Skin care

Can Dry Skin Cause Acne?

How Can You Treat Acne Caused BY Dry Skin?

Does dry skin cause acne? This is a common question for people with dry skin, especially those who have experienced breakouts.

Can Dry Skin Cause Acne
Can Dry Skin Cause Acne

Generally, acne is associated with oily-skin. However, dry skin can also cause breakouts. Breakouts occur when skin pores get clogged. Dirt, bacteria and cosmetic products are the major causes of acne in dry skin. 

Lipid layer protects your skin from potential irritants like viruses, bacteria, and fungi. It’s also responsible for maintaining reliable cell turnover.

When your skin is dry, it’s difficult for your skin to function normal. These malfunctions are responsible for skin cell buildup on the skin surface and might cause acne breakouts. 

To prevent acne breakouts on your dry skin, it is very critical to identify the major cause. Understanding the right cosmetic for your skin is critical. Cleansing your face to remove dead skin is also essential. You should also moisturize your face using acne prone products made for dry sensitive skin.  

Is My Skin Dry or Dehydrated?

Does dry skin cause acne? If your skin is dry and your experiencing acne, it is good to determine if your skin is naturally dry or dehydrated. There is a difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin. Dry skin is a type of skin just like combined skin or oily skin. Dehydrated skin means that there is insufficient water in the skin. 

Dehydrated skin appears dull, wrinkled, and it does not have elasticity. People with dehydrated skin appear older than their actual age. 

You can test your skin by pinching a small part of your skin like cheek, abdomen, and chest or back of your hand.  Dehydrated skin will take longer to bounce back while hydrated skin will bounce back instantly.

If your skin is dehydrated, you can use glycerin, aloe, honey, lactic acid, citric acid or ceramide to rehydrate. 

Oral hydration is also very critical. Remember to increase your water intake level and consume water-rich food.  Watermelon, cucumber, and Celery are perfect fruits for hydrating your skin.

What Causes Dry Skin? 

That feeling of tightness in your skin after shower or swimming is the major sign of dry skin. The skin might itch, flake or scale. In severe cases of dry skin, one might experience a deep crack that bleeds when irritated.

Here Are Some of the Major Causes of Dry Skin




Genetic means that you inherited the condition from either or both parents. When you are born with dry skin, you need to understand how to treat and maintain your skin without causing further damages to your skin.


Cleaning Habits


Hot water, steam, and long bath are not good for your skin especially if you are struggling with dry skin. Hot water tends to deprive your skin of essential oils. 

When you have dry, sensitive skin, it is crucial to avoid harsh soaps. You should just use plain, lukewarm water to clean your face. 


Lack of Moisturizing 


The key to maintaining dry skin is moisturizing your skin regularly. Use heavier moisturizer creams during winter and lighter during summer.


Lack SPF


Direct sunlight dehydrates the skin and can aggravate acne breakouts. Use sunscreen every time you have outdoor activities. 

How to Treat Dry Skin 

In most cases, acne is associated with oily-skin. However, people with dry skin are also likely to experience breakouts.

If you are buying acne treatment over the counter, it is critical to understand that there are acne treatment products made for dry skin. 

Here Is Steps You Can Follow To Treat Acne on A Dry Skin


Choosing The Right Acne Treatment Products For Dry Skin


All acne treatments cause dryness. However, some forms like water-based and astringents are more drying than lotions, ointments, or creams. You should, therefore, use lotions, creams or ointments forms to treat acne when you have dry skin.


Be Patient and Gentle on Your Skin


You are likely to experience severe skin peeling, dryness and irritation during the first weeks of acne treatment. Therefore, it is good if you go slowly to your medication. You can start off by using the treatment three days a week to give your skin a breathing space. 

If your skin is still severely irritating despite slow start offs, you can consult your dermatologist. Some dermatologists may advise you to leave the treatment for 20-30minutes and then wash it off until your skin adapts to the medication.


Don’t Forget to Regularly Moisturize Your Skin 


Moisturize your skin with the right moisturizers. You can use non-acnegenic or non-comedogenic moisturizers that are oil-free. You can also apply a moisturizer before applying acne treatment to avoid over dryness. 

Here Are 5 Best-Recommended Moisturizers 


Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion

CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion
CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion


  • The Product is Non Comedogenic, Hypoallergenic, Fragrance Free and Oil free Moisturizer.
  • The moisturizer keeps your skin moisturized for 24 hours.
  • Cerave Moisturizer contains ceramides, which is essential for restoring and maintaining the skin natural protection. 

Buy Cerave Daily Moisturizing Lotion


Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer

Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer
Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer


  • The non-comedogenic moisturizer is perfect for dry skin as it does not contain drying alcohol. 
  • It’s oil-free, fragrance free and hypoallergenic.
  • It’s water-based and lightweight formula hence cannot clog your pores
  • It is tested by dermatologists.

