Dehydrated skin means ‘dry’ skin, doesn’t it? So, does that mean both are the same thing? No, weirdly enough they are quite different, and call for different strategies.
But first, let's start off with an easy way to understand and remember the difference between dry vs. dehydrated skin..
For dehydrated, think "HYDRO". The original definition of the Greek word "hydro" refers to water. So when you hear the term "dehydrated skin" that means water, your skin lacks water.
Dry skin means your skin lacks and is in need of oil. Some people just have dry skin, right? They are born that way…. true! The skin barrier in the body is managed by certain proteins that can sometimes be faulty, causing skin unusually prone to that dry feeling. And there is not much we can do about our genes. But that’s only one reason that skin may be dry, there are many more. And many strategies that can help.
What Is Dehydrated Skin? Before we get to the strategies, what exactly is ‘dehydrated’ skin? When your skin is dehydrated, it might feel oily or slick rather than ‘dry’. You might have white flaky patches. Your pores might be smaller. The skin might feel taut or stretched. What’s going on? You have dehydrated skin and lacks water. There are lots of possible causes of skin dehydration but a leading one is the use of skin care products that aggravate your skin rather than treating it. Basically, any product that stimulates oil in the skin while drying it out on the surface can promote the odd oily/dry combination feeling. Sometimes it is a combination of products you are using or just using something too often. Regardless, the best approach is: avoid products with astringents, alcohols or drying-out ingredients; don’t use skin treatment tools that can damage the skin; make sure the products you use are high in skin restoring and replenishing ingredients such as glycerin.
So, What About Dry Skin? Dry skin basically means your skin lacks oil. And that happens to most of us sometimes. And there are lots of basic causes. In winter for example, most of us live in areas where the humidity in the air follows the temperatures down, and this promotes dry, itchy feeling red looking skin. This is compounded by indoor living in heated and sealed environments that exacerbate these effects. Chlorination in swimming pools can really dry out the skin too. And soaking in hot tubs or long hot baths, while feeling relaxing, can result in dried out and wrinkled skin. Obviously, using aggressive skin products that promote a negative reaction in the skin can cause dryness, as can the existence of a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema.
What to Do About Dry and Dehydrated Skin? Well, of course, it depends. If you are exposing your skin to products causing damage, stop! If you have a medical condition, you know what to do, see your dermatologist asap! And if you are trapped in low humidity conditions, try a humidifier to improve the environment. In all circumstances though, you can benefit from some simple strategies.
• Try keeping you baths and showers brief • Protect your hands with gloves when cleaning up • Don’t use astringents or products that intentionally dry out the skin • Use moisturizing treatments, frequently! Especially ones that are made with fats and lipids such as safflower oil, macadamia nut oil, shea butter • Use moisture binding ingredients such has hyaluronic acid and glycerin together. • Take collagen supplements as they have incredible hydrating properties. One study showed that 2 months of gelatin supplementation increased skin hydration by 91%. This shows us that gelatin almost DOUBLES your skins moisture content. • Drink your water! This will benefit your entire body! Remember, your skin is the furthermost out organ of your body and the last to benefit from the nutrients and the water you drink. Drinking water will help balance your entire body including your skin! • Eat collagen boosting skin glowing foods such as avocados, salmon, walnuts, olive oil and safflower seed oil!
In short, look at what you are doing to your skin and make remedial treatment a daily habit. You will be happy you did!
Til Next Time,