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Because acne starts when the body produces excess sebum (oil), it’s easy to associate acne with shiny, oily skin. The truth is, acne can affect all skin types – oily, normal, combination and yes, even dry skin. And topical acne medications may cause additional skin dryness since some ingredients are designed to kill the p. acnes bacteria and unclog pores. Getting rid of your acne may seem contrary to managing and hydrating dry skin, but it is possible with the right products.
Your body already provides a certain amount of hydration for your skin from natural oils (aka "lipids") and hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a lubricating, clear substance that the body produces naturally and is found primarily in the skin and joints. It’s also a popular ingredient in skincare products because it can help with elasticity, flexibility and increased moisture. Both oil and hyaluronic acid help create a protective barrier for your skin that can help retain collagen and moisture. When these become imbalanced, your skin can lose moisture leading to dehydration, dryness, irritation and redness.
When it comes to your skin, genetics and hormones determine many of its characteristics such as acne, skin type and the amount of oil your skin naturally creates. That’s why some people with dry skin can still get acne, while a person with oily skin may have a clear complexion. Oil production naturally decreases with age in both men and women. However, a reduction of hormones, especially estrogen, can make dry skin a common problem in perimenopausal and menopausal women.
Cold weather, windy climates with little humidity, or too much sun exposure can wreak havoc on your skin’s moisture. And it’s not just the outdoor elements. Indoor environments such as forced air heating systems or being around too much cigarette smoke can cause also skin dehydration. Room humidifiers that increase the water content of your environment can help. Harsh soaps and alcohol-based astringents may also dry out your skin, as can oral medications like isotretinoin or medical conditions such as thyroid disease so always pay attention to your body, and your skin, when trying new products and medications
If too much oil can increase the chance of acne, but too little can cause dryness, then getting rid of acne while experiencing dry skin can seem challenging. So what are the best tactics to treat both conditions at the same time? When it comes to medication, some prescription and over-the-counter medicines tend to dry out facial skin.
When you try a new topical acne treatment, if it causes redness or irritation, opt for a milder version that contains a lower dosage of acne medication and see if your skin responds more favorably to it. Another option is to reduce the frequency of your topical acne medicine applications. Sometimes starting out with a once a day application and then gradually increasing to twice a day can make a big difference. Some people with naturally dry and sensitive skin, fear that moisturizers specifically formulated for dry skin will be heavier and worsen their breakouts by clogging pores. However, if you don’t moisturize, your skin can become too dry, signaling your body to produce more sebum. Always use noncomedogenic moisturizers and try different ones specifically made for day and night time.
All Proactiv three-step systems are formulated to address both dry skin and acne. For example, Proactiv Solution® is formulated with sodium hyaluronate, a humectant that draws moisture to the skin. Dry face skin will also appreciate ingredients like allantoin and panthenol, both among the best moisturizers for dry skin.
The third step in the Proactiv+ acne treatment system is the Complexion Perfecting Hydrator, a moisturizer for dry skin containing a proprietary moisturizing complex with omegas (oils) and hyaluronic acid, a powerful humectant able to hold hundreds of times its weight in water. This moisturizer for dry skin, medicated with salicylic acid, helps restore the moisture barrier as it clears pores.
If you have dry skin and acne, rest assured that the Proactiv acne treatment systems have been formulated with you in mind. They are all designed to help clear breakouts and keep new ones from forming, and include some of the best dry skin moisturizers to help keep skin soft and hydrated.