Medically reviewed by Minimalist Health Specialist -  Written by Akruti Khandkar (Journalist)  on 21st Oct 2020

Struggling with dry skin and acne? Here's what you should know!

dry skin and acne

Acne and dry skin are fundamental conditions that influence numerous individuals. Both are benign but can be awkward and may require treatment.

The dry skin may contribute to acne, yet it can likewise indicate a hidden condition, for example, dermatitis.

In this article, we talk about the causes and treatment of acne and dry skin. We likewise give a few hints on forestalling these conditions through skincare tips. 

What is acne?  

Acne is a broad term for skin blemishes. For example,  

  • pimples  
  • blackheads  
  • whiteheads  

Acne is usually connected with oily skin. Oil generates when the sebaceous organs produce a lot of sebum. Sebum is a characteristic skin oil that greases up and secures the skin. An excess can lead to acne and clogged pores.

Even though oily skin and acne are inseparable, acne can also likewise occur in dry skin.

Anything that blocks your pores can cause breakouts. And keeping in mind that sebum is a typical guilty one, it's not alone.  

The curious combination of acne and dry skin 

If the oil is the reason for most acne, you may be thinking, why is my dry skin unendingly canvassed in pimples and blackheads? All skin produces sebum—even dry skin.  

The curious combination of acne and dry skin 

- The skin is dry to such an extent that numerous dead layers have aggregated on a superficial level. If you don't exfoliate consistently, this dead skin can trap oil in your pores, causing acne.

Your natural skin isn't dry, yet acne treatment(which was perhaps aggressive for the skin) has left it aggravated and flaky. Often, irritation makes your skin produce an overabundance of oil. However, the flakiness shrouds how oily your skin is in reality.

- Your dry skin may have an allergic reaction. Have you changed your eating routine lately, switched personal care items, or been in contact with anything new? 

What causes acne and dry skin?  

The skin contains heaps of hair follicles from which hair develops. Acne is the consequence of these getting blocked.
Little glands close to the skin's surface produce sebum, an oil that keeps the skin from drying out. They can deliver an excess of sebum, which blocks the hair follicle. Different debris, for example, dead skin, additionally develops.

When hair follicles become obstructed, they create a bump in the skin. These are either whiteheads or clogged pores. Microorganisms can likewise develop and worsen the condition.

Similarly, when the skin needs moisture, it gets dry and textured. To neutralize the dryness, glands underneath the skin may deliver more sebum. The abundance of sebum and dry skin can develop to cause skin inflammation that leads to acne. In this way, acne and dry skin can happen together.

Treatments for acne and dry skin 

Individuals with both acne and dry skin should pay attention to treating both conditions without irritating either. A specialist or dermatologist can offer guidance for these types of cases.

But to treat acne and dry skin, start the process with treating dry skin. One way to approach this is to pick items that will enable your skin to hold moisture. 

Dry skin treatment  

Dry skin is generally the consequence of an underlying condition, for example, dermatitis, which individuals all call eczema. Treating the requirement will lessen dry skin.

Medicines for dry skin may include utilizing a moisturizer, which decreases dryness in the skin. Moisturizer generally comes as a lotion, oil, or cream.

A more vital concentration moisturizer contains lactic acid or urea. These substances help the skin hold water; however, it can cause stinging.

In some cases, a dermatologist may recommend immunosuppressant or corticosteroids drugs. These medicines are more viable yet have some side-effects, such as skin infection, so refer to your dermo before using it.  

Acne treatment 

Various over-the-counter gels, moisturizers, or creams are accessible for acne.

These medicines typically contain benzoyl peroxide, a substance for treating mellow instances of skin break out. Benzoyl peroxide decreases microscopic organisms and irritation on the skin.

Acne can make your skin feel slick and oily, so a moisturizer might be the exact opposite you'd consider using. However, a light moisturizer might be precisely what you need in case you're utilizing one of the treatments:  

These medicines will, in general dry and aggravate the skin. Utilizing a moisturizer each day can enable your skin to endure these prescriptions.

Remember, when your skin gets dry, your body makes more oil. The additional oil can clog up your pores, which may prompt more breakouts. Skin suitable moisturizers can keep your skin from getting dry and disturbed.

In moderate-to-serious instances of acne, a specialist may propose prescribed drugs. These medicines could incorporate antibiotics or retinoid creams or tablets.

Antibiotics will help battle the microorganisms on the skin and forestall any skin diseases. Retinoid creams eliminate dead skin to prevent it from amassing in the hair follicles.  


Regardless of which medicines you're utilizing, use them effectively. Try not to slather on additional, or all the more frequently, than coordinated. This will put your skin on a most optimized fastening plan to peeling, flaking, and dryness.  

