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  • Vanessa

Dry Skin vs Dehydrated Skin

Updated: Sep 15, 2022

If you believed dry skin and dehydrated skin are the same skin complaint you're not alone. The two are confused constantly but they are actually very different and require different methods to treat them.

What is Dry Skin?

Dry skin is when your skin does not have enough oil-producing glands, and so your skin needs more oil (sebum). Sebum locks moisture into your skin and keeps it healthy and supple. If you do not have enough of these glands your skin is less protected from exposure from the sun, and so loses more water through the skin.

If you have dry skin you could see these signs:

  • Rough skin

  • Appears dry

  • Can be flakey

  • White flakes

  • Redness

  • Irritation

What is Dehydrated skin?

In the top layer of the skin if there is not enough moisture in that top layer you have dehydrated skin. This dries your skin from the inside, which makes it more prone to structural damage, speeds up aging, and more prone to damage from free radical molecules. The skin will try to compensate from the lack of hydration by producing more oil. This can then become a haven for acne causing bacteria and you may see that you start breaking out.

If you have dehydrated skin you could see these signs:

  • Looks dull

  • Feels tight

  • Is sensitive

  • Shows fine lines more

  • Sagging skin and deep wrinkles

  • Dark under-eye circles

  • Breakouts

  • Verticle creases in the skin

What causes dry skin?

Dry skin is the type of skin you are born with. You can not add more sebaceous glands into your skin but what you can do is give your skin more oil so it can protect itself. And using the product

What causes Dehydrated Skin?

Dehydrated skin has many causes. This sounds bad but it also means many methods can be used to treat dehydrated skin.


When we are out in intense sunlight we can feel our skin burning and tightening as the water is being evaporated out. Sometimes however we do not feel this but instead, it happens without our knowledge. On an average day, we lose 400ml a day through this process.

Hard Water:

Hard water refers to the amount of limestone that is in your water. The more limestone the harder your water is. Taking showers in hard water can lead to the limestone pulling the water right out of your skin. And if you're taking HOT showers that can pull even more water out.

Air Conditioning/Heating:

Spending large amounts of time in synthetic air can cause your skin to be out of balance and make your skin dehydrated.


Alcohol is a big dehydrator, that is why it is so important to drink glasses of water during and after to avoid that mind-numbing migraine the next morning. Just as it dehydrates your brain, it also dehydrates your skin.

Treatments for Dry Skin

So as we have discussed, dry skin is caused by your skin not having enough oil to protect the outside of your skin.

To treat this,

  • Skincare regime that has dry skin in mind. Skincare targeted at dry skin will be full of healthy lipids that can support your naturally producing Sebum. Make sure to moisturize and also use sunscreen, as your skin is extra sensitive. Avoid acids in your skincare, you don't want to strip your skin even more of the oils that it needs.

Phytoactives (plant oils), Shea Butter, and Ceramides (lipids) are ingredients to look out for!

  • Take warm but not hot showers, and limit showers between 5-10 minutes

  • You may also want to invest in a humidifier to balance the humidity in your house.

Treatments for Dehydrated Skin

  • Drink 8-11 glasses of water a day. Drinking water will give all areas of your body the water it needs. Your brain especially needs a constant supply of water to keep it working in a pain-free and high capacity way.

  • Hyaluronic Acid is superior at locking in moisture. Look for a moisturizer or eye serums that contain this innovative ingredient. Another great way to increase your water concentrations is to eat foods high in water such as watermelon, cucumbers, or strawberries.

Seaweeds (Laminaria digitata and Ascophyllum nodosum), Cucumber, Algae, and Alginic Acid are ingredients

to look out for!

Another great way to increase your water concentrations is to eat foods high in water such as watermelon, cucumbers, or strawberries.

Extra Tips for hydrated, fresh skin.

  • Humidifiers also may be an item to add to your toolkit in the fight for healthy skin. People have found them to be especially beneficial during the winter months.

  • Have a bottle of rosewater in their purse to mist yourself. Rosewater has been used for centuries for dry skin, it has also been shown to be antibacterial, and full of antioxidants.

If you would like help with your dry or dehydrated skin give us a call or email us to book your appointment.

(905) 638 8804

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