Dry skin is a skin type which lacks oils or lipids, whereas dehydrated skin is a skin condition where your skin lacks water in its top layer. Your skin doesn't need to be dry to be dehydrated, oily or acne-prone skin types can also be dehydrated.
Symptoms of dry skin
- Feels rough
- Appears dry
- Can be flaky, white flakes
- Scaly appearance
- More likely to have eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis
Testing for dry skin: The blotting test
- Gently pat a blotting paper on the different areas of your face.
- Hold the sheet up to the light to determine how much oil is visible.
- If the sheet picked up little to no oil, you most likely have dry skin
What to do if you have dry skin
- Apply moisturiser immediately after cleansing
- Use an ointment or cream rather than a lotion that contains one or more of the following ingredients:
- Jojoba oil
- Hyaluronic acid
- Lactic acid
- Mineral oil
- Shea butter
- Stay away from bath sponges, scrub brushes, and washcloths
- Use fragrance-free laundry detergents and avoid fabric softeners
- Avoid wearing wool and other fabrics that can irritate the skin
- Use an oil-based, fragrance-free cleanser instead of a foaming one
Symptoms of dehydrated skin
- Looks dull
- Feels tight
- Feels rough
- Is sensitive
- Shows fine lines
- Shows premature signs of ageing, like sagging skin and deep wrinkles
- Darker under-eye circles, or tired eye appearance
- Skin dullness
Testing for dehydrated skin: The pinch test
- Pinch a small amount of skin on your cheek, abdomen, chest, or the back of your hand and hold for a few seconds.
- If your skin snaps back, you’re likely not dehydrated.
- If it takes a few moments to bounce back, you’re likely dehydrated.
- Repeat in other areas if you’d like.
What to do if you have dehydrated skin
- Drink plenty of water
- Apply moisturisers or serums that contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid which is good at retaining water in the skin
- Wear sunscreen to avoid your skin drying out
- Lifestyle changes such as avoiding alcohol and smoking as that dehydrates your skin
- Reduce the temperature of your showers or taker shorter warm showers
- Invest in a humidifier