Dry vs Dehydrated Skin and How to Fix It

Dry vs Dehydrated Skin: A common mistake is to confuse dehydrated skin with dry skin, when in fact they are not the same. Even though many people use these terms interchangeably, it is necessary to know if you have dry or dehydrated skin since the care or methods we can use to improve the skin conditions will be different.

dry vs dehydrated skin

Dehydrated skin is a much easier condition to treat than others. In fact, we do not need to use so many special products, since the simplest treatment can work with a high rate of effectiveness. However, the first step in learning to care for our dehydrated skin is to recognize it.

Dry vs Dehydrated Skin

It is time to forget about that "myth" that both terms refer to the same thing. Dehydrated skin is the skin CONDITION in which there is little water between the layers of the skin[1], especially caused by low humidity environments or carelessness in the care of our skin and body. It is usually temporary, so the solution is simpler than in other cases.

Dry skin is an INNATIVE QUALITY of our skin[2]. Unlike the previous one, in this case, the problem is not only water but also the lipids that cover our skin: sebum. This is a disorder with many genetic relationships and other uncontrollable factors, which requires special and specific care to look healthy. Even so, dry skin will ALWAYS remain dry.

The sebum is part of the skin. It coats the outer layer of the skin that is responsible for preventing the evaporation of water. When there is little sebum or natural oil production, as in dry skin, the water will evaporate very quickly since the skin lacks oil. For this reason, the treatment of dry skin is always oriented to replace those missing lipids. You can treat dry skin with plant oils such as rosehip seed oil, avocardo oil, coconut oil, etc. The oil moisturizers can also reduce the signs of aging and fine lines and wrinkles.

In the case of dehydrated skin, however, only water is missing. Whether it's because you haven't had enough water in the last few days or because environmental conditions have compromised your body, there will only be a lack of water; your lipids will be intact.


Clinically: How to tell the difference between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Dry vs Dehydrated Skin: Although the dryness and dehydration signs are very similar, we can establish some differences according to the severity. For example, in the case of dehydrated skin, the skin feels tight and a wrinkle may appear. Severely dehydrated skin may have signs similar to dry skin as described below.

Dry skin is characterized by tight skin and equal wrinkles, but, accompanied by flaking, whitish lines, atrophy, premature aging skin, itching, increased sensitivity and is more prone to injury.

What can I treat Dehydrated Skin?

If you have already concluded that your skin is dehydrated, you need to take several different steps depending on your lifestyle for treating dehydrated skin. Remember, the best tips to improve your skin will be those that also improve your general health, since this is a problem - mainly - of water.

Tips for Daily Life with Hydration and Moisturization

  1. HYDRATE: the most important thing is that you consume enough water to increase the water content of your body, at least two liters or eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day (if you do not suffer from any serious kidney or heart disease). You must guarantee a good water supply for your body.
  2. Avoid "acclimatized" environments or those that are too hot. Remember, the fewer changes in temperature, the better your skin will adapt and the more water you will retain.
  3. Likewise, if you are about to expose yourself to the sun, remember to protect yourself properly from sun damage with sun care. Not only do sunscreens shield you from UV rays, but they also partially reflect sunlight, which lowers the temperature.
  4. When you go to dry out after bathing, do it right. Use a special soft towel and don't let the water stay on your face. Be sure to remove it all with gentle touches with the towel.
  5. Avoid hot water. If you are going to take a bath and need to increase the water temperature, try to do it quickly.
  6. Eat plenty of water-rich foods including vegetables and fruits for healthy skin.
  7. Try a home remedy of a DIY hydration mask using aloe vera to hydrate your skin.


Specific Skin Care Routine: Products for Dehydrated Skin[3]

Before going into our recommendations, it is necessary to emphasize that you should not use any tonic or product that increases the tension in the face; not only are you making the condition of your skin worse, but you are making it more prone to injury. Also, remember to use products that are appropriate for your skin type.

  1. Moisturizers: continuous moisturizers are the best. Especially natural oil moisturizers that are loaded with rich nutrients and good fatty acids to help reinforce the skin barrier. Choose the facial oils based on your skin types such as oily skin, combination skin, normal skin or dry skin types.
  2. Gentle cleanser: to purify your face, use a mild cleanser that does not contain alcohol or parabens, with an adapted pH and without surfactants.
    Masks: you can use a regenerating mask at night to support skin cell growth and moisture replenishment. In addition, it is the best way to achieve hydrated skin while you sleep.
  3. Exfoliants: during the intensive treatment for dehydrated skin, we recommend that you only use an exfoliant once a week. It needs to be a gentle product that only removes dead cells from dehydration and does not strip the skin.
  4. Hydrating Serums: use the Age Renewal Serum that is 100% loaded with maximum hyaluronic acid formulation dosage to boost skin hydration.
  5. Always use specialized products: you must be careful with everything you use; from cosmetics to balsams, everything must be checked very well to make sure it fits your skin type, especially when we talk about dehydrated skin.


[1] Lídia Palma, Liliana Tavares Marques, Julia Bujan, and Luís Monteiro Rodrigues. (2015). Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology. 8: 413-421. doi: 2147/CCID.S86822
[2] Anna Lechner, Nils Lahmann, Andrea Lichterfeld‐Kottner, Ursula Müller‐Werdan, Ulrike Blume‐Peytavi, and Jan Kottner. (2019). Dry skin and the use of leave‐on products in nursing care: A prevalence study in nursing homes and hospitals. Nursing Open. 6: 189-196. doi: 1002/nop2.204
[3] Duplan H., Nocera T. (2018). [Skin hydration and hydrating products]. Annales of Dermatologie et de Vénéréologie. 145: 376-384. DOI:1016/j.annder.2018.03.004

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