Acne treatment- moisturizer- Musings of an NYC dermatologist

Many people with acne are afraid of moisturizer.  They shouldn’t be.  There is a belief out there that if one allows one’s skin to dry out that will help acne lesions to resolve.  Further, some oil-based moisturizers may clog pores resulting in acne flares.  Studies suggests, however,  that having dry skin,  in fact, makes acne worse.

Put simply, when the skin is functioning properly, the oils (lipids) seal water in resulting in adequately hydrated skin.  Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is a measure of how well water is being held in the skin.  When TEWL increases it reflects a defective skin barrier and skin that is much more likely to become dry.   Elevated transepidermal water loss is associated with  increased inflammation, and in the case of acne, increased comedone (backhead and whitehead) formation.  Moisturizers provide hydration and seal it in which should reduce the risk of some types of acne flares.

So, as the saying goes, when it comes to treating and preventing acne, “dry is a lie.”  People with acne should use high quality, non-comedogenic moisturizers as part of their routine to achieve and maintain beautiful, glowing, acne-free skin.


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