Many people across all age groups suffer from acne. Acne breakouts occur in various forms and size of blemishes. However, there is confusing advice from skin care experts about the proper treatment of acne: some recommend drying out the skin is the only surefire way of treating acne, while others insist that anyone with acne prone skin needs a moisturizer. Both these arguments have merit, but the available evidence leans towards the latter school of thought.
Studies have shown people suffering from chronic breakouts around their T-zones experience a marked improvement once they start using moisturizer. And this is not only true for dry acne prone skin; those with naturally oily skin that get a lot of blackhead and whitehead breakouts can also benefit from a moisturizer. So, how does moisturizer work on acne prone skin? And, what is the best moisturizer for acne prone skin?
Contrary to popular opinion, acne is not caused by dirt, greasy foods, or even cosmetics. Dermatologists agree that there are three main causes of acne: excess sebum production, the presence of dead skin cells, and bacteria. Acne usually develops on the face, neck, back, chest and shoulders. This is because the skin in these areas contains the most sebaceous glands, which produce a substance called sebum that is a natural lubricant for the hair and skin.
Deep within the skin, hair follicles are linked to these sebaceous glands. Sebum typically seeps along the hair shaft to the skin surface via the openings the hair follicles make on the skin. Acne occurs when these follicles get clogged with sebum and dead skin cells.
When the body produces excessive amounts of dead skin cells and sebum, these materials can accumulate in the hair follicles or pores. They also form a soft plug that creates a conducive environment for bacteria to thrive. With the addition of such bacteria, the risk of inflammation also increases. This raises the risk of permanent scarring to the skin if treated incorrectly.
Acne can be triggered or even exacerbated by a number of factors:
During puberty, the body produces more quantities of hormones known as androgens. These hormones enlarge the sebaceous glands, stimulating them to produce more sebum. Pregnancy and using oral contraceptives can also cause hormonal changes that lead to excessive sebum production. Alternatively, the low production of androgens can also make acne worse.
Diets rich in carbohydrates and dairy have been proven to sometimes trigger acne breakouts. Specifically, chocolate has been shown to make acne breakouts even worse. However, further studies need to be done to show exactly why people with acne prone skin should follow certain diet restrictions.
Certain drugs that contain lithium, corticosteroids, and androgens can aggravate existing instances of acne.
Refreshing your knowledge on the various types of acne that are common today may not be a major priority for those who simply want clearer skin. However, understanding what type of acne you are trying to manage is the first step in successfully treating the issue.
There are five main types of breakouts that acne prone skin is susceptible to:
These typically appear as minuscule white blemishes on the face, back, or other parts of the body. They occur when the follicles in the skin get blocked with dead skin cells and sebum (the natural oils produced by the skin). Typically, sebum protects and nourishes the skin naturally. However, excessive production of the oils can clog your pores.
These are small blemishes that appear as black dots. In dermatological terms, blackheads are classified as comedones or clogged pores. However, unlike whiteheads which are closed comedones, blackheads are open. This leads to the oxidation of the material inside the skin follicles, hence their blackish appearance.
Papules occur as a phase past whiteheads when dead skin cells and sebum react with bacteria within the pores to cause inflammation. Papules appear as small, red, swollen skin inflammations but do not contain any pus. Irritation and inflammation are the first signs of papules; therefore one should take care not to use products that will dry them out further. Conversely, products that will soothe the irritated area are the best treatment until the papules subside.
Pustules occur in the same way like papules, but they typically contain yellowish or whitish pus. Because of this, pustules are usually painful and larger in appearance. Many people squeeze the pus from pustules, but this usually results in post-breakout scarring. Conversely, experts recommend that you should wait for a visible whitehead to appear on the pustule before extracting it carefully.
Severe acne typically takes the form of acne conglobata, cysts or nodules. If your face is full of painful, big, red blemishes that linger for months at a time, it is highly probable that you have one of these forms of severe acne. This type of acne is indicative of an underlying condition and, if left untreated, can result in permanent skin damage. Further, this type of acne usually cannot be cleared through the use of topical, over the counter medications. You might need to consult a dermatologist who can prescribe stronger treatments.
In a nutshell, using a moisturizer for acne prone skin helps to keep your pores open, preventing the formation of blemishes. Further, moisturizer helps regulate the skin’s sebum production, especially on the face. This helps keep the pores from clogging and thus reduces the occurrence of acne breakouts.
The skin acts as a shielding barrier, made up of resilient cells known as corneocytes held together by fatty substances such as triglycerides and ceramides. As the human body is made up of 70 percent water, these components of the skin prevent the fluids in the body from getting diluted or leaking out. Small amounts of water are naturally present in the skin. Using molecules known as aquaporins, the skin also allows very minuscule amounts of moisture to seep in and out very slowly.
Using just a little bit of moisturizer is enough to fill these aquaporins and add a sufficient amount of hydration for the skin. In acne prone skin, this is enough to stimulate the ceramides and fatty cells to keep the pores open and prevent the buildup of sebum and dead cells. This keeps the skin soft, moist and supple.
