Dry + Acne-Prone Skin: A Combo That Sucks

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Life isn’t always fair. We know this much is true.

While you chug green smoothies every morning, get up every 20 minutes to pee from all the water you’ve been drinking and follow a strict skincare routine, your skin still lacks that glow that Becky from accounting is known for.

Becky also loves to sip on sugary soda, doesn’t always remove her makeup before going to sleep, and hasn’t had a single breakout in her life.


Like I said. Life isn’t always fair.

Okay. So worrying about getting that glowing skin probably could make one of those “First World Problems” lists, but if there ever was a place where bitching about having to deal with breakouts was not only convenient but also relevant, this is it. Right here.

Dealing with dry and acne-prone skin can be exhausting. You can’t always figure out what your skin needs. Especially when it starts acting like a moody teenager; while you’re breaking out, starting to look like one.

I’ve learned that the most important thing to remember when dealing with dry and acne-prone skin, is being gentle. Staying away from anything that can potentially irritate the skin (harsh fragrance, abrasive scrubs or facial cleansing brushes, alcohol toners) is another important point as it will keep your dry skin happy. You want to avoid stripping and overdrying your skin, so it’s best to ditch any products that leave your face feeling tight or dehydrated. Always patch test new products and keep an eye out for any ingredients that can cause potential flare-ups in your acne. Some hydrating products can cause breakouts or purging. Just like that time when Crème de la Mer left me with horrible cystic acne that took a month to clear up. But hey, it does make for a nice eye cream. 

These, right here, are just a few gems that work very well for me, whenever my skin is acting up. If you take anything away from this post, let it be the fact that you absolutely need to get your hands on La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5

Products for dry and acne-prone skin tatcha deep cleanse

When it comes to exfoliating, avoid harsh scrubs. I usually prefer exfoliating with acids, but I still like to reach for physical exfoliants. Tatcha’s Deep Cleanse is a very interesting cleanser. The texture of this cleanser feels very luxurious and silky, with a gel-to-foam formula. Key ingredients include Japanese wild rose, Japanese luffa fruit exfoliant, green tea, algae, rice, and Tatcha’s signature Handsei-3 (a blend of three anti-aging Japanese superfoods). Deep Cleanse is suitable for daily use and it provides very gentle exfoliation. It does contain a subtle fragrance, but it’s not a deal breaker for me. This works really well for my combo skin- it helps eliminate any dry flakes, while also cleansing and balancing the skin.

Whenever my skin feels dry, other than my beloved Cetaphil (which, btw, is an absolute must-have for me when dealing with both acne and dryness!) I also love using Erno Laszlo Hydra Therapy Memory Sleep Mask. If I could change one thing about it, I’d probably get rid of the fragrance, even though it’s a very delicate, pleasant and luxurious scent. Actually, this is something I’d do with all skincare products. Maybe with the exception of face masks? I think that a pleasant scent goes very well with the whole “masking” experience.


Back to the Memory Sleep Mask. It has a very soft, gel formula and it feels incredible when applied on the face. It helps with dryness, dullness, and occasional redness. It feels a bit sticky at first, but it does absorb quickly. This never leaves my nightstand and always helps me wake up to bright and hydrated skin the next morning. Hydra Therapy Memory Sleep Mask works great with dry and acne-prone skin when applied as a last step of the nighttime skincare routine.

products for dry and acne-prone skin

I have quite a few cleansers and since my skin can be picky and problematic, I like to stick to gentle and simple formulas like the CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser. Cleansers are definitely “my thing” though and I love rotating between a bunch, depending on how my skin feels. When I want to indulge in a lush skincare routine (or when my skin feels dry or irritated) I love using MŪN’s Akwi. It’s a purifying, oil-based cleanser that’s amazing at balancing the skin and bringing it back to feeling soft and comfortable. Akwi is also great for double cleansing and it helped me survive my Accutane days when my skin was dry to the point of peeling and cracking. It just brings instant relief to dry skin, the moment it touches your face. It really is an incredible product.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5– hands down one of the best products for dry and acne-prone skin. This not only hydrates, soothes and calms dry skin, but it also helps with acne. This balm has many different uses (sunburn, dryness, dehydration, eczema, etc.) and I usually use it when dealing with hormonal breakouts. It feels incredibly rich and greasy at first, but it absorbs nicely. Even though it does have such rich formula, it actually helps heal breakouts very quickly. This is why, so far, it’s one of the best products I’ve found for combination skin- it hydrates dry areas, and heals active acne. I can’t praise this product enough and highly recommend it, especially if you have dry and acne-prone skin.

