While acne is a systemic issue, meaning that it can be caused by more than one imbalance in our bodies, I have found that these imbalances, such as improper diet and lifestyle, for example, result in a skin condition that is the number one reason acne develops.
Drumroll . . . the number one cause of acne is dehydrated skin. If skin is dehydrated, it means that the skin is actually thirsty.
I remember the first time I was told, by an esthetician, that I had dehydrated skin. I replied: “But my skin is oily.”
Dehydration and dryness are two completely different conditions.
Anyone can have dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin is a state of dryness, but is not complete dryness. When one has dehydrated skin, it means that her or his skin is lacking proper moisture levels; dehydrated skin lacks water.
Dry skin, on the other hand, lacks oil. It is important to understand that even oily skin can be dehydrated and that it needs proper hydration.
Dehydrated skin, especially if it is acne-prone, tends to breakout because it is trying to overcompensate for the lack of moisture. In fact, increased oil production is due in part to the skin’s need to try to compensate for its lack of moisture.
In a dehydrated state, the skin acts like a car that runs out of water and then overheats. The skin’s lack of water produces inflammation, in the form of acne. So, inflammation (in the form of acne) is a response or a symptom of dehydration. When the skin is dehydrated, it is essentially choking and is stagnant. Because it is “choking,” it creates an imbalanced form of hydration–oil–that is working to hydrate the skin, but because it is imbalanced, it manifests itself improperly, in the form of a pimple or acne.
A sign that your skin is dehydrated: if you notice that it is absorbing moisturizers and other water-based products very quickly, but still feels dry; your skin is working to quench its thirst. In order to provide proper hydration and reduce acne breakouts, it is important to use a good moisturizer on your skin as well as infuse that moisturizer with a light oil such as jojoba or even an occlusive.
Find a good moisturizer that makes your skin feel hydrated and balanced throughout the day.