How Your Dry Skin is Actually Dehydrated
We have officially entered mid-summer. Glowy skin and nice tans is all we dream about having when we head over to the beach this weekend. Slather on the most heavy and thick moisturizer, and our skin will for sure be glowing and hydrated, right?
But wait! Before you slap on that thick cream, maybe a heavy moisturizer is not what your dry skin needs.
Dry ≠ Dehydrated
Skin type has always been categorized as oily, combination, or dry for the longest time. But if you are struggling to moisturize your dry skin despite those heavy creams, then your skin might actually be dehydrated. Dry and dehydrated skin are relatively similar in terms of a deprivation of some sort, but what are the main differences?
- Dry skin is characterized by a lack of moisture (oil) in the skin.
- Dehydrated skin is characterized by a lack of hydration (water) in the skin.
Moisturizing Dry Skin
To start from the basics, our skin naturally produces oil from our sebaceous glands located inside our pores. This oil helps keep our skin and hair