Is there a connection between dehydrated skin and acne?

When your skin is dehydrated, it can feel tight and dry – and this may lead you to think that you are suffering from dry skin. Your skin is likely to compensate for this by producing more oil and thus create conditions more typically associated with oily skin – this includes blemishes and acne breakouts. 

Bear in mind that acne starts with a blocked pore – for pores to remain clear, the oil produced within your skin has to be able to pass through the pore to get to the surface. When skin becomes dehydrated, the pores collapse and are not well lubricated – this results in the passage of oil being slowed down getting and easily becoming caught up by dead skin cells that have not yet been flushed out. This creates a hard plug leading to blackheads and acne.

What’s the difference between dehydrated and dry skin?

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition which means that your skin is not getting enough water. This can be caused by many different factors including the skincare products you are using, getting too much sun or even having hot baths and showers.

Dry skin is a skin type- the skin lacks water and oil and can feel rough and flaky whilst dehydrated skin only lacks water but overcompensates with oil.

You can have both conditions at the same time or one without the other.

Dehydrated skin has a lack of water in its outermost layer and the skin cells start thickening instead of shedding – this leads to the skin looking dull and tired and it can also feel tight.

How can you fix the dehydrated skin?

Just drinking more water will not fix the problem although ensuring that you drink enough (2-3 litres per day) will certainly help restore levels of hydration within the body. Our bodies are 60% water and when the body is dehydrated, it places added stress on the skin.

If your skin is dehydrated and particularly if this has resulted in spots, then you should establish an effective skincare regime – you need to repair and balance the outermost layers of your skin and effectively manage the breakouts.

Choosing an effective cleanser

  • Cleansers emulsify dirt and oil on the surface of your skin so that they can easily be removed.

  • A soap-based cleanser will increase the skin pH, making the surface more alkaline and interferes with the barrier function of the skin –thus further drying out your skin - so avoid soap!

  • Helping the skin to maintain its natural pH prevents the overgrowth of acne causing bacteria

  • Don’t over-wash your face – twice a day and after exercise is enough

  • Beware of heavily fragranced products – if your skin is inflamed this may further irritate it

  • A gentle cleanser that helps unblock pores without irritating your skin is ideal

  • Consult your skincare specialist to help find a cleanser that will suit your skin

What about moisturizing? 

  • To prevent a moisturizer from causing breakouts, choose one that is oil-free and non-comedogenic (this means it won’t blog the pores)

  • Apply moisturizer when your skin feels dry

  • Apply after washing your face which will help to trap that much-needed water in your skin

  • A good daytime moisturizer will contain spf (at least factor 30 and preferably broad spectrum which means it protects against UVA and UVB)

  • A hydrating night-time moisturizer will help repair the damage of the day

  • It may take trial and error to find the best hydrating moisturizer for your skin – but your skincare specialist can advise

Acne and skin hydration: take home messages

  • A well hydrated skin protects against acne

  • Ensure you drink enough water

  • Use an effective cleanser (avoid soap)

  • Select your moisturizer carefully

  • Use SPF daily

Managing acne effectively involves consideration of various factors including lifestyle and skincare products. The effectiveness of your LUSTRE devices will be greatly enhanced by paying attention to these factors. 

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