Acne on dry skin. The best ways to manage and treat it.


Most of us associate acne with oily skin. But it is possible to get acne on any skin type. Sometimes, your dry skin can also surprise you with acne randomly popping up. However, it is not very random. Let’s take a look at the causes of acne on dry skin and how to treat them.

What is the relationship between acne and dry skin?

Acne is usually caused by the excess oils produced by the skin mixing with dust and dirt and clogging the pores. To keep it simple. Clogged pores are usually the culprit. However, when it comes to dry skin, your skin tends to produce less sebum, which leads to your skin feeling dehydrated. So how does acne on dry skin come about then?

  • Sometimes, when your skin is dehydrated, your sebum-producing glands work on overdrive to compensate for the lack of moisture. This ends up in excess oil production that leads to clogged pores.
  • Bacteria breeding on the skin can cause acne on dry skin.
  • A build-up of dead skin can typically block your pores, resulting in acne.
  • Certain products can react with your skin and cause acne as a symptom.
  • Due to the dryness of your skin, your outer protective barrier gets diminished. This can cause inflammation and acne on your skin.
  • Hormonal changes are famous for causing acne!

How to treat acne on dry skin?

Regular anti-acne products can dry the skin out. With dry skin, this can cause further problems. It is therefore important to be cautious when treating both skin issues at once. Here, you have two options.

Keep acne and dry skin separate

Treat them separately instead of trying to combine their treatment. You can use creams with benzoyl peroxide for your acne, which has antiseptic properties that kill the bacteria causing acne. Apart from this, a good dermatologist will give you the appropriate medication to treat severe conditions. When it comes to your dry skin, on the other hand, the key is to moisturise your skin with nourishing creams that have ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

Combined skincare routine

Your second option is to use a carefully combined skincare routine that addresses both your dryness and your acne. Here it is crucial to ensure that your acne treatment does not dry out your skin too much. Try to look for cleansers with benzoyl peroxide for acne and hyaluronic acid, and other hydrating ingredients to help with your dry skin. When it comes to moisturisers, look for non-comedogenic products, so they don’t clog your pores. And always follow up any anti-acne treatment with a moisturiser as well as sunscreen.

Prevention of acne on dry skin

Additionally, there are things you can do to help prevent these skin issues from occurring or getting worse.

1. When using anti-acne ointments or products, use a spot treatment. This means that you should apply it only on the specific spot on which the acne lies. Do not apply it to your entire face. This reduces the drying effect of these treatments.

2. Do not wash your face too often. This reduces the loss of your natural moisture.

3. Allow your skin time to get used to a skincare regime and then stick to it.

4. Do not exfoliate your skin, as this can make it drier.

5. If you visit a dermatologist, they might give you oral medication to treat your acne. This can avoid drying the skin out. Never take any oral medication without consulting with a doctor.

6. Protect your skin from the sun and pollutants.

When is it time to see a doctor?

When it comes to acne you have to be careful. If your regular skincare routine is not working, then it is always best to visit a dermatologist. With the addition of dry skin, your doctor will be able to give you the proper recommendations. If your acne is very severe, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics too.


The natural remedies mentioned in the blog are the widely popular ones. However, it is in no way a substitute for medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Avoid using these if you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergies. 

Before trying any natural remedy, always test a small quantity on your skin to check for any adverse reactions or allergy to any particular ingredient. Then, in case of an emergency or any reaction, immediately connect with a doctor who can offer the proper treatment.

The silver lining

Finding the right skincare regime can be the solution you have been looking for. By taking good care of your skin, you can prevent these conditions from occurring in the first place.


1. What home remedies can I use to help with acne on dry skin?

Cucumber is an excellent ingredient for dry skin as it removes excess oil from the skin, reducing the chances of acne occurring and at the same time has hydrating properties that moisturise and cool the skin. Just blend some cucumber into puree and apply it onto your face as long as you’re not allergic to it. We highly recommend checking with your dermatologist rather than trying home remedies which can cause possible scarring and pigmentation on the skin if not done right.

2. What ingredients are good for dry acne-prone skin?

Ingredients like ceramides, pantothenic acid and hyaluronic acid are good options for this skin type.

3. Can a humidifier help with my dry acne-prone skin?

Yes, a humidifier can help retain the moisture in your skin and keep it from becoming overly dry.

4. What should I keep in mind while using makeup?

When using makeup, acne on dry skin can easily get irritated with certain ingredients. Buy makeup that doesn’t irritate your skin, and make sure to remove it off before going to bed at night. Otherwise, your pores can get blocked.



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Namya Naresh

An obsessive dreamer, vegetarian foodie and shy singer, Namya spends her time immersed in the world of Literature and Music. She is currently writing her first novel, advocating for mental health, self-love and bringing you your daily dose of skincare with CureSkin!