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Is Your Skin Dry Or Dehydrated? What’s The Difference and What To Do About It

Is Your Skin Dry Or Dehydrated? What’s The Difference and What To Do About It

Dry skin and Dehydrated skin are very different and need to be treated differently, even though they both tend to feel the same - just plain dry. 

When your skin feels dry, typically we assume that it is simply because it is dry. But it might just be dehydrated and in need of water and skincare. What does that really mean though? Let us explain.

What is the difference between Dry and Dehydrated Skin?

Dry Skin is a skin type whereas Dehydrated Skin is a skin condition. Skin type meaning it’s what you’re naturally born with, such as oily skin or dry skin. Your condition on the other hand is what happens to your skin, such as dehydration, acne, and irritation. It can happen to anyone, temporarily or longer, and in some instances, a skin condition can stay for good.

What is Dry Skin?

If you have dry skin it means you’re lacking oil and your skin is likely to be dry everywhere on your body including hands, scalp, legs, etc. When you put moisturizers and lotions on, chances are they soak up fairly quickly and regularly need to reapply otherwise you’ll experience flaking, cracking, sensitivity, redness, and or other issues like eczema. 

What is Dehydrated Skin?

If you have dehydrated skin, your skin is lacking water. This can be caused by a variety of factors such as exercise without proper hydration, makeup, diet, incorrect product use, weather; the list goes on. And here is where it gets tricky. When the skin is dehydrated, it creates more oil to compensate for this missing water which can cause breakouts, irritation, and dry patches. 

How to treat Dry vs. Dehydrated skin?

If a dry skin type sounds like you, be sure to use a dry skincare regimen that contains oil or cream- based products daily. You may also want to keep a hand treatment, moisturizer, and lotion with you at all times, especially in the colder fall and winter months. Our favorites include Dermalogica’s Skin Smoothing Cream, a creamy moisturizer free of artificial fragrances and colors; and Dermalogica’s Body Hydrating Cream a body lotion filled with natural oils like Lavender, Orange, Lemon, Sandalwood and more.

If you think your skin is dehydrated, try to identify what’s causing your dehydration and correct it. It could be your active lifestyle and not having enough water to keep up with your exercise. Maybe it’s environment because it’s windy and colder.  After identifying the cause, try avoid it! In addition, be sure to use water- rich products like Murad's Hydro-Dynamic Quenching Essence and Dermalogica’s Skin Hydrating Masque. These products contain glycolic and hyaluronic acid which are essential to helping your skin absorb the product and nourish your skin as opposed to simply sitting on top of the skin. Ahava’s mineral body lotion is also great as it has a water based formula with aloe vera, witch hazel, and is alcohol and paraben free. 

Does drinking water hydrate skin?

While we’re on the topic of water, it helps to know that your skin is an organ and it’s the last organ to receive nutrients from the food and drinks we consume. Which means that while increasing the amount of water you drink is good for your entire body, it isn’t quite enough; making topical products a must to help skin feel soft and comfortably hydrated. 

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