How to Treat Dry Skin with Acne and Clogged Pores
Solving the problem of dry skin with acne is no small matter considering how multifaceted and complex flare-ups can be. It is usually hard enough to treat recurrent cases of acne and having dry skin also in the picture does not help matters. What's more, the onset of dry skin clogged pores can be considered a tell-tale sign of hard-to-treat underlying dermatological conditions such as dermatitis. Either way, dry skin breakout requires a tentative approach and a meticulous skin care regimen. Here's how to deal with a frustrating dry skin whiteheads combination.
But First, Does Dry Skin Cause Acne?
You see, acne is a vast term that describes a number of facial problems that range from;
- Inflamed swellings
Nonetheless, despite the hugely-varying manifestations of this skin disorder, acne is typically associated with having oily skin and clogged pores. As such, having clogged pores and dry skin sounds a bit like an oxymoron considering that it is the sebum secreted by the sebaceous glands that usually goes on to block and clog one's skin pores thereby precipitating a breakout. The million-dollar question, therefore, is can dry skin cause pimples?
To answer the question, "Does dry skin cause pimples?" as comprehensively as possible, we have to first-of-all reflect on how acne comes about in the first place. Here's the thing; it is the clogging of follicles and skin pores that causes acne. In this case, having dry skin can translate to an excessive buildup of dead or worn out skin cells that later accumulate to block or clog your pores. What's more, there's a way having dry skin causes acne since your pores are more likely to break open consequently allowing acne-causing bacteria to penetrate deeper beneath your skin.
In addition to this, although dry skin is not one of the major causes of clogged pores, it can indirectly trigger the formation and production of copious amounts of sebum. This excess oil build up can later go on to trigger a vicious cycle of acne from dry skin.
How to Treat Dry Skin With Acne?
Truth be told, given how treacherous and frustrating dry flaky acne-prone skin is, it should not come as a surprise that there are literally hundreds of faux treatments, unproven products, old wives' remedies and scientifically-backed dermatologic procedures all aimed at getting at the bottom of this cesspool. Fortunately, however, we have done the hard work for you and unearthed the best and most practical ways of how to treat dry skin with acne. Here's a quick primer on that.
1. Start by Cleansing Your Face At Least Twice a Day
If you have dry skin and blackheads it should go without saying that your focus has to be how you can tackle both developments as comprehensively as possible without aggravating the other one. The best place to start is crafting a mild and non-irritating but still effective cleansing regimen that can keep your pores clear without necessarily stripping it of its precious natural oils. This is actually why having large pores dehydrated skin calls for a milky-textured cleanser that will minimize their size without causing an unwanted build up of debris.
2. Unblock Dry Clogged Pores Using a Retinol-based Medication
Considering that retinol is the world's most recognized skincare ingredient, it shouldn't come as a shock that it can be used to solve the quagmire of dry clogged pores. Apparently, the ingredient can be employed to slough away those dead skin cells that are behind the nightmare of having both dry skin and clogged pores. And by keeping your follicles clear, it helps in lowering the possibility of flare ups by keeping progressive build up of debris to a minimum.
Exercise caution when using retinol, however; having dry pores on face is a catch 22 situation considering that this skin care ingredient has a reputation for being irritating and causing too much dryness too. Retinol has also been blamed in the past for causing flaking in some users too. For this reason, dermatologists typically advise on using it very sparingly - twice or maybe once a week rather than nightly as in the case of other standard acne-bursting treatments.
3. Try Spot Treatment
Any reliable skincare for clogged pores has to involve spot treatment at some juncture. The reason for this is that the idea here is to fashion a targeted treatment that can address the problematic areas of your skin without necessarily drying out the rest of it. You see, accurately-formulated spot treatment tends to deliver potent doses of active ingredients (mostly either benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid) to the annoying pesky pimple without drying out the surrounding (non-problematic) area.
One excellent example of a spot treatment gem that could turn the tables to your advantage when dealing with dehydrated skin clogged pores is AENO's Acne Patches with Salicylic Acid. These patches focus on treating the inflamed pimples while keeping the rest of the face away from the line of fire. You, on the other hand, ought to focus on keeping the rest of your skincare routine for clogged pores consistent by making sure that you are always cleansing and moisturizing as often as advised.
That being said, if you choose to go for a spot treatment solution that utilizes benzoyl peroxide unlike salicylic acid (like AENO's above), go for one that has a concentration of between 1% to 2.5% to keep the irritation and dryness to the minimum.
