The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Is there a difference between dry and dehydrated skin? Yes. Dry skin lacks oils, dehydrated skin lacks moisture, although the end result is the same, the treatment will be different. Ingredients like Shea butter work to rehydrate the skin, whereas jojoba oil seals in moisture that Shea butter provides, along with aloe vera and water.

On the surface, the terms ‘dry’ and ‘dehydrated’ seem like two words that mean the same thing. However, when it comes to skincare, dry skin and dehydrated skin are two different concerns.


What is the Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin?

Dry skin is a specific skin type whereas dehydrated skin is a condition that anyone can experience. No matter the skin type, a lack of water within the top layer of the skin can cause dehydrated skin.


What Causes Dry Skin? 

Dry skin is commonly caused by little to no oil production. Due to the lack of sebum, the skin is left without the oil that it needs to retain moisture. This also means that it becomes more difficult for the skin to repel damage caused by external factors. These external factors range from the environment to the different types of food that is consumed.

To exemplify, both cold and hot weather can affect the quality of skin. When the air is dry, the skin has a difficult time extracting moisture from the environment. Likewise, excessive sun exposure also removes moisture from the skin, which can lead to premature ageing and loose skin. Applying sun protection daily can provide the skin with the protective barrier that it needs.

In terms of food and how the skin is affected by diet, dry skin is preventable by having an adequate number of vitamins and antioxidants within the diet. The consumption of vitamins E, C and A – commonly found in fruits, nuts and dark leafy greens, helps to nourish the skin from the inside out.

Other Signs of a Dry Skin Type Include:

  • Flakiness
  • Rough texture
  • Itchiness
  • Redness


What Causes Dehydrated Skin? 

The main difference between dry and dehydrated skin is that dehydrated skin can affect oily, combination and normal skin. As a skin condition, it means that the skin may lack water content but also still produce oil. In fact, those with oily and acne-prone skin may experience dehydrated skin more. This is due to using products that strip water from the skin.

Skin that is dehydrated may appear tight and dull. Similar to dry skin, everyday factors play a big part in the lack of hydration in the skin. The skin simply gets stripped of moisture from the weather, overexposure to water and of course, not drinking enough water.

Dry Skin vs Dehydrated Skin: How to Test It 

It is possible to find out whether your skin is dry or dehydrated in just a few steps.

To test if you have dry skin, wash your face using your usual cleanser and water. Then, gently dry your face with a towel and leave your skin alone for an hour without applying any product.

After an hour, if your skin feels tight, it is highly likely that you have dry skin.
A great way of finding out if your skin lacks hydration is by performing the ‘pinch test’. Also known as the Turgor Test. A skin assessment used clinically to discover the extent of fluid loss in the body.

Simply pinch a small amount of skin on your chest, cheek or back of the hand and hold for a few seconds. If your skin snaps back, it is likely that the skin is not dehydrated.


Dry Skin vs Dehydrated Skin: Treatments and Ingredients 

Alongside maintaining a balanced lifestyle and supporting the skin with healthy habits, such as drinking enough water, there are many ingredients and treatments that will bring out the best in your skin.

One of the key ways to tackle dry skin is to find the right moisturiser for your skin. Using the right kind of moisturiser helps to maintain the skins balance. Moisturisers with natural ingredients such as shea butter, coconut, almond are great for softening the skin. Furthermore, products with ingredients such as lanolin and mineral oil work well to improve the appearance of dry, flaky skin.

Dehydrated skin benefits from hydrating ingredients such as, aloe, honey and glycerine. As well as this, ingredients that help the skin retain water, like hyaluronic acid. Used in conjunction with a moisturiser of choice, hyaluronic acid can provide the skin with the ultimate hydration.