Dry skin often occurs in the winter from moisture-stripping products and after exposure to arid, humid-less climates. However, dry skin acne can occur when you least expect it. While acne and dry skin seem like a formidable combination, you can treat dry skin acne in many ways. 

Causes of Dry Skin Acne

To understand dry skin acne, let’s first revisit the cause of acne. When your hair follicles, and you have many, clog with dirt or oil, you may experience inflammation. If your pores are clogged, they may break open and invite bacteria to penetrate the skin’s deep layers. This creates acne, which appears on the skin’s surface. It may blister, peel, ooze, become red, or cause slight pain. 

Yikes! When your skin is dry, your body tries to produce more sebum, a natural oil. Excess sebum may clog your pores and trigger more acne. If you do not treat your dry skin, you’ll end up in a vicious cycle of dry skin acne. Be sure to read on before you reach for your favorite acne treatment. Many acne treatments will dry out your skin, so you do not want to cause your skin to dry out even more. 

How to Treat Dry Skin Acne

One Two Punch – Instead of treating one or the other, consider treating both at the same time. Standard acne treatments are typically astringent. They are made to dry out the acne blemishes to heal the area. Even water-based gels can dry your skin further. So what is the best solution? Consider a lotion, ointment, or cream to treat both your acne and dry skin. Moisturizing your skin should not contribute to excess oil production but rather help balance things out.

Take Your Time – You may want to resolve your symptoms immediately, but healing takes time. If you start a new acne treatment, you may not see results immediately. Be sure to give your skin the proper time to reap the benefits of treatment. 

Non-Foaming Cleansers Are Your Friend – Some foaming cleansers can dry out your skin even more (if you have dry skin). To be on the safe side, you may want to use a cream or lotion cleanser to clean your skin and moisturize it simultaneously. 

Skip Over Washing – Even though you may think more water will hydrate your skin, water doesn’t work topically. If you overwash your skin, you’ll strip your skin of the natural oils necessary to keep it moisturized. Simply washing your skin may not do much for your acne, either. Stick to washing your face only twice a day.

Use Warm Water – One of the key things to remember when treating dry skin is to avoid washing with hot scolding water. You want to use warm or cool water. One of your goals is to do whatever you can to eliminate drying your skin even more as you treat dry skin acne. 

Don’t Sleep in your Makeup – After a long day or a late night, it can be very tempting to fall asleep with a face full of makeup. However, this can clog your pores, cause acne, and even dry out your skin. Always wash your face free of makeup before going to bed. 

Try Forever Clear Treatment – For an extra acne-fighting boost, try Forever Clear BBL.™ This cutting-edge acne treatment uses the power of light to clear acne without creams or medicine effectively. The safe but intense lights eliminate acne-causing bacteria at their source, deep down in the pores, reducing the inflammation and acne-associated redness gives you healthy, luminous skin, all while initiating the body’s natural healing process. If you have dry skin acne, this treatment is an excellent choice for you. Just note a series of treatments is recommended for maximum results. 

Skip Exfoliation for Now – Exfoliation is excellent for helping clean your skin and getting rid of dead, flaky, scaley skin. However, exfoliation can also dry your skin as well thanks to the alpha hydroxy acids in the product formulas. Avoid while you are treating your dry skin acne. 

Treatment for Dry Skin Acne Scars

Sometimes, when acne is severe, it can cause skin indentations or scarring. While neither of these outcomes is desirable, consider these treatment options to take steps to flawless skin. 

Dermal Fillers – Your skin relies on many different elements to remain healthy, supple, and radiant. One such element is hyaluronic acid. This compound hydrates your skin and adds volume to injection sites. Dermal fillers contain non-permanent synthetic hyaluronic acid. The gel adds volume and hydration when fillers are injected under the skin’s surface. Results are immediate, but maximum results are usually visible within 2-5 days after treatment. Dermal fillers are a great treatment option for acne skin indentations or scarring. Your practitioner can target specific areas on your skin, allowing the dermal filler to ‘fill’ and safely volumize any indentations. 

Facials – While a facial isn’t necessarily a treatment option recommended for dry skin acne, facials are a great treatment option for smoothing and repairing damaged skin, including for acne scars. Facials usually involve deep exfoliation to brighten your complexion. A facial may even help rebalance your skin, helping combat breakouts in the future. 

Chemical Peels – Maybe you need something a little more substantial than a facial. If you experience excessive acne scarring, a chemical peel may be in order. In fact, winter is an excellent time for a chemical peel since you’re less likely to expose your skin to the sun during the colder months. In case you don’t know, a chemical peel improves the texture of your skin by resurfacing the skin’s surface. A chemical solution with naturally occurring acids will prompt your skin’s top layer to peel. The fresh skin layer underneath is more hydrated and healthier, which can reduce the appearance of age spots and acne scars. 

Preventing Dry Skin Acne

Now that you know the causes and some treatments of dry skin acne, you may be wondering what steps you can take to prevent it from occurring. 

Wear Sunscreen – You should wear sunscreen in winter, spring, summer, and fall. It doesn’t matter if it is cloudy or very sunny. Be sure to protect your skin before heading outside. Sun damage is one of the primary causes of premature skin aging. It can also weaken your skin’s natural defense barriers, making skin prone to breakouts and dryness. Regular sunscreen application will help reduce your skin’s inflammation as well as the appearance of dark spots on your skin once your acne has healed. 

Don’t Rub Your Sweat Dry – After a rigorous workout, you will probably sweat. It is tempting to grab your shirt or the back of your hand to wipe the sweat from your face. Instead, grab a clean and dry towel and gently pat the sweat from your face. This will help you avoid irritating your skin with your own sweat. 

Don’t Share Makeup Brushes or Makeup – Everyone’s skin is different. And everyone’s skin contains various compounds and elements that make it unique. Therefore, avoid borrowing your friends’ makeup brushes or directly applying their eyeliner/mascara to your own eyes. You can avoid breakouts using only your own tools or clean, sanitized, single-use makeup tools.

Moisturize Every Day – If you want to prevent dry skin acne, make moisturizer a part of your daily routine. Moisturizers lock in your skin’s natural moisture and protect your skin from the elements. You should moisturize your skin first and then apply your acne medication. This will allow the moisturizer to act as a buffer. 

Putting Your Best Face Forward this Year

Dry skin is no picnic, and dry skin acne is even more challenging to deal with. However, with the proper preventative measures and treatment options, you can move forward with bright, clear, and supple skin. If you’re not sure where to start, consider booking a consultation with First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic. The expert practitioners at First Impressions can help you choose the right facial, chemical peel, dermal fillers, and skincare products for you and your skin type.


New Year, radiant you. Give your skin a refreshing pick-me-up that achieves professional and, in some cases, dramatic results with Botox® injections. Learn more when you download our FREE ebook10 Truth Bombs about Botox® and Fillers You’ll Be Relieved to Know.