4. Oral Medication
One of the main upsides of having a skin care routine for clogged pores that involves treatment of the pimples using an orally-administered medication is that you can steer clear of potentially-irritating and drying topical-based treatments altogether. An incredible example of this is spironolactone, which is an oral medication that has been shown to work best in women with hormone-induced acne coupled with dry skin. Speaking of which, one of the unmistakable tell-tale signs of this is having pimples around one's jawline.
Still on this, orally-administered antibiotics are also another way of tackling the problem of dry flaky acne-prone skin without aggravating the surrounding skin. You see, medications such as minocycline and doxycycline have been shown to work on the acne-triggering p.acnes bacteria and lessen both inflammation and reddening that sometimes results in painful red swellings.
5. Avoid Over-Exfoliating and Stripping Your Skin
Treat your skin very gently if you are having dry skin breakout- this means avoiding handheld mechanical face washers and loofah-type scrubbers that can be a little too harsh on the epidermis. Remember that this can increase dryness, irritation and worsen the breakout to the point of unsightly scarring occurring in the aftermath. Similarly, stay away from astringent and drying products. Most of these contain alcohol-based toners that do little to nothing to improve or treat your acne-related symptoms. What's more, they make it extremely difficult for your skin to tolerate more efficacious and helpful treatments such as retinoids.
6. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
There's no denying that sufferers of acne-prone skin are usually wary of moisture. But contrary to the common misconception, moisture is actually your best friend when you are dealing with dehydrated skin acne. Your skin needs as much quality moisture that it can get to repair broken pieces and, therefore, initiate a critical healing process that could later result in a flawless complexion in the long run.
7. Use a Reliable Sunblock to Protect Your Skin
The importance and relevance of a good sunblock cannot be understated when it comes to handling dry flaky acne-prone skin. Essentially you are looking at protecting your sensitive epidermis from the punishing and injurious UV light rays. Apart from this, a good sunblock typically tones down inflammation and reduces the conspicuousness of dark spots that usually remains long after the acne has gone. Use a sunblock with an SPF rating of at least 30 even on cloudy days. In short, wear sunscreen religiously.
8. Tweak Your Lifestyle to Keep Dry Skin at Bay
Even with the right skin care routine for clogged pores there could be external factors in your lifestyle that are predisposing you to dry skin thereby exacerbating your skin problems. For example, how well do you shield your precious skin from dry air during winter or when visiting extremely arid environments? That explains why, for instance, it is a good practice to use a humidifier in such conditions. The same goes for showers - avoid using scalding hot water in your bath. Instead go for lukewarm water while keeping your showers below 10 minutes at most.
Do Hyaluronic Acid Clogs Pores?
If you are dealing with dry skin pores, then there's a mighty good chance that you may have come across this humectant as one of the major ingredients in most solutions targeting dry skin. You may be wary of this humectant worsening your skin problems to the extent of worrying whether or not, does hyaluronic acid clog pores?
Well, the truth is that hyaluronic acid is one of the most effective serums you can use on your face considering that it is virtually non-comedogenic. In simple language, instead of clogging up your pores and hair follicles, it holds up and retains the moisture. This often translates to fewer pimples or acne breakouts in the long run. And there are several good reasons behind this observation, including;
- It is not a stingy serum or solution that would radiate or impart any skin allergy or inflammation. In other words, hyaluronic acid often suits almost all types of skin.
- It's a naturally-secreted substance. Your skin actually produces hyaluronic acid by itself or without any external aid. The only problem is that our ability to keep pumping out hyaluron (the active part of the humectant) slows down with age.
- If anything, hyaluron is a natural peptide that is found nestled in the skin that keeps it hydrated by locking in the essential moisture and deepening the scale of hydration.
So, will hyaluronic acid clog pores? No, of course not. This humectant is a radiant hydrator. So instead of blocking and clogging your pores, it can convey dampness to your skin by holding upto one thousand times its cumulative atomic weight in pure water. And upon contant, the serum will penetrate the deeper layer of your skin keeping it hydrated, moisturized and plump-looking.
A build of debris and serum in and around your skin follicles is what causes acne to develop in the first place. Dry skin, contrary to what most people tend to think, can effectively contribute to this cumulative process that eventually culminates into acne. What's more, bacteria can also accumulate and progressively affect the entire situation. The good thing, however, as we have seen, is that both dry skin and acne are treatable and preventable.
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