DRY VS DEHYDRATED SKIN

January 10, 2020

Picture of woman standing in a snow shower

DRY SKIN 

Skin feels tight, dry, taut and rough.
It can be painful and uncomfortable.
Little to no oil production with inactive sebaceous glands.
Fine pores. Suffer from cracked lips. A tendency towards redness, itchiness, and irritation.
Prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
It tends to be worse in cold, windy weather conditions.
It can become drier with age, specifically after menopause.
It can appear flaky, dull and grey.

Dry skin needs to be handled with extreme care. Avoid using hot water, harsh foaming cleansers and over-exfoliation that can further strip the skin of moisture and lead to further irritation, inflammation and worsen the dryness. Instead, opt for gentle cleansers, rich textured moisturizers, hydrating serums, and masks. 

DEHYDRATED SKIN

Dehydrated skin is like dry skin but is a skin condition as opposed to a skin type. Both dry and dehydrated skin is worsened by weather conditions, which can cause the skin to become dull and flaky and can effectively be treated with the correct skin care products.

The fundamental difference between dry and dehydrated skin is that dry skin lacks oil and dehydrated skin lacks water.

Dry skin means that the sebaceous glands within the skin are inactive, producing little or no oil. Oil is an important component of the skin as it creates a waterproof barrier, prevents water from being lost through the skin and is needed to keep the skin soft and supple. Dry skin is a skin condition so it won’t change much over time; it is mostly dependent on your genes but can be slightly influenced by lifestyle and environmental factors. Dry skin is lacking in oil, so oil needs to be put back into the skin.

Dehydrated skin is generally a temporary skin condition that can affect all skin types including both dry and oily skin. Dry skin is often dehydrated unless it’s very carefully looked after, as the oil helps the skin retain water. If your skin is oily but feels taut at the same time, it is most likely dehydrated.

Dehydration usually happens when the skin’s barrier becomes compromised or weakened and it struggles to prevent excess water from evaporating through the skin. It is worsened by cold, wind and overexposure to the sun, air conditioning, and central heating, over washing the skin or washing it with very hot water, using harsh soaps and cleansers or alcohol-based products and over-exfoliating. It is rarely due to not drinking enough water.

Dehydrated skin is lacking in water and therefore needs water to fix it. Humectants are ingredients that attract and bind to water and stay on your skin. They work in combination with emollients and occlusives to ensure optimal moisture levels; once humectants have been applied to the skin, they can be sealed in with occlusives oils). Examples of humectants are glycerine (found in our Soothe and Repair daily moisturiser), hyaluronic acid, sodium lactate, propanediol, and hydrolyzed proteins, amino acids, sorbitol, and urea. Look for skincare products with humectants high on the ingredients list, these can include cleansers, toners, serums, and moisturizers.

GIVE IT TIME

Skin renews itself approximately every 28 days, in a cycle where it sheds dead cells, and fresh new ones emerge to the top layers of the skin. This cycle can take longer as we get older but is also affected by a host of individual differences from person to person. We can help to repair and improve the skin in less than a month! Gentle exfoliation that also respects and maintains the skin's natural barrier is an important part of any skincare routine. It also a good idea to moisturize with plant oil rich products, to add anti-oxidants and essential fatty acids, to help the skin glow and stay protected and healthy.

Our skin has so many important functions, the more we care for and appreciate our skin, the more it will take care of us. 

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