Dry vs. dehydrated skin: what is the difference?

Dry vs. dehydrated skin: what is the difference?

Dry and dehydrated skin are often used synonymously, but they are not the same thing. Though the terms can make them seem similar, there are crucial differences between the two. Want to determine if you have dry skin or if it is just dehydrated? Let’s discuss the differences so you can find out.


What is dry skin?

Dry skin is a skin type, like oily, combination, and normal. It is something you are naturally born with, and it is determined by your genetics and hormones. 

If you have a dry skin type, it means your skin doesn’t produce as much oil as other skin types. You lack oil in the stratum corneum, which is the outer layer of your skin. You were born this way, and you’re usually dry everywhere else on your body (for example your hands, legs, and scalp). When you put on moisturizers and lotions, chances are they soak up quickly. You may also regularly experience regular flaking, itchiness, orsensitivity. Dry skin types tend to break out less, and rarely get a shiny face. 

When the skin doesn’t produce enough oil, it loses the capacity to hold onto moisture and dry skin is the result. The skin barrier is also more prone to sensitivity and damage without a sufficient layer of protective oils. Those with dry skin types are also prone to inflammatory and excessively dry skin concerns like eczema.

Signs of dry skin include:

  • Itchiness
  • Flakiness
  • Redness and irritation
  • Skin feeling tight
  • Fine lines and wrinkles


How to look after dry skin

The best way to look after dry skin, is to have a suitable skincare routine. For example, always use a gentle and non-stripping cleanser and add a facial oil to your nighttime routine. The right facial oil can make a big difference for dry, flaky skin, as it provides your skin with the oil your skin is lacking. It will help hold the moisture into your skin and it will keep your skin soft and smooth.

Some of the best oils for dry skin include:

  1. Jojoba oil: with a molecular structure close to your skin’s natural oil levels, jojoba oil is an ideal facial oil to add to your skin care routine. It helps strengthen the skin barrier, restore balance, and provide 
  2. Avocado oil: rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, avocado oil promotes skin hydration, soothes and fights free radical damage.
  3. Rosehip oil: rosehip oil is known for its moisturising and regenerative properties for dry, itchy, damaged skin. It also quickly absorbs and creates a protective barrier on your skin to protect it against moisture loss. 

Another great way to look after dry skin is to regularly spray your face with a facial mist during the day, because your skin loses hydration during the day. Other than that, you can use a sleeping mask at night for an extra hydration boost.


What is dehydrated skin?

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition. It is not something that you are born with, but rather something that happens to your skin, something that is caused by external factors, like makeup, diet, weather, air conditioning/ heaters, etc. Skin conditions can happen to anyone, no matter if you have dry or oily skin, and can last a short time, but also a very long time.

When skin is dehydrated, it means that your skin is lacking water. But here’s the thing: when skin is dehydrated, it creates more oil to make up for the missing water. This can cause breakouts, irritation and dry patches. Your skin can start feeling oily and dry at the same time. It is also possible to have both dry and dehydrated skin at the same time, as they are two different things.

If your skin is dehydrated you will probably notice your skin feeling tight, flaky, and fine lines will be more visible. But unlike dry skin, you’re not immune to shine or oiliness, so you could also be dealing with congestion and breakouts.

Signs of dehydrated skin include:

  • Flakiness
  • Itchiness
  • Redness, inflammation, and irritation
  • Congestion
  • An oily, shiny complexion
  • Skin feeling tight
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Darker, more visible under-eye circles
  • A dull-looking complexion


How to look after dehydrated skin

While dry skin needs oil, dehydrated skin needs water. Using hydrating products that replenish the skin’s water content is key for treating thirsty skin.

For example, a hydrating serum is a great way to quickly deliver moisture to thirsty skin, as serums are quickly and deeply absorbed into the skin. A great serum to try, is a hyaluronic acid serum. Hyaluronic acid draws moisture from the air to the skin and can hold 1000 times its weight in hydration, plumping and rehydrating cells from the inside out. Make sure to apply your products on damp skin to get the best results.

Other than that, it is recommended to:

  1. Use sun protection
  2. Avoid regular hot showers, air conditioning and central heating
  3. Eat a balanced diet
  4. Drink enough water
  5. Use the right skin care products for your skin type and skin conditions (if you ever need help with this, send us an email and we will help you find the right products for your skin needs!)


Does drinking water hydrate skin?

Skin is the last organ to receive the nutrients we consume, which means it’s the last to get the water you drink. The water you drink isn’t quite enough to reach your skin though. This is why topical products are a must to properly hydrate your skin.

Shop our dryness & dehydration collection here.

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