Does Moisturizer Cause Acne?

Previously I have talked about my struggle with acne. I had red spots all over my face from inflamed acne, which became swollen bumps under my skin. I thought it is caused by internal problem in my body that cannot be fixed by topical products. However, to my surprise, I found a simple fix, which was applying moisturizer to my acne-prone skin. My skin back then was quite dry and irritated from all the anti-acne products I was using. Hence, I tried putting moisturizer on my skin hoping to calm the skin down. And it worked. My relationship with moisturizer changed ever since. This post will tackle this question many of you might have “does moisturizer cause acne?” and a follow up question “does moisturizing oily skin help acne?”. Find out my answer below.

Acne and hydration

does moisturize cause acne_dry acne skin

Growing up, I always associated acne/pimples with oily skin. Despite knowing that my skin is not that oily, I tried out different products that will dry the skin and I was hoping they will dry out the acne too. In contrary, these products hurt my skin real bad and caused my acne to be more inflamed. In fact, my skin needs more hydration and moisture to heal and the last thing I should do is drying the skin further.

Inflammation on the skin might be caused by the dehydration of layers under the skin. I suspect that was what happened to me. I was using an anti-acne lotion that caused severe flaky skin on my face. It was not only unpleasant to see and touch, but also hurts a lot, some parts of my face was bleeding due to driness. Because of this, I applied a rich moisturizer I had at that time, Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Not only that my flakiness went away, small pimples that caused bumps on my skin were gone too. It is as if the reason why my skin was so bad for the past many months was because of severe dehydration.

Does moisturizer cause acne?

So, does moisturizer cause acne? The answer is no, it does not cause acne. In fact, it can help acne to heal. However, you need to read the ingredients in any moisturizer products that you buy, or about to buy. Your skin might have acne from a moisturizer not because of the active moisturizing ingredient itself, but because of the fragrance or other chemical additives within the product. Ingredients like perfume and essential oils might be ok for most but if you are acne-prone, your skin might have a reaction to these ingredients.

Does moisturizing oily skin help acne?

does moisturize cause acne_oily skin

Now we know moisturizer does not cause acne. If you have oily skin, “does moisturizing oily skin help acne?” might be your next question. The answer to this is, it depends on the moisturizer. 

If you already have an oily skin and live in a tropical hot weather, it may not help your skin if you slather your skin with thick heavy moisturizer. However you can opt for gel moisturizer that is lighter in texture and will not clog your pores as much. 

Oily skin might be more prone to acne due to the more active oil glands. If you put on moisturizer on the skin, the skin will see that there is enough moisturize on the surface that it does not need to overcompensate with its oil production. Hence, putting the right moisturizer for oily skin can help with acne in the long run by balancing the natural oil production. 

Should you moisturize your acne-prone skin?

Hell yes, science has proved that well-moisturized skin can heal faster. Pick the right moisturizer for your skin, read the ingredients list and make sure there is no irritant on the list. If you have oily skin, you can also put moisturizer to help with acne. Make sure you choose the right texture for your moisturizer, and be aware that heavy moisturizer can clog the skin pores.

Learn more about skin health, acne and healthy lifestyle with me!

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