Dehydrated Acne Prone Skin: The Only Guide You Need

October 25, 2022

Dehydrated skin is a leading cause of acne - find out why and what you can do to prevent it.

Author: Lim Li Yen

Reading time: 6 minutes

Acne, otherwise known as acne vulgaris, occurs when pores, hair follicles or sebaceous glands are clogged with excess sebum and oil. Acne predominantly affects teenagers and young adults. However, the battle with acne for many also stretches into adulthood.

Contrary to popular belief, acne does not arise only from having an oily skin type. Dehydrated skin tends to be acne prone due to the lack of hydration in the skin’s epidermal layer. It is important for the skin to maintain its water-oil balance, otherwise dehydrated acne prone skin may arise.

Disrupting the water-oil balance in the skin, particularly where a lack of moisture is concerned, would lead to the skin overcompensating for this lack of hydration. The oil glands are stimulated to produce more oil. This ends up clogging pores and having quite the opposite effect of moisturising.

dehydrated acne prone skin routine

It is also worth clarifying that dehydrated skin is more of a skin condition and is not a skin type. While dehydrated skin directly translates to a lack of skin hydration, it is not the same as having dry or oily skin. Dry or oily skin is largely determined by genetics and environmental factors.

Dehydrated skin can most definitely lead to oily skin producing even more oil than it already is. Dehydrated skin can also exacerbate the effects of dry skin. It can cause dry patches, itchiness and flakiness. All of this may contribute to dehydrated acne prone skin.

With dehydrated acne prone skin, it is important to deliver essential hydration to the skin to repair the skin’s moisture barrier. Let us look at some potential solutions to understand dehydrated acne prone skin further.

How Does Dehydrated Skin Look?

When the skin is not sufficiently hydrated it loses its plump, youthful radiance. Think of a turgid plant and what happens when it starts to wilt: it gets dry, flakey, and wrinkly. Skin itchiness and inflammation is also commonly associated with dehydrated skin. The lack of hydration causes excess oil production which ends up clogging pores. The clogged pores then proceed to trigger inflammation. This can't be soothed without some sort of moisture or hydration.

Can Dehydration Cause Acne Breakouts?

Dehydration can most definitely cause acne breakouts. In fact, it is one of the main factors associated with acne prone skin. Anyone can get dehydrated skin regardless of their skin type. It is caused by insufficient hydration.

Dehydrated skin disrupts the skin’s natural moisture barrier. It does this by disrupting the water-oil balance in the skin. It is worth noting that oil and water should not be considered synonymous. Water provides essential hydration to drive biochemical processes in the skin. On the other hand, oil is emollient and locks in the hydration. Both components work together to maintain the skin’s moisture barrier.

However, do not fret if your skin’s moisture barrier seems to have gone a bit haywire. Dehydrated skin is often associated with environmental stressors. If you are in a humid country, the skin’s oil production tends to spike up and vice versa. Even with the change of seasons - transitioning from summer to winter, it requires your skin to adapt to the differing moisture content in the air.

This is why tweaking your skincare routine according to the seasons is crucial. Having a few fail-proof products on hand to soothe dehydrated skin helps maintain skin moisture levels. A few of our go-tos are the Evenswiss Balancing Complex and ZENii Pro Hydrate. Both of these work to help restore moisture in dehydrated skin.

dehydrated acne prone skin

How Long Does Dehydrated Skin Take To Heal?

Since everybody’s skin is different, it is quite difficult to pinpoint an exact time frame. If the problem is solely due to dehydration and not a compromised skin barrier, 3 months of consistent skincare application should start to give you results. Though, this is just an estimate and should not be taken as a hard and fast rule.

How Do You Treat Dehydrated Acne Prone Skin?

There was a famous old school home method of treating acne prone skin - to dry out your skin on the belief that it would make your skin less oily. While in theory it sounds reasonable, it is definitely one of the worst methods in practice and would worsen acne.

Drying out the skin by not applying moisturiser, or using a stripping cleanser would deprive your skin of the hydration that it craves. This will push it to overcompensate for this lack of moisture by producing even more excess oil.

There are two essential steps in treating dehydrated skin. If the skin is merely dehydrated, look out for a good lightweight moisturiser that will deliver you a pack of hydration such as the Evenswiss Rich Regenerating Cream.

As well as this, ZENii Pro Hydrate is another great moisturising solution. This supplement is a tried and true skincare solution packed with sodium hyaluronate. This acts as a vessel to transport water molecules to supplement the skin with hydration.

To seal in all that moisture, we recommend pairing it with the Indeed Labs Clearify Facial Oil for optimum hydration. The Indeed Labs Clearify Oil has a unique lightweight, non-greasy formula. It helps nourish your skin and rebalance oil production.

Should You Hydrate Acne Prone Skin?

As mentioned above hydration is essential in skincare, especially if you have acne prone skin. Water is essential in providing an optimum medium for biochemical processes. It is also a universal solvent that helps to transport waste products and toxins to be excreted from the skin. Hence, water is essential for supplementing skin regeneration and healing acne.

If you are worried about oiliness and prefer lightweight water based products instead of the Indeed Labs Clearify Facial Oil, try the Evenswiss Balancing Complex. Evenswiss Balancing Complex is a serum that works to improve congested, oily, dehydrated acne prone skin. This is more of a targeted skincare solution, so pair it with any trusted moisturiser for best results.

Besides hydration, there are other factors to consider when battling with dehydrated acne prone skin. Whilst delivering moisture to your skin should be of main priority, treatment requires finding the right balance of active ingredients as well.

Retinoids, AHAs and a daily exfoliating cleanser such as Exfoliator II by Indeed Labs would be a great accompaniment to your skincare routine. Retinoids increase cell turnover to yield new skin cells. AHAs help to gently decongest the skin by buffing away accumulated dead skin cells.

Indeed Labs Clearify Oil for dehydrated acne prone skin

What Are the Best Products for Dehydrated Acne Prone Skin?

Dermoi’s top picks for dehydrated acne prone skin would be the Evenswiss Balancing Complex, Evenswiss Rich Regenerating Cream and ZENii Pro Hydrate. Combining the Evenswiss serum to first target and regulate oil production, followed with the Evenswiss moisturiser to replenish the skin of hydration would definitely result in youthful, plump skin.

When combined with the hydrating skin supplement ZENii Pro Hydrate, this would be the dream trio to treat dehydrated acne-prone skin.

All in all, it is essential you focus on moisturising your skin, then adding active ingredients into your routine which would help with your specific skin concerns.


  • 1. Thiboutot, D. and Del Rosso, J.Q. (2013). Acne Vulgaris and the Epidermal Barrier: Is Acne Vulgaris Associated with Inherent Epidermal Abnormalities that Cause Impairment of Barrier Functions? Do Any Topical Acne Therapies Alter the Structural and/or Functional Integrity of the Epidermal Barrier? The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology, [online] 6(2), pp.18–24. Available at:
  • 2. Healthline. (2019). Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: 8 Traits to Help You Tell the Difference. [online] Available at:

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