Can You Get Dry Skin And Acne At The Same Time?

Can You Get Dry Skin And Acne At The Same Time?

Staying on top of your skin’s health means understanding your skin type and the different skin issues you may encounter. There are five skin types: oily, dry, combination, sensitive, and normal. Each of these is prone to various skin issues.  

For one, if your skin feels tight and textured and is often itchy and peeling, you probably have dry skin. Dry skin is commonplace for people in colder climates or during colder seasons. Harsh chemicals, prolonged sun exposure, and too much bathing or washing can also strip your skin of natural oils. This makes your skin prone to breakouts.

In this article, you’ll learn how you can get acne on dry skin, the causes of acne and its types, tips for treating acne, and even the role of collagen. So, read on.

What Is Acne?

Acne develops when sebum and dead skin cells clog the hair follicles or when these follicles become inflamed with bacteria. Sebum is the oil released in skin and hair to keep them lubricated. 

This common skin condition affects all skin types and is often found on the face, neck, arms, and back. While combination and oily skin types are believed to be more prone to acne than others, it’s not limited to that. Even dry skin, with its notably lower sebum production, is prone to acne.  

Can You Get Dry Skin And Acne At The Same Time?

What Are The Causes And Types Of Acne?

As mentioned, the main things that cause acne are sebum, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Food and environmental factors cannot directly cause acne, but unhealthy food and environment can worsen acne. Furthermore, many factors can trigger excess sebum production and clog your pores, like stress, hormonal changes, medication, or aversion to some skincare products.  

Acne is categorized in two ways:

  • Non-Inflammatory: These are usually painless. Non-inflammatory acne is caused by excess sebum and dead skin cells clogging pores. This includes the following:
    • Whiteheads – These are flesh-colored bumps under your skin.
    • Blackheads – These are known as open comedones. They look darker on the skin.
  • Inflammatory: This type of acne is caused by bacterial infection and is usually painful and swollen. This includes the following:
    • Cysts – These are large lumps under the skin full of pus and sebum, usually painful.
    • Papules – These are red, inflamed bumps caused by infected hair follicles.
    • Pustules – These are inflamed hair follicles with pus at the tips.
    • Nodules – These are solid lumps under the skin, often painful.

Fifty million Americans, starting adolescence to adulthood, struggle with acne. Moreover, 85% of people aged 12 – 24 have minor acne problems. Some may deal with a zit occasionally, while others experience more severe breakouts. In the latter’s case, it’s best to seek a dermatologist.  

Does Acne Occur On Dry Skin?

Most people think only oily skin is prone to acne, but breakouts can happen on irritated, dry skin. Cold weather and sun damage may force the skin to produce more sebum, and your pores may get clogged by your skin care products. All these factors increase the risk of acne. 

Tips For Treating Dry Skin With Acne

If you have dry skin with an acne breakout, don’t fret. Proper care for your skin will keep it healthy. This way, you can prevent acne breakouts and other issues before they even begin. Here are the top tips for treating and managing acne:

  1. Don’t Pick At Your Acne

Dirty hands or fingernails may introduce more bacteria into your pores and worsen your breakout. Keeping your hands off your face may also help prevent the development of acne scars later on.

  1. Opt For Skincare Products With Milder Ingredients

Pick a non-foaming cleanser, as these are made with gentler ingredients and are less stripping than their foamy counterparts. Try to avoid the active ingredient salicylic acid. Though this is the usual go-to remedy for acne, it removes oil from your skin and may cause more dryness. Also, avoid retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, alcohol, and products with fragrances.

  1. Always Moisturize

Dry skin needs extra moisture, so pick a clean, nourishing moisturizer without the harsh ingredients mentioned above. There are also many serums, toners, and creams for dry skin. Design the perfect skincare routine with your dermatologist. Look for the words ‘non-comedogenic’ on the label, which means the product is less likely to clog your pores. Moisturizers containing ceramides also come highly recommended.  

  1. Wear Sunscreen

This is the golden rule of all skin types, especially for dry skin. Protect your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays, reduce skin inflammation, and avoid dark spots by religiously wearing sunblock with at least sun protection factor (SPF) 30.

Can You Get Dry Skin And Acne At The Same Time?
  1. Eat And Hydrate Well

As mentioned, food doesn’t cause acne. However, it plays a significant role in keeping your skin healthy. One sign of dry skin is vitamin deficiency. Hence, it’s best to eat food rich in vitamins A, C, D, E, selenium, zinc, and many fruits and vegetables. 

Some also recommend adding more collagen into your diet, which is believed to help with acne scarring and skin elasticity. Collagen supplements come in many forms and are becoming increasingly popular as treatment and maintenance for the skin.   

Dry skin may also happen because of dehydration. So make sure to drink the recommended three liters of water per day.

  1. Change Your Shower Routine

Little changes in your daily routine can bring noticeable improvements to your skin. Try to incorporate these changes during showers until you build a habit:

  • Reduce your shower or bath time to no longer than 10 minutes.
  • Keep the water cool or lukewarm. Scalding showers can strip your natural oils. 
  • While you’re in there, exfoliate. This helps reduce your dead skin cells. 
  • After bathing, apply your moisturizer immediately to lock in the moisture and hydrate your skin. This applies to your face and whole body. 

With these steps, you’ll see improvements in your skin. Consistency and discipline are keys to avoiding recurring skin issues like acne.

  1. Consult A Dermatologist

A doctor is your best bet for addressing severe dryness and acne. They can advise treatments and medication and keep an eye on your improvements.

When in doubt, always ask for the help of experts. It’s hard to experiment with the skin because you don’t want to risk worsening the situation. Fortunately, there are ways to lessen the likelihood of acne in dry skin.

Can You Get Dry Skin And Acne At The Same Time?


Caring for your skin requires steps to keep it healthy. Even dry skin types experience acne breakouts. When it happens, it can take a toll on your self-esteem and mental health. Consider the tips shared above and achieve that clear, radiant, healthy skin.

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