When we notice the texture of our skin has gone from gentle and smooth to rough we usually assume our skin is dry. However, it doesn’t always have to be like that. Skin can become dehydrated as well. Isn’t that the same? That’s the question you’re probably asking yourself right now. The short answer would be “No, it’s not the same”. But, throughout this article we’re going to provide a longer and detailed answer to this question. Keep reading to find out what characterizes dry or dehydrated skin.
Dry skin is a skin type. Some people have normal skin type, others oily, dry or combination. It is associated with insufficient production of sebum or oil. While you can inherit dry skin, in most cases people develop this skin type due to a wide array of environmental factors. Potential dry skin causes include:
- Sun exposure – to be fair, excessive sun exposure is primary culprit for all your skin problems. Its harmful UV rays penetrate deep into your skin’s layers, break down collagen production and elastin fibers thus making your skin saggy and wrinkly. We can also add the fact that sun’s radiation destroys skin’s ability to retain moisture.
- Weather – you have probably noticed that your skin seems somewhat drier and rougher during winter. Cold weather coupled with low humidity and harsh winds can strip off your skin’s natural barrier and dry it out.
- Heat – yes, central heating, stoves etc. can also contribute to dryness of the skin.
- Hot showers and baths – although they seem extremely appealing during cold winter days, you should still avoid them. Hot water can significantly contribute to the dryness.
- Harsh soaps and skincare products – harsh ingredients can irritate your skin by stripping away its natural moisture.
Symptoms associated with dry skin include:
- Deep cracks
- Skin tightness, particularly after taking a shower or even swimming
- Flaky or scaly skin
- Dull, grey or ashy complexion.
Unlike dry skin which is defined as a skin type, dehydrated skin is a skin condition. While dry skin can be inherited, dehydrated skin can be considered as a problem that occurs and go away when treated promptly.
Dehydrated skin is associated with loss of water content from your skin, which is much-needed for skin’s optimal health. It includes dermal dehydration, epidermal dehydration or both types at the same time.
How can you tell if your skin is dehydrated? Here are some clues:
- Rough texture
- Oily T-zone (forehead, nose, chin)
- Dry cheeks and other areas on your face
So, what causes dehydrated skin? Below are just some of many reasons that can lead to skin dehydration:
- Skincare products
- Inadequate diet
- Environmental factors like sun, pollution etc.
Before we move on to see how to treat both dry and dehydrated skin, let’s clarify their differences once again:
- Dry skin lacks oil/sebum
- Dehydrated skin lacks water
- Dry skin is a skin type
- Dehydrated skin is a skin condition and can be experienced by everyone
- Dry skin includes dryness on face, hands, scalp etc. entirely
- Dehydrated skin includes dryness of specific portions of the skin while other parts can be oily, for example
- Dry skin is associated with premature aging
- Dehydrated skin is associated with breakouts
- Dry skin is usually something you deal with your entire life
- Dehydrated skin comes and goes based on your lifestyle, diet etc.
However, they do have some similarities.
Treating Dry Skin
After we’ve learned the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, it’s time to find out how to treat both and restore the smoothness of the skin in a natural manner. Below, you can see some tips you can use to treat dry skin:
- Avoid hot showers or baths – as mentioned above, hot showers can only strip away the natural moisture from your skin thus drying it out. Ideally, you should take your shower with warm or lukewarm water and your showers should be long between 5 and 8 minutes.
- Moisturize regularly – moisturizer is one of the most important parts of skincare routine. When you have dry skin, you should use moisturizers that are oil-based in order to make up for what your skin is lacking.
- Use gentle cleansers – cleansers are great, they eliminate impurities that other water can’t. But, when you’re about to buy a cleanser, it should be a product with powerful and gentle formula at the same time. You shouldn’t use cleansers or toners that contain alcohol as they would contribute to the dryness of your skin. You can try Dermpura repair cleanser that is infused with botanical oils and is abundant in vitamins. This way, your skin will be free of all impurities and nourished at the same time.
- Read labels thoroughly to ensure the product doesn’t contain any ingredient that could irritate your skin
- Don’t apply too much makeup
- Eat foods rich in protein
- Quit smoking
- Avoid using harsh soaps
- Always bear in mind the amount of skincare products you use (cleansers, moisturizers etc.). For example, when applying cleanser, you should take enough to cleanse your face thoroughly, but not so much that you see a thick layer on your skin that takes ages to rinse. It’s same with lotions, moisturizers etc. you should apply enough to cover everything and make sure it’s soothed and nourished. It’s also the amount your skin can absorb. But taking too much will create a greasy barrier on your skin that will look unappealing and it’s needless to mention you will see spots on your clothes.
- Pat dry your skin instead of rubbing it with towel
- Apply sunscreen whenever you’re going out, regardless of the season. Most people apply sunblock during summer only which is a big mistake.
- Regular oil massages are essential for stimulating dermal activity
- Invest in high quality antioxidant-rich face oil
- Instead of lotions, opt for butters
- Wear clothes made of natural and gentle fabrics to avoid irritations.
Treating Dehydrated Skin
Dehydrated skin is easier to deal with than dry skin. Therefore, if you have dehydrated skin, these are the tips that you will find beneficial:
- Purchase correct moisturizer – here is where people usually make mistakes. They don’t know the difference between dry and dehydrated skin so when they’re buying a moisturizer they go for an oil-based one. Since dehydrated skin is lacking water, you need water-based moisturizer.
- Stay hydrated – the key to get rid of dehydrated skin is to retain the moisture in your body. Besides using moisturizers on daily basis, you should also drink plenty of water to secure hydration from within.
- Eat water-rich foods such as cucumbers or watermelons. You can also add these items to your diet: celery, peaches, oranges, berries, tomatoes, grapes, lettuce etc.
- Sleep with humidifier in your room
- Protect your skin – sunscreens are always important. Also, to ensure complete protection you can opt for products with SPF. For example, Dermaxsol moisturizing sunscreen contains SPF 30 which means it protects your skin from sun’s radiation and it nourishes it at the same time
- Limit caffeine and alcohol intake. For example, instead of cup of coffee you can opt for water, add lemon or even strawberries or some other fruits to it to mix things up
- Use face mist to freshen up your skin a few times throughout the day, particularly in summer
- Remove makeup before bedtime, clean your face, apply rich anti-aging night cream such as Suvoderm night time rescue repair treatment to allow your skin to repair while you sleep
- Opt for products that don’t contain irritating ingredients including fragrances. Most allergies and irritations that some products cause are associated with fragrances. Now, you will probably find two different types of labels unscented and fragrance free. You should go for fragrance free product because it means the item doesn’t contain any chemicals responsible for fragrance. On the other hand, when you see the word “unscented” written on the label it means the manufacturer still added some fragrances to cover up the smell of other ingredients in the product.
- Buy gentle acne treatment product that will remove breakouts but won’t cause irritations.
NOTE: Regardless of whether you have dry or dehydrated skin, it’s extremely important not to over exfoliate. Exfoliation should remove dead skin cells and other impurities from your skin. Ideally, you should exfoliate 2 to 3 times per week, but if you have sensitive skin or skin that is prone to irritations, you should limit exfoliation to once per week.
To most people dry and dehydrated skin is the same and they treated it the same way. Throughout this article you’ve had the opportunity to see that dry and dehydrated skin is completely different and require different treatment. Always bear in mind that dry skin refers to lack of oil, while dehydrated skin refers to lack of moisture.