You’ve probably read tons of articles or heard from plenty of friends and beauty advisors about dry, dehydrated skin and those terms are used very interchangeably or often together, but do you know that skin dryness and dehydration are two different things?
Yes, your skin can be dry and dehydrated but those with oily skin can also suffer from skin dehydration too. Confused? Well, read on to find out what skin dehydration is all about plus the ways and products to help turn around this skin condition.
WHAT IS DEHYDRATED SKIN?
The short answer: Dry skin lacks oil while dehydrated skin is low in water.
What we commonly refer to as dry skin is a skin type (like oily, combination, acne-prone, and sensitive, for example), but dehydrated skin is a condition that can happen to any skin type and it is the result of skin that is losing more water than it is taking in.
We know that a healthy skin barrier helps skin retain a certain percentage of water but when that number drops below a certain amount in the stratum corneum (the outer layer of the skin), that’s when skin becomes dehydrated.
To compensate for this, water may move up to the surface which can create an imbalance of moisture within the skin. Since this is a water issue and not an oil one, people with oily skin types can also be dehydrated. In fact, skin may even become extra oily in dehydrated skin as low moisture levels might trigger the skin to produce excess oil to lubricate the skin’s surface. Dehydrated skin may look dull and feel tight with signs of congestion and redness.
On the other hand, dry skin refers to skin that is lacking in oil. Dry skin produces less sebum (or oil) than normal or oily skin and is a skin type that you can be born with naturally or caused by external or chronological factors: extreme temperature fluctuations, harsh weather, air conditioning, poor nutrition, pollution, UV exposure, and ageing can all cause oil to become depleted in the skin.
This gets worse if you use oil-control products as they can potentially strip the skin of natural sebum and make you drier. Dry skin tends to be uncomfortable, flaky, itchy, and rough to the touch.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF DEHYDRATED SKIN
At-home skincare targeted for thirsty, parched skin is helpful but these five tips can maximise the benefits and functions of your hydrating products if you practice them in your routine.
Load up on H2O: This one might seem obvious but with so many beverage options out there, many of us tend to neglect drinking water to keep internal hydration replenished. Eight glasses of water per day is recommended but remember, that’s just an average. That spinning or HIIT class will cause you to burn through much more water, especially on the skin where sweating will worsen skin dehydration. You can also eat water-rich fruits and vegetables and essential fatty acids to increase your body’s water content.
Don’t overlook exfoliation: When it comes to achieving a hydrated, healthy-looking complexion, experts always stress the importance of skin exfoliation because it doesn’t help the absorption of your moisturisers if dead skin is building up on the surface. Exfoliating at least once a week to remove dead skin cells allows your moisturiser to work better.
Add a serum to your routine: Been sticking to your three-step skincare regimen for the longest time? Then, now’s the time to step it up a notch. Applying a serum before any moisturiser helps give skin the extra hydration it needs.
Use a heavier moisturiser at night: Even though we’re shielded from the harsh outdoor climate, the hot, dry air indoors can cause us to naturally lose moisture while we sleep. Using a heavier oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturiser before bed can help counteract this.
Consider a humidifier: Having a humidifier in your office or home keeps the air adequately humid so your skin can hold in all the moisture instead of releasing it to the air.
THE TOP PRODUCTS FOR DEHYDRATED SKIN
While skin dehydration can be frustrating, the good news is that it’s totally fixable so don’t let it cause you any additional skin drama. Ahead, our roundup of 39 products that you can incorporate in your daily skincare routine to help quench your thirsty skin and keep it hydrated 24/7.
Not all cleansers and toners are made for hydration so if your skin is especially parched, it could help to use a more hydrating formula at the start of your routine. As mentioned earlier, serums are a great way to give your skin an extra boost of hydration.
Moisturisers are almost always the number one go-to formulas to hydrate the skin because well, that’s their primary function. Facial oils work great if you have persistent dry, flaky, or dehydrated skin and you find that using just moisturiser isn’t doing enough to keep the moisture locked in – use it before your cream or on its own. Supplementing your routine with a face mist helps give your skin all-day hydration.
KEW ORGANICS KOMBU MULTI-MINERAL AQUA CLEANSER
Winner of “Best Acne-Prone Cleanser” at the Daily Vanity Beauty Awards 2020, this innovative formula can effectively remove excess sebum and clear out the gunk trapped in your pores while deeply hydrating skin.
Kew Organics Kombu Multi-Mineral Aqua Cleanser retails for S$109.40 at all Kew Organics outlets and on the website.