Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin, and Why One Must Know the Difference.
Understanding Dry and or Dehydrated Skin.
Many of us believe dry and dehydrated are the same thing, and rightly so! When we are thirsty, or when our lips dry up we automatically associate it with being dehydrated and we grab water. As such, we have come to believe that it is the same with skin. However, when it comes to skin these two terms denote two different things. Dry Skin is a skin type, whereas dehydrated skin is a skin condition.
What is dry skin?
Studies suggest that: “Dryness of the skin is characterized by skin thickening or thinning, by roughness, reddening, scales, irritation, and itching.” Normally, skin that’s not dry consists of 10-15% water, hence maintaining skin elasticity and flexibility. On the other hand, skin that’s dry possesses a moisture content of less than 10%. Research says, “Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) is the most widely used surrogate marker for skin barrier function.”
In summary, dry skin is a skin type, it is in most cases, genetic and is attributed to a lack of water in one’s stratum corneum. While having dry skin is more permanent, you can work to give your skin what it needs to keep it nourished
Repair and more…
Repairing dry skin takes time and effort, but if you are consistent and using the right products, while you may not reverse having dry skin you will have nourished-looking skin. Moisturizers, emollients, and hydrating serums like Hyaluronic acid, or squalene are all key ingredients to consider using if you have dry skin. Top these off with broad-spectrum SPF and you will find your barrier nourished and bright.
What is dehydrated skin?
Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is a skin condition where the body loses more water than it’s taking in.
Dehydrated skin, is a condition that is temporary and can be addressed by ensuring the following: drinking water, avoiding caffeine, exercising regularly, and ensuring you are sleeping well.
How do you prevent it?
Preventing skin from being dehydrated is simple. While drinking water is the general rule of thumb to restore hydration to your body and the skin, one must take extra steps to ensure bright, dewy looking skin. In your everyday life, supplement your diet with water-rich fruits, leafy greens, and proteins. A balanced diet followed by a consistent skincare routine that includes hydrating products like moisturizers and serums is important. Make sure your products are gentle which don’t irritate the skin further. Under the guidance of a dermatologist, one can include actives ingredients too.
Repairing Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin
Dry skin can be managed through the use of good quality, oil-based ingredients, as well as a consistent skincare routine, whereas, dehydrated skin requires discipline to make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Maul JT, Maul LV, Kägi M, Cheng P, Anzengruber F, von Laue M, Chen Y, Kägi M, Navarini A. Skin Recovery After Discontinuation of Long-Term Moisturizer Application: A Split-Face Comparison Pilot Study. Dermatol Ther (Heidelb). 2020 Dec;10(6):1371-1382. doi: 10.1007/s13555-020-00453-0. Epub 2020 Oct 7. PMID: 33026578; PMCID: PMC7649173.
Skin Moisturizers: Therapeutic Potential and Preventative Maintenance of Dry Skin.” JAAD, 1 Feb. 2008,