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Dear Soko: How Can I Treat Acne on My Dry Skin?

What do you do when you have acne and dry skin? Welcome to Dear Soko, a series dedicated to answering your biggest skin care questions with advice from Soko Glam’s skin experts. Whether you’re confused about specific ingredients or what you need to do to achieve healthier skin overall, these experts are here to guide you

This week’s question comes from commenter “Ice” who asked: “I consistently battle with inflamed acne, both papules and pustules. What are some products you recommend when dealing with these kind of pimples on dry and acne prone skin?”
Here’s Soko Glam’s skin expert’s answer:

Dry, acne-prone skin is such a frustrating skin type to deal with. In an effort to dry out your acne, you can end up stripping your skin. This, in turn, can disrupt your skin’s barrier function, leading to more acne. It quickly becomes a vicious cycle, but there are ways to help this type of skin.
First off, I recommend stopping any anti-acne treatments and sticking to a very bland routine consisting of a gentle cleanser and a good moisturizer. Look for something that will calm your skin without clogging it. Follow this stripped-down routine for a few weeks. The reason I recommend this is that if you have very dry skin, sometimes the papules you get are not actually acne, but rather an inflammatory response to the dryness. By stopping the acne treatments, you can determine if your papules are due to dryness, or if you truly have acne.
If you realize that the papules on your skin are arising because of dryness, and they are becoming pustules due to your body’s trying to clear inflammation, then keeping your skin hydrated and calmed should help. I recommend looking for lightweight, hydrating products with centella asiatica. The SoonJung Toner is a great product for this skin type, as it will not cause further breakouts.
If, however, you determine that you do have both dry skin and acne, then the treatment will look a little bit different. Look for gentle ingredients that calm inflammation, as you do have inflammatory acne, and controlling inflammation will ensure the healing process goes a lot more smoothly. Again, look for products with centella asiatica. I cannot recommend this ingredient enough for these concerns, as it is both anti-inflammatory and wound-healing, meaning it will help calm the angry pimples while preventing acne scars. I also recommend using snail mucin, such as the COSRX Snail Mucin Essence, because it also helps with wound-healing while promoting hydration.
Another great product for you to use is the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner. If your skin is very dry, use it only once a day, and use the SoonJung toner at the other times. The Benton toner is a wonderful product for dry, acne-prone skin, as it has salicylic acid to help clear the acne and fight inflammation, but it counters the drying effects of salicylic acid with a healthy dose of aloe and snail mucin.
Dry, acne-prone skin can be tough to deal with, but if you remember to balance hydration with anti-inflammatory and gently exfoliating ingredients, you can achieve happy, hydrated skin!
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+What are your favorite non-drying acne treatments? What else would you like to ask the Soko Glam Skin Expert? Share your questions below!

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