Dry vs dehydrated skin

Especially in the Winter months, our skins tend to be drier and more dehydrated. But what is the difference between those two? And how is moisturizing different from hydrating? Does oily skin still need hydration? Find out the answers and the solutions to both concerns in this post.

Dry skin

Dry skin lacks oil. Dry skin is a skin type, as the opposite of oily skin. Our skin naturally produces ‘sebum’, an oil that protects and nourishes to prevent the skin from dryness and premature ageing. Oily skin types have an overproduction of this sebum, dry skin types lack it. Typically, dry skin is characterized by the following:

  • Tight feeling
  • Flaky, dry patches
  • Dull complexion
  • Small pores
  • Doesn’t feel plump
  • Doesn’t absorb products too well

If your skin is dry, it needs to be moisturized. The products you want to use are serums, balms and oils (no mineral oils). Don’t use anything foaming.

Dehydrated skin

Dehydrated skin lacks water. Dehydration is a temporary condition and can occur on both dry and oily types. Our skin consists of 70% water, from which about 30% is in the upper layer of the skin. Several internal and external influences can cause this upper layer of water to evaporate quicker leaving the skin dehydrated and out of balance. Dehydrated skin is characterized by:

  • Tight feeling, although it might still be oily (a bit “cracky”)
  • Absorbs moisturizers very quickly
  • Dull, pale complexion
  • Skin is more sensitive
  • Other dehydration signs like headaches, sleepiness …

If your skin is dehydrated it *obviously* needs to be hydrated. The products you want to use are milks and hydrating oils. Again, stay away from foams. But mostly, you’ll have to find the source of the dehydration and tackle that. A dehydrated skin can be caused by:

  • Diet: too much alcohol, too much caffeine, not enough water and unhealthy food in general
  • The weather: wind, cold weather, dry air …
  • Seasonal changes
  • Central heating and air conditioning
  • Stress
  • Medication
  • Smoking
  • Hormones

So in short: your skin can be dry, which is a skin type that can be helped mostly by using the right products. Your skin can also by dehydrated, which can happen to any skin type from dry to oily and has a lot to do with external influences like the weather and your water intake. Overall, watch your diet and adjust your skin care routine to tackle both dry and dehydrated skin!


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