The causes are different, but the result is the same: your skin looks irritated, flaky, and it might even be so dried out that you’re seeing cracks appear along with fine lines and wrinkles. It might be tempting to grab some moisturizer and layer it on a little thicker, but is that going to fix it? On the surface they may look like the same thing, but the difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin lies in the source of what’s missing.
What Causes Dry Skin?
With dry skin, the culprit here is a lack of oil. When your skin isn’t producing enough sebum, you’re going to experience a chronic pattern of the symptoms of dry skin. It isn’t something that’s brought on by your environment, although your environment can cause it to worsen. Dry skin is a skin type that you are genetically predisposed to, and you may have noticed that your skin is also a bit sensitive to certain products. While this isn’t something that can be permanently corrected because it’s simply built into your biology, it is something you can easily treat to prevent premature aging.
Tip #1: Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
But do it the right way. With naturally dry skin, your skin is lacking the natural oils and lipids that fortify your skin barrier and keep your skin plump, soft and naturally lubricated. We recommend something like the Intense Lipid Hydration Crème, which is a rich moisturizer intended for dry and compromised skin. Using it daily and pairing it with a low dose retinol at night and vitamin C serum in the morning (to help your skin retain moisture) will give your dry skin a much needed boost of the natural oils it needs. You may notice the retinol actually increasing dryness at first, but this is a temporary side effect of the vitamin A and over time the retinol will actually help your skin regulate its oil production properly.
Tip #2: Try oils
Of course, if you’re missing oil it makes sense to use products like that on your skin. Just make sure when looking for the right one that you don’t go overboard and overwhelm your skin, especially if it’s sensitive. And if you’re trying to get rid of redness, Redness & Bruise Relief is filled with sunflower oil and sweet almond oil to help sooth rosacea and irritation in sensitive skin.
Tip #3: Limit Showers
This isn’t a recommendation to take fewer showers… more like a recommendation to take shorter showers. Turning the water temperature down a bit and keeping your showers limited to 5-10 minutes will help preserve your skin’s natural barrier and help it retain more of it’s own moisture.
What Causes Dehydrated Skin?
Dehydrated skin is a very different issue that looks like dry skin, but the problem lies more with your lifestyle and environment then your genes. Dehydrated skin is lacking water, not oil, so loading up on heavy moisturizers and skin oils might only overwhelm your skin. You could end up with clogged pores and acne since your oil production isn’t the problem. The good news is dehydrated skin is not a permanent issue, and it’s more easily corrected than you think!
Tip #1: Water is your skin’s best friend
Water is one of the main things your skin needs to maintain it’s health and plumpness. So if you find yourself drinking more caffeinated beverages in a day than water, try swapping out some of them for water to get your hydration levels up. In the meantime, you can also boost moisture levels in your skin by boosting humidity around you. If the air in your house or state you live in is dry, try using a humidifier.
Tip #2: HA for HAppy Skin
The best products for dehydrated skin are oil-free hyaluronic acid moisturizers and serums. Hyaluronic acid is the ideal ingredient for dehydrated skin because the molecules in it can hold up to 1,000X their weight in water, adding much needed H2O to your skin without adding oil and clogging pores. That’s part of why this ingredient is the most recommended in moisturizers for acne-prone skin. Just remember to keep the focus on water-based fixes over oil-based.
What if you suspect your skin is both dry and dehydrated?
Maybe you can’t pin down exactly what the cause is, and you’re afraid of using the wrong products and causing adverse reactions. In this case, we recommend using serums for most of your actives. Hydrating serums can work to deposit oil where it’s needed most and boost moisture levels without clogging your skin with heavy product. Serums are easily absorbed by skin and products like Filler In A Bottle and Vitamin C, E, & Ferulic Acid serum will help add moisture to your skin and help it retain water.