Another solution to dry, acne-ridden, pore-having skin: taking your face off.
Travolta and Cage teach us, in their classic 1997 film, that the face is far less static and immutable than we think.
In fact, the only way I have ever solved the duel problem of acne and dryness is speeding up the rate of cell regeneration (also known as exfoliation) in order to give myself more new skin. The side benefit of this is the “glow” of youth. Maybe you have enough money to get glycolic peels every two weeks, but you don’t need to. Just get yourself a handy glycolic cream or cleanser and watch the magic happen. Retina A also basically works like this, and if you are already using Retina A please disregard this whole post, because you already know the secrets of taking your face off.
The strategy is to use a low percentage of glycolic acid on a daily basis in order to have your skin constantly turning over. Bump up the percentage too high and you will get irritated. AHA is the same thing as glycolic acid, so look for those words in the ingredient list. I suggest keeping the percentage under 5%. I think the FDA makes them tell you if it is more than that, so if it doesn’t say the percentage it is probably around 2.5%. I suggest:
SkinCeuticals Face Wash
Or Peter Thomas Roth’s
Or my new favorite: Boscia’s black cleanser. The “black” is from charcoal and the cleanser smells like roses (utility of these qualities unknown).
Once you have got a bit used to this “warming” sensation of glycolic acid (that’s the low level acid eating away at your face), I invite you to also integrate a bit of AHA into your night time cream layering (AHA makes you sensitive to the sun, so keep this all in your night time routine). This “Acne.org” stuff doesn’t look pretty, but that’s what pretty old jars from vintage stores were made for.
Side-note: I also wholly endorse this company’s approach to benzoyl peroxide.