The Difference Between Dry Acne and Oily Acne

Written by Glymed Plus

Acne is one of the most common and difficult skin conditions that we treat as aestheticians. When you break out, those annoying blemishes are a combination of dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria. Those with oily skin have excess oil on the surface, making it the perfect breeding ground for breakouts. Yet, surprisingly, even people with dry skin can get acne. So, what is the difference between oily acne and dry acne and what is causing that to happen?


Oily skin, as we know, is more susceptible to acne because of all of the excess oil that sits on top of the skin. Oil fuels the acne flame, which means if you don't use products that will help to reduce some of that excess oil, the acne will be very difficult to treat. Both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide are effective in the treatment of acne. Salicylic acid exfoliates and works like a mop to absorb excess oil and remove the dead skin cells that cover the breakouts. This makes the extraction process much easier and more comfortable for clients. It also has antibacterial properties which is essential to treating and controlling acne. On the other hand, benzoyl peroxide works by forcing oxygen into the pores and killing bacteria. Bacteria cannot survive in the presence of oxygen – therefore making benzoyl peroxide the perfect ingredient for killing that bacteria and reducing breakouts on the skin.

But having dry skin and acne can be a very frustrating situation to deal with too. The main ingredients that are used to treat acne can be very drying for any client, but especially for those who already struggle with dry skin. When the skin is dry, the barrier function is not working properly and allows for transepidermal water loss. This makes the skin even more dry and can allow bacteria to spread, causing more breakouts. It is important to rebalance the skin with the appropriate oils and lipids to ensure a healthy barrier, especially for clients with dry skin.

Most of the time, clients actually create the problem by stripping their skin, which leads to dryness and an intact barrier. This can happen by simply overdoing their skin care routine. Having both a gentle cleanser, as well as one that has active ingredients, is important so you are not overdrying the skin. Clients can also overexfoliate with the use of abrasive facial scrubs or even over using a facial brush like the Clarisonic. You really only need to be exfoliating the skin two-to-three times a week. When you exfoliate, the naturally occurring lipids or oils on the skin are being taken off; when it's overdone, the face will overcompensate and produce more oil.

In short, acne is a frustrating skin condition to deal with, whether clients have dry or oily skin. Make sure that they are always using their recommended products and that they are using them regularly. they will get the best results with a routine. Remember, less is more when using professional skin care products.

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