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Many people don’t understand the difference between dry and dehydrated skin. I used to be one of them! They sound similar, but they are really two totally different things! Hopefully, this post will help you figure out if your skin is dehydrated.
Many people have dehydrated skin and don’t realize it. I used to be one of those people! My skin used to be so oily I NEVER thought it would be dehydrated. But, turns out, when your skin is dehydrated, it will overproduce oil to compensate for the dryness, leading to oily skin!
That’s why it’s important to know your skin type. With lots a research and the right products, my skin is NORMAL now. I never thought I’d be able to say that.
Disclaimer, some people DO just have oily skin naturally and will not be fixed with a hydration focused routine, but those that do have oily skin because of dehydration can definitely see an improvement in oil production. If you would like a post on this topic, let me know down in the comments! I know it seems very confusing.
Dry Vs. Dehydrated Skin
First, let’s distinguish between dry and dehydrated. Dry skin is a skin type and means your skin is lacking oil. Whereas dehydrated skin, is a skin condition, and means your skin is lacking water.
The key here is that, since they are caused by two different things (lack of oil or lack of water), you need to treat them very differently! Adding oil to your dehydrated skin is not going to do much for you!
If your skin is truly dehydrated it is fixable!
How to Tell If You Have Dehydrated Skin
Any skin type can have dehydrated skin. You can be dry and dehydrated, or oily and dehydrated. Since it is a skin condition, it doesn’t matter what skin type you have.
Dehydrated skin has many different symptoms that are usually easy to pick out if you have them:
- Oil production, but feels dry or has dry patches or flakes
- Skin appears dull or lifeless
- Feels stripped or tight after washing
- Irritation/burning when applying products
- Rough in texture – bumpy skin, closed comedones, clogged skin
- Fine lines
You might not have all of these symptoms at the same time. It could be that you just have one or two. Do you have any of these symptoms?
Causes of Dehydrated Skin
Dehydrated skin happens when the water evaporates out of you skin cells, leaving your skin dehydrated and lifeless.
This is the hard part. There are so many different causes of dehydrated skin. Sometimes it can be hard to pick out which one is causing yours. I’m going to divide them up into different categories:
Water Consumption: This is the biggest one (and most important!) one. Chances are you aren’t drinking as much water as you should. You know the recommended 8 cups of water a day? How many of you actually drink 64oz of water? If you do, that’s great! I challenge you to drink AT THE VERY LEAST 64oz a day. It will help plump your skin and also make your skin glow again!
Bad Habits: Drinking and smoking. These can both dehydrated your body, which, in turn, dehydrates your skin. I’m not saying go cold turkey, but at least cut back, or make up for it by drinking extra water that day.
Water: Yes, those scalding hot showers are not good for your skin. This is something I will never give up, but you should at least be aware that they do dehydrate your skin. So, you should perhaps lessen the time you spend in the shower or be sure to apply hydrating products afterwards.
Heating and Air Conditioning: These can both cause water loss from your skin. This one is hard to fix because you can’t control the environment everywhere you go, but it’s good to be aware when you are in those places and can use the right products to hydrate again.
Climate: Dry climates are the worst for dehydrated skin. If the air is dry, your skin will be too.
Chances are you are using products that are too harsh and stripping your skin. Especially, if you use acne products.
Sulfates in cleansers, alcohol in toners or other products, benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid, retinol, retin-a, can all cause your skin to become dehydrated.
Now, I’m not saying that all of those ingredients are bad. In fact, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, lactic acid and retinol/retin-a’s are amazing skincare products and you should be using them! You can check out my post here on how these will help you get glowing skin.
However, sulfates and alcohol are two that DO NOT BELONG IN ANY SKINCARE PRODUCT. Sadly, they are in a lot of skincare products. So, picking out the right products is going to take some reading ingredient labels. They are easy to find though, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble.
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin
Finally, the reason you’re all here, right? Luckily, fixing dehydrated skin is pretty easy! I will go through the steps you can take to fix your dehydrated skin and will include any product recommendations at the bottom.
Toss Any Bad Products
First, get rid of all products that are stripping your skin. As I mentioned above, if any of your products contain sodium lauryl sulfate or denatured alcohol (rubbing alcohol!), GET RID OF THEM.
Add Hydrating Products
Second, add in a hydrating serum. Something with Hyaluronic Acid (HA). HA is found naturally in the skin and can hold onto water, therefore, keeping water in your skin and not letting it evaporate out! Ideally, you want to apply this right after washing your face (with a gentle cleanser!) while your skin is still damp to maximize effectiveness.
Up Your Moisturizing Game
So, now that you’ve added some hydration back into your skin, you want to keep it there, right? That’s why you need a good moisturizer to seal all that good hydration in! This will vary depending on your skin type and will probably take a lot of trial and error to find one that your skin likes. Unfortunately, that’s just how skincare works. It’s not a one size fits all. That would be awesome, wouldn’t it?
Fix Your Climate
Now, you’re really limited to what you can do here, but a humidifier should be able to help you. Even if you live in a humid climate (like me), chances are the air inside your house or office is not that humid.
Personally, I run my humidifier only at night when I sleep and it makes a huge difference! My skin looks hydrated and plump in the mornings and I’ve noticed such a huge difference since adding one! They even make personal ones you can sit at your desk at work, if you’d like.
These are my tried and true products that I absolutely love. The biggest thing I would recommend is a serum! I think that is the most important thing you can get. So, if you can only get one, I would get one of the two serums.
My Favorite Humidifier – Comes with a handy remote, too!
I hope this post was helpful to you all and I was able to teach you something! If you have any questions, drop them in the comments below! I’d love to help you all.