Ask Dr. Pimple Popper: 'I Have Dry Skin AND Acne. WTF?!'
Welcome to Skin SOS With Dr. Pimple Popper (a.k.a. Dr. Sandra Lee), where your biggest skin-care questions are answered by the internet’s favorite zit-popping dermatologist.
"Is there a time when you stop using the same acne products and routine you followed to battle your teen acne? I'm still using the same products but now I'm experiencing dry, flaky, dull skin and still getting breakouts. Is it time for an upgrade?"—Nicole E.
Here's the thing: It’s not quite true that your skin gets "used to" certain acne products (or skin-care products in general). I hear people say this a lot, but if products are no longer working for you, it is probably because your skin is going through changes. For example, in your teenage years you are more hormonal and thus, more oily.
As we get older, most of us tend to become drier and lose elasticity in our skin, making us need more effective moisturizers and anti-aging products. That’s why you should always pay attention to your skin and adjust your routine accordingly.
I don’t think you should upgrade your acne treatments to anything stronger, because this will likely make your skin even drier and more irritated. Instead, try switching to different acne-fighting ingredients to see if your skin responds better. I recommend an exfoliant like salicylic acid (it's one of my favorite ingredients!), to help you get rid of that dry, dead skin while simultaneously fighting your acne.
You also need to find a good moisturizer. Lots of people who are oily or acne-prone find moisturizers greasy or heavy on their skin, so they think they don't need them. But since many acne-fighting ingredients can be drying (and you’re dealing with dry skin anyways), replenishing your skin with hydrating ingredients is key.
For acne-prone skin, I suggest using a gel moisturizer or a serum. They have a lighter consistency, are typically non-comedogenic (meaning they won’t clog your pores), and they absorb into your skin rather than sitting on top of your face the way a traditional cream or lotion might. Look for formulas with hyaluronic acid and allantoin, which provide excellent hydration and are typically safe for acne-prone skin.
When you are adding or removing products to your routine, do so with one product at a time. That way you can really pinpoint improvements and figure out what IS and what IS NOT working for you. So perhaps first swap your moisturizers, and then replace your current cleanser to one with salicylic acid.
In general, as we age, our skin priorities change. At certain ages, we are more concerned with acne and breakouts, and later on the concern turns to moisture and aging. Your skin-care routine will definitely change through the years but once you find a product or a routine that is working, stick to it—until it doesn’t.
Dr. Pimple Popper sets out topromote the practice of dermatology and to educate the public on proper skincare and dermatological procedures.Sheprovides information and solutions to common (and uncommon!) skin concerns, such asacne, cysts, rosacea, and more.For more skin-care advice, visit Dr.
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