teen touching her cheeks

How to treat acne without drying my skin

Whether a teenager or just suffering from adult acne, if you’ve followed any form of treatment, it’s quite possible you ended up with a dry, flakey yet oily on the feel, skin.

It’s almost as if for the sake of a pimple-free face you need to sacrifice a significant part of its moisture.

If you are following an acne treatment plan, chances are benzoyl peroxide or Salicylic Acid are part of it. These ingredients, although very effective, tend to dry out the skin leaving it somewhat harsh.

During Winter things get even worse; low humidity combined with cold weather results in dry air and even drier skin. Indoor heat and hot showers contribute even further to the issue. Also, sebum is produced less frequently, and skin feels more tight than usual.

How to keep a healthy skin during your acne treatment plan? Try the following:

Be Mindful of your cleanser

Some cleansers are quite harsh on the skin. Pick one that is targeting acne symptoms yet is gentle and moisturizing on the skin.

Don’t be overzealous

Try not to cleanse your face more than twice a day as it will dry out. If you want something extra, try to have a cleansing peel-off mask 1-2 a week to slough off dead cells.

Choose your moisturizer carefully

Most moisturizers have petroleum -based ingredients that tend to clog pores.

Choose a moisturizer that is both lightweight and non-comedogenic, or even better, specially formulated for the acneic skin.

Moisturize your face skin correctly

If you’re following an acne treatment plan with a face cream, try not to apply both the treatment cream and the moisturizer at the same time. Allow some time apart between them as it may be too much for the skin. If the treating cream is applied twice a day, you can apply the moisturizer also twice but with at least 2 hours apart.

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If you would still like to have both a hydration blast along with your treatment opt for a hydrating serum instead before applying your acne-fighting cream.

Extra tip: Consider slathering on your moisturizer at night when the skin goes into repair mode.

Avoid Alcohol based toners

Toners or astringents containing high amounts of alcohol tend to dry out the skin. We get it; your pores look huge and anything that claims to “tighten” them sounds too appealing to skip, but at least try opting for an astringent without alcohol or other irritating ingredients such as witch hazel, menthol, citruses or eucalyptus.

Never skip Sunscreen Use

Sun damage plays a major role in permanently disrupting the surface of the skin, causing it dryness and premature aging. Again, carefully read the label for non-comedogenic and oil-free.


Especially during winter, try a humidifier in your home and put moisture back into the air to help prevent your skin’s moisture loss.

Hydrate from within

Try drinking more beverages or eating fruit and veggies high in water content. We know that especially during winter this is a bit challenging, but it will help the skin retain its moisture.