If your skin feels like the Sahara Desert, it’s easy to assume that it’s dry, and just leave it at that. But just because your face is peeling or feels tight doesn’t mean it’s simply dry. Your skin might actually be dehydrated. To put it plainly, dehydrated skin lacks water and needs to be hydrated, whereas dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized. Mind blowing, we know. But let’s break it down further so you can determine exactly what’s going on with your complexion.
Dehydration is a skin condition that can be experienced by anyone, with any skin type, even if (and especially if!) your skin is dry. The same way your body can be dehydrated from a lack of drinking water, your skin can be dehydrated from a lack of water-rich products. Over half of your body is made of water, so if the water levels are depleted on the inside, it’s sure to show on the outside as well. Your skin cells will shrink and become brittle when they are dehydrated, which makes them more prone to bacteria and toxins which can affect skin health.
Here are some easy ways to tell that your skin is dehydrated:
+ Your skin feels oily and dry simultaneously
+ Your skin tends to change texture based on your environment, the products you use, and your diet.
+ You tend to break out occasionally, and unexpectedly.
+ Your skin is dull, congested, and flakes easily.
It’s important to note that your skin doesn’t have to be dry to be dehydrated — combination and oily skin types can also experience dehydration.
How, exactly do you tackle dehydrated skin?
For starters, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water each day. Avoid washing your face with extra hot water, which can dry out your skin because it opens your pores and allows moisture to escape your body. Then, make sure you’re utilizing water-rich topical products to hydrate that complexion. What does that mean, exactly? Excellent question! Products that are water-based are a great place to start — gels, serums, mists, and hydrators are great, as opposed to more standard lotions or creams.
If you have a dry skin type, this is likely something you experience all over, from your face, to your scalp to your lips. Having dry skin is a skin type, whereas any skin type can become dehydrated. If you are susceptible to dry skin, it’s likely was what you were born with (Thanks mom & dad!). Dry skin lacks oil and soaks up whatever you apply to it very quickly, leaving you feeling dry again almost instantly.
Here are some easy ways to tell you have dry skin:
+ Your entire body feels dry, and you constantly need moisturizer
+ You’ve got no natural sebum (oil)
+ You’ve always had dry skin
+ Your skin feels dull, flaky, itchy, and tight
How exactly do you tackle dry skin?
Dry skin is more susceptible to signs of aging, so if you are one of the dry types, be sure to layer on plenty of oil-rich skin and body care products, and don’t forget an SPF!
In your daily skincare routine it’s important that you’re using a non-foaming face wash (the less detergents are in your soaps, the less drying they’ll be) and regularly exfoliating using either a physical or chemical exfoliator. Lastly, but arguably most importantly, treat your skin to an oil-rich moisturizer that will lock in moisture and replenish the dry layers of your skin. Oils are excellent hydrators — from jojoba to almond — it’s just about finding the right, noncomedogenic version, for your skin type.
Still not sure if you’ve got dry or dehydrated skin?
Try the pinch test! Pinch your skin between two fingers. If it bounces back (meaning it lays flat again) right away, you’re hydrated. If it takes longer to fall, it’s likely you’re dehydrated.
Or, try out the “What’s Your Skin Type?” quiz we devised!
What products are best for dry, flaky skin?
There a lot of commonalities between dry and dehydrated skin: they both appear dull, tight, itchy, flaky and sensitive… which no one wants.
If your skin is dry, oil-rich products, like oil-based cleansers are right for you. Avocado oil, jojoba oil and coconut oil should all be ingredients on your radar — and they can be in everything from your serums to your body lotions.
Drinking plenty of water help your skin shine from the inside regardless of whether your skin is dry or dehydrated. Consuming healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, salmon and nuts, which are high in omega-3, can help aide in the overall health of your skin to leave you looking and feeling balanced.