The Difference between Dry and Dehydrated Skin


Oct 31, 2019

Does your skin appear flaky, itchy, red, or inflamed? These are common skin problems that you might experience from time to time. The symptoms above characterize dry and dehydrated skin. It is likely that you cannot tell the difference between dry and dehydrated skin. It’s time you get to know the difference between the two.

While Dehydration is a Skin Condition, Dry Skin is a Skin Type

This is the most fundamental difference that you should know. Dry skin is simply the opposite of oily skin. Dry skin lacks oil because the skin produces less sebum than healthy skin. When the skin produces less sebum, it lacks lipids that help in moisture retention and the formation of a strong barrier against external skin aggressors.

Dehydration, on the other hand, is a condition where the skin does not have enough water. It results from bad habits that diminish the skin water content such as caffeine and alcohol consumption. Other reasons for dehydrated skin include cold weather and harsh windy environments. As such, since this is a condition, you can have dehydrated skin regardless of your skin type.

Dehydrated skin can be as a result of exposure to UV rays from the sun. Besides, as your skin ages, you might have trouble keeping high levels of moisture.  Also, hot showers and baths make skin dehydrated.

Characteristics of Dry Skin

Dry skin feels rough, flaky, and itchy. The most affected areas on the face are near the eyebrows and corners of the nose and mouth. Other affected areas are the neck and the inside of the arms and thighs. Sometimes rubbing skin that is too dry feels as if you are grinding sandpaper, and you might notice dry white flakes falling off.

Other noticeable symptoms of dry skin include redness or irritation. You have higher chances of contracting skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema, or even dermatitis. Lastly, if your entire body feels dry and your skin is in constant need for a moisturizer, then you have dry skin.

Characteristics of Dehydrated Skin

A pinch test is an excellent way to tell if your skin is dehydrated. Start by pinching the skin on the back of your hand and hold it for a few seconds. If the skin can snap back, you are okay. However, if it takes time to go back to normal, you are dehydrated.

Dehydrated skin is dull. It is also itchy, and you might have darker under-eye circles and generally fatigued eyes. Dehydrated skin is prone to attacks. It is likely to have fine lines and wrinkles and appears saggy.

Makeup does not hold long on a dehydrated face because the skin is desperately looking for water, where it absorbs any moisture from the surrounding ruining your makeup. If your skin tends to change texture depending on your diet, skincare products, and the environment, then it is dehydrated. Another common characteristic of dehydrated skin is one that tends to break occasionally.

How to Treat and Handle Dry Skin

It is not possible to entirely fix dry skin, but you can improve its appearance. Wash your skin with lukewarm water. Hot water can take essential oils from your skin, exacerbating the dryness. Exfoliation is important too. Dead cells on the skin surface make the skin dull. However, use exfoliators made of fine grains to avoid damaging the skin. Do not overdo the scrubbing. Twice a week is okay.

Make moisturizers, your friend. With dry skin, a quality moisturizer is a must-have. There are several brands in the market. Choose moisturizers that best hydrate your skin. Thus, it must have hydrating agents like hyaluronic acid, aloe Vera, Shea butter, glycerin, and vitamin B. Avoid moisturizers with alcohol and sulfates as these can irritate and dry out your skin. Moisturize morning and night on moist skin.

Another way is to use lotions on your skin. There are many skin repairing lotions in the market. You are allowed to change products and rest for the one that best hydrates your skin. You can choose lotions that have sunscreen in them to protect skin damage by harmful UVA rays from the sun.

Always remember to use face products that are formulated for dry skin. This especially applies to make up. Makeup tends to cling on dry areas of your skin instead of getting absorbed by the skin, which makes it look patchy. It is essential to use a primer after applying your moisturizer and lotion to give your skin the moisture it needs.

How to Treat and Handle Dehydrated Skin

The major problem here is the lack of water. Thus, the primary way to treat the condition is by drinking up to three liters of water daily to maintain the skin moisture balance. Eat foods rich in water content such as avocado, broccoli, lettuce, and watermelon.

Besides, you have to make a lifestyle adjustment. You have to abstain from alcohol and caffeine for these can dry out your skin. Avoid high sodium intake, because you can easily get dehydrated.

Another effective way to treat dehydrated skin is to use serums and face mists that help replenish moisture reserves for the skin. Serums contain active ingredients like antioxidants. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals that renew your skin complexion hence fighting dehydration. Omega fatty acids are great for increasing the elasticity and suppleness of your skin.

Dehydrated skin can be a result of hot baths and exposure to sunlight. Therefore, switch hot water for lukewarm water.  Always wear sunscreen. It would make no sense to use serum without using sunscreen. Intense UV rays tamper with the healing strength of most serums. As such, you can end up investing money on skin repairing products with no results. Make a point to wear sunscreen that offers SPF 30 coverage always.

Moisturizing your skin relieves dehydration. Use moisturizers with hyaluronic acid and peptides for these help skin retain moisture, and do so daily for a smooth, glowing complexion.