Dry v’s Dehydrated skin

So, Dry v’s Dehydrated skin.    At first glance, ‘dry’ and ‘dehydrated’ seem like two words to describe the same thing.  But when it comes to skincare, they are completely different concerns with different underlying causes.

What’s the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?

Dry skin is a skin type, but dehydrated skin is a condition anyone can experience.  Dry skin has a lack of oil, or lipids. With dehydrated skin, there’s a lack of water in the stratum corneum, which is the top layer of the skin.

You do not need to have dry skin to have dehydrated skin. Oily and combination skin can be dehydrated as well.

So how do you tell which one you have?  Here’s a quick run-down of the key characteristics:

Characteristics of dry skin

  • Feels rough
  • Appears dry
  • Can be flaky

Characteristics of dehydrated skin

  • Looks dull
  • Feels tight
  • Feels rough
  • Is sensitive
  • Shows fine lines
  • Shows accelerated signs of ageing, like sagging skin and deep wrinkles

Causes of dry and dehydrated skin?

Sun – You may have thought wind, rain and cold were the major causes of dehydrated skin when it comes to weather, but in fact UVA in sunlight is the one to watch.

The sun can make the skin dehydrated.  UVA is the main factor that can affect our skin.  This can increase the aging process, increase oxidants in the skin, dehydrate it and increase free radicals in the cells.  Thus causing damage to your skin.

Hard water, hot showers – Hard water contains limestone, which can remove water from the skin.  You can have a shower every day, but make it a short shower, and stick to water that’s warm rather than hot.  Hot showers and baths can make the skin more dehydrated.

Aging – It is a factor in many skincare issues, and dehydrated skin is no different.  As your skin gets older, you may find it more difficult to keep its moisture levels high.

The ageing process makes our bodies more dehydrated, including the skin.  Furthermore, structural changes associated with the aging process cause more dehydration.  Thus, it can create a slow down of cell turnover.  And when skin becomes dehydrated, it can start to look older, too.

Dehydrated skin will have a rough-feeling texture, with fine lines becoming more prominent.

Air con and central heating – While air con and heating can make the temperature more comfortable during hot or cold weather.  If only we knew how they could be doing more harm than good to your skin.  Both of these massively effect our skins hydration.  These factors are making dehydrated skin conditions and dryness feel worse.

Incorrect skincare – If you are using products that are too harsh, too light, or you’re using them infrequently, your skincare could be contributing to your dehydrated skin concerns.  It is important to get a very good moisturiser for the body, and another separate product for the face.  Avoid harsh scrubs when you cleanse your skin, too.

The weather – Here in the UK, especially in the winter, the environment is very cold and dry.  Both can aggravate dry and dehydrated skin even more.

What should you do if you have dehydrated skin?

One of the best things you can do is drink plenty of water.  However, our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, so it’s very important to use top-quality ingredients to keep your skin hydrated.  I advise my clients to apply moisturisers or serums that contain hyaluronic acid.  The reason for this is because it is good for keeping water in the skin.

What is hyaluronic acid?  Hyaluronic acid is something we all have in our bodies.  It is naturally present in all human beings and it helps prevent the effects of aging.  In dehydrated skin, it will help retain water in the skin.

There are very good creams which can keep the skin very well hydrated.  For the face, I prefer water based formulas as they penetrate the skin more deeply and quickly.

What else can you do?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle alongside your skincare routine will help support plump, radiant skin and prevent issues like dehydration.

Good diet, healthy habits and drinking lots of water are all ways to bring out the best in your skin.

Here are my top 5 lifestyle recommendations for dehydrated skin:

  1. Use sun protection
  2. Avoid alcohol
  3. Avoid smoking
  4. Eat a balanced diet
  5. Drink a lot of water

Lots of love

This is all said with love, I know many people have different opinions and that is absolutely fine.  The biggest piece of advice I always say is:

‘Listen to your skin!!’

If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.  These should not cause any damage to your skin, if used correctly for YOUR skin!

Any questions, just ask…

Much love.

Louisa Ashforth Signature