Dehydrated vs Dry Skin: how to tell the difference & treat it

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Dehydrated vs Dry Skin: how to tell the difference & treat it

We break down the difference between dehydrated and dry skin so you can get the very best results from your skincare routine. 

Dehydrated and dry skin are often used interchangeably, but they are actually quite different! Because they are different, they require their own treatment. We explain the difference, how to tell which applies to your skin, and how to get your skin looking gorgeous and glowy.

What is the difference between dehydrated and dry skin?

The easiest way to understand the difference between dehydrated and dry skin is that dehydrated skin lacks water and dry skin lacks oil. Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin is more classified as a skin concern or condition than a skin type

What causes your skin to be dehydrated or dry?

Every skin type, including oily, can become dehydrated. Skin becomes dehydrated due to a lack of water, and can also be caused by external factors such as the weather as well as lifestyle factors like too much alcohol and not enough water. 

Dry skin can be caused from a range of different factors. From harsh weather conditions, over showering, sun damage, to harsh products, there are many external factors which can affect how dry your skin is. Dry skin can also be annoyingly genetic or caused by ageing. Sometimes dry skin is a reflection of underlying health conditions like eczema and diabetes. 

How to tell if your skin is dehydrated or dry

The easiest way to understand if your skin is dehydrated or dry is to compare the symptoms.

You can also try the ‘pinch test’. Pinch a small amount of the skin on your cheek, hand, or chest and hold for a few seconds. If your skin snaps back quickly, you are likely not dehydrated. If it takes a few seconds, you are probably dehydrated. 

Treating dehydration and dry skin 

Now that you’ve worked out whether you have dry skin or are dehydrated, how do you get your skin to look moisturised and glowy? You need to address the problem. For dry skin, that means incorporating more oil into your skincare routine and for dehydrated skin, upping your water. 

 If your skin is dry, look to incorporate more oil-based skincare products into your routine. It’s also great to use products with plant oils, such as jojoba, and nut and seed oils like coconut oil. 

 If your skin is dehydrated, it’s best to use water based products. Using products with Vitamin B3 (as known as Niacinamide) and other soothing and hydrating natural ingredients like cucumber extract can make a big difference in achieving that nourished glow. You will also want to swap the iced coffee and rose for a bottle of water. You can even incorporate more water-rich food such as cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, and cabbage into your diet. 

Both dehydrated and dry skin will benefit from using products with hyaluronic acid.

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