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What is The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin?

Whilst both dry and dehydrated skins are lacking in something vital, they are not the same.

Laura Camilleri

Often when people think about skin types, many will assume that dry skin and dehydrated skin are the same thing. Treatment for the skin can then be incorrect, which could then cause issues.

So, what is the difference?

Whilst both dry and dehydrated skins are lacking in something vital, they are not the same.

Dry Skin is a skin type that lacks in oils and lipids as it produces less sebum. Lipids are needed to retain moisture and help to build a protective barrier against external influences. Dry skin is genetic, whilst this skin type can’t be changed, you can use oil infused products within your skincare routine to balance it.

Dehydrated skin isa skin condition that is lacking water in the Stratum Corneum (top layer of the skin). Anyone one, with any skin type can experience dehydrated skin for one of many reasons. Dehydrated skin is a skin condition and can be treated, making it temporary if the cause of the dehydration is identified and rectified.

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Dry Skin Characteristics

  • Can appear flaky in areas
  • Will look dry visually
  • Feels rough to touch

Dehydrated Skin Characteristics

  • Feels tight
  • Prone to sensitivity
  • Looks dull
  • Feels rough to touch
  • Prone to premature signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles and sagging.
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The Causes of Dehydrated Skin

Realising the cause of the dehydration is the first step to treating the symptoms. There are many factors to be aware of and check to see if this is the cause:

  • Wrong products being used on the skin. If the wrong products are being used on the skin, this could be stripping it of moisture and leaving the upper layer dehydrated. If you are unsure on products to match your skin type, a skincare consultant or therapist will be able to advise you. Maintaining a good skin care routine is vital, but only with the right products. Finding the perfect moisturiser can take time, and this may change through the seasons. Summertime may require a lighter lotion, whilst in the winter, you may find the need for a richer cream to add a little extra.
  • Over cleansing. If you over cleanse your skin, you could again be stripping the natural, vital oils from the skin, leaving it feeling tight and sensitive. By reducing cleanse or changing the product to a more gentle cleanser, this could benefit your skin.Often foaming cleansers are more suited to oily skin types and a cream cleanser is better for normal, combination, mature or dry skin.
  • Over Exfoliation. Some exfoliators can be harsher on the skin than others. Ensuring you choose a good exfoliator is so important. If you suspect the exfoliator is the cause of your dehydrated skin, try doing it less frequently or changing to a more gentle product.
  • Hot Water. If you are using water that is too hot in your cleansing routine, this could be a factor in your issue. Tepid water is best and will cause less sensitivities.
  • Air conditioning/Central Heating.Whilst both of these can make the temperature feel more comfortable, they can both be very drying on the skin and can be dehydrating your skin further. Drink plenty of water and use appropriate skincare products as a preventative measure.
  • The Sun. We all know the dangers of UV on our skin and that is why it is so important to wear SPF and be consistent with reapplication. Over exposure to UV rays can also cause premature ageing, hyperpigmentation and in worst cases even skin cancer. Risks are also present with use of sun beds.
  • Diet and water intake. Fresh is best and that is true when it comes to your food. Eat fresh food packed with vitamins that nourish your cells and skin. Eating lots of processed foods will not give you the essential vitamins and goodness that your skin needs to glow.Drinking plenty of water is essential for healthy skin. Its recommended to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day.
  • Hormonal Changes and Ageing Skin.Fluctuations of hormones in the body can at times play havoc with your skin, causing dehydration, sensitivity and even breakouts. Be aware that you skin is changing and alter what products you use on your skin, so as not to aggravate it further.
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Now that you know the difference between the two, this should help you understand how best to deal with dry and dehydrated skin

If you would like to learn more about skin care and facials, why not book onto our facial diploma course.

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