Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin: Know the Difference

Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin: Know the Difference

The two terms are often used interchangeably, but dry and dehydrated skin are not the same thing. So how do you know if your skin is dry or dehydrated (or both)? Identifying the right skin condition is key to selecting the right skincare products and achieving a healthy skin. 

In simple terms Dry skin is a skin type and dehydrated skin is a skin condition.

If you have a dry skin type, it means you’re lacking oil. Dry skin is characterized by a decreased production of sebum in the skin. Dry skin is a natural skin condition from birth, and you’re dry everywhere else on your body including hands, scalp, etc. When you put on moisturizers and creams, chances are they get absorbed pretty quickly. You may also regularly experience flaking, cracking, or skin sensitivity.

If you have dry skin, make sure to apply a face oil after every shower or face wash as it traps existing moisture in your skin.

Dehydrated skin on the other hand, means that the top layer of skin doesn’t hold enough water. This can be caused by external factors such as makeup, diet, incorrect product use, weather, etc., and anyone can experience it. When the skin is dehydrated, it creates more oil to make up for the missing water, and this can cause breakouts, irritation and dry patches.

It’s important to note that your skin can be oily and dehydrated at the same time. When your skin is dehydrated (lacking water) your sebum production will kick in, in overdrive. You will have excess oil and still lack the hydration your skin needs. This creates the perfect recipe for breakouts and clogged pores. 

You can typically tell if your skin is dehydrated if you pinch one of your cheeks and it wrinkles with gentle pressure instead of holding its shape.

If you think your skin is dehydrated, try to identify what's dehydrating you and correct it. It could be your lifestyle, the products you use, or your environment. Use water-rich products and keep a hydrating toner, such as the Garden Rose toner handy to hydrate your skin throughout the day.

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