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 don’t 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 are key characteristics of each:
DRY SKIN• Feels rough• Appears dry• Can be flakyDEHYDRATED SKIN • Looks dull• Feels tight• Feels rough• Is sensitive• Shows fine lines• Shows accelerated signs of ageing, like sagging skin and deep wrinklesKey causes of dehydrated skinSUN - UVA is the main factor that can affect our skin, increase the ageing process, increase oxidants in the skin, dehydrate it and increase free radicals in the cells, damaging the skin. HARD WATER, HOT SHOWERS & BATHS - 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.AGEING - The ageing process makes our bodies more dehydrated, including the skin. Structural changes associated with the ageing process cause more dehydration. And when skin becomes dehydrated, it can start to look older. Dehydrated skin has a rough-feeling texture, with fine lines becoming more prominent.THE WRONG SKINCARE - If you’re 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’s important to get a very good moisturizer for the body, and another separate product for the face. Avoid harsh scrubs when you cleanse your skin, too.
What should you do if you have dehydrated skin?According to dermatologist Dr. Ariel Haus from the UK, “It’s important to drink plenty of water. 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 tell my patients to apply moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid, which is especially good for keeping water in the skin.”
What is hyaluronic acid? “Hyaluronic acid is something we all have in our bodies. It’s naturally present in all human beings, and it helps prevent the effects of ageing. In dehydrated skin, it will help retain water in the skin.” Dr. Haus explains. “I advise my patients to use hyaluronic acid as a cream, for the face or around the eyes.” says Dr. Haus.
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.Dr. Haus’ top 5 lifestyle recommendations for dehydrated skin:1. Use sun protection2. Avoid alcohol3. Avoid smoking4. Eat a balanced diet5. Drink a lot of water