“Are those pimples?! My skin’s as dry as the desert. How can I get acne?!”
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but acne doesn’t discriminate. If it wants to get you, it will. Even if you have dry skin.
Your dry skin may even invite acne in. What makes it dry and flaky also leaves holes in your natural defenses that can trigger an acne outbreak. Because, bad stuff never comes alone…
Dry Skin And Acne: What’s Really Going On?
It all starts with a cracked protective barrier.
Think of your protective barrier as your skin’s natural shield. This shield protects it from harsh weather, hot temperatures, pollutants, germs and all the other enemies that attack your skin every day. Plus, it keeps water in so your skin always has all the moisture it needs.
When the shield is intact, everything’s fine. Your skin’s soft. Healthy. Moisturized. But when this shield is broken down in places, moisture evaporates faster. Like a flower, without water, skin withers and dries out. It feels tight during the day. Gets rough to the touch. Becomes flaky.
If moisture can get out, germs and bacteria can get in. All of a sudden, your skin becomes more vulnerable to P.Acnes, the bacteria that causes acne. Pollutants and other impurities have easy access to your skin as well. Once in, they trigger inflammation. Guess what acne is? An inflammatory disease! See how easy it is for dry skin to get acne now?
Sometimes, though, it’s the other way around. You get the acne first. Then you start washing your face 10 times a day, scrub your skin like crazy and slather harsh medications like benzoyl peroxide all over your skin in the hope of sending your acne packing. But it’s all for nothing. You’ve just dried out your skin like crazy and your acne’s still there (and if you’ve read until here, you know why now).
How To Prevent Dry Skin
If you have acne and want to avoid having dry skin too or already have dry skin and want to stave off an acne outbreak, the first thing to do is make sure your protective barrier is intact (and stays that way). That means you need to rid your skincare stash of anything harsh and irritating.
Here’s a list of things that can dry out skin:
- Bar soaps
- Benzoyl peroxide and other topical anti-acne medications
- Cleansers with harsh surfactants like sodium lauryl sulfate
- Skincare products with high concentrations of irritating ingredients, like alcohol, menthol and citrus oils
Now you know what NOT to do, let’s take a look at what helps clear up dry skin and acne:
Your cleanser is probably culprit number 1 here. Harsh cleansers strip skin of the natural moisturising oils it badly needs and pokes holes into its protective barrier. Moisture evaporates through the cracks, drying out your skin. Bacteria get into the skin, making it way more prone to acne than before. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Bar soaps are the worst offenders. Avoid them like the plague. Instead, opt for gentle, pH-balanced cleansers free of harsh surfactants. They remove oil, dirt and makeup without compromising your skin’s natural defences.
Our 6% Salicylic Acid Face Wash with Activated Charcoal goes a step further. Salicylic acid gently exfoliates skin and soothes the redness and inflammation that always comes along with acne while activated charcoal deeply cleanses away P.Acnes, the bacteria that causes it.
Just don’t go overboard! Remember, any cleanser can dry out your skin if you wash too often (once per day is plenty!) or leaving it on for too long when you wash.
Exfoliate Acne Away
Meet Salicylic Acid, your new BFF. Salicylic acid (it sometimes hides under the name BHA), is an oil-soluble exfoliant. In plain English, that means it can get inside the pores and get rid of the excess oil, dead cells and all the other stuff that clogs them up. It gets rid of blackheads, whiteheads and pimples and keeps them from coming back.
The best part? It’s very gentle and doesn’t dry out the skin like most other acne fighters (think benzoyl peroxide) out there. Our Salicylic Acid Gel Acne Prevention and Spot Treatment has 2% salicylic acid, one of the highest concentrations on the market! It’s also enriched with aloe vera and colloidal silver to soothe inflammation.
This is the tricky part. Your dry skin craves rich and thick formulas that can quench its thirst but your acne wants no part of it. Anything more than a lightweight lotion may clog your pores and lead to more breakouts.
Go for something in the middle. Opt for a moisturizer low in oils and high in humectants - like glycerin and hyaluronic acid - that attract water from the air into the skin. It’s a clever trick to moisturise your skin without adding too much oil.
Bonus points if your moisturisers contains amino acids, squalane, ceramides and fatty acids - all substances that strengthen the skin’s natural protective barrier. Both our Mega Lift All-In-One Daily Moisturizer and Mega Plump Moisturizer & Mask fit the bill perfectly.
Wrapping It UpDry skin isn’t a pass for an acne-free life. But if the dreaded pimples strike, you no longer have to choose between fighting acne or nourishing dry skin. Avoid irritants, cleanse gently, exfoliate with salicylic acid and opt for a moisturiser high in water and low in oils. They’ll tackle both acne and dry skin at the same time and give you the clear, soft skin you deserve.