Dry Skin & Whiteheads

If you've got dry skin and whiteheads, you're not alone. Unfortunately, even those of us whose skin always feels parched can still have recurring acne problems. As it turns out, acne can even be worsened by dry skin. To alleviate your dryness and make the whiteheads go away, your skin may need special treatment. Luckily, you can probably take care of it yourself by following a few simple guidelines.

Causes of Whiteheads

MayoClinic.com says acne is due to an overproduction of "sebum," your skin's natural oil 125. Sebum is produced under your skin, at the base of hair follicles. When your follicles become clogged, sebum builds up. Then the follicle wall can bulge, producing a whitehead. It's important to note that dirt doesn't cause acne: dry skin cells are more often to blame. According to MayoClinic.com, dead skin cells and sebum are the primary factors in clogged pores 12.

Causes of Dry Skin

Weather, sun exposure, swimming pools, central heating and air conditioning can all dry your skin, MayoClinic.com warns 12.cause:

  • Weather
  • sun exposure
  • swimming pools
  • central heating
  • air conditioning can all dry your skin
  • MayoClinic.com warns 12

Skin dryness can also be due to psoriasis or thyroid disorders, or you may have naturally dry skin. However, you can worsen your skin's thirst by washing it in hot water or by using harsh soaps and detergents. In fact, if you have dry skin and wash or scrub it too frequently, you can increase the dry skin cells on your face, in turn causing acne.

Treatment: Cleansing

MayoClinic.com recommends that you wash problem areas with a gentle cleanser 12. Acne.org adds that you should not use soap, and wash only twice a day with at least 10 hours in between washings. Wash your face with your bare hands, not by scrubbing with a cloth, then pat your skin dry without rubbing. Acne.org also recommends applying a 2.5 percent benzoyl peroxide cream. However, if this dries your skin too much, try using tea tree oil as a milder solution.

Treatment: Moisturizing

Whenever you wash your face, or when it feels dry, apply moisturizer. MayoClinic.com recommends choosing a product labeled "water-based" or "noncomedogenic." This indicates it won't add to the oiliness of your skin, and won't clog your pores 12.

According to Acne.org, you should apply enough moisturizer so that your skin isn't flaky. If you want added effectiveness, try adding a few drops of jojoba oil.


To cut down on your acne risk, you can keep your skin clean without having to over-wash it. MayoClinic.com recommends avoiding oily or greasy cosmetics, sunscreens, hair products and concealers 12. Once again, look for the words "water-based" or "noncomedogenic" to indicate that products are non acne-causing. Keep your hair clean, and pulled back from your face. Avoid touching your face with your hands or your phone, and stay away from tight clothes or hats that can trap oil and dirt next to your skin.