We tend to associate acne and pimples with oily skin, but there’s a huge population of people with dry skin who have breakouts frequently, and sebum is rarely the issue. Too much sebum secretion and bacterial growth can lead to clogged pores and then cause pimples and breakouts in acne-prone skin, but with dry skin – there’s not much sebum production, but other factors such harsh skincare products, oil-based products, low-quality makeup, pore-clogging and comedogenic products can all cause acne and dermatitis. In this post, we would try to explore what to do when you have acne and dry skin.
What Causes Acne on Dry Skin:
1. Temperature is an important factor for dry skin acne as humidity affects skin health. In summers, dry skin is easily sunburned and more sweat and oil gets produced, thereby giving a chance to bacteria to grow. Winters are even worse because dry wind can cause more dryness leading to flakes and itchiness. “Cracking” of the skin is common, opening the door for bacteria to creep in and create havoc on the face. In the winter, pores also become dry and inflamed, and aggravate problems.
2. Dryness itself can be a cause of acne. Oily-skinned people are usually advised to use a light moisturiser so that their skin doesn’t over-produce oil for moisturisation causing more oiliness. That is precisely what happens with dry skin. To compensate for extreme dryness, skin starts producing oil/sebum leading to clogged pores and later, acne.
3. Smoking is also a major factor of acne. Many people don’t realize how harmful even passive smoking can be for the skin and the lungs. People who hang out with smokers or just tend to smoke occasionally usually suffer from acne. What is worse is that those smokers (passive or otherwise) who kick the butt have to face a purgatory called “quitzits” – acne caused as a side effect of quitting smoking.
4. Stress can also trigger acne irrespective of skin type.
5. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies: One of the major causes of acne can be vitamin deficiency, vitamin A, vitamin C, and minerals such as chromium and zinc. Lack of vitamins and minerals does not allow your body to flush out the harmful toxins from your body whose results are directly visible on your skin. Correct the texture of your skin by eating a healthy diet (Rati Beauty).
6. Dandruff and flaky scalp could also be the culprits. Your scalp health is directly related to that of your facial skin and if it’s snowing flakes from your head, then breakouts and zits are inevitable on the face.
What Products to Avoid if you have Dry Skin prone to Breakouts:
1. Harsh cleansers.
3. Alcohol-based toner.
4. Acne ointments that overtly cause dryness.
5. Skincare and makeup products with fragrance.
6. Oil-based makeup and skincare.
7. Oil-based sunscreen.
8. Beauty soaps.
What to Do When you Have Acne and Dry Skin?
1. Always use alcohol-free toner.
2. Never use harsh cleansers or soap on the face. Even acne soaps that claim to clear acne are not good for dry skin because they dry out the skin further, keeping breakouts on the face active.
3. Pick water-based products that do not have oil content in them.
4. Look for non-comedogenic labels on skincare and makeup products.
5. Use skin pH friendly cleanser that can clear skin without causing breakouts.
6. Do not overexfoliate skin – scrubbing with harsh granules can make acne worse, use lower concentrations of chemical exfoliators like glycolic acid and salicylic acid which can penetrate the layers of skin and exfoliate without causing friction.
7. Don’t use too many anti-acne ointments all together to treat acne: Use of benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, salicylic acid, clindamycin all together at different times during the day can cause excessive dryness which can further aggravate the condition.
8. Remember to moisturize skin well with a pH balanced moisturizer.
9. Make hyaluronic acid your skin’s best friend. Hyaluronic acid is great for all skin types because it reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and helps in locking moisture. It makes skin plump and smooth.
10. Spot treat as much as possible. When you are using anti-acne ointments and creams, use them only to spot treat without dabbing on the entire face.
11. Never use hot water to clean face or steam to open facial pores. Use lukewarm or cold water to wash face to close facial pores. Hot water will open up pores and rip the natural moisture barrier, making skin dry.
12. Use muslin or a soft cloth to wipe the face, do not rub, just dab and soak the wetness with a soft face towel.
13. Wipe off every trace of makeup before hitting the bed, do not leave makeup on, even if says “non-comedogenic.”
14. Use fragrance-free makeup and skincare products because added fragrance tends to irritate sensitive and dry skin.
15. Your harsh and strongly perfumed detergent might be one of the reasons leading to breakouts, switch to mild detergents to wash all clothes.
16. Some makeup, along with many skin and hair care products, contain oil or other ingredients that can cause acne breakouts.
17. Wash your face only two to three times in a day. Frequent washing can deplete natural oils from the skin leading to dryness.
18. Apply a warm compress with tea tree oil on the breakouts.
19. Apply raw honey all over the face – honey has anti-microbial properties, calms down inflammation, and adds moisture and hydration to the skin.
20. Make a face pack with besan, milk cream or raw milk, a pinch of turmeric, and squeeze in a vitamin E capsule. Mix well, apply on face, and rinse off after 20 minutes.
21. Mint, Neem and Orange Peel Powder Mask: Mix together all three and add a tbsp of honey and curd. This mask not only helps clear out acne, it moisturizes and hydrates skin too.