In the past, a lot of acne treatments have involved the use of alcohol-based lotions and serums. However, this substance has been proven to dry out the skin and cause extreme inflammation. Overusing such products can actually make your acne worse, especially if you typically get breakouts on your forehead and cheeks.
The best moisturizer for dry acne prone skin is gel or water-based. These lightweight formulations will hydrate your skin while preventing the eruption of breakouts. Concentrate on a moisturizer that contains salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, and lactic acid.
The importance of moisturizer is not only true for dry skin. It is also essential to use moisturizer for oily acne prone skin. Just because you may have oily skin does not necessarily mean that your skin does not require additional hydration. Eschewing moisturizer dries the skin out, stimulating the production of even more sebum. This creates a vicious cycle which results in more acne breakouts.
The best moisturizer for oily acne prone skin is water-based, non comedogenic moisturizers, as these will not clog your pores. Steer clear of products that contain petrolatum, cocoa butter, mineral oils, dimethicone, or lanolin. Rather, concentrate on a moisturizer that includes hyaluronic acid, squalane, glycerin, and aloe.
Finding a great acne moisturizer is a big challenge. Choosing the best facial moisturizer for acne prone skin can be an even more difficult prospect. However, it is possible to find some great dermatologically-approved products for acne prone skin. Whether you have dry, oily, sensitive for combination skin, or you are looking for the best drugstore moisturizer for acne prone skin, these products are the best moisturizers for acne prone skin.
Many people consider Neutrogena’s Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion as the best facial moisturizer for acne prone skin. It contains a wide variety of strong medicinal and botanical ingredients that fight against existing acne while preventing future breakouts. It is a lightweight facial lotion that can be used daily to manage any existing symptoms of acne. Its powerful botanical formulation helps to soothe your skin while preventing inflammation, irritation, dryness and peeling.
The lotion also contains salicylic acid which penetrates deep into the pores to remove excess sebum, dirt and dead skin cells that can cause acne breakouts. It is also lightweight, oil-free and noncomedogenic. Further, it has been proven clinically to be gentle on the skin. This makes it one of the best moisturizers for acne prone sensitive skin.
Users who apply Neutrogena Rapid Clear Acne Defense Face Lotion report that they have seen a marked improvement in their skin after about a week of consistent use. After only two months, the product cleared up their chronic acne. The moisturizer can be used once or twice a day to deal with mild to moderate acne breakouts.
Bee Naturals Oil-Free Moisturizer provides an intense burst of hydration that is essential for people with oily, acne-prone skin. It is formulated with natural extracts that reduce acne-related inflammation. Further, this moisturizer provides gentle care for sensitive skin.
The moisturizer contains hyaluronic acid, vitamins C and B3, glycerin, and natural essential oils like lavender, tea tree, and lemon. These herbal extracts reduce the production of sebum and have anti-inflammatory properties. The product is recommended for acne prone normal, oily or combination skin types.
The moisturizer has been proven to hydrate the skin, control acne breakouts, normalize oily skin, smooth out skin texture. The presence of vitamin B3, or Niacinamide, also makes it a powerful anti-aging reagent. Further, the moisturizer is noncomedogenic and does not block the pores, reducing the chances of acne breakouts.
LAVO Best Facial Moisturizer for Oily, Combination, Acne Prone skin is considered by many to be the best face moisturizer for acne prone skin. It is a lightweight moisturizer designed to hydrate the skin and provide a protective barrier against moisture loss. It is a non-greasy, unscented moisturizer free from parabens, especially formulated for sensitive, oily, or combination acne prone skin types.
The moisturizer is formulated using a number of ingredients including hyaluronic acid, which locks moisture into the skin; vitamins A, B, C and D, which calm inflammation and minimize the pores; sage, rosemary and ginseng extracts, which help to tone and tighten the pores; hazelnut, avocado oil, safflower, and wheat germ extracts, which help the skin retain hydration; and azulene, extracted from chamomile, which heals and soothes damaged skin.
This moisturizer is specially formulated form a barrier to protect the skin from bacteria, mineral salts, and other environmental pollutants. It has been proven to improve the skin’s tone and elasticity and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Its light consistency allows the moisturizer to be absorbed quickly into the skin, thus providing instant hydration.
Body Merry’s Retinol Surge Moisturizer is rich in retinol, which helps to provide your face with intense hydration throughout the day. Retinol is also a powerful anti-acne agent as it helps to stave off any breakouts while clearing scars and blemishes from past incidences. This ingredient also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, discoloration, and also keeps the skin looking youthful and smooth.
Other ingredients present in this moisturizer are organic aloe and sunflower extracts, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, jojoba, green tea extracts, and vitamins B5 and E.
InstaNatural Acne Moisturizer is one of the best moisturizer treatments for pimples and other acne-related blemishes. Through consistent use, you will be able to regain your smooth, clear skin in a short time. It helps to get rid of the impurities on the skin, resulting in less occurrence of blackheads and whiteheads. It does all this while nourishing the skin and not leaving it feeling dry and irritated.
