How to care for your dry skin and breakouts

Olivia Says: My face is starting to look really bad, it’s dry, and I’m breaking out badly on my cheeks and forehead. What type of cleanser should I use? (I’ve heard that plain soap dries out your skin.) Also, what kind of facial mask should I use?

The Right Beauty Brain Replies:

It sounds like you’ve got combination skin issues; we’ll tackle how to cleanse your dry skin first. For skin like yours, you need to avoid harsh cleansers. While it’s difficult to recommend specific products without more information, we can tell you what to stay away from. Avoid plain soap or products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate or alcohol. These can make your dry skin even drier. Make sure these ingredients are NOT listed on the back of the product before you buy anything. For more help, here’s a great place to learn about proper skin cleansing.

Your other problem, breaking out on your cheeks and forehead, is a little bit trickier to handle. We recommend Acnenet for a detailed discussion of options for treating acne. You can read about benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid (the most common tools used in fighting acne), as well as other available therapies including treatment by a dermatologist. We like this site because not only does it tell you what ingredients work, it also tells you what ingredients DON’T work!

In answer to your last question about which facial mask to use, we’d say stay away from masks until you get your dry skin under control. Most masks, especially the clay based products, can dry skin out even more which could cause you additional problems. If you feel you must use a mask, look for one that does not contain clay.