Moisture Thieves On Dry Skin
The biggest offender in creating dry skin is rubbing alcohol. In the old days, rubbing alcohol was the standard of treatment for acne. After all, you could feel it working. It made your skin feel cool, as it evaporated. It made your skin feel tingly, as it killed both bacteria and the top layer of your skin. Acne care products that contain alcohol, especially acne products that use alcohol to dissolve essential oils and plant extracts that can dry out skin even more, make dry skin even more pimple-prone. Using these actually becomes one of the causes of your acne.
Even some of the most expensive acne products for dry skin contain have alcohol and have to be avoided. Expensive definitely does not always mean you get the best. For instance:
Natural in anti-acne products is not as important as non-irritant.
The simple test above, along with the other tips, has hopefully given you a better idea of what you need to get rid of acne, whether its on your face or body.
You can read through the many articles on this site and find leads for many excellent products for acne on dry skin. But if you dont have time to sort through them all, try your acne treatment in a system such as Exposed Skin Care.
How To Treat Dry Skin And Acne
Since your skincare routine may be at the root of what is causing your acne and dry skin, it’s important to pick the right products.
Which cleanser to choose: You should make sure you’re using a gentle cleanser, says Sonya Kenkare, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Rush Medical College in Chicago. Kenkare recommends a hydrating cleanser from drugstore brands like CeraVe and Cetaphil.
Avoid foaming cleansers, she says, because they have more detergents that can cause further dryness. Aim to cleanse and moisturize your skin twice a day. And make sure you get a cleanser with the right ingredients for your skin type.
Which moisturizer to choose: Pick a moisturizer that is oil-free and noncomedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores, says Kenkare. Timing is important, too. You should moisturize while your skin is still damp, says Berson, and when you’re drying off, pat gently, don’t rub.
“You’re actually going to help seal in the moisture and make the skin feel better hydrated. If you just dry off and walk away, every time you do that, you’re drying out your skin more because the moisture evaporates from the skin and takes more moisture with it,” Berson says.
Add a serum: If an oil-free moisturizer isn’t cutting it, Berson has another recommendation: “When I have patients who need hydration, but not necessarily greasy moisturization, I recommend they choose a hydrating serum.”
Immediately Discontinue Use Of Topical Treatments Causing Dryness Or Flakiness
This means you may have to hit the pause button on your acne regimen until the skin gets repaired. But dont worry! The fact is, its hard to get acne under control when the skins barrier is compromised. Its important to know that going easy on your skin will eventually lead you on a path to clearer skin.
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How To Treat Acne If You Have Dry Skin
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Although acne is usually associated with oily skin, its far from uncommon to experience acne breakouts if you have dry, sensitive skin.
Treating acne when you have dry skin can be a serious challenge. Many of the most effective, science-based acne treatments work well, but can worsen dryness and cause side effects like irritation, inflammation and even skin peeling.
On the other hand, some products that are designed to keep your skin moist and smooth may worsen acne.
Luckily, options are available for acne that affects dry skin, including over-the-counter products, prescription medications and basic changes that you can make to your day-to-day lifestyle and skin care habits.
Weve listed all of these below, along with more information on what you can do if you have dry, sensitive skin thats prone to acne.
Can Dry Skin Cause Acne
Dry skin refers to the uncomfortable condition of the skin that is marked with scaling, itching and cracking due to the lack of moisture and hydration in the upper layer of the skin. The continuous loss of natural oils and cells over a period of time results in dry and flaky skin.
Dry skin can be one of the reasons of acne. People with dry skin usually tend to have problems like itchiness and redness. And with injury or trauma, the skin barrier becomes weak, thus causing infection due to deposition of acne causing bacteria. With pollution and chemicals there is an inflammation that results in the formation of acne.
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Skin Dehydration Is Common In Acne Sufferers
According to Emma, dehydration is very common for all skin types but often it appears on acneic skin for a few reasons. Causes include prescription acne medication, harsh skin care products, incorrect use of spot treatment products and skipping moisturiser.
Debbie adds: The issue is water! Acne sufferers skin is dry due to a fast cell turnover coupled with trans-epidermal water loss , which means they do not have enough free water levels in their skin. According to Debbie, this leads to a build-up of dead redundant cell material that makes feel rough and dry.
Treatments From Your Gp
See your GP if your acne is more widespread, as you probably need prescription medication. For example, if:
- you have a large number of papules and pustules
- over-the-counter medication hasn’t worked
Prescription medications that can be used to treat acne include:
- topical retinoids
Several treatments for acne don’t involve medication.
