Does Dry Skin Cause Acne? Here's What You Need to Know

Mother Dirt

Acne refers to facial blemishes like pimples, blackheads and whiteheads.

Generally, it is associated with oily skin that occurs when the sebaceous glands produce a lot of sebum. Sebum, a natural oil, lubricates and safeguards your skin but it can even clog your pores and lead to breakouts when produced in large quantities.

So, if you’re wondering - does dry skin can cause acne, know that while sebum is the main reason behind acne, it’s not the only one. Anything that clogs your pores can lead to acne, regardless of skin type. Read on to learn more about dry skin and acne, and what acne treatment options you should explore to help acne-prone skin.

Dry Skin and Acne

Your skin health depends on how the lipid layer works to fight against fungi, viruses and bacteria. If you have dehydrated skin, this lipid layer cannot work well. This, in turn, leads to the accumulation of dead skin cells and if this situation persists, it can further cause pimples, blackheads or whiteheads.

You need to be vigilant if you want to treat your dry, acne-prone skin. Yes, some remedies and treatments can help you get rid of both these issues. So, what are they? How can you manage your dry skin as well as acne? Keep reading to find out.

What Causes Acne on Dry Skin?

Dry skin is not a serious issue, however, when left untreated, it can become uncomfortable and unpleasant.

Dry skin is generally caused by factors like:

- Dehydration
- Aging
- Allergies
- Extreme hot weather
- Extreme cold weather
- Bathing in hot water
- Exposure to chemical irritants like detergents
- Use of harsh soaps and cleaners

While acne is prone to oily skin, it is increasingly getting common even on dry skin, as people with dry skin are more likely to experience the build-up of:

- Dead skin cells
- Dirt
- Bacteria
- Cosmetic products

If you don’t follow a proper skincare routine, there are high chances of building up such particles which can further lead to acne. Dry skin affects your skin barrier and clogs your hair follicles. Additionally, hormonal changes too can contribute to causing inflammation and breakouts.

Thankfully, there are treatments that you can take to overcome acne breakouts.

How to Treat Acne If You Have Dry Skin

It’s best to address your dry skin first. Be careful while choosing an acne product. Research and buy the ones that will help you prevent unwanted dryness by retaining the moisture. Below you can find a few tips to get you started:

Switch to a gentle cleanser – Avoid chemical and fragrance-based cleansers and opt for a gentle one that helps you clean your pores without drying your skin. A gentle cleanser should help you remove dirt from the skin.

Limit washing your face to twice per dayWashing your face will help remove the irritants from your skin. But over-washing can also take away your skin moisture.

Avoid exfoliating your face – Exfoliation is good but it can add to the dryness of your skin by stripping the natural oils. So, if you have acne, it’s best to avoid exfoliating your face for the time being.

Use treatments with care – Be careful and try to get the maximum out of your skin treatments. For instance, you can reduce the dryness by first applying a moisturizer to your cleansed skin and then applying your acne treatment. Doing so will create a protective barrier and will eventually help reduce the drying effect.

Always start small – If you’re trying any skincare product or medication for the first time, it’s best to test on a small patch or consider getting a lower dose if it’s an oral medication. 

Tips to Avoid Acne on Dry Skin

Find the right skincare products:

- Use gentle, non-foaming cleansers.
- Get a moisturizer that does not clog your pores and also treats your dry skin.
- Avoid using harsh ingredients that can irritate your skin. Check the product label and avoid the ones that have ingredients like menthol and alcohol.

Avoid washing your face more than twice a day:

As said earlier, over-washing can lead to dryness as it takes away the natural oils of your skin. Use a moisturizing cleanser and don’t wash your face more than twice a day.

Moisturize daily:

Avoid drying your skin by moisturizing it daily. Buy moisturizers that specifically target sensitive skin.

Do not exfoliate:

Like over-washing, even exfoliation can aggravate dryness and take away the moisture from your skin. So, it’s better to avoid exfoliating.

Avoid using harsh scrubs:

Harsh scrubs tend to weaken your skin barrier which can, in turn, result in dryness. It’s better not to use them.

Follow a well-balanced diet:

Drink plenty of water and avoid certain foods like cheese that can contribute to your acne issue. Switch to a healthy diet that can help enhance your skin health.

The Bottom Line:

Acne with dry skin can be a frustrating combination as acne treatments can trigger more dryness. Focus more on enhancing your skin health by following the above-mentioned guidelines. If the issue persists and home treatments aren’t working for you, get in touch with a dermatologist.

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