The difference between dry and dehydrated skin

Many people believe their skin is dry when it is in fact dehydrated. Consequently, they make wrong choices when buying skin-care products and incur further problems, such as oily skin, breakouts and blackheads etc. So for optimum skin care, it’s essential to know the difference between the two.

Dry Skin

Dry skin lacks oil because it doesn’t produce enough sebum. That’s why dry skin creams contain a larger quantity of oil or an equivalent substance such as shea butter for example. Dry skin needs nutrient-rich cream.

-Dry skin has NO oily areas anywhere on the face. For other types of skin, oily areas are usually found on the nose, chin and forehead. Wipe the sides of your nose with a tissue at the end of the day: if there’s no residue, chances are that your skin is normal or dry.

-Dry skin will often feel tight and uncomfortable when you smile or frown for example. This feeling is more obvious after cleansing. You feel desperate to smear cream on your face like a thirsty person wants a glass of water!

-Dry skin will VERY often show signs of roughness or peeling. Understand that these flakes of skin are definitely dead; you can’t bring them back to life! So it’s useless to try to hydrate these patches with a ton of creams and masks. Get rid of them by using a good exfoliating product, and then moisturize your living skin!
Dry skinned people should exfoliate twice a week, followed by a good moisturizing mask.

Dehydrated skin

Dehydrated skin is not officially a skin type because all types of skin can become dehydrated, even oily skin.

Dehydration is a lack of water. Your skin is thirsty, so give it a drink!

It’s difficult to differentiate it from dry skin because certain symptoms are similar such as the tight uncomfortable feeling, the rough patches and a strong desire to apply a moisturizer. The biggest difference resides in the production of sebum. If you have even a small amount of oil on the sides of your nose, forehead or chin, YOU DO NOT HAVE DRY SKIN. The same goes for blackheads or other blemishes (except for rosacea, but that’s another story………..) which are extremely rare on dry skin.

Dehydrated skin doesn’t need oil so avoid dry skin products. Unless your skin is both dry and dehydrated (alas yes, it’s possible).

How should you quench your skin’s thirst? Start from inside. If you don’t drink enough, it will affect your skin. Drink the suggested amount of water per day. It’s not necessary to force yourself to drink gallons of water. When you’ve had enough, your skin won’t take any more. It’s not a magic remedy though: you have to work on the outside too.

During the day and even during the night, moisture is evaporating from your skin. That’s why you must apply both a daytime and a night-time moisturizer to create a protective barrier and thus retain water inside the epidermis.

There are many available skin care ranges specifically designed for dehydrated skin on the market. I really like the Hydra-Quench range from Clarins. The Hydra-Quench cream, serum and mask are all great products. Clinique also has a good range for this type of skin. I like the Moisture Surge cream very much. There’s also Aqua-Source by Biotherm which is good for thirsty skin. Try the S.O.S non-stop mask: it’s like drinking a liter of water after running a marathon. I also love the Hydra-Chrono line from Lierac. The balm is amazing!

Normal or combination skin can become dehydrated during winter. You should use a different cream according to the season or use a serum for dehydrated skin under your regular moisturizer during the cold season.

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