skin. Silica encapsulation is designed to gradually release BPO over time, allowing for an efficacious yet tolerable relief of the bumps and blemishes of rosacea.”

Are there any downsides?

Generally, no. Dr. Lain says that Epsolay has shown to be well-tolerated in adults for up to 52 weeks in clinical trials. But as with anything you put on your skin, you’ll want to be aware of a few things. 

First, if you already know that you are sensitive to BPO or have experienced an allergic reaction to it, Dr. Graf advises not using Epsolay, since BPO is its main ingredient. She also says that if you’re already using a tretinoin topical cream, you should not combine it with this cream as it will lead to more sensitivity.  

Second, you’ll want to limit the amount of time you spend under the sun while using the cream to avoid further irritation. BPO is also known to make the skin dry, so she advises moisturizing the skin often as you incorporate this cream into your routine. 

If you’re pregnant or currently breastfeeding, Dr. Lain recommends seeing a dermatologist before using this product. While he says that BPO is not expected to result in fetal exposure or show up in breast milk, animal reproductive studies have not been conducted with the cream and the systemic exposure is unknown. He adds that Epsolay isn’t indicated for children and has not been studied on them. In short: ask your dermatologist to be extra safe if you have any questions about this cream. 

How do you use Epsolay?

The use of the cream is pretty straightforward. According to the approved Epsolay label provided to Allure by the FDA, instructions recommend spreading a thin layer all over your face using a pea-sized drop of formula once a day on clean, dry skin. You’ll want to avoid contact with your eyes, lips, and mouth, as well as avoid application on any cuts, abrasions, eczema, or sunburnt skin


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