The moisturizer is formulated with salicylic acid and soothing natural extracts from tea tree oil and willow bark. It does not contain mineral oils, sulfates, parabens, synthetic dyes, or formaldehyde releasers.
AMAKI SKINCARE Pure Rose Water Mist Toner is an organic moisturizer made from all-natural extracts from the rose plant. The product’s sole ingredient is rose water and does not contain any sulfates, additive, alcohol, parabens, or dyes. It works to reinvigorate skin that looks tires and leaves it feeling hydrated, tighter and lighter.
This moisturizer helps to restore your skin’s natural pH balance, which has the effect of minimizing overly large pores. It also hydrates dry skin while naturally removing excess sebum, which helps to reduce the appearance of acne and blackheads.
Further, rose water is a powerful antioxidant that fights naturally occurring free radicals. These free radicals can stump cell development and rejuvenation, resulting in skin that looks dull and flaky. This moisturizer’s antioxidant properties ensure that your skin is left looking youthful and glowing.
Create Cosmetics’ BPT10.1 is a revolutionary moisturizer that is designed to prevent acne breakouts. This moisturizer has been formulated specifically for people with severe acne all over their body, and those who are sure they can tolerate exposure to the chemical benzoyl peroxide. If this is not the case, the 3% BPT product manufactured by the company might be a better option. This product works best for people with severe and moderate acne, blemishes, pimples and spots all over their bodies.
This moisturizer is lightweight, oil in water formulation that is designed to be absorbed fast into the skin while leaving no residue. It is organic, noncomedogenic oil that helps hydrates the skin, protecting it from drying out. The addition of tea tree oil ensures this moisturizer is anti-inflammatory and can effectively combat acne. It also includes other ingredients like jojoba and macadamia seed extracts, shea butter, glycerin, and sorbic acid.
Clinique’s Acne Solutions Clear Skin Starter Kit Cleansing Foam is the best product for those suffering from severe, persistent acne. It is an oil-based moisturizer starter kit that includes the Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam, the Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion, and the Acne Solutions All-Over Cleansing Treatment.
It is also one of the most fast-acting treatments available today. Users have reported that this moisturizer has helped give them clearer skin within just two to three days. It is also gentle and does not cause irritation.
However, this product is not suitable for people with dry skin. Clinique’s Acne Solutions Clear Skin Starter Kit Cleansing Foam works best with normal and oily skin types that are prone to blemishes, acne, pimples, and blackheads. Although slightly more expensive than other available moisturizers, it is truly worth the price.
The Yellow Bird All Natural Charcoal Face Soap and Mist Oil Set is a natural, handmade set of products designed to provide you with the perfect way to maintain smooth, healthy skin. It contains activated charcoal soap, which naturally detoxifies your skin by drawing out all the sebum, dirt and impurities from the skin. This helps to eliminate the appearance of acne, blackheads, and other blemishes.
This product also includes shea butter, which moisturizes the skin and leaves it looking softer and younger; lavender and lemongrass essential oils that have powerful antifungal and antibacterial properties, while restoring damaged skin; and sunflower, coconut and palm oils, which act against skin aging free radicals. It is also free from parabens, sulfates, and synthetic dyes and fragrances.
Philosophy’s Salicylic Acid Acne Treatment and Moisturizer is a single step acne treatment regimen that thoroughly hydrates the skin while preventing acne breakouts. This lightweight moisturizer restores a clear appearance to the damaged or blemished skin. Regular users of this moisturizer report significant, noticeable improvements within a week.
It contains salicylic acid and oligopeptide-10, which ensure the skin remains free of new blemishes from acne. It also has a powerful antimicrobial formulation also clears bacteria that causes acne from the skin. It also provides a matte finish that is great for people who apply makeup regularly.
The formulation of this moisturizer also includes sunflower seed and jojoba extracts, dimethicone, and butylenes glycol. This product is free from petrochemicals, triclosan, sulfates, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, and synthetic dyes.
The products manufactured to apply on the body are usually thicker, heavier and contain more oil. It is, therefore, advisable that you use a different moisturizer for your face than for the rest of the body. Further, products for the face and even the neck and around the eyes are specially formulated with different nourishing products for the skin there, which is typically thinner and easier to damage.
Dermatologists also recommend that you moisturize skin immediately after cleansing your skin. After a shower, pat the skin down but make sure to leave it slightly damp to the touch. This will optimize how the moisturizer works to lock in the hydration to your skin. Further, ensure that you use moisturizer before applying your makeup.
Depending on its severity, acne can be a debilitating condition that strikes a huge blow to a person’s self-esteem and confidence. However, with the correct skin care regimen, it is possible for people with acne prone skin to clear out any breakouts within just a few weeks.
There are numerous moisturizers available on the market today. The trick is simply to find the best oil-free option that works well for your skin. You can use any one of the products highlighted above to find the best face moisturizer for you.