Both may result in your skin feeling dry, but are caused by different factors and therefore, require different ingredients and skincare products to help your complexion bounce back.
Here's a quick guide on how you can identify if you have dry or dehydrated skin!
Like oil-prone or combination skin, dryness is a skin type. Based on genetics, those with dry skin naturally lack enough oil to keep it feeling smooth and supple, resulting in red, flaky, itchy, and ashy skin. Dry skin can extend to all body parts, including your scalp, elbows, and hands.
How to prevent dry skin:
You can't change your skin type, but you can prevent skin from feeling dry with skincare. Look out for 'Emollients'.
Emollients are moisturizing ingredients that penetrate the spaces between your skin cells and leave the skin feeling softer and smoother. Emollients that contain a lot of oil are also occlusive agents, which means they coat your skin with a thin oily film that seals the water in your skin.
Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is a skin condition (not a type), meaning it’s treatable and temporary. Fact: You can have an oily skin type, but still experience dehydration. Similar to your body, skin becomes dehydrated when it’s lacking in water.
What causes dry skin:
There are several reasons your skin may experience this loss in H2O, causing it to appear dull, rough, and tight:
- Changes in weather
- Indoor heating and cooling systems
- Washing your skin with hot and/or hard water
- Applying products that strip your skin off it's natural moisture
- Not drinking enough water
How to treat dehydrated skin:
Luckily, hydrating skin is a quick fix. Besides drinking your 8 glasses worth, look out for humectants.
This term doesn’t refer to a specific ingredient so much as it refers to a category or class of moisturizing ingredients. These moisturizing ingredients pull water into the skin from the atmosphere, keeping it plump and hydrated.
Since dryness and dehydration can feel similar, experts advise taking a “pinch test” to determine which you have.
- Pinch your cheeks for a few seconds and let go.
- If your skin immediately bounces back to normal (yet feels flaky), you have dry skin.
- If it takes a few seconds, even leaving some fine lines, your skin is probably dehydrated.