Buy Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer Here


Cetaphil Dermacontrol Moisturizer

Cetaphil Dermacontrol Moisturizer
Cetaphil Dermacontrol Moisturizer


  • The product is designed for acne-prone skin
  • Contains SPF 30 which is good for UV protection.
  • The moisturizer is lightweight and mattifying.
  • Controls shine and oil and hydrate skin.

Buy Cetaphil Dermacontrol Moisturizer


Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer

Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer


  • Contains broad spectrum of SPF 15 for sunscreen protection.
  • Clinically proven for natural radiant skin.
  • It’s hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic formula
  • It’s powered by total soy complex to brighten your skin.
  • It’s oil-free and non-greasy 

Buy Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer


St. Ives Timeless Skin Facial Moisturizer

St. Ives Timeless Skin Facial Moisturizer
St. Ives Timeless Skin Facial Moisturizer


  • 100% natural moisturizer.
  • Clinically tested by dermatologists
  • Contain safflower to give you a healthy and youthful skin.
  • It’s affordable 

Buy St. Ives Timeless Skin Facial Moisturizer 


Use Non-Forming Cleansers


Cleansers can be harsh to dry skin. Non-foaming cleansers are also recognized as lotions or cream cleansers. They are a bit gentle on dry skin than foaming cleansers. 

Here Are Some of the Recommended Cleansers for Dry Acne-Prone Skin

  1. Cerave Hydrating Face Wash
  2. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
  3. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser
  4. Olay Sensitive Facial Cleanser with Hungarian Water Essence
  5. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Gel Cleanser


  • Avoid over washing your face


You can wash your face only once a day to avoid stripping your skin the little oil that is very critical to reduce dryness on your skin. Remember to only tap your face when drying rather than rubbing with a towel. 

Home Remedies for Dry Acne-Prone Skin

Tomato Pulp

Tomato Pulp
Tomato Pulp

Tomatoes contain vitamins A, C, and K, which are all known as acne treatment agents. Acne treatment lotions and crèmes contain those vitamins. The acid contained in the tomatoes is also good for drying up acne breakouts.


Potatoes contain vitamin C which is good for the production of collagen. It can also prevent and treat damages caused by the UV. Vitamin B also present in potatoes is a good agent for skin regeneration.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice
Lemon juice

The acid present in lemon juice can dry up acne almost instantly.


Garlic is popularly known to be the number one home remedy for skin treatment. Sulphur, zinc calcium and allicin are present in a garlic clove and are all known to possess antibiotic and antifungal properties.




Cucumber relieves skin irritation as it acts as a skin coolant. Cucumber can also act as a moisturizer and hence good for dry skin.   

If after using these home remedies your skin is still irritant consult your dermatologist for further treatment.   

Final Tips on How to Maintain Dry Acne Prone Skin

Experiencing dry and acne-prone skin can difficult. Treating and maintaining it is also not easy. Most treatments used to cure acne are known to cause dryness. However, it’s not impossible to treat and maintain dry acne-prone skin.

Here Are A Few Steps to Guide You 

Educate Yourself First

You can not risk aggravating your skin condition by using the wrong treatment for acne. It is, therefore, critical to gain knowledge on what ingredients might work or worsen your skin.  This knowledge will help you choose the right products for your skin. 


Gently Massage Your Face 


  • When applying your moisturizer, gently massage your face in a downward motion. 
  • Massaging your face improves your lymphatic a system which is responsible for bringing nutrients and carrying waste away from body cells.
  • A sluggish lymphatic system can cause breakouts and dry skin. 


Be Cautious When Exfoliating 


  • When your skin is dry, fruit acid peel is best to rejuvenate your skin without over-drying. 
  • Green apple peel is perfect for exfoliating dry skin.

Here Is a Table of the Ingredients That Might Improve or Worsen Your condition  

Ingredients  Pros and Cons 
Benzoyl Peroxide Good for acne treatment but not good for dry skin. It’s so drying
Salicylic Acid  Also well known for acne treatment but it’s also drying so not good for dry skin
Glactoarabinan  The best alternative for salicylic and Benzoyl. 

Used to exfoliate and it’s an anti-inflammatory 

Hyaluronic Acid  Good for skin hydration 

Good for removing dead skin build-up

Jojoba  Good for skin  nourishment  
Zinc  Good for balancing your skin 

Good for preventing of overproduction of oil that might lead to more breakouts

Retinoid Very effective for acne treatment

Does not over-dry your skin


Girl 19

I just turned 19, puberty is the most afraid of acne. Types of acne are scary. This blog is where I record the experiences gained from my acne treatment process and learn online

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