Dry Skin and Acne? Tips + My 3-Step Clean Beauty Rut #11

Unfortunately, dry skin is not free from an occasional breakout. What I do when inflammation takes over – in this post.

My skin and I, we haven’t always been friends, and she likes to remind me of this when I don’t treat her well. Fortunately, I’ve become quite good at damage control.

Facing a recent dryness that occurred together with a week-long breaktout (thank you, wheat bread accident!), I had to change my skincare routine to do what is best for my skin – gentle yet intense cleansing plus intense hydration and pampering.


Knowing that many of you, or many adults in fact, have to deal with the unpleasant combo of dryness and inflammation, I want to share some of my insights:

Tip #1
A Case for Mr Holmes

While finding the cause for your acne or inflammation is a huge job that – unfortunately – I can’t release you from (nobody can – and steer clear of all magic “systems”!), let me encourage you to really take time for a very detailed investigation: did anything change prior to the breakout? Did you eat, wear, apply something new or different?

In my case, it was a nutritional accident.
I’m allergic to grains and have a non-celiac wheat sensitivity, so eating two wheat-bread burger buns was not the grandest idea. I blame the stress for wolfing them down without a second thought because it was completely untypical of me 😦BC_living-ethical-excellence

Tip #2
Hygiene Rules!

Quite often acne or inflammations are caused by very simple hygiene mistakes – for instance, how clean is your smartphone? But beware, no toxic desinfectants and no alcohol for your skin!

Another tip no woman will like to hear: don’t cover up. I know, it’s unfair. So, if you do, and we both know you absolutely do, be careful to not use dirty brushes. I also have learned from a skincare specialist to use simple disposable cotton pads and Q-tips to apply powder products and concealer. I know: we’re not in the throw-away club over here. But it’s germs. Let it be an exception.BC_living-ethical-excellence

Tip #3
Gentlest cleansing

Cleansing has to be gentle yet effective. No aggressive foam products for teenage skin – of course not. Never ever let panic dictate your product choice: no alcohol, no harsh surfactants. No rubbing; no peelings; no scrubs. 

Of course, a breakout makes us feel like we need to rub our faces with soap and alcohol and toothpaste and whatnot to get it all super-clean… which is, unfortunately, quite counterproductive. Use gentle cleansing creams, cool(ish) water instead; touch your skin with only little pressure and positively no rubbing or tearing. Gently cleanse your skin with oils that are rich in linoleic fatty acid – softly massage your face to release dry and flaky skin simply with the power of oil and gentle mechanical movement.BC_living-ethical-excellence

Tip #4
Nourish & Pamper

Indulge in anti-inflammatory foods (for example: spices like turmeric; berries; green tea) and green smoothies and moisturise with a serum or “holy grail” oil that your skin knows and likes – when it’s irritated, it’s generally not the best time to try new products.

Another great, product-independent tip to nourish skin in your face and neck area may sound unexpected but is time-tested and so true: good posture and a toned body! The nutrients need a good blood flow, it’s that simple. Face gym and facial massage are your skin’s best friends and allies to fight and prevent wrinkles, saggyness, dryness and so on.

My Current Skincare Routine
For Inflammation-Prone Dry Adult Skin

There are two parts to my current skincare routine to soothe irritated skin and to balance out the dryness: there are products and there are product-independent steps.

STEP 1 (without product in the morning, with product in the evening):

Cleansing. I’ve tried Kahina Giving Beauty Facial Cleanser in January, and it’s become my go-to cleanser – it’s efficient, it lasts forever (this is my second 2016 bottle), and it leaves skin feeling hydrated.


STEP 2 (with or without product):

The fun part! Face gym and facial massage!

I alternate in using my beloved Konjac sponges or simply my fingers to massage clean skin while it’s still wet. Pro tip: use two sponges for a SPA feeling 😉


Every morning and every evening, I spend minimum 10 to 15 minutes or, if I can, longer (it makes binge-watching tv a skin-recovering experience). Nothing leaves your face as radiant as facial massage and face gym. The power combo has helped me reduce under-eye puffiness, completely erase frown wrinkles and keeps supporting me in the unpromising fight against time and gravity 😁.

STEP 3 (with product):

Once I’m done grimacing and massaging, I apply my current skincare favourites, the rich but make-up friendly xingu age perfect eye cream and the light xingu high antioxidant prevention serum, both by Santaverde.Santaverde_Xingu_Serum_Eye_Cream_Review

EXTRA STEP – a facial mask with red clay:

When I have the time, but at least once a week, it’s witching hour 😉

Lately I’ve been quite in love with the Red Clay mask by White Witch (what a name, right!?), but you can of course use any organic quality red clay you can get your hands on. The White Witch mask is basically just red clay and damask rose powder. And boy, does it smell heavenly!WhiteWitch_RedClay_MaskWhite-Witch_Red-Clay_Mask_Review

To make this clay mask – any clay mask really – work for irritated and dry skin, I do as follows:
1) Add cool but not icy water to 1 teaspoon of powder and stir to achieve a slightly runny texture
2) Add 1/2 teaspoon organic ground linseed and stir until slightly slimy! This step makes the clay texture silkier and keeps it flexible – vital for dry skin!White-Witch_Red-Clay_Mask_How-to
3) Top off with a drop of your favourite skin-restorative essential oil – alternatively stop right at step 2 if your skin is too sensitive for essential oils
4) Apply with massaging movements and let the mask work its wonders for 5 minutes, then wash off with cool water

I expect to maintain this very routine until my skin is back to normal, probably until end of August. My ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of skincare products in order to have a more product-independent skincare routine.
Let me hear your skincare struggles, green gang! What has this summer brought you in terms of skin changes and how are you dealing with those?


Geeking out about all things truly green, healthy and ethical over at BEAUTYCALYPSE.com (Avatar illustration by A. Goncharenko)

15 Responses

  1. I do not know what is happening at the moment, but since around three weeks I am having super dry skin with breakouts. It’s so annoying. Everything seemed to be perfect since some months and I have not changed something in my beauty routine. I am trying to massage my skin a bit more (using two sponges) because it looks super tired and somehow grayish. Perhaps it is the weather change.

  2. T.

    That’s super informative thanks! How do you cover up blemishes? I find mine are visible no matter what 😦

  3. Arrgh…..the things we eat and then later regret. 😦 Your massage routine looks great. I don’t often massage my face, except when I am worried; then it gets massaged as a sort of self-soothing exercise.

  4. Claire

    Hi Nath,

    danke für deinen tollen Artikel! Ich finde solche Skincare-Routines immer super spannend, vor allem, da ich seit über 10 Jahren täglich zu BPO greife, um meine Akne zu kontrollieren. Leider scheine ich davon auch nicht loszukommen – es kontrolliert meine Haut einfach zu gut. Gibt es heir überhaupt natürliche Alternativen, die ähnlich wirksam sind?

    Liebe Grüße

  5. I just started using a natural facial cleanser and I absolutely love it. At first I was worried it wouldn’t be as effective as old chemical stuff (I know – that makes no sense) but I like it much better.

    Your blog has encouraged me to use more and more natural beauty/skin products, and I’m thrilled with the new products I’ve been finding.

    And thanks for sharing the tip re: the facial massage. Great idea!

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