Dehydrated Skin vs Dry Skin - What's the Difference?

Determining your skin type may seem simple enough, but it can actually be pretty tricky. This is especially true if you're trying to determine whether you have dry or dehydrated skin. So, what is the difference, and what can be done about both? Let's find out.

Firstly, dry skin is considered a skin type, whereas dehydrated skin is considered a skin condition. Let's break that down.

Dry skin

Dry skin types have fewer oil (sebum) production glands in their skin. This lack of oil in the skin means your skin is also lacking in lipids (fats) that are necessary to maintain a strong skin barrier. Dry skin can also have small-sized pores that can cause the skin to feel rough, tight, and flaky/itchy.

People with dry skin will typically notice it the most near their eyebrows as well as the corners of the nose and mouth. When applying serums or moisturizers, those with dry skin may notice that their skin absorbs it rather quickly.

To combat dry skin, shea butter, squalene, and jojoba are all fantastic options. Incorporating an eye serum into your routine is also important, as the skin around your eyes tends to be a lot thinner and dryer than other areas of your face.

Dehydrated skin

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition caused by a lack of water in the skin instead of a lack of oil. As a result, those with dehydrated skin can have oily and dehydrated skin simultaneously. Common symptoms of dehydrated skin include dullness, breakouts, congestion, inflammation, and pronounced wrinkles and fine lines.

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to dehydrated skin, including weather, diet, and caffeine consumption.

To help dehydrated skin, glycerin, aloe, and honey-based formulations are ideal.

How to tell if your skin is dry or dehydrated

A good way you can tell if your skin is dehydrated is by gently pinching your cheek or forehead, holding for a few seconds, and letting go. If your skin bounces back immediately but feels tight or flaky, you may have dry skin, but your skin is likely hydrated.

On the other hand, if it takes a few seconds for your skin to bounce back, you may have dehydrated skin.

This test is by no means definitive, but it's a good place to start. In order to confirm what's going on with your skin, it's best to consult a dermatologist or an esthetician. 

What you can do

Whether you have dry or dehydrated skin, there are a few things you can do to help improve your skin's overall health, including:

  • Using a gentle exfoliator. 
  • Applying a serum before moisturizing.
  • Using a heavier, oil-free, non-comedogenic moisturizer at night, ideally formulated with Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides.
  • Drinking plenty of water and antioxidant-rich fluids.
  • A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids.

You should try to avoid:

  • Excessive caffeine consumption.
  • Alcohol.
  • Hot showers.
  • Harsh or foaming cleansers that strip your skin of its natural oils.
  • Low humidity environments (consider investing in a humidifier).

Here at Vrea Cosmetics, we understand how frustrating it can be to find trustworthy skincare products that work for your skin. That's why we created this line of beauty and skincare products that are inspired by consumers and driven by science and results.

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