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  5. How To Choose A Moisturizer For Acne-Prone Skin?

Do we need to moisturize acne-prone skin? A lot of us may often ask ourselves this question. Many people with acne-prone skin tend to avoid using a moisturizer with the thought that their skin will become more oily.

However, Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix says, ‘’Moisturizing acne-prone skin is a very important step to treat acne. Fundamentally, the question is not about using a moisturizer, but about the ingredients it contains.’’

In this article, let’s find out how to choose the best moisturizer for acne-prone skin, its benefits, and application tips for effective results.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Speaks

“Make sure the moisturizer for acne-prone skin is not too heavy and never believe that it’s ok to skip the moisturizer altogether.”

-Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

Is Moisturizer Good For Acne-prone Skin?

‘’Acne-prone skin has the most sensitive skin biome. Barrier damage owing to external factors and internal hormonal upheavals lead to acne. To make things worse, many acne-prone skin are subjected to excessive cleansing to keep the natural body oils minimum. This further weakens the barrier, triggers excess oil and things just keep going on in a vicious circle,’’ says Dr. Zeel.

Hence, your skin feels oily and greasy when you have acne and a moisturizer is the last thing you may think of applying to your skin. But, your skin needs a moisturizer to be well-hydrated for a long time. And, hydration in the skin is essential to control and prevent acne in the first place[1]. Therefore, you need to pick a hydrating moisturizer that doesn’t worsen acne by clogging your skin pores.

‘’Make sure the moisturizer for acne-prone skin is not too heavy and never believe that it’s ok to skip the moisturizer altogether,’’ says Dr. Zeel.

Benefits Of Moisturizer For Acne-prone Skin

  • Moisturizer mainly prevents the loss of water from your skin. It is an essential regimen for acne-prone skin, especially for people who live in cold conditions, extremely arid places, who underwent certain medical procedures, etc.
  • It forms a protective barrier on the outermost layer of your skin against acne-causing bacteria, environmental irritants, and pollution[2]. Also, it makes your skin soft and supple.
  • Dry skin worsens the acne condition as your skin begins to counterbalance by over-producing sebum. Also, the more your skin is dry, the more dead skin accumulates in the pores, developing into comedone. Moisturizers help in maintaining the optimal hydration and pH levels in your skin. Thus, it aids in controlling the over-production of sebum and accumulation of dead skin, which are the main causes for acne breakouts.

Human sebum is made of triglycerides(free cholesterol) and fatty acids (57.5%), squalene (12%), and wax esters (26%). Hence, your body tends to produce more sebum when there is high cholesterol in your blood.

  • If you are undergoing acne treatment, then most of the topical medications contain ingredients such as salicylic acid [3], benzoyl peroxide, tretinoin, adapalene, etc., which dry out your skin. And, your skin needs moisturizer for rehydration.
  • Moisturizers have a soothing effect and help in reducing the inflammation caused by acne-causing bacteria in your skin.
  • Moisturizer helps in increasing the cell turnover in your skin, which in turn slows down the aging process of your skin. If you moisturize your skin consistently in youth, then you are most likely to have a relatively younger appearance when you age.
  • Moisturizers that contain soy (or niacinamide) help in controlling and preventing hyperpigmentation [4] or dark spots caused by acne breakouts.

What Type Of Moisturizer Should You Use For Acne-prone Skin?

Moisturizers come in different forms such as gels, lotions, creams, which have different viscosities. You need to look for the terms such as non-comedogenic, oil-free, and clog-free in the description of the moisturizer for acne-prone skin. Also, I prefer a moisturizer that has a low viscosity.

Type Of Ingredients Used In Moisturizer For Acne-Prone Skin

  • Humectants - These ingredients help to trap the moisture from the air and lock it in your skin [5].
  • Emollients - These ingredients provide lubrication for your skin.
  • Anti-microbial agents - These ingredients help to prevent the colonization of acne-causing bacteria and other infection-causing microbes in your skin.

How To Choose A Moisturizer For Acne-prone Skin?

1. Know Your Skin Type

Acne-prone skin may not always be oily. People with dry, combination, normal or sensitive skin types can also tend to develop acne breakouts. Hence, it is very important to know your skin type before finding the right moisturizer for acne-prone skin as below:

A. Oily Or Combination Acne-Prone Skin

It needs a moisturizer in lotion form which is water-based, oil-free, and light in weight (low viscosity). Though your moisturizer does not trigger acne breakouts, if it feels heavy, then you can use it on your skin after diluting it with a little amount of water.