dry and acne-prone skin

I talked about Samaya Skincare a while back, you can read about it right here. Samaya is “an all-natural skincare brand based on Ayurvedic principles” with products tailored to your particular dosha, to help inspire balance. Another gentle exfoliant I love is their Vata Renewing Exfoliant.* It’s an enzyme exfoliant with star ingredients like pumpkin enzymes, rose flower extract, turmeric root oil, and tulsi oil. I think that when it comes to exfoliating the skin, this is as gentle as it gets. Formulas like this one are really perfect for dealing with skin issues such as dryness and acne. The Renewing Exfoliant is incredibly balmy, soft and gentle. It softens and removes dead skin cells to reveal smooth and clear complexion- all without disrupting the skin’s balance. The formula is very creamy and rich, ideal for sensitive and dry skin. I love that it leaves my skin feeling soft, but also very well-nourished and balanced.

LIXIRSKIN Universal Emulsion

Who doesn’t love a good multitasker? LixirSkin’s Universal Emulsion is a pretty simple, multitasking moisturizer that feels like a mix between a serum and cream. I use it on my hands, under my eyes, lips, and, of course, all over my face. It instantly helps dry skin feel more comfortable and nourished. It’s one of those products that I always have lying around and reach for whenever my skin is feeling parched. Love applying this on my skin after using a face mask- it always makes it feel very soft and healthy.

As much as we might try to wish a perfect “does it all” product into existence, it looks like we’ll have to wait a bit longer. Regardless of your skin type, finding products that work for you can take some time- especially as your skin changes with each season, your age, etc. Lifestyle, of course, also plays a big role in the condition of your skin. Some of us are lucky (like Becky from accounting) and some of us have to put in some work to get that glow. As it turns out though, the best skincare trick might be being rich


  • Reply
    Christine .
    July 7, 2019 at 10:38 am

    I wrote down so many of these products because I want to check them out! I’m also cleanser obsessed and I’m about out of what I’m using right now. Great post, as always!!!

    • Reply
      Paula @
      July 16, 2019 at 9:00 am

      Thank you, Christine! Cleansers are definitely my weakness, haha! Love switching between different textures and formulas- it’s so helpful for my skin which changes what it likes and needs pretty much on the daily basis, haha.

  • Reply
    Candice Sandler
    July 7, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    These all looks like some great products

    Candice x

  • Reply
    Primrose Bigwood
    July 7, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    LOVE THIS! I had awful acne and now am left with a weird normal/senstive skin type hybrid after roaccutane, I get the odd spot and definitely break out when I’m careless with what I use on my face, it definitely reacts so you’re so right about soothing it instead of irritating, it makes my spots banish so much quicker! x

    • Reply
      Paula @
      July 16, 2019 at 9:00 am

      Same here! My skin changed a lot too after accutane, although I definitely don’t struggle with severe acne anymore, it’s now quite picky and needy. Kind of works out for me though, since I’m obsessed with skincare, lol!

  • Reply
    July 7, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    La Roche Posay Cicaplast is heaven sent for my skin when it’s irritated due to overexfoliating!

    • Reply
      Paula @
      July 16, 2019 at 9:20 am

      It’s such a little miracle worker and a good mutli-tasker. Can believe I didn’t discover it sooner. x

  • Reply
    Linda Libra Loca
    July 8, 2019 at 9:37 am

    I never tried the La Roche Posay Cicaplast, but love so many other products from the brand.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

  • Reply
    Lisa Autumn
    July 8, 2019 at 9:43 am

    I am s intrigued by Tatcha products..

    x Lisa |

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    July 8, 2019 at 11:10 am

    That deep cleanser looks good!

  • Reply
    July 9, 2019 at 6:05 am

    I feel your pain. I was lucky enough through so much trial and error to find things that work for me (as far as clearing up acne, dryness is still a daily battle). I wish everyone calm skin and calm minds. lol

  • Reply
    July 9, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    The Deep Cleanse sounds amazing!

    Arianna |

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