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If I have dry skin and acne what products should I use?

  • Dry, acne-prone skin is a combination of skin type (dry) and skin concern (acne).
  • Prescribed acne treatments and harsh cleansers can leave skin tight and uncomfortable.
10 Aug 2020

It is often assumed that acne-prone skin is a consequence of a naturally oily skin type. However, it is also possible to have both dry skin and acne. Here's why, and how you can treat both acne and dry skin at the same time by using the right skincare.

Skin types vs. skin concerns: dry skin and acne

Much like the natural colour of our hair, we are all born with a skin type, which are divided into five categories: sensitive, dry, normal, oily and combination. There's nothing you can do to change your skin type, but it may evolve over time, and there are products that can help improve certain skin type characteristics.

Skin concerns, however, are issues that can occur on any skin type and – while some are also genetically connected – are often caused by environmental and/or lifestyle conditions. Skin concerns include eczema, dehydration, pigmentation and acne.

This makes it possible for someone to have dry acne-prone skin.

The drying effects of acne treatments and scrubs

Another factor that can leave acne-prone skin feeling dry and tight is undergoing treatment for acne. Many topical retinoids and antibiotics are known to dry out the skin, especially in the early stages of treatment.

Abrasive scrubs and harsh cleansers can also have an inverse effect, removing precious natural oils from the skin and drying it out, which often results in the skin over-producing more sebum to compensate, resulting in yet another breakout (a vicious circle).

Overnight spot development

You might go to sleep with perfectly clear-looking skin, but by the morning a build-up of oil and/or skin irritation can leave you with a major acne breakout, or even just one red, angry spot. Avoid starting the day with an unwelcome surprise by ensuring your skin is in good condition. In the evening, apply a blemish-treating moisturiser that won't dry out the skin such as Effaclar Duo[+] from La Roche-Posay. Its gentle yet effective formula works to rebalance the skin's sebum and unclog pores. Plus, it is also effective at helping to reducing the red and brown marks often left behind after aggressive break-outs.

Manage skin during the day

Those who suffer from acne often find that factors such as stress, pollution and perspiration can all make the skin feel more oily, exacerbating acne and regular spots. The trick for long-term healthy skin is once again a question of balancing the skin's oil production and microbiome. You want to hydrate your dry skin, but not overload with a greasy texture, nor dry it out even further.

La Roche-Posay's Toleriane Ultra Fluid is a gentle fluid moisturiser specifically formulated for sensitive, reactive skin. Its minimalist, hypoallergenic formula has been approved by Allergy UK. As well as providing instant soothing relief for red, inflamed skin, it provides essential moisture to dry skin, but won't provoke the appearance of spots (thanks to its non-comedogenic ingredients). Use alongside a gentle cleanser.

Remember, if you're struggling with acne, don't hesitate to see a qualified dermatologist who'll be able to diagnose your skin type, concerns, and the most adapted course of treatment for your situation.

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