Dry or dehydrated skin – is there a difference?

There is a big difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin! It is easy to confuse dryness with dehydration but while dryness is due to a lack of natural oils, dehydration is actually a result of water loss – although sometimes your skin can be both. Put simply, one is due to nature: dry skin is due to low production of lipids and unlike dehydrated skin, it is a genetic skin type. Dehydrated skin is a result of environmental factors and even oily skin can at times be dehydrated.

So how do you differentiate between the two? Simple – observe your skin for shine. If your face is more gleam and less matte, dry skin is not your problem. Dry skin can appear rough, dry and sometimes flaky. Dehydrated skin might feel tight and have an uncomfortable shine, appear dull, sensitive or rough. Dehydrated skin also shows faster signs of ageing, such as more pronounced fine lines and wrinkles (yikes!)

If you do have dry skin, it is recommended that you invest in a specially formulated moisturizer for your skin type. To lock in moisture, make sure to replenish and moisturize your skin right after cleansing, and either use a moisturizer with broad spectrum SPF or wear a separate layer of sunscreen (which is what we recommend). This will prevent extra dryness that occurs from sun damage in the long-term, you can never be too safe with wearing sunscreen!

Dry skin can be worsened either by using the wrong skin care products, or by not using any skin care products at all. For the most effective routine, use a hydrating cleanser to avoid further stripping your skin of natural oils and moisturize with nourishing oils and lipid-rich moisturizers.

On the other hand, you have your lifestyle to thank for dehydrated skin. In our desert oasis, it’s extremely common and is caused by a plethora of factors including weather, diet, lifestyle, product use, over-cleansing and pollution.  The important point to remember is that dehydration is a skin condition, which means it can change at any time. It is what you do about it that matters.

Dehydrated skin signifies a lack of hydration inside the body or simply – you are not drinking enough water. And while it might be the most overused skin care tip ever, it really is an important one. Conversely, high sodium foods draw water from your body and can contribute to dehydration, and this goes hand in hand with avoiding excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption. Do keep in mind that while dehydrated skin is a temporary state, staring intensely in the mirror to watch your lines disappear is not going to work (sadly). Keeping skin hydrated is a lifestyle change and not a quick fix.

To improve the condition of dehydrated skin, look for products with moisture-binding ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, honey, aloe and other forms of water-based hydration. Avoid very harsh and stripping cleansers and indulge in a hydrating sheet mask every now and again, or nightly for more immediate results.

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