Some suggestions by NCBI (National Centre for Biotechnology Information.) 

  • Effective treatments, including BP, SA, retinoids, and anti-inflammation agents, are compelling in acne treatment; however, they can have adverse effects, such as dryness and irritation.
  • An accompanying utilization of moisturizers can upgrade adequacy, reduce dryness, and improve skin comfort.  
  • Salicylic acid will most probably cause skin peeling when applied at a 2% concentration or more. Thus, moisturizing properties in the items can calm the disturbance impact of SA.  
  • Retinols and BP are viewed as irritative operators. BP has a more prominent movement than topical (iso) tretinoin against incendiary injuries, while retinoids function admirably for comedolytic impacts and decline sebum discharge.  
  • Dimethicone and glycerine were the most widely recognized ingredients found in the items.  
  • Dimethicone lessens TEWL without an oily feel and contains both emollient and occlusive properties. It is reasonable for acne and sensitive skin as it is hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. 
  • Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone are silicone derivatives and generally utilized in oil-free products. 

Change your skincare routine to calm dry skin  

Heal your dry skin and forestall its return with a little change in your way. Dermatologist recommends some steps:

1. Don't expose dry skin to hot showers. At the point when the humidity drops or your skin feels dry, make sure to:  

  • Close the restroom door.  
  • Use warm instead of excessively hot water.  
  • Limit/restrict your time in the shower to 5 or 10 minutes.
  • Wash with a delicate, fragrance-free cleanser.  
  • Use enough cleaner to eliminate oil and dirt, abstain from utilizing a lot (not too much foam).  
  • Pad your skin tenderly dry with a towel.  

2. Apply moisturizer following washing. Creams, ointments, and lotions work by catching existing moisture in your skin. To trap this essential moisture, you have to apply a moisturizer after a couple of moments of:

  • Drying off after a shower or shower
  • Washing your face or hands

3. Use a treatment or cream instead of a lotion. Ointments and creams are more compelling and less disturbing than lotions. Search for an ointment or cream that contains at least one of the ingredients:  

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4. Wear lip emollient. Pick a lip ointment that feels great on the lips. In any case, your lips sting or tingle after applying for the lip medicine, change to one that doesn't cause this response.

5. Use just delicate, fragrance-free skincare items. Some healthy skin items, for example, deodorant soaps, are excessively brutal for dry, sensitive skin. Dermatologists suggest utilizing items named "fragrance-free."

If you come across the word "unscented," the item can contain synthetics that kill or shroud different ingredients' smells. These synthetic compounds can bother dry, delicate skin.

6. If you have Dry skin, quit utilizing skincare items that contain:  

  • Alcohol (aside from hand sanitizer)  
  • Fragrance
  • Retinoids  

Evading these items will enable your skin to hold its natural oils.

7. Wear gloves. Our hands are regularly the primary spot. We notice dry skin. You can decrease dry, crude skin by putting on gloves before you:  

  • Go outside in winter.  
  • Perform tasks that expect you to get your hands wet.  
  • Get oils, chemicals, and different substances on your hands.

8. Choose non-bothering garments and laundry detergent. At the point when our skin is dry, even garments and clothing cleanser can cause discomfort. 

To avoid this:

o Wear cotton or silk under your woolen attire or another material that feels rough.

o Use clothing detergent marked "hypoallergenic."  

9. Stay warm without cozying up to a chimney or other warmth source. The warmth from the open fire can cause dryness.  


Caring for the skin is very important from the start to forestall acne and dry skin. Nonetheless, a few conditions, for example, dermatitis, are hard to forestall.  

A few ways of diminishing acne flare-ups and dry skin include:  

  • avoid cosmetics or other skin items containing ingredients that aggravate the skin  
  • look for items that have "non-comedogenic on the mark  
  • avoid switching acne treatment medicines, as a few —for example, benzoyl peroxide — takes time to work 
  • wash out all cosmetics off before bed  
  • avoid washing the face too often, as this may dry the skin and create additional bothering
  • remove sweat by touching the skin with a towel as opposed to scouring it  
  • avoid contacting or crushing acne  
  • use a delicate cleanser on the face as opposed to cleaning the skin  
  • avoid tanning beds and limiting time in the sun 
  • apply moisturizer following washing to enable the skin to hold water  
  • use fragrance-free skincare items that are delicate on the skin  
  • choose a detergent for washing clothes that doesn't bother the skin  
  • use a humidifier to keep dampness noticeable all around  


Acne and dry skin can be a tricky combination, especially since acne curing medications can worsen dryness.

Pay attention to the skin's hydration may be the only way to battle acne. Consult your dermatologist if you are confused and have a severe problem.