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Acne can cause your skin to feel oily and greasy, so a moisturizer may be the last thing you’d think of trying. A moisturizer, however, may be just what you need if you’re using one of the following acne treatments:
- Benzoyl peroxide
- Salicylic acid
- Adapalene, tazarotene, or tretinoin
- Isotretinoin (prescription treatment for severe acne)
These treatments tend to dry and irritate the skin. Using a moisturizer every day can help your skin tolerate these medications.
A moisturizer can also be helpful any time your skin feels dry, such as during the winter.
When your skin becomes dry, your body makes more oil. The extra oil can clog your pores, which may lead to more breakouts. The right moisturizer can prevent your skin from becoming dry and irritated.
What type of moisturizer should someone with acne-prone skin use?
To prevent a moisturizer from causing breakouts, look for one of these descriptions on the container:
- Won’t clog pores
When you see one of these descriptions, it means that the moisturizer is unlikely to cause acne.
When should someone with acne use moisturizer?
You want to apply moisturizer when your skin feels dry. Dermatologists recommend using it every day when your skin feels dry.
Applying it after you wash helps to trap much-needed water in your skin.
After washing your face, gently blot your skin with a clean towel. Leave on a bit of water, so your skin feels damp. Then apply your moisturizer. This will help to lock in much-needed water.
When should you see results?
In studies, most patients see less acne between 4 and 8 weeks after beginning to use an acne friendly moisturizer.
All of the patients in these studies were following an acne treatment plan that required them to use acne medication, cleanser, and moisturizer. Dermatologists choose their medication, cleanser, and moisturizer.
If using a moisturizer still seems as though it would worsen rather than help clear your acne, you may want to speak with a dermatologist. During an office visit, a dermatologist can tell you what can help clear your acne and create a treatment plan for you.
Your treatment plan may very well include a moisturizer.
Images: Getty Images
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Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, et al. “A double-blinded, randomized, vehicle-controlled study to access skin tolerability and efficacy of an anti-inflammatory moisturizer in treatment of acne with 0.1% adapalene gel.” J Dermatolog Treat. 2016;27(2):140-5.
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