Dry skin and dehydrated skin are different skin conditions, although they may feel the same – simply being dry. Let us learn the difference between the two to know which condition you may have.
Dry skin is a type of skin while dehydrated skin is a skin condition. The type of your skin is categorically what you are born with naturally like having dry skin or oily skin. Your skin condition is what happens to your skin like dehydration, irritation, and acne. These skin conditions can be experienced by everyone, whether temporarily or longer, and in some cases, a skin condition can remain for good.
So, what is dehydrated skin?
Dehydrated skin, as the term indicates, is a skin that lacks moisture or lacking water. All types of skin can be dehydrated, including those with very oily skin. This can be the results of multiple factors like makeup, improper use of skin care products, the weather, and many more. But here is the catch: when your skin is dehydrated, it produces more oil to make up for the lack of water. This can lead to irritation, breakouts, and dry patches. Your skin can feel oily and dry at the same time.
And what is a dry skin?
Having a dry skin type means that you are lacking oil. You are naturally born with this type and this means you are dry everywhere else on your body which includes your scalp, hands, legs, and more. When you apply lotions and moisturizers, they may soak up quickly. You may also experience regular flaking, cracking, sensitivity, or skin issues such as eczema.
A dry skin,
- Is a type of skin
- Lacks sebum or natural oils
- Maybe caused by underlying conditions (hypothyroidism)
- Caused by underactive sebaceous glands
- Can be managed by applying moisturizers and topical emollient creams
A dehydrated skin
- Lacks water
- A skin condition
- The body loses more water than what it’s taking
- Maybe associated to loss of water through urination and excess sweating during exercises
- May be treated by topical medications, change of lifestyle and diet
Symptoms of dehydrated skin
Dry skin is characterized by having flaky and itchy skin. The person is very uncomfortable. With dehydrated skin, the person experiences itchy skin, dullness of the skin, dark circles, sunken eyes, scaly and rough texture of the skin, redness, tightness. Inflammation, skin sensitivity, and pronounced fine lines, expression lines, and wrinkles. Other signs if you are dehydrated are less saliva, bad breath, tendency to faint, constipation (as dehydration worsens it) and mood issues.
Extreme dehydration may lead to dizziness, dry mouth, weakness, lightheadedness, and less frequent urination or dark yellow urine. Never ignore these symptoms because dehydration can become a severe health issue. Consult your doctor immediately.
How to know if you have a dehydrated skin
Do the pinch test:
- Pinch a small portion of your skin or cheek.
- You may see some wrinkles. If it does not bounce back when you let it go, it is a sign that your skin is dehydrated.
Another easy way to test if your skin is dehydrated is to press your nail bed. If it turns white and when you release the pressure, the blood rushes back. If your skin is dehydrated, your nail bed takes longer to become pink or reddish again.
- Hold your hand (where you will do the test) right above your chest.
- Pinch the nail bed with your other hand until it becomes fully white.
- Release the pressure.
- Observe how many seconds that it takes to normalize again, or turn to pink again.
If you realize that you are dehydrated and your skin lacks the regular moisture, you do not have to worry. You can still improve it and make it radiant again. And here are easy tips on how to make your skin radiant again:
Drink plenty of water.
You do not like its taste? You may add a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint to spruce your drink. Or, is it very cold? Fill your flask with hot water, lemon, and ginger for a delicious way of getting your fix. Consult with your doctor to know how much is proper for you based on the level of your activity and body weight.
Also, central heating and air conditioning can drain the water from the skin. The more moisture in the air means the less water will dissipate from the skin. Consider a humidifier during the cold season and use skin care products that can increase the water level in your skin such as Simple Water Boost Hydrating Gel Cream. The cream is fresh, light and hydrates all day.
Cleanse before and after exercising.
Exercises are helpful to boost circulation giving the skin a radiant look. But sweat combined with makeup and grime can lead to skin irritation and sensitive skin. When you sweat, you are losing water and minerals from your skin. Experts recommend to cleanse before and after you exercise to remove dirt, sweat and makeup on your skin. Then, apply hydrating moisturizer to keep the water level replenished. And remember to drink plenty of water. Always bring with you facial cleansing wipes stacked in your gym bag for a quick cleanse.
Smoothen your skin with a moisturizer after a “not-too-hot” shower. This is to help use of the moisture on the surface of your skin before it evaporates. A good moisturizer can serve as “magnets” within your skin as it draws moisture from the air and holds it there. The Simple Water Boost Skin Quench Sleeping Cream is formulated for dehydrated skin.
The dry air, low humidity level, and air conditioning at the airports and airplane cabins can interrupt the moisture balance of your skin. Get moisture-rich skin care products before you fly. The Simple Water Boost Hydrating Booster before applying your moisturizer for an added boost of hydration. This hydrating product is also a good refresher mid-flight.
Built up dead skin cells can affect the rate at which your skin absorbs moisture. Try to exfoliate your skin at least two times every week to prevent the accumulation of dead skin cells.
Getting the wrong skin care products can damage or worsen your dehydrated skin. Be careful of the ingredients because some ingredients can cause skin imbalance, thus, worsen your skin condition. Here are some useful tips in getting the right skin care products for your dehydrated skin:
- Refrain from products with menthol, alcohol, peppermint, and fragrances because these ingredients can dry out your skin further.
- Avoid using wrong combinations of products because they can make your skin appear more dehydrated. Ingredients such as AHA and BHA exfoliants, retinol, and vitamin C are great for the skin but applying them on a daily basis may worsen your skin condition. Use these products moderately.
- Forgo using abrasive scrubs and cleansing brushes on your skin because they can damage the surface of your skin.
- Use soap-free, mild cleansers on your face.
- Apply serums and moisturizers that have antioxidants.
Other tips to prevent dehydrated skin:
- Eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, and plant-based foods.
- Reduce intake of caffeine and alcohol.
- Quit smoking.
- Exercise regularly and drink water while exercising or during workouts.
Tackling dehydrated skin can be an easy task. Just make a few adjustments on your lifestyle and skin care habits. But if in spite of all the precautions and your skin condition worsens and persists, consult a dermatologist near you.