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Dry skin or dehydrated skin? The dos and don'ts

When our skin is uncomfortable, which is more common in the winter, when it pulls or starts to flake we tend to take the fastest route to a diagnosis: I have dry skin and I will treat it as such.

But, did you know that there is a huge difference between dry and dehydrated skin ? The latter is a much more common problem and is usually more of a temporary situation.

Let’s take a closer look at this particular beauty problem.

We often confuse dehydrated with dry skin

Dry skin is a skin type, a genetic characteristic that we can’t modify. 

We can certainly improve the quality of our epidermis but can’t really modify the quality of the lipids produced by our skin. 

Dehydration, on the other hand, is a temporary state, a skin condition linked to external factors such as the cold, the sun, stress or a skincare routine that is too harsh.

And the good news? You can improve the skin’s hydration levels.

Is your skin hungry or thirsty skin?

Dry skin is skin that is lacking in oil. Whilst dehydrated skin lacks water. That is the simple rule of thumb. And to be on the best possible form, your complexion needs the right balance of water and oil. But things often become complicated when we try to diagnose the problem.

Does my skin need a big glass of water or a hearty dose of oil? Let’s take a look in the mirror.

Dry skin

 You can have dry skin that also suffers from dehydration !

To defend themselves, dry skins can also thicken which is a natural phenomenon linked to their need to make up for the thinning or non-existent barrier.

I have dry skin if: 
  • I have always complained of feeling that my skin was tight since I was younger.
  • I’m lucky and have almost invisible pores.
  • My complexion is often dull.
  • My skin is fine, rough and rarely feels soft?
  • I dread the winter as I always have dry patches.

Dehydrated skin

… is skin that is thirsty! Although very often, dehydrated skin is inextricably linked to dry skin as the barrier layer has been altered (think strong air conditioning, smoking, too much alcohol, stress, pollution or certain medicines) leading to a loss of water, a bit like a leak.

I have dehydrated skin if:
  • My skin feels uncomfortable in certain areas (often the cheeks) and the rest of my complexion can be shiny, especially in the T-zone.
  • My pores are dilated in certain areas.
  • My skin often feels tight after cleansing or when I am outside.

How to look after dry skin

  • The Dos:

Rebuild the barrier layer with an oily serum like the Vit C & Hyaluronic Serums which both protects the skin from external aggressions as well as blocking water loss.

Use a nourishing cream that really envelops the skin such as a Hydrating Moisture Cream. It will also help if your skin is more mature as the passing of time can also make the skin dryer.

Dry skin can easily suffer from blemishes, a real problem if you are looking for a product that can solve both problems.Adding some B3 serum can help.

How to look after dehydrated skin

  • The Dos:

Every night, we double cleanse with soft, non-aggressive products such as a Gentle Cleanser to remove makeup and  impurities such as  pollution whilst the cleanser will give you really clean skin, whilst also calming and commencing the hydration process.

When you have dehydrated skin, you often don’t dare to exfoliate it.

This is a mistake as it is often the best way to get rid of dead skin cells thereby improving the deep penetration of hydrating ingredients. You can exfoliate 2 x per week with the Hydrating Cleanser which not too strong and will suit even the most sensitive of skins.

You can rely on a Hyaluronic Serum to help rebuild the protective layer on the skin’s surface, whilst still allowing it to breathe. 

One of the best tips for providing immediate relief from dryness and getting rid of that ‘creased’ look is Hydrating Mask. If you want a multi-tasking product you could choose the Hyaluronic Gold Mask  which hydrates and also helps to remove impurities and make the complexion clearer. This makes it the ideal product for sensitive skin types that suffer from occasional blemishes.

The DON’Ts – to remember whether you have dry or dehydrated skin –

  • Turn down the central heating and the air-conditioning and avoid pollution wherever possible!
  • Avoid showers or baths that are too hot as they literally melt the hydrolipidic barrier.
  • Help to maintain the surface layer of the skin by washing your skin x1 every morning with a Gentle Cleanser.

Would you like some more tips? Are you looking for the Skin Care that are right for you? We would love to help.

You can write to us at


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