While all of us are well aware of how and why oily skin is more prone to breakouts, did you know that it is very much possible to get acne on dry skin as well? Yes, you read that right. Dry skin is just as prone to getting acne, especially in adults, as oily skin is. But here’s the good news – dealing with acne on dry skin is actually quite simple. But because most acne remedies or treatments available in the market are usually targeted towards oily skin, it can be slightly difficult to find the correct and most effective treatment for you.
So, if you are someone with dry skin who’s having to deal with breakouts on a regular basis, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we are going to discuss everything from the causes to how exactly one should treat as well as prevent the problem of acne on dry skin. So, without wasting any more time, let's dive straight into it!
What causes acne on dry skin
Irrespective of your skin type, the only reason for acne is excess sebum production that results in clogged pores, eventually causing acne. Err… but you have dry skin, then why are you still getting acne? Well, the thing is, dry skin can produce sebum too. When your skin is overly dry, it tries to overcompensate for all the dryness by producing excess sebum. This sebum, coupled with the dead skin cells and impurities can actually end up clogging your pores and causing acne.
What makes matters worse is that, as dry skin is a lot more prone to flaking, it can lead to an excessive build-up of dead skin cells, resulting in acne. Add to this the problem of ageing, hormonal imbalance, stress, genetics, climate changes as well as environmental aggressors; it does make breaking out quite a frequent occurrence even in those of you with dry skin.
How to treat acne on dry skin
While everything you just read can seem pretty intimidating, it really doesn’t have to be so. Thanks to the growth in the cosmetic science of treating and controlling acne, there are tonnes of treatments, products and remedies available that can really help in treating existing acne on dry skin. However, if you are clueless about where to start, what products to invest in and how to follow the right skincare routine, we’re here to help. Scroll down for the possible ways to keep acne on dry skin under control…
1. Use the correct cleanser
In order to keep dirt, oil and other pore-clogging impurities at bay, make sure to wash your face twice a day. But in order to do that, make sure to invest in a gentle, non-foaming cleanser as this will remove the impurities without stripping your skin of its natural oils. But remember to not over-cleanse as that can dry out your skin further, increasing the chances of breakouts.
2. Moisturise without fail
Since you have oily skin, this tip goes without saying. However, simply slathering on just about any moisturiser won’t really help solve the problem of breakouts. Choose a moisturiser that has a richer, more nourishing formula to make sure that your skin is thoroughly moisturised and protected. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, peptides, ceramides, etc., to not just moisturise, but also repair your skin.
3. Avoid over-exfoliating
While exfoliation is an excellent tool to slough away those pesky dead skin cells, brighten dull skin and reveal a clearer complexion, those of you with severely dry, acne-prone skin should probably tread with caution here. Avoid harsh physical exfoliators as they can further dry out and irritate parched skin.
This damages the topmost layer of your skin, thereby making it easier for impurities and acne-causing bacteria to enter your skin and cause acne. Therefore, make sure to either switch to a chemical exfoliator or simply use a gentler, less-abrasive exfoliator if you prefer to use a physical one.
4. Choose your ingredients carefully
When you have acne on dry skin, it can be slightly difficult to choose the right products that eliminate and prevent acne without drying your skin further. This is because most skincare products that deal with acne are specifically formulated for oily skin, and this can really end up severely drying out your already dry skin. Therefore, it would be better to avoid products with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide to prevent further drying and possible breakouts.
5. Try retinol
Retinol is an amazing ingredient to keep acne under control and prevent the occurrence of future breakouts. It does this by sloughing away dead skin cells and unclogging your pores. But retinol is also known for making your skin dry and irritating it. This is why it is best to start with a low-strength cream and use it just a couple of times of the week to allow your skin some time to get used to it. But make sure to speak to your dermatologist to understand what strength works for you.
6. Use facial oils
The moment people notice acne, they automatically assume that oils are the culprits. However, this is not true at all. If you have dry skin, using a facial oil actually delivers intense moisture, allows other skincare products to work better, as well as helps your skin in regulating sebum production. This leaves your skin soft, supple and helps keep those annoying breakouts away.
FAQs about acne on dry skin
Q. Does dry skin make acne worse?
A. When your skin is dry, it sends your sebaceous glands into overdrive to compensate for the lost moisture. This makes your skin produce even more oil, which then clogs your pores and eventually leads to acne. The best way to deal with this problem is to use gentle, non-comedogenic skincare and makeup products. Following a beauty routine that is full of lightweight but moisturising products really helps in preventing your skin from producing excess oils and keeping those annoying breakouts at bay.
Q. Should I moisturise at night if I have acne?
A. Irrespective of your skin type or how prone you are to acne, you must never ever skip on using a moisturiser. Additionally, moisturising your skin at night helps in repairing, restoring and rejuvenating your skin while you sleep. This ensures that you wake up to soft, supple and problem-free skin every morning. But when choosing a moisturiser, make sure to pick a lightweight formula with hydrating ingredients to moisturise dry skin while keeping the problem of breakouts away.
Written by Urvi Dalal on Dec 03, 2021
Writer, avid reader and hardcore beauty enthusiast is the best way to describe Urvi Dalal. With over 5 years of writing experience in the beauty industry, you can trust her to have the latest skin, hair and makeup tidbits on her fingertips. In her time working as a beauty writer, she has had the opportunity to interact and work closely with a string of dermatologists, makeup artists and hairstylists. All that knowledge exchange, coupled with her flair and love for writing make it possible for her to bring you some authentic yet fun beauty content. When Urvi isn’t working, you’d usually catch her curled up with a big, fat book, drinking a cup of tea or practising her makeup skills; there is no in-between!