To put or not to put moisturizer on acne-prone skin – it’s a real skincare conundrum. Except that it’s not.
According to the pros, there is a correct answer. While putting moisturizing cream on top of oily and greasy skin may seem like a recipe for more breakouts, experts say it can have an adverse effect.
Provided you’re using the right moisturizer, acne-prone people can benefit greatly from regularly moisturizing their skin.
Let us shed more light on the topic…
Dermatologists agree that moisturizing is an essential step in any skincare routine – including those dealing with breakouts.
“When the skin is dry, it can be more irritated and make acne look and appear worse,” explains New York-based board-certified dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, MD. “With acne, the issue is inflammation in the skin—most acne responds better and improves when you calm it down. Therefore, moisturizing is helpful.”
Omaha-based dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD, agrees: “It may seem counterintuitive, but oily skin types need a moisturizer in order for their complexion to stay healthy and balanced.”
You should also remember that the pimple treatments you’re using can be extremely drying on the skin. Many acne treatments and medications work by targeting oil glands and lessening oil production on the skin. As a result, your skin is prone to dryness – something you can fix by adding a nourishing moisturizer into your daily routine.
See, dry skin can actually trigger over-production of oil, which can lead to further breakouts. That’s why it’s crucial to apply a moisturizer after every time you wash your face.
Finding a great daily moisturizer is hard for anyone. It’s even harder when you have oily or acne-prone skin. Still, it is possible to find the ideal moisturizer for acne that won’t cause more breakouts.
To prevent a moisturizer from worsening your acne, here are the descriptions you should be looking for on the container:
If the product is oil-free, it means it won’t add to the oiliness on your skin. And if a product is non-comedogenic, that means it won’t clog your pores, meaning it won’t cause breakouts.
Some skincare ingredients can soothe acne. Others can aggravate it.
“Choose an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer and ingredients like ceramides or hyaluronic acid,” suggests Dr. Nazarian. “These will help make your skin stronger and to maintain more water and hydration with continued use.”
If you have oily skin, opt for a product formulated with acne-tackling ingredients like hemp or salicylic acid.
Got dry skin? Don’t forget that in addition to treating your breakouts, you’ll also need a moisturizer that addresses your dryness.
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If you’re looking for the ultimate skin hydrator, it’s here. Loaded with hyaluronic acid, this face cream delivers moisture to the skin and smooths out fine lines. It also contains sea kelp, a skincare superstar known for locking in moisture and keeping the complexion hydrated and dewy. You can use this face cream daily for super moisturized, healthy skin.
Truly’s Korean beauty-inspired Glass Facial Serum fulfils its promise: it brings clear, luminous, seemingly transparent skin. Besides minimizing your pores and offering a matte finish, this serum is perfect for acne-prone skin.
Packed with willowbark (part salicylic acid), this product clears pores, reduces oiliness, soothes inflammation, and pumps your skin with hydration. It’s an excellent moisturizer for daily use and won’t lead to more zits! In fact, you’ll see them disappear instead.
While it isn’t exactly a moisturizer cream, it does moisturize. It just comes in the form of a serum. This hemp seed formula hydrates without being comedogenic. It also reduces redness, soothes inflammation, and regulates the skin’s oil production.
Vitamin A (aka retinol) also makes an appearance in this acne-fighting serum. You know, the powerhouse ingredient proven to speed cell turnover, boost collagen production, and decongest pores. It’s perfect for daily hydration.
There are a few tips and techniques worth knowing to get the most out of your moisturizer.
You may think applying more will lead to better results. It won’t. Apply a thin layer of moisturizer to your skin. Over-applying it may instead lead to blemishes. Unless your skin is seriously dehydrated – in this case, you can apply more.
If you have dry skin, it’s fine. But if you have normal to oily skin, avoid putting moisturizer on your nose to prevent pimples popping up there. The sebaceous glands (aka oil-producers) are more concentrated around your nose. That’s why it tends to look shinier and oilier there than on other parts of your face. Since your nose gets oilier, you can apply less lotion there or skip it altogether.
Coconut oil is actually a pretty awesome, skin-transforming ingredient. For acne-prone skin – not so much. Fatty and oily, it can easily clog the pores which could lead to major breakouts.
Alcohol should not be in the ingredient list of your moisturizer. Whether or not you have sensitive skin, alcohol can be highly irritating to all skin types. With irritation comes inflammation and with it, possibly acne breakouts.
So it turns out you do need moisturizer if you have acne. You just need to choose the right one and use it the right way.
But just how effective is it?
Studies show that patients experience less acne between four and eight weeks after adding acne-friendly moisturizer into their routine. That’s in combination with an acne treatment plan involving acne mediation and cleanser. Even so, it looks quite certain that using a targeted moisturizer can keep your complexion clear and blemish-free.