What to do when you have acne and dry skin?

What to do when you have acne and dry skin?

Caring for dry, acne-prone skin requires a unique approach that nourishes the skin while clearing up breakouts gently. Finding the right products to help tackle dry, acne-prone skin can give you smooth, clear and hydrated results.

Why is my skin so dry and I have acne?

Though most people associate acne-prone concerns with an oily skin type, it is possible to have these concerns with dry skin too (though fewer people tend to fall into this category). Because of this, it can be an infuriating struggle for those that do!

Trying to find a moisturiser for dry acne-prone skin is hard enough, as it needs to hydrate without clogging pores or causing more breakouts. Then there’s the issue of formulas that work to control breakouts, as some simultaneously make dry skin even drier.

Is my acne-prone skin dehydrated?

There is a difference between dry skin & dehydrated skin. If your skin feels tight and dry, yet often oily and prone to breakouts at the same time – this means you’re struggling with dehydrated skin, rather than a dry skin type. Dehydration is typically triggered by using irritating formulas, such as overly drying cleansers or harsh ingredients like denatured alcohol, mint, menthol, etc.

If your skin feels flaky and tight after washing – even when using gentle formulas and proper moisturisers – that's when you have dry skin.

How do you hydrate acne-prone skin?

Once you’ve determined that your skin is dry (not dehydrated), be sure to remove any aggravating factors from your skincare routine, such as the irritating ingredients above. Now you can focus on the gentle yet effective ways to hydrate your skin without clogging pores.

Every product in your dry acne-prone skin routine should be gentle and respect the skin's microbiome. The microbiome plays a critical role in the skin’s defences and overall health; disrupting the microbiome can exacerbate all skin concerns, including breakouts.

Start with a soothing cleanser and toner duo, like those in our CALM collection which are specifically developed to tackle redness, leave skin cleansed thoroughly, yet replenished and soft.

Next, a gentle BHA (beta hydroxy acid) exfoliant can unclog your pores. Our SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant has a light lotion texture that softens and hydrates as it gently and naturally exfoliates. The non-drying exfoliation clears pores deeply and reveals bump-free, smooth-looking skin. A leave-on BHA exfoliant also reduces the appearance of those hard, tiny, white bumps on the cheeks and face, and is even suitable for skin prone to milia.

How can I repair my dry acne-prone skin?

Stop breakouts before they begin with azelaic acid. This is a powerhouse ingredient for preventing breakouts and diminishing marks from previous blemishes. Use it consistently once or twice daily and experience the soothing benefits of this plant-derived ingredient. Our 10% Azelaic Acid Booster works to reduce blemishes, fade brown spots and calm troubled skin.

Find the perfect balance in a moisturiser and/or serum. This is admittedly the tricky part. You want a moisturiser/serum that contains rejuvenating and skin-renewing ingredients but is also hydrating enough to quench dry skin. It also needs to be less emollient than a standard cream moisturiser, so it doesn’t clog pores and amplify breakouts. While it may take some experimenting, here are a few of our suggestions: the RESIST Anti-Ageing Moisturiser SPF 50 in the morning and RESIST Barrier Repair Advanced Moisturiser in the evening.

References for this information:

Expert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, May 2021, pages 687-701
Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, November 2020, pages 1,069-1,075
Sumatera Medical Journal, Volume 3, January 2020, ePublication
Dermatologic Clinics, April 2016, pages 133-145
Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, February 2013, pages 18-24
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, August 2012, pages 1-6