Adult Acne Tip : You really do need a moisturizer !

There are often times when a new client fills out my Eval by Email® consultation form, and they leave the Nighttime Moisturizer field blank.  It seems many people think they don’t need a moisturizer because their skin is oily, or they’re uncomfortable with the idea because they’ve broken out so much from them in the past.

I have adult acne, do I really need a moisturizer?

I’d like to shed some light on moisturizers, why they seem to break you out, why you actually do need one, and how to obtain the right one for you.

A big part of the problem is they way most moisturizers are made.

The basic formulation of every lotion is oil, water and something to bind them together so they won't separate.  One with more oil than water is called a water-in-oil emulsion, while one with more water than oil is called an oil-in-water emulsion.  The first one is best for skin that doesn't make enough oil to protect itself (which describes the skin of about 10% of the world's population), while the second describes most lotions on the market.

Adult Acne don't fear the lotion
The problem is, most of the oil-in-water emulsions either have too much oil, have the wrong types of oil for oily skin, or don't have the proper ingredients to actually get the water into the skin and bind it there for hydration - oily skin doesn't need more oil, it needs water!

To add insult to injury, many of the "light" lotions that feel good and penetrate the skin quickly are actually some of the most pore clogging and acne aggravating around!  These lotions, often labeled “oil-free”, are formulated with ingredients made out of fats fused with alcohols to make waxy substances that actually feel really good, but clog pores like crazy.  These ingredients are called Fatty Alcohols or Fatty Esters. 

The problem?  Their molecules happen to be small and a bit sticky, so they accumulate one by one inside of pore openings, creating impactions over time.

Now here’s the real kicker.  The reason why many lotions made with these ingredients can be labeled “oil-free” is because they’re made with oils rather than actually being oils.  Tricky, huh?  This is why you can use a lotion that doesn't feel greasy and still end up breaking out.  

Oily skin needs hydration not more oil
Worse still?  Because it’s molecule by molecule, and because some fatty alcohols clog more than others, a pore clogging ingredient can take 3-6 months, yes months, to cause a breakout.

So why do you need a moisturizer at all?

HYDRATION.  In addition to being pore clogging, most moisturizers lubricate the skin more than bind water to it.  Thing is, hydration is indeed very important for oily skin.  Why ?
adult acne needs hydration lotion to keep blackheads at bay

Proper hydration actually helps the skin prevent its own breakouts!
  • The more hydrated your skin is, the more pliable it is.
  • The more pliable your skin is, the less it holds on to the oil that makes blackheads.
  • Every blemish starts out as a microscopic blackhead.
  • A blackhead is nothing but solidified oil mixed with dead skin cells.
Dehydration doesn’t just come from not drinking enough water, in fact it primarily doesn’t - truth is, by the time your skin is dried out from not drinking enough water, you’re so thirsty, you’re dying.

Skin dehydration mainly comes from water loss to the air, and not enough attraction of water from the air to the skin.  This is where a hydrating lotion comes in handy.  The best lotions for oily skin contain ingredients that bind water molecules to themselves, called humectants, and must be formulated with the right vehicles to get these humectants into the skin so the attracted water molecules can hydrate skin properly.

No matter what your skin issues are, aging with breakouts, scarring, capillary redness, inflamed breakouts, or non-inflamed breakouts, there is a nighttime lotion formulated for your special problems.  So many of my clients have experienced skin clearing after introducing a nighttime moisturizer, if I haven’t convinced you already, contact me and we’ll talk about your personal adult acne issues !

virtual skincare coaching for adult acne

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  1. I totally agree! Learned the hard way how much I need moisturizer.


    1. Isn't it the **truth**?! What's funny is how often I hear people complain that their skin feels oily after using a hydrating lotion for a while, when I discover that it's because they're so used to their skin being dehydrated they can't tell it's hydrated rather than oily.

  2. Very informative...thanks for sharing:)