Bakuchi (psoralea corylifolia), lodhra (symplocos racemosa), manjistha (rubia cordifolia) are some of the natural herbal ingredients you can look for in the moisturizer when you have oily or combination skin that is prone to acne.

B. Dry Acne-Prone Skin

It needs a slightly heavier and creamy moisturizer that is non-comedogenic and has soothing ingredients.

You can opt for a moisturizer that has herbal ingredients such as usheera (vetiveria zizanioides), kumari (aloe vera), kamala(nelumbo nucifera) when you have dry, acne-prone skin.

C. Normal & Acne-Prone Skin

People with normal skin can use a moisturizer that contains jojoba oil as it is non-comedogenic and mimics the natural sebum produced by your skin. Thus, it can control the over-production of sebum by fooling your skin into thinking that there is a sufficient amount of sebum already.

Glass bottle with jojoba oil and seeds on wooden table

D. Sensitive Acne-Prone Skin

Glycerin-based moisturizers are quite safe for people with sensitive acne-prone skin. It is better to opt for a fragrance-free moisturizer for sensitive skin as chemicals used for artificial fragrances may cause irritation.

Haridra (turmeric), nimba (neem), tulsi (basil) are some of the suitable ingredients in moisturizers for people with sensitive skin with acne.

2. Medical Moisturizers For Acne-Prone Skin

As per your doctor’s prescription, you can use moisturizers that have the following acne-controlling ingredients:

  • Salicylic acid
  • Retinoids
  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Peptides or/and ceramides

These medical moisturizers are formulated to control acne and hydrate your skin simultaneously.

Vedix Tip: Avoid using moisturizers with ingredients such as coconut oil, petroleum jelly, cocoa butter, shea butter, mineral oils, etc. for acne-prone skin. These ingredients may cause pore-clogging and aggravate acne.

How To Use/Apply Moisturizer For Acne-prone Skin?

It is very important to apply the moisturizer in the right way, especially when you have acne-prone skin. Here’s how you can do it properly:

  • You need to do a patch test before using any moisturizer on your skin. Choose a clear patch on your skin and wash the area first. Pat dry the area and apply a small amount of moisturizer. You can continue to use the product if you do not experience any itching, burning, or pain in the applied area.
  • Always apply the moisturizer on slightly damp skin after cleansing. This helps to lock the moisture in your skin.
  • Always use the right amount of moisturizer. In general, a small dollop is sufficient if you are using a thick moisturizing cream whereas lotions with thinner consistency can be applied generously.
  • Take a pea-sized amount of moisturizing cream or lotion into your palms. Use your clean fingertips to dab the moisturizer onto different areas of your face such as cheeks, forehead, chin, nose, and neck.
  • Now, spread the moisturizer across your face evenly by using your fingertips in gentle circular motions upwards and outwards. You need to be extra careful around delicate areas such as your eyes.
  • Wait for 10 minutes to let the moisturizer completely get absorbed into your skin before applying other products or makeup. The moisturizer you apply should seep into your skin quickly and get absorbed completely. Else, you may end up over-moisturizing your skin, which is not advisable for acne-prone skin.
  • Always apply the skin products and cosmetics in the ascending order of their weights. You need to begin with the product that has the lightest consistency.
  • To moisturize your arms and legs, rub a sufficient amount of product between your palms for a few seconds and apply it into your skin in the direction of hair follicles.

woman applying moisturizer to her legs after bath

  • Give more time and attention when you are moisturizing the driest areas of your body such as feet, elbows, and knees.
  • Avoid rubbing the moisturizer into your skin aggressively as it damages the skin.
  • Try using a moisturizer with SPF during the daytime.

When Should You Use Moisturizer For Acne-prone Skin?

In general, you may need to use moisturizer whenever your skin texture feels dry. Dr. Zeel recommends using it every morning and night after washing your face with a mild Ayurvedic cleanser.

The Last Word

You may notice the reduction in acne 4-8 weeks after you start using a moisturizer that is suitable for your skin. However, you need to talk to a dermatologist for the right treatment plan if your moisturizer seems to worsen your acne condition.

At Vedix, we formulate a customized Ayurvedic skincare regimen with the goodness of natural herbs that are well suited for your skin type.

Know Your Dosha Now

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