What to do when you have acne and dry skin?

What to do when you have acne and dry skin?

Caring for dry, acne-prone skin requires a unique approach that nourishes skin while clearing up breakouts in a gentle way. Once you find the right products and get a regular dry, acne-prone skin routine in place, the result can be beautifully smooth, clear and hydrated skin.

Cleanser and Toner for Dry, Acne-Prone Skin

This replenishing duo leaves skin soft and completely makeup and oil free.

CALM Cleanser
Leaves dry, blemish-prone skin thoroughly cleansed, yet replenished and soft.

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CALM Toner
Soothes redness while replenishing skin for renewed radiance.

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Fight Breakouts with the Best Acne Treatment for Dry Skin

Choose products that effectively, gently, and quickly combat acne and clogged pores.

Clear Extra Strength 2% BHA Exfoliant
Unclogs pores and minimises breakouts in a dramatic yet soothing way.

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10% Azelaic Acid Booster
Fades brown spots, reduces blemish marks, calms skin.

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Hydrate & Which Moisturiser is Best for Acne and Dry Skin?

Give skin the moisture it needs, while getting the smooth, clear complexion you want.


CALM Hydrating Moisturiser SPF 30, Normal to Dry Skin
A gentle, mineral-based sunscreen and moisturiser with soothing plant extracts to minimise redness while protecting from UV damage.

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Can Dry Skin Cause Acne?

Spots with dry skin can sometimes be caused by the dry skin issue itself for two reasons:

  • Dry skin produces more oil to try to counteract the dryness, which in turn blocks pores.
  • If you have dry skin then you probably try to use heavy skincare products to address the issue, which can block pores or possibly even compromise the skin barrier and cause acne.

Skincare for Dry Skin and Acne

If your skin feels dry and oily, plus is prone to breakouts, all at the same time, you’re actually struggling with dehydrated skin and acne, which is very different to dry skin and acne. Dehydration is typically brought on by using the wrong skincare products such as overly drying cleansers or harsh ingredients like Link to an article: denatured alcohol, mint, menthol, eucalyptus and lemon.

Does this sound more like your skin type? If so, taking care of dehydrated skin with acne has a separate protocol. You'll find more information on tackling dehydrated skin here.

While having oily skin with acne is not uncommon, only a small percentage of people find themselves with truly dry skin and acne. For those unlucky few, it’s an infuriating struggle. Trying to find a moisturiser that addresses the needs of dry skin without clogging pores and causing more breakouts is hard enough. Then there’s the issue that products that get breakouts under control often make dry skin even drier. It can be a real dilemma when shopping for skincare products.

Expert Tips for Dry, Blemish-Prone Skin

Once you’ve determined that your skin is dry (not dehydrated), and you've ensured that your skincare routine is free of aggravating factors, you can focus on the gentle yet effective ways to get your dry skin and acne under control. The following are our expert recommendations.

1. To tackle dry skin with blackheads and spots, start with a soothing cleanser and toner duo, like you’ll find in our CALM Collection, to leave skin thoroughly cleansed, yet replenished and soft. This combination is formulated for the most sensitive of skins and is even gentle enough for skin prone to eczema.

2. Bring in the big guns (though still ultimately gentle) with a BHA exfoliant to unclog pores. Our SKIN PERFECTING 2% BHA Lotion Exfoliant has a light lotion texture that softens and hydrates as it gently and naturally exfoliates to clear pores and reveal smooth-looking skin. It is perfectly gentle and can even reduce the appearance of those hard, tiny, white bumps on the cheeks and face known as milia.

3. Stop breakouts before they begin with azelaic acid. This is a powerhouse ingredient for preventing breakouts and diminishing marks from previous blemishes. Use it consistently once or twice daily and experience the soothing benefits of this plant-derived ingredient. Our 10% Azelaic Acid Booster works to reduce blemishes, fade brown spots and calm troubled skin.

4. Finding the perfect balance in a moisturiser and/or serum is admittedly the tricky part. You want one that contains rejuvenating and skin-renewing ingredients but is also hydrating enough to quench dry skin. It also needs to be less emollient than a standard cream moisturiser so it doesn’t exacerbate breakouts. While it may take some experimenting, here are a few of our suggestions, starting with the lightest option in each category first.

Daytime moisturisers with SPF 30 or greater (you simply can’t take care of any skin type and overlook this fundamental skincare step):

Nighttime moisturisers:


  • CALM Serum - is a non-greasy, lightly hydrating, antioxidant-enriched formula that smooths over skin.
  • Resist Anti-Aging Retinol Serum - is a velvety serum that blends pure retinol and potent antioxidants to leave skin feeling silky and soft.

Learn more about dry skin.

Customer Service

Need help with finding the right product for your skin? Our customer care team are skincare and product experts and can guide you to the best skin of your life.


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