It is an easy mistake to make confusing dry skin for dehydration, a frequent mishap that even the biggest skincare fan can make sometimes. But what exactly is the difference between the two? Are you meant to treat them in different ways? Do they need specific ingredients to combat the discomfort they can cause to the skin? Luckily today we have done some digging around and we have the answer for you in today’s post about figuring out whether my skin is dry or dehydrated.
So, let’s get stuck in and find out more!
How do I know if my skin is dry or dehydrated?
To get a better understanding of these skin concerns, I am quickly going to explain the basic structure of the skin and what it needs to remain healthy. The outer layer of the skin containing the protective barrier can only function correctly when there is the correct levels of water and oil, both of which naturally occur on the skin. There are, however, many factors that affects this, such as damage from free radicals, like pollution, central heating, climate and weather. You may also find there are skincare formulas and ingredients that also cause the levels to decrease or become disrupted, such as overuse of chemical exfoliants, incorrect application of retinols and many more. Once the levels of water and oil decrease you will find your skin becomes dull, dry or dehydrated leaving it vulnerable to possible damage.
How to tell if your skin is dry
- Dry skin is in fact, a skin type and is known to have fewer oil-producing glands that are vital to keeping the skin at its healthiest state.
- Those with dry skin will start to feel tight and uncomfortable roughly 30 minutes after cleansing the skin
- There are sometimes flaky dry patches of skin on the face
- Dry skin will often show signs of ageing, such as lines and wrinkles
How to tell is your skin is dehydrated
- Dehydrated skins are lacking in water, not oil
- Dehydration is a skin condition not a skin type and all skin types can suffer from dehydration
- Dehydrated skin can look older due to the fine lines that appear on the surface of the skin from lack of water
- Dehydration is caused from external aggressors, such as weather, environment and diet to name a few
If you are still a little muddled and can’t quite figure out which one you are suffering from, you can perform the cheeks test. Taking your finger to your cheek and pushing the skin up, if it reveals a wrinkly texture it is a sign your skin cells are lacking in water and you have dehydrate skin. You may also find dehydrated skin looks dull, have lots of inflammation, congestion and redness compared to dry skin which generally feels more uncomfortable the drier it becomes.
How to treat dry and dehydrated skin
As I have already shared, dry skin and dehydrated skin is two very different things but treating them can be surprisingly similar.
With both skins becoming notably dull looking, adding an exfoliation to your routine will improve the overall appearance of the skin. You can opt for a physical scrub and chemical exfoliant as both will help slough away any build-up of dead skin cells which often form a barrier over the skin that prevent hydrating or moisturising products to absorb into the lower layers of the skin.
- Invest in hydrating serums
Skin ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and niacinamide are highly effective at hydrating the skin. They are both humectants and are able to lock in water into the skin giving the complexion plumper and more youthful looking with plenty of bounce.
- Pay attention to the weather and change of season
As the winter months creep in you will find dry skin will need extra nourishment while those who frequently suffer from dehydrated skin should pay close attention to how the skin is looking and feeling. With temperatures dropping and humidity changes can wreck-havoc on the skin making it tight, irritated, itchy and prone to redness and reduces sebum production. Swapping your nightly moisturiser to one that is packed if highly hydrating ingredients and a thicker texture will help keep the skin happy.
- Don’t forget to steam!
Skin humidifiers have sky-rocketed in popularity in recent years, and with good reason! By steaming the face, you are giving it the ultimate hydration boost restoring the barrier of the skin and giving it the most amazing, healthy glow.
- Keep up the good work!
To ensure you are combating any signs of dryness or dehydration you will need to maintain a good skincare routine containing all the steps, tips and ingredients I have already shared with you. This will result in the protective barrier functioning correctly and the oil and water levels are balanced.
Why is my skin so dry even when I moisturise and drink water?
You may be taking the steps to make sure your skin is moisturised and you have drunk the right amount of water each day, so it’s no wonder you are disheartened to discover your skin is still looking and feeling dry, and maybe even a little dehydrated. This has everything to do with how the skin is the largest organ of the human body, but amazingly does not obtain the highest amount of water. The benefits of the water you drink rushes its way straight to your vital organs such as your heart, lungs, liver etc and sadly our skin is simply the last one in the queue which resulted in it relying mainly on topical ingredients applied onto the skin. It just so happens that your skin will need a little longer to reap the rewards of using these hydrating formulations, and of course, don’t forget to keep drinking enough water throughout the day.
I hope that today’s blog has cleared a few questions you had about dry and dehydrated skin, it can feel a little confusing but I certain you guys will get the hang of it! Don’t forget you can come and join us over on Instagram!