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The Difference Between Dry & Dehydrated Skin

Although they’re often confused as the same thing, dehydrated skin and dry skin are actually different skin concerns. While dehydrated skin lacks water and is a temporary skin condition, dry skin lacks natural oils and is a skin type.

Read on to understand more about the difference between dry and dehydrated skin and how to treat each one.

What is dry skin?

Dry skin lacks oil in the stratum corneum - the skin’s outer layer. If you have a dry skin type, your skin produces less of its natural oil (sebum) than other skin types.

Your skin needs a healthy balance of sebum to function at its best; oil helps hold moisture into the skin and keep it soft and smooth.

When the skin doesn’t produce enough oil, it loses the capacity to hold onto moisture and dry skin is the result. The skin barrier is also more susceptible to sensitivity and damage without a sufficient layer of protective oils.

Signs of dry skin include:

  • Rough or itchy skin
  • Flaky skin
  • Redness and irritation
  • Skin feels tight
  • Small, fine wrinkles
  • Thin, fragile skin

Those with dry skin types are also prone to inflammatory and excessively dry skin concerns like atopic dermatitis (eczema) characterised by redness, cracking and inflammation. 

How to look after dry skin 

Caring for dry skin means focusing on products that help counteract the natural lack of oil on the skin’s surface. This is why oil-based skin care is a great choice for dry skin types.

The right blends of plant oils can make a big difference for a dry, flaky complexion as they supplement the sebum your skin isn’t producing.

Some of the best plant oils for dry skin include;

Jojoba: With a molecular structure close to your skin’s natural sebum, jojoba is readily accepted by the skin and is an ideal facial oil. It helps strengthen the skin barrier, restore balance, and promote hydration.

Avocado: Rich in antioxidant, emollient, and anti-inflammatory properties, avocado oil promotes skin hydration, soothes and fights free radical damage.

Rosehip: Packed with omega-6’s and omega-3’s fatty acids, rosehip is revered for its moisturising and regenerative properties for dry, itchy, damaged skin. It’s also rapidly absorbed and creates a protective barrier on the skin to guard against moisture loss.

It’s also important to avoid products with strong ingredients that remove moisture and oil leaving skin dry, flaky and tight. For example;

  • Benzoyl peroxide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Alcohol
  • Witch hazel
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate

For dry skin we recommend 24k Gold Nourishing Oil

One of our best sellers and an excellent moisturiser for dry skin, 24k Gold Nourishing Oil helps to address dryness, dehydration, ageing, fine lines and wrinkles on the face, neck, and decolletage.

Non-greasy, it contains a blend of rosehip, coconut, avocado, and jojoba oil plus the anti-ageing, antioxidant power of 24k gold flakes. 

What is dehydrated skin?

While dry skin lacks oil, dehydrated skin lacks water and, unlike dry skin (which is a skin type), dehydration is a temporary skin condition that can happen to all skin types. Even oily ones!

Signs of a dehydrated face include;

  • Skin feeling tight and uncomfortable - even after moisturising
  • Redness
  • Congestion
  • An oily, shiny complexion
  • Inflammation
  • Fine lines and wrinkles are more pronounced

Dehydration caused by external factors, for example weather, and lifestyle factors such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol or not enough water.

How to look after dehydrated skin

Using dehydrated skin products with ingredients that replenish the skin’s water content is key for treating thirsty skin.

The best ingredient to beat dehydration is hyaluronic acid. It delivers a mega hit of moisture to the skin thanks to its ability to hold 1000 times its weight in hydration!

A humectant ingredient, hyaluronic acid draws moisture from the air to the skin, plumping and rehydrating cells from the inside out.

Using a serum containing hyaluronic acid is the quickest way to deliver moisture to a thirsty complexion as serums are quickly and deeply absorbed into the skin.

For dehydrated skin we recommend Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum

This water-based serum is your ultimate skin hydrator! Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum is like a big drink of water for your skin containing triple action Hyaluronic Acid which increases hydration by 25% within 2 hours.

The serum also contains aloe vera, niacinamide (Vitamin B3), and allantoin which work together to improve skin hydration and strengthen the skin barrier.

The hydrating serum isn’t a moisturiser and needs to be followed by a moisturiser or face oil on top to lock in the hydration for best results. We recommend following with 24K Gold Nourishing Oil or Acai Skin Balancing Face Oil.

Take a holistic approach to treating dehydrated skin

Tackling dehydration isn’t only about using the right dehydrated skin products. For the best results, you may need to make lifestyle changes too. For example, eating more water-rich foods and less salty ones (salt dehydrates the skin) and drinking more water and less alcohol.

To view more skincare options for dry vs dehydrated skin click through to the Dehydration shop by concern or Dryness shop by concern.

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