How to Treat Dry Skin with Acne

People might generally associate acne with oily skin, but babes with dry skin can get breakouts too! Acne occurs whenever the pores in your skin get clogged. Though oil is a frequent culprit, dead skin cells, makeup, dirt and bacteria can also clog your pores and cause acne.

Related article: 7 Little Things You Probably Do All The Time That Could Be Causing Acne

With most acne-targeting products on the market being drying on the skin, how do you actually combat acne if you skin is already dry?

1. Avoid harsh products

Most acne treatments on the market work by drying the skin, and in an effort to treat your acne, you can end up disrupting your skin’s barrier function instead. This, in turn, makes your skin even more susceptible to acne, leading to a vicious breakout cycle!

We would recommend avoiding cleansers with high-pH or harsh detergents, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). Popular acne treatments like benzoyl peroxide and retinoids are also generally more suitable for those with oily skin types, as they can cause further dryness. 

2. Look for these ingredients instead!

There are great skin care ingredients out there that you can use to combat both dryness and help rid the skin of acne! Here are some of them:

  • Honey: Honey is one of our favourite ingredients because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, making it a great natural treatment for acne. It's also a humectant, which means that it helps the skin lock in moisture at the same time. We recommend checking out some of our favourite honey-infused products like the COSRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight MaskBeauty of Joseon Glow Serum or the By Wishtrend Polyphenol in Propolis 15% Ampoule.
  • Centella Asiatica: This ingredient is both anti-inflammatory and wound-healing, meaning it will help calm any existing angry pimples while preventing acne scars from forming at the same time. COSRX has recently released their centella-packed Pure Cica line, which is perfect for calming acne-prone skin without drying it out.COSRX Pure Cica Nudie Glow Korean Skin Care Australia
  • Snail Mucin: Snail mucin is not only great for hydration and fighting wrinkles, it also has anti-microbial properties to fight off acne-causing bacteria. You can check out our snail skin care collection here!

3. Moisturise smartly

You can still moisturise your skin without causing breakouts. All you need to do is be careful of the type of moisturiser you use! We recommend sticking to oil-free formulas that won't feel thick on the skin, or make it difficult to layer other products.

We love the COSRX Oil Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion, which is packed with birch sap for treating inflamed skin and breakouts. The Heimish Cica Live Repair Cream is also another moisturising product you can check out to help fortify weakened skin barrier and soothe acne-prone skin.

Heimish Cica Live Repair Cream Nudie Glow Korean Skin Care Australia

4. Exfoliate gently

Over-exfoliating does not only irritate the skin, it can also allow easier access for acne-causing bacteria. Using harsh scrubs or exfoliators while you're breaking out can also cause the infection to spread to other parts of your face.

To avoid these problems, opt for a chemical exfoliant like AHA or BHA which increases cell turnover and reduces the buildup of dry skin cell. If you're a fan of physical exfoliation, use something more gentle on the skin like the RE:P Cotton Treatment Toning Pad.

RE:P Cotton Treatment Toning Pad Nudie Glow Korean Skin Care Australia

5. Sometimes, less is more!

Here's the best tip you'll ever get for dealing with acne: Leave it alone! Over time, your skin will eventually heal itself and the acne will go away. Attacking your pores and layering all the acne-targeting products you have in your skin care arsenal might be tempting, but it will more often irritate your skin and dry it out further.

Do you have dry skin and acne? What’s your best skin care tip? Let us know in the comments below!

Shop now

"I regret taking such good care of my skin"

- Said no one ever