Dehydrated skin plus acne is a frustrating combination that can be difficult to handle. I can relate because, yes, I have been there, struggling with dehydrated skin with acne breakouts all over and worse, with no health insurance to cover it.
To say I was distressed is an understatement, and it took me quite some time to discover that my skin was dehydrated hence the acne breakouts. Luckily I’ll share some tips that helped me out.
I learned that although acne is often associated with oily skin, it also occurs with dry skin. Most importantly, understand what is happening to your skin, the products you need to use, and those you need to avoid and establish an ideal skincare routine.
For you to treat dehydrated acne-prone skin, start by addressing dry skin, which means choosing products that help your skin retain the most moisture. Below are some tips on how to fix dehydrated acne-prone skin.
Normalize hydrating and washing your face once a day
Your skin is dehydrated, probably because you are not getting enough water. So, drink up as much water as possible to keep your skin hydrated.
Although washing your face removes the irritants and debris clogging your skin pores, overwashing your face can rob your already dehydrated skin of moisture. Your goal is to retain the most moisture on your skin, so it is only wise to wash your face once a day.
Also, avoid touching your face often as it can transfer dirt from your hands, triggering acne breakouts.
Cleanse with a gentle cleanser
It is good to use a cleanser to remove bacteria, oil, and dirt on your face. However, since you are dealing with dry skin, you have to be gentle.
Using harsh cleansers and being too aggressive with cleansing brushes, especially those with stiff bristles, only harms your skin further.
Thankfully, a gentle cleanser containing hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acids and glycerin can open up your pores without further dehydrating the skin. It is good to cleanse your dry skin with lukewarm water rather than hot water, which will likely damage your skin surface.
Use an oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturizer
After gently cleansing your face, pat your skin dry instead of wiping. Remember that rubbing your already dehydrated skin can cause irritation and even worsen dryness.
Then apply an oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturizer right after cleansing to retain the moisture in your skin. If possible, you can use a humidifier to increase the humidity in the air to help reduce skin dryness.
Be mindful of using acne products
One of the solutions many people rush to when they notice breakouts on their skin is buying over-the-counter acne products. Most acne products typically work by reducing oil production on your skin because acne is associated with too much sebum production, which clogs pores leading to breakouts.
That is why many acne products, including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, have a drying effect that manifests in the form of flaky, dry patches.
Other common culprits that may be messing up with your skin include drying soaps, face washes with fragrances and dyes, toners and astringents with high alcohol content, and other irritating ingredients such as menthol, eucalyptus, witch hazel, and citruses.
Therefore you should be mindful of such products when dealing with dehydrated skin as they can cause you more damage than a solution. Skipping daily sunscreen use can also damage your skin further.
Maximize certain medications
Medications like retinoids can effectively treat dehydrated skin prone to acne. You can maximize your use of retinoids like tretinoin or adapalene to minimize your use of harsh acne products like salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide.
Generally, face products with retinol, niacinamide, and vitamin C can reduce the pores and improve a dull, uneven skin tone to restore your skin to look healthy.
But you should be careful when using these treatments; it is best to apply the medication only on affected areas or the actual blemishes rather than your whole face. Moreover, it is advisable to start with a lower dose of acne medication to handle acne while reducing the dryness.
Avoid exfoliating your face
Typically, exfoliating causes a drying effect on the skin and can be irritating. You should avoid exfoliating products containing alpha-hydroxy acids because they can strip your face its natural oils.
With your unique skincare needs, you have to find common ground to address acne and dehydration. That means establishing a skincare routine with lightweight formulas to avoid clogging pores and make your skin oilier. The key takeaways include:
- Choose gentle cleansers.
- Be mindful of acne products with a drying effect like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
- Maximize certain medications like retinoids.
- Use oil-free moisturizers.
- Avoid exfoliating your face and normalize hydrating.