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3 Steps To Get Rid Of Dry Flaky Acne Skin


Got dry flaky acne skin? We’ve got to sort that out before it causes you to have more breakouts, or even worse, causes scars and marks once your breakouts heal.

When you’ve got flaky, dry, irritated acne skin, your moisture barrier that protects your skin is weakened or damaged.

For some of you, it doesn’t matter what kind of moisturizer you put on your skin, your skin doesn’t seem to be able to absorb or retain the moisture. Your skin might even be producing too much oil and sebum to counter the dryness, but all it’s doing is causing more pimples and irritation.

It could feel like a never ending cycle between dryness and breakouts, and your skin is too irritated, red, and cracked to bear.

Check out today’s video, and instructions for 3 simple steps to start healing and balancing your skin.

Skin care tips for dry flaky acne prone skin.

Your skin care routine for dry flaky acne skin

I want you to look over all the skin care products you are currently using, and take out every single product that could be drying or irritating your skin.

Stop using:

  • foaming or soap cleansers
  • toners, essence, or face mists
  • serums with active ingredients
  • face masks
  • spot treatments
  • essential oils
  • any skin care product containing fragrance

You might be wondering what you are left with?! Not much, I know. To heal parched dry skin, you’ve got to eliminate EVERYTHING that could potentially be irritating your skin, because your skin isn’t healthy right now, and is much more susceptible to irritation.

Here’s what you can use:

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You pretty much want to wash your face once or twice a day. If you need to, use a few drops of oil or moisturizer, and allow your skin to balance out on it’s own.

Your skin wants to be balanced, but what could be throwing it off is all the products you are putting on your skin that’s irritating it. You’ve got to eliminate all the irritants first, so your skin can take over and heal.

Less is actually more.

And, if you’re wondering what about sunscreen? Well, if your skin is super dry, irritated and hurts, I would avoid going in the sun until your skin is balanced and healed. If you do need to go out in the sun, wear a mineral sunscreen, but no sunbathing or things like that. Remember, this is not forever, this is just until your skin is balanced again and not cracked, red and flaking.

You might also be wondering why no essential oils, aren’t they natural? Well, when your skin is really irritated, dry and flaking, your skin’s moisture barrier isn’t working properly, and therefore, your skin can’t really protect itself from anything. Essential oils are strong, and especially too strong for skin that is raw, dehydrated, or not functioning at it’s best.

Think about it, if you had a rash, would you be putting all sorts of stuff on it? Probably not. So don’t put it on your dry irritated face!

A warning

Sometimes it takes a few days, or a week or two for your skin to adjust to less products. Don’t be alarmed if your skin feels a little tight or out of nowhere you get some breakouts. It’s normal that your skin reacts to such a change to your skin care routine, especially if overnight you stopped using half the products you normally do. My recommendation is to keep your hands off your face, and allow your skin to balance out on it’s own. Within and week or two you should see it starting to improve.

Diet for dry flaky acne skin

What you eat affects your skin. More so than most people want to admit or believe. In fact, I personally believe your diet has more power to transform the state of your skin than any skin care product or procedure.

When it comes to irritated dry skin, the two foods that stand out the most making it worse, is sugar and caffeine.

Sugar is just so inflammatory. It irritates your body from the inside out. Sugar also breaks down collagen making it harder for your skin to heal and repair. Not only does it slow down your skin’s healing process, but sugar contributes to aging you too.

If you want balanced healthy skin, make the effort to decrease or eliminate sugar from your diet, especially processed sugars.

Also, dry skin is always dehydrated skin. And one of the most dehydrating foods/drinks is coffee. I know how hard it is to give up coffee, but if you’ve got dry irritated skin, giving up coffee can pave the way to really great results.

Every single person I’ve met that has given up coffee notices just how much healthier their skin is and how much better it looks. Giving up coffee brings back the glow and youthfulness of your skin.

Those with oily skin notice how much less oily their skin appears, and those with dry skin notice how much more moisturized and plumped their skin becomes. That’s because your skin is no longer dehydrated, your skin can retain the moisture it needs to maintain a healthy balance.

