Home | Health | Skincare & Skin Conditions | Acne Medication | How to Reduce the Drying Effects of Acne Medication

How to Reduce the Drying Effects of Acne Medication

by Janette Sturges
  • Overview

    If you suffer from acne, you're probably already concerned about too much oil on your skin, but having skin that is too dry can also contribute to acne breakouts. If your skin feels dry, or is red or flaking, you may need more moisture. Acne medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, topical or oral, often cause drying, especially in the first month of use. But there are plenty of ways you can reduce the drying effects of acne medication.
  • Reduce the drying effects of acne medications

 
  • Step 1

    Reduce the dosage of your medication. If you're using your medication more than once a day, cut back on how often you apply your topical medication. You can also cut back on the number of applications of over-the-counter creams, though drying side effects often improve over a month or so.
  • Step 2

    Use an oil-free moisturizer. Many people are afraid use moisturizer because it seems counter-intuitive to put something that feels oily on an acne-prone face. But everyone needs a good moisturizer. Just look for one that's oil-free and noncomedogenic. Apply it soon after a shower and after your acne medication.
  • Step 3

    Keep your showers lukewarm. Hot water can dry out the skin and should be avoided. Apply your moisturizer quickly after a shower to avoid losing moisture from your skin. You can also keep your skin more comfortable by keeping your home from drying out. A simple humidifier will do the trick.
  • Step 4

    Change your face wash. A face wash should never make your skin feel tight or squeaky. If yours is, try switching to a gentler face wash. Also avoid washing your face more than once a day.
  • Step 5

    Try switching medications. As with most drugs, everybody will respond to a drug differently, so if a specific medication is drying your skin, talk to your doctor about switching to a different medication. If you use over-the-counter benzoyl peroxide to treat your acne, you might want to consider a product that contains tea tree oil instead. Your doctor might also recommend washing off medication soon after applying to avoid drying.
  • Step 6

    Stop using astringents or masks. When treating acne, the only thing your face needs is the medication, face wash and a light moisturizer. Astringents, masks and other products can dry your skin further.
  • Step 7

    Keep your skin protected. Skin dries out quickly in the winter because of harsh wind and dry conditions. Protect it by wrapping up your face in a scarf to keep it protected from wind and cold. And regardless of the time of year, use a sunscreen. Sun exposure doesn't just dry out your skin, it increases your risk for skin cancer.
  • 3
  • Moisturizer Humidifier Face wash Scarf Sunblock
  • Moisturizer
  • Humidifier
  • Face wash
  • Scarf
  • Sunblock
  • Accutane is a particularly drying acne medication. It can also be a very dangerous medication. Do not change your dosage of this or other oral acne medications without your doctor's approval. If you're on Accutane, be sure to check in with your doctor during your scheduled appointments.
  • Accutane is a particularly drying acne medication. It can also be a very dangerous medication. Do not change your dosage of this or other oral acne medications without your doctor's approval. If you're on Accutane, be sure to check in with your doctor during your scheduled appointments.

References & Resources