Acne doesn't always go with oily skin. In fact, excessive dryness can be a major trigger for acne. Here's how to choose the right anti-acne products for your complexion.
Acne thrives on oily skin for one simple reason: excessive sebum—the oily substance that lubricates your skin—tends to clog pores. But people with dry skin can have clogged pores for other reasons. If you have a dry complexion and acne, you're far from alone. Unfortunately, most advice about acne focuses on oil.
You don't have to use harsh, drying products to get rid of your spots. In fact, if you're already using such products, they may very well be the cause of your acne. Here's how to find acne treatments for dry skin that won't ruin your complexion.
Why Dry Skin Is Prone to Breakouts
'If oil is the cause of most breakouts,' you might be thinking, 'then why is my dry skin perpetually covered in pimples and blackheads?' All skin produces sebum—even dry skin. Oil may still be at the core of the problem. The most common reasons dry skin breaks out include:
- The skin is so dry that many dead layers have accumulated on the surface. If you don't exfoliate regularly, this dead skin can trap oil in your pores, triggering breakouts.
- Your skin is not naturally dry, but overuse of acne products has left it irritated and flaky. Sometimes irritation causes your skin to produce excess oil, but the flakiness hides the fact that your skin is actually oily.
- Your apparently dry skin may actually be an allergic reaction. Have you changed your diet recently, switched personal care products, or been in contact with anything new?
The Vicious Cycle of Harsh Acne Products
More is better when it comes to treating your skin, right? Not so fast. Using too many acne products can actually make acne worse by stripping the oil healthy skin needs. Your skin then produces more oil to compensate. So even if your skin looks dry, it may be producing more oil than it needs and triggering breakouts.
The Right Acne Regimen for Dry Skin
You don't have to ruin your skin to get rid of your breakouts. Instead, follow this simple skincare routine:
- End flaky skin by exfoliating routinely. Note that excess exfoliation can irritate your skin, so exfoliate no more than twice per week. Alpha-H Gentle Daily Exfoliant is an ideal choice for dry or sensitive skin.
- Invest in a quality moisturiser. You might be hesitant to do so if your face is covered in breakouts, but rest assured that all skin needs moisture—particularly dry skin. Try an oil-free formulation, such as Dermalogica Active Moist, every morning and evening.
- Consider a hydrating serum; a great product will hydrate beyond surface levels. Many vitamin B serums hydrate without oils. Try ASAP Super B Complex for hydration plus exfoliation or Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Serum for a gentle product that locks moisture in.
- Never apply acne treatments to your entire face, since they can make dry skin substantially worse. Instead, use spot treatments only where you really need them.