DIY Exfoliating Mask for Dry Flaky Acne Skin

A big problem with dry flaky acne skin is you need to shed the build up of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin so new healthier skin cells can come to the surface. But, you’ve got to do this without irritating your skin more.

Exfoliation is key, but NOT using traditional exfoliating methods like scrubs or products containing exfoliating acids like Salicylic Acid or AHAs. That could be just too strong or harsh for your fragile skin. Especially when the moisture barrier of your skin is weak.

Instead I recommend using a one ingredient therapeutic exfoliating mask once or twice a week.

A gentle exfoliating mask would be made with one of the following ingredients:

  • A plain oil (jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil, or sunflower oil)
  • Yogurt (organic, plain, full fat)
  • Fresh Aloe Vera Gel (from the plant)
  • Smooth raw honey


  1. Choose one of the above ingredients
  2. Apply on your clean face
  3. Leave on your face for 20-30 minutes
  4. Using a soft damp wash cloth (I recommend Grovia Cloth Wipes), remove the product from your face. If your skin is really sensitive and raw, just rinse your face with warm water instead of using a wash cloth
  5. If your skin needs extra moisturizing, follow with a drop of oil or moisturizer

The key step to gently exfoliating your skin

As you can see, this is a simple mask. What makes this mask so special is leaving the product on your skin for 20-30 minutes. During those 20-30 minutes, the ingredient you chose to apply on your face will loosen all the build up of dead skin cells on the surface of your skin without disturbing or irritating your skin. This is just as effective as using a scrub, if not more, and it won’t hurt your fragile skin. In fact, all the above ingredients are anti-inflammatory, soothing and hydrating.

About the Author
Hi, I’m Natasha St. Michael, Founder of Inspire Beauty. I’m also a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Natural Health Educator accredited by the Institute For Integrative Nutrition. I’m obsessed with skin care and self-care. I’m 47 years old, struggled with adult acne until I was 30, and now I’m all about preserving the youthfulness of my skin (and sharing all my tips and tricks). If you have a question about a product or need a recommendation, feel free to contact me anytime.


This blog is for information purposes only. The content is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Should you have a medical or dermatological problem, please consult with your physician. None of the information or recommendations on this website should be interpreted as medical advice.

All product reviews, recommendations, and references are based on the author’s personal experience and impressions using the products. All views and opinions are the author’s own. 

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10 Responses

  1. Great post!

    I’ve been getting great results using a drop of vegetable glycerin on a wet face as my moisturizer.

    1. Update lol: I stopped using it. I ended up with little irritation bumps all over my face after a few days. Maybe too much glycerin irritates the skin?

    2. Some people have a sensitivity to glycerin. It’s moisturizing, but not necessarily good for everyone. Good that you now know you are sensitive to it. Make sure whenever you buy skincare products you avoid anything containing it.

  2. Also, I recently have gotten really serious with consuming raw apple cider vinegar (just a little diluted in a glass of water) a few times a day, and my skin has really improved a lot more. I’ve suffered from candida nearly my entire life and my skin problems are definitely a symptom, so I think that’s why the raw acv works well for me.

  3. I am having issues right now that I normally don’t have to deal with, that dry patch on my old acne spot. Its really red and dry, and just looks terrible. This post really made sense with what I already know, so you’ve helped point me more into the right direction. Thank you!

  4. where I had acne a small, red , dry, flaky patch of skin appeared. It looked terrible and I just wanted to hide my face! Eventually the dry flakiness took over my nose, forehead, and cheeks! I can’t figure out why… I’ve been drinking more water, washing my face, and i’m currently trying aloe vera. I think it’s from a face mask I was using. It sucks because the face mask really helped my acne until this happened.

  5. I’ve battled rosacea for the past year or so and have had a particularly bad flare up going on over a few months now. Trying this simple routine has given my poor face such relief and things finally feel like they’re starting to get back to normal, thank you so much.

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