Although acne is generally considered to be an ‘oily skin’ problem caused by excess sebum production, those with dry skin are just as susceptible. In fact, it is possible that that adult acne – now affecting about 20 percent of the population and climbing – is caused by years of using harsh skin care treatment products that eventually result in dry skin, which then leads to acne. Acne treatment products then further dry the skin and you’re off into the vicious cycle of the cure becoming the cause. How do you handle this? As always, prevention is the easiest route – best done by choosing skin care treatment products that don’t cause dry skin or other damage – but, no matter what your skin type, if you understand what causes acne, you will find it much easier to prevent, and cure. Here’s how it works.
The skin is naturally designed to protect itself: the surface consists of natural oils and dead skin cells that, together, form a protective layer that prevents damage and repels bacteria. If your skin is oily, the pores can become clogged with excess oil. If your skin is dry, the pores can become clogged with excess dead skin cells. No matter what your skin type, the process from that point is the same: the clogged pores then develop into blackheads or whiteheads that get infected with bacteria, become inflamed and turn into the pimples or pustules known as acne.
Skin care treatments for acne invariably make the underlying problem worse: they usually contain sulfur, resorcinol or benzyl peroxide, all of which dry up excess oils but, in the process, cause dry skin. So, even though your acne may have started because your skin was oily, it will now continue because your skin is dry. You’ve traded one problem for another. In fact, you’ve actually added another problem: because dry skin is easily creased and develops fine lines and wrinkles, you’ve also accelerated the aging process. Blotting the excess oil may be just as effective and doesn’t make the situation worse.
Truthfully, if we simply stopped using harsh, chemical cleansing and other skin products, the incidence of acne would be greatly reduced. Switch to mild skin care treatment products that don’t damage the skin and you could save yourself or your teenager the discomfort and embarrassment of acne and the problem of finding a cure.