Why do acne products dry out the skin?

If you have acne, your pores shed dead skin cells at a much faster rate than normal pores. Normal pores shed about one layer of skin cells inside the pore per day and acne-prone pores sheds up to five layers per day. The body just can’t keep up with this so a plug forms – those “plugs” all over your face are what constitute acne.

To combat this, acne products generally work in two ways:

  1. Removing Buildup: Chemical exfoliants remove the dead skin on your face that builds up and causes acne to form. Vasseur Skincare’s superstar chemical exfoliants are Reveal 10 and Mandelic Acid Serum. (Added bonus: these products not only pores clean, but also make your skin feel softer and more youthful!)
  2. Killing Bacteria: Products (typically those containing benzol peroxide) oxygenate the pores and kill bacteria, thus preventing infection and future breakouts from forming.

So, how does this lead to dryness?

Speeding up the turnover rate of your dead skin can make it become dry – as it doesn’t have time to replenish it’s natural oils that make your skin soft and smooth. This typically happens for the first week or two when switching to a new product as your skin is adjusting to it. Think of it this way-  if you start weight lifting and you’ve never done it before, the muscles will be sore at first. But, over time, your body gets used to it and you don’t experience as much or any soreness if you go on a consistent basis.

Note: If dryness does not subside after 3 weeks, then you are probably using a product that is too strong for you and you should switch. For example, if you are consistently dry using our Benzo 10, then switch to Benzo 5 or ask us to make you a custom Benzo Sensitive.

How can you stop skin dryness from acne products?

Follow your acne treatment products with a moisturizer – Super Moist, Hydro Gel or Green Tea Serum.

Alternate using Reveal 10 and Mandelic Acid Serum – Both are natural chemical exfoliants, but the Reveal 10 is stronger and more likely to cause dryness. I recommend using Reveal 10 once or twice a week to blast any problem spots, and then using Mandelic Serum the other days to maintain the area.

Invest in a humidifer – Your skin needs more than 30 percent humidity to stay properly moisturized. A room heated by a furnace can have as little as 10 percent moisture. In the winter, consider sleeping with a humidifier in your bedroom. Keep doors closed so the moist air doesn’t escape the room. Here is one we like ($48 on Amazon).

Apply Vasseur’s Healing Serum – our Healing Serum is an all natural, highly-concentrated serum designed to heal extremely dry and irritated skin. It contains pumpkin seed and carrot oil, and has been proven to speed the healing time of dry, peeling skin by 3x! Apply twice daily until the skin is back to normal.

Drink a lot of water –  Internal hydration allows your body to create new skin cells and repair and rebuild your natural barrier. A good rule of thumb is to drink (in ounces) half of your body weight in water. Also try drinking coconut water, which has skin benefits and also contains potassium and other electrolytes that increase the speed of hydration.

Spritz a Toner – A toner is designed to bring your skin back to its normal pH as well as hydrate the skin and kill bacteria. Spritz your face with an alcohol-free toner to make your product go further, to set your makeup or when you’re feeling dry/cracking throughout the day.

Use Liquid foundation – A liquid foundation or tinted moisturizer is the easiest, most comfortable form of foundation to use when you have dry skin. It hydrates and makes the cracks and peeling in your skin less prominent. Powder foundations absorb oil and water; they also give a matte look, which makes the peeling stand out and the skin look dry. (If you are located in San Diego, stop by our spa and we can mix you a non-pore clogging liquid foundation to specifically match your skin tone!)

Use our Olive Oil Cleanser in the AM/PM – as it is more moisturizing. Don’t worry – the Olive Oil won’t hurt your complexion! Olive oil is not pore clogging, you can read more about Olive Oil’s skin benefits here.


Read more of our blog posts on acne here:

6 thoughts on “Why do acne products dry out the skin?”

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