- comedone extractor a small pen-shaped instrument that can be used to clean out blackheads and whiteheads
- chemical peels where a chemical solution is applied to the face, causing the skin to peel off and new skin to replace it
However, these treatments may not work and can’t be routinely recommended.
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Understand Where The Acne And Dryness Are Coming From
What came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, in this case the acne or the dryness? Your skin may feel dry with acne, but chances are it was actually oily at one point not so long ago, says Dr. Obagi. Acne is an oily skin problem however, many people may think they have dry skin coupled with acne because their pores are clogged, preventing skin from hydrating itself properly.
Apply Green Tea To Your Skin
Green tea is very high in antioxidants, and drinking it can promote good health.
It may also help reduce acne. This is likely because the polyphenols in green tea help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, which are two main causes of acne .
There isnt much research exploring the benefits of drinking green tea when it comes to acne, and more studies are needed.
In one small study with 80 women, participants took 1,500 mg of green tea extract daily for 4 weeks. By the end of the study, women who took the extract had less acne on their noses, chins, and around their mouths .
Research has also found that drinking green tea may lower blood sugar and insulin levels, which are factors that can contribute to the development of acne .
Many studies also indicate that applying green tea directly to the skin may help with acne.
Research shows that the main antioxidant in green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate reduces sebum production, fights inflammation, and inhibits the growth of P. acnes in individuals with acne-prone skin .
Multiple studies have found that applying green tea extract to the skin significantly reduces sebum production and pimples in those with acne .
You can buy creams and lotions that contain green tea, but its just as easy to make your own mixture at home.
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Diet For Dry Flaky Acne Skin
What you eat affects your skin. More so than most people want to admit or believe. In fact, I personally believe your diet has more power to transform the state of your skin than any skin care product or procedure.
When it comes to irritated dry skin, the two foods that stand out the most making it worse, is sugar and caffeine.
Sugar is just so inflammatory. It irritates your body from the inside out. Sugar also breaks down collagen making it harder for your skin to heal and repair. Not only does it slow down your skins healing process, but sugar contributes to aging you too.
If you want balanced healthy skin, make the effort to decrease or eliminate sugar from your diet, especially processed sugars.
Also, dry skin is always dehydrated skin. And one of the most dehydrating foods/drinks is coffee. I know how hard it is to give up coffee, but if youve got dry irritated skin, giving up coffee can pave the way to really great results.
Every single person Ive met that has given up coffee notices just how much healthier their skin is and how much better it looks. Giving up coffee brings back the glow and youthfulness of your skin.
Those with oily skin notice how much less oily their skin appears, and those with dry skin notice how much more moisturized and plumped their skin becomes. Thats because your skin is no longer dehydrated, your skin can retain the moisture it needs to maintain a healthy balance.
Identifying And Eliminating Irritants
Before you panic and consign yourself to a lifetime of dry skin, stop and consider: are the skin care products youre using on a daily basis contributing to your condition? While benzoyl peroxide and other topical treatments are effective at reducing bacteria and pore-clogging sebum, they can easily overdry skin, worsening acne if used incorrectly.
If you know you have sensitive skin, it might be time to tone down the harsher treatments. Investing in a gentle face wash, for instance, could help your skin retain some of the moisture youve been scrubbing away. As far as products like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide go, try using them less frequently, or at a lower dosage that way youll reap the acne fighting benefits without making your face feel like the Sahara Desert.
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Dry Acne: How To Moisturize Acne
The natural skin oils that contribute to acne may make you think you dont need a moisturizer. But oily skin can suffer from dryness, especially if youre using oral or topical acne treatments or medications. Dryness can make your skin produce more oil in an attempt to rebalance its moisture levels. The fixa moisturizer developed for acne-prone skin. Regular moisturizing with a non-comedogenic facial moisturizer can even help prevent some types of acne.
Can Dry Skin Lead To Acne
Dry skin may lead to acne if you aren’t using the right skincare routine, says Diane Berson, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in New York City and faculty member in the department of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Your cleanser may be too harsh for winter. If you are acne-prone, your skin may benefit from stronger cleansers in the summertime to combat sweat and oil, Berson says. But once winter hits, the effects of cold air outside and dry heat indoors might be too much for your skin to bear leading to dry, flaky, and inflamed skin.
If you’re breaking out on top of that dryness, you might think increased oil production is to blame. But that’s a myth, says Berson. “When you dry out the skin, it’s not necessarily that your oil glands work harder to lubricate the skin,” she says. The production of sebum, the oil produced by our sebaceous glands, is caused by hormones, stress, diet, and genetics not the moisture level of your skin.
Harsh cleansers can disrupt your skin’s barrier function, the complex set of mechanisms that allow our skin to keep moisture in and keep germs out. This can cause inflammation of the sebaceous follicles, aka your pores, which then leads to acne.
Your moisturizer is too heavy and clogging your skin. Winter weather might make you want to reach for more intense moisturizers, Berson says, but those heavier products can be a no-no for oily skin, even when you’re experiencing dryness in winter.
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Best Ingredients For Acne
Controlling acne can be difficult, depending on the severity of your condition, but its not impossible. Derms swear by a few ingredients, including salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide and Adapalene. While they vary in their chemical compounds, each ingredient can help you achieve your acne-free skin care goals.
Treating Acne With Dry Sensitive Skin: A Skincare Success Story
Victoria came to us late October 2020, explaining that our Alpha Beta Ultra Gentle Peel had become her go-to product for preventing acne on her acne-prone skin. Although our Ultra Gentle Peel promotes clear, acne-free skin, we were interested to learn why she hadnt used a stronger acne-fighting formula, like the Alpha Beta Extra Strength Peel.
She shared that shes been experiencing maskne throughout the pandemic, but her skin is dry, sensitive, and reactive making it hard to find products that treat her skin without irritating it. We were so excited to assist Victoria with a routine that would give her the results shed been looking for, without the fear of damaging her skin. Read below for more details about Victorias impressive progress!
Before using Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, what was your skincare regimen?
In the morning, I just used sunscreen and a light moisturizer. At night, I double cleansed with an oil-based cleanser and followed up with a gentle cleansing foam. I would then apply some pimple patches to problem areas. I used a hydrating serum, followed by a BHA-based acne serum and then a thick layer of moisturizer.
How did you feel about your skin before using Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare?
What was the length of time between your before and after shots?
I took the photos two and a half months apart. The before photo was in mid-November and the after photo I took at the end of January.
Whats the best skincare advice youve ever received?
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Can Acne Cause Scars
Acne does sometimes result in scarring. It happens when the acne penetrates the skin and damages the deeper layers. Inflammation makes the acne pores swell and breakdown occurs in the wall of the pore. Scarring can, of course, be a source of anxiety, which is normal. But before it can be treated, your healthcare provider will determine what type of acne caused the scars.
There are several available treatment options. Chemical peels, dermabrasion, laser resurfacing, microneedling and surgery can all be used to treat acne scars.
Tips For Taking Care Of Your Skin
Sometimes it may seem like your skin is impossible to manage, especially when you wake up and find a huge zit on your nose or a cold sore at the corner of your mouth. The good news is that there are ways to prevent and treat common skin problems read on for some tips.
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Skincare Solutions For Dry Skin And Acne
The proper skincare regimen can help you manage both dry skin with acne and dryness caused by acne treatment products. An acne cleanser that contains an effective concentration of benzoyl peroxide while still being gentle on the skin can help control your acneand a formula with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and soothing niacinamide can help soothe your dry skin.
Ceramides are a vital component of your skins natural barrier. As a skincare ingredient, ceramides may be especially beneficial for those with acne, since research has shown that a weakened skin barrier may contribute to acne formation.8
Any effective skincare regimen should include hydration, and a moisturizer for dry acne-prone skin should be labeled as non-comedogenic so you know it won’t clog your pores. Whether you opt for a morning moisturizer that contains sunscreen protection or prefer to apply moisturizer and sunscreen separately, this skincare step can help improve the dryness associated with acne treatmentand complement any other anti-acne products you might be using.9 A non-comedogenic moisturizer designed for evening use can help alleviate dryness and provide additional skincare benefits, such as soothing, while you sleep without causing clogged pores.
How To Treat Acne When You Have Dry Skin
Although acne is commonly associated with oily skin, let it be known that dry skin can break out too. And while these breakouts on drier skin are certainly manageable, they can be a little harder to deal with because so many standard acne treatments are targeted specifically to oily skin types. But sometimes acne can occur on certain parts of the face, while other parts are unusually dry , explains New York Citybased, board-certified dermatologist Morgan Rabach, MD.
I like to compare the skin with brick and mortar, where the skin cells are bricks and the mortar is what holds the cells together: ceramides, lipids, and cholesterol. Dryness occurs when there is not enough mortar to keep the bricks together, explains New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD. Moisture keeps the skin pliable and supple, whereas the lack of it causes skin to crack, flake, and peel. Cracked skin is more vulnerable to infection from microorganismssuch as bacteria and fungusbecause the skin barrier is not strong enough to protect itself, which can lead to increased breakouts, she explains.
So treating acne with dry skin can require a delicate balance. But first, a bit more on the basics from leading board-certified dermatologists.
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