How to Treat Acne Prone Dry Skin This Winter

Woman with acne on her face How to Treat Acne Prone Dry Skin This Winter

When cold weather comes around, you might think it's the end of your acne woes. Unfortunately, acne and dry skin go too well together. Here are a few tips to help you treat your acne-prone dry skin this winter.

How to Protect Dry Skin from Acne

Change Your Cleanser

Your cleanser, whether it's part of your acne treatment or not, should leave your skin feeling soft, supple, and moisturized. If your cleanser is leaving your skin feeling tight and dry, it could be time for a serious change. During the winter, there's less moisture in the air, which can contribute to dry and dehydrated skin. Unfortunately, your skin might over-produce oils to make up for the lack of moisture it's getting from your cleanser. This can lead to a buildup of oil and sebum, which in turn may block your pores and contribute to acne flare-ups during the winter months. If you typically use a foaming cleanser, it may be worth speaking with your dermatologist about switching to a cream cleanser for the winter. These cleansers tend to be less drying for your skin and don't contribute to that over-cleansed feeling. And if your cleanser has acne medication like salicylic acid in it, it may be especially drying for your skin. A gentler, non-medicated cleanser may serve you a bit better during the cold, dry months of winter.

Wash Your Face Less Often

It might seem counterintuitive to wash your face less often if you want to prevent clogged pores, but the truth is that over-cleansing your face can lead to dried-out skin. Unfortunately, this can contribute to your acne problems during the winter months because you're drying out your skin too much and causing it to over-produce oil to compensate. If you're unsure whether or not you're cleansing too often, speak with your dermatologist. You might be surprised at just how normal it is to change up your dermatology services and your skincare routine as the seasons change. It may turn out that you only need to cleanse once daily while the air is dry and cold instead of your normal twice-daily routine. If possible, it's preferable to cleanse after your day is done in order to remove dirt, makeup, and oil that has built up throughout the day.

Use the Right Moisturizer for Your Skin

Although acne-prone skin and oily skin often go together, it's also possible for people with dry skin to suffer from acne. That's why it's so important to understand your skin type and to use the right moisturizer for it. If your skin is dry but also prone to acne, it's probably a good idea to use a non-comedogenic moisturizer, but not one with acne medication in it. This type of moisturizer will help your pores stay unclogged without drying out your skin too much. If you're not sure what type of skin you have or what type of moisturizer would work best, trust your dermatologist to help you out. The investment in the right moisturizer will have you loving your skin again in no time flat.


At North Pacific Dermatology, we want to help you live your happiest acne-free life. If you have questions about acne or it's time to determine the best acne care routine for your skin, set up a consultation with our dermatology services team today. Together we can find the right acne treatment for you.

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