Skincare Tips

Dry vs Dehydrated Skin: What’s the Difference?

To perfect your skincare for supple, glowing skin, we have learned that the more specific the routine, the better. For example, dry and dehydrated are two terms that mean more or less the same thing, one would think. However, when used to describe our complexions, dry vs dehydrated skin are two very different concerns. They need to be treated with different approaches and solutions in order to be overcome. If this revelation has thrown a wrench in your skincare plans, fear not. We’ll discuss what dry skin is, what dehydrated skin is, and help you to plan your skincare routine around this new-found information.

Keep reading for Perricone MD’s guide to dry vs dehydrated skin.

What’s the difference between dehydrated and dry skin?

So let’s begin with establishing what the difference actually is between dry vs dehydrated skin. To put it simply, dry skin is a skin type that you are born with, whereas dehydrated skin is a condition that anyone can experience, even with naturally oily and combination skin.

dry vs dehyrated skin

What is dehydrated skin?

So, what is dehydrated skin? It is essentially skin that is lacking water in its top layer, which can be caused by lots of factors, from your diet to the weather. However, when the skin is dehydrated it tends to create more oil to compensate for its lack of water. As a result, when considering what dehydrated skin is, we must also remember that it comes hand in hand with the skin issues that come with over-production of oil, such as breakouts.

What does dehydrated skin look like?

Dehydrated skin usually looks dull and tired. The lack of water can even add years to the complexion, making fine lines and wrinkles appear more prominent. It can also contribute to sensitivity making dehydrated skin look irritated or show dry patches. Finally, thanks to the combination of excessive oil production and lack of water, dehydrated skin can look oily but dry at the same time.

What can you do to help dehydrated skin?

To help dehydrated skin, take a look at what you’re putting into your body. Drinking enough water and having a balanced diet are your starting points. If your entire body is dehydrated, you can presume your skin will be too. Also, avoid cleansing or showering with overly hot water as this can be severely dehydrating on your skin’s surface.

Another thing that you can do to help dehydrated skin is to assess your skincare. Using overly harsh products or too many stimulating ingredients in one routine can be counter-productive. What’s more, with all of the steps within skincare regimens today, it’s common to be overdoing it unknowingly. For example, using ingredients that chemically exfoliate during the day can cause our skin to become over-exposed to pollutants and UV rays, leading to dehydrated skin.

The products that can help dehydrated skin are ones that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. For example, High Potency Hyaluronic Intensive Hydrating Serum is designed with a mix of molecular weights of hyaluronic acid to penetrate different layers of the skin and deeply hydrate for a smoother and plumper-looking complexion.

Our final tip for dehydrated skin is to lock in the hydration. For example, follow up with an oil-free moisturiser to help create a barrier to seal the hyaluronic acid into the skin.

What is dry skin?

Now let’s take a look at what dry skin is. In comparison, dry skin has a lack of oil or lipids. You may find that when you put on moisturisers and lotions, they soak up quite quickly.

What is different about dry skin it that it can be down to genetics. However, similar to dehydrated skin, it can be worsened by external factors such as hot and cold temperatures and harsh skincare products that strip the skin of its natural oils.

What does dry skin look like?

Dry skin can look textured, feel rough, and become flaky. The way that you can tell the difference between dry vs dehydrated skin is if your skin is dry all year round. If it’s not dependent on your lifestyle or the weather, it’s likely to be your skin type.

What can you do to help dry skin?

To help dry skin, the first thing to do is to take a look at how you are cleansing. Make sure to always go for non-stripping formulas, as you will want your skin to hold on to any of the oils it has. Try a gentle, low-foaming cleanser with delicate ingredients to soothe and nourish while removing impurities.

Next, make sure to prioritise moisture in your skincare regime. To help dry skin, keep the skin moisturised day and night, preferably with a formula that contains occlusive ingredients. These are ingredients that provide a protective seal over the surface of the skin to prevent loss of hydration into the environment and lock in moisture. Essential Fx Acyl-Glutathione Intensive Overnight Moisturiser contains flaxseed, chia seed and macadamia seed oils that do exactly this, as well as restoring suppleness and create a healthy glow by improving the skin’s moisture barrier.

In conclusion, when it comes to dry vs dehydrated skin, one is a skin type, and the other is simply thirsty. However, despite these specifics, a hydrating regime combined with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle is key to solving both. To learn more about how hyaluronic acid quenches the skin of its thirst, take a look at our guide on The Benefits of Hyaluronic Acid for the Skin

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