The Difference Between Dry + Dehydrated Skin
Although dry and dehydrated skin sound like the same problem, these issues are so different! Dry skin lacks oil and dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin is a skin type, whereas dehydrated skin is a skin condition.
If you are regularly having breakouts but feel dry, your skin is likely more dehydrated rather than dry, which causes increased inflammation and potentially even exacerbates the blemishes you see popping up. Typically, dry skin doesn’t cause breakouts, but does need proper hydration and exfoliation to stay healthy and glowing.
DRY SKIN – needs more oil
Dry skin produces less oil (sebum) than “normal” skin, so the skin barrier lacks the necessary lipids to retain moisture. This can present as flaky, scaly, tight, dull looking skin. If you have dry skin, you will likely not struggle with breakouts as oil production is directly related to breakouts.
Focus on hydrating the skin with products like vitamin C, hydrating serums, and moisturizers with ceramides. Occasionally using a chemical exfoliant, like glycolic acid, will help remove dead skin cells from the surface of the skin to help the other products be more effective.
Some dry skin types may respond well to using a thin layer of petroleum jelly at night (on top of other skincare products) to act as an occlusive barrier and lock in hydration.
Products to Use for Dry Skin:
Note: When starting a new skincare routine that includes ingredients with retinoids, glycolic acid, salicylic acid or other actives, often times your skin will be dry/flaky initially. This is expected as your skin gets adjusted to the products, and is different than having chronically dry skin.
DEHYDRATED SKIN – needs more water
How to tell if your skin is dehydrated? Try the pinch test! Pinch a small amount of skin on your cheek for a few seconds then let it go. Does it wrinkle slightly and take a few moments to snap back? If yes, then your skin is likely dehydrated.
When the skin is dehydrated it is harder for the skin to protect itself from external stressors (pollution, sun exposure, etc), which why it's important to use products to rehydrate and strengthen the skin barrier.
Common signs of dehydrated skin include dullness, itchy skin, congestion and inflammation (breakouts). If you have dehydrated skin, be sure to apply your skincare products to damp skin and use a gentle chemical exfoliant a few times a week to remove dead skin cells and help with breakouts, which, in turn will help your skincare products be more effective!
Products to Use for Dehydrated Skin:
Tips to Treat Dry + Dehydrated Skin
Here are some additional tips to strengthen and nourish both dry and dehydrated skin:
- Consider a humidifier for your room while you sleep at night.
- Spritz facial mist on your skin throughout the day.
- Always make sure you’re drinking enough water, no matter what type of skin you have.
- It’s important to note that while hyaluronic acid (like Hydrating Serum) can help retain water and create more moisture for the skin, it can also cause even more dryness. When it is applied to the skin, it pulls moisture from the air and soaks it into the skin. If you are in a dry climate, it can cause your skin to feel drier than before. So, make sure to apply a moisturizer on top to prevent unnecessary loss of moisture to the skin.
- Always apply serums and moisturizer to damp skin for optimal absorption. Your face can either be a little damp from applying vitamin C prior, or spritz a facial mist on it before applying. If you do have dry skin, be sure to apply a moisturizer at the end of your routine to lock in the hydration.
- Sun exposure can dehydrate the skin so make sure to apply daily SPF!
What moisturizer should I use?
We love Hydrating Lotion–the moisturizer of your dreams! Its lightweight formula strengthens and nourishes the skin barrier, locks in hydration, reduces redness and helps to improve elasticity of the skin. Pro tip: mix with 2 drops of Perfectionist in the PM when your skin is feeling exceptionally dry or dehydrated. This helps intensify and thicken your moisturizer so your skin can soak in all the hydrating ingredients overnight.
Hydrated vs. Moisturized: What’s the difference?
Yep, these two terms refer to different things when it comes to your skin! Here are the key differences worth noting as you consider products and lifestyle changes to treat dry or dehydrated skin:
- refers to the amount of water in the skin.
- dehydrated skin leads to fine lines + wrinkles.
- to hydrate, look for humectant ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, which help draw water from the air into the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin.)
- Hydration Lotion and Revision Hydrating Serum are two products that draw in water and boost hydration.
- refers to the amount of water your skin can retain.
- to moisturize, use occlusives, like Vaseline or oils, to keep water molecules in place.
- Vaseline protects against dehydration but provides no actual moisture because it has no water of its own, but it will help keep the water in the skin and not let it evaporate.
- ‘slugging’ with Vaseline can be done 2-4 times a week, but you wouldn't want to do this daily because you want the regular natural water loss process to happen and release of gases.