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When most people think of acne, the images that often come to mind are greasy skin, all-day shine and a face full of pimples. In reality, many people with acne have dry skin. Because all topical acne medicines may cause skin dryness, treating your breakouts while managing your dry complexion may seem at cross-purposes, but it's possible with the right products.
Skin's hydration comes from two sources, natural oils (lipids) and natural moisturizing factors (such as hyaluronic acid). Together they maintain a protective barrier that keeps moisture locked in and prevents water evaporation. When they're out of balance, your skin becomes dehydrated and cracks; more moisture escapes and irritants gain entry, eventually causing dryness, irritation and redness. Severe cases of dry skin may be associated with eczema, a common condition, seen mainly on the face, hands, and extremities, in which the barrier is compromised and skin becomes easily infected. In eczema, itching and scratching are a vicious cycle, severely disrupting the barrier, making skin susceptible to infection.
The internal factors that are the source of dry skin are your genetics and your hormones, the same two that control your acne. Genetics determine the amount of oil your skin naturally produces; you may produce a lot of oil or a little; you may end up with oily skin and no acne, or dry skin and lots of breakouts. With age, skin's oiliness decreases due to a reduction of your hormones, especially estrogen, explaining why menopausal women notice drier skin.
External causes of dry skin include the environment; a cold, dry, windy climate or forced air heating systems cause skin dehydration. Drinking more water isn't the answer but humidifiers are. You cannot hydrate the skin from inside, but by increasing the water content of your environment, you will help your skin stay moist.
Harsh soaps and alcohol-based astringents may cause skin chapping. Oral medications like isotretinoin or medical conditions such as thyroid disease are also associated with skin dryness.
Topical medicines, too, impact skin's moisture content. Most acne medicines, prescription and over-the-counter, tend to be drying. If the medicines are mild, your skin will gradually adjust within a few weeks and dryness will no longer be a problem. Unfortunately dryness and irritation sometimes cause people to stop using their medicine. Many people, especially those with inherently dry and sensitive skin, fear that moisturizing will worsen their breakouts. Treating acne while managing dryness can seem challenging, but with the right approach, it can be easily done.
So how do you deal with dryness if you have acne-prone skin? And deal with acne if you have dry skin? First try reducing the frequency of your topical acne medicine from twice to once per day in the first few weeks. Then increase to twice daily as your skin tolerates it. Using medications that have been formulated to minimize dryness will also make a big difference. A little known fact is that products containing the same active ingredients can vary greatly in both their efficacy as well as their impact on your complexion.
Proactiv+ was formulated to address both dry skin and acne. The Complexion Perfecting Hydrator is a facial moisturizer containing a proprietary Moisturizing Complex complete with omegas (oils) and hyaluronic acid, the gold standard in humectants, able to hold hundreds of times its weight in water. This product hydrates and helps restore the moisture barrier. It also contains ingredients like bisabolol, a chamomile extract, to help calm redness and soothe irritation. With the Proactiv+ Hydrator, there is no need to worry that it will clog your pores or flare your acne. It's noncomedogenic and specifically created for acne-prone skin.
The benzoyl peroxide (BPO) in the Pore Targeting Treatment is designed to minimize dryness and irritation. It uses our exclusive Smart Target® technology to prevent the BPO from sitting on the surface of your skin, causing dryness or irritation; instead it pulls BPO directly into the pores to kill the acne-causing bacteria.
The formulations in Proactiv+ are created to treat breakouts and help prevent new ones from forming, all while delivering skincare benefits such as radiance, hydration and an even skin tone.
That's how you can deal with acne and dry skin.
Achieve your best results with a variety of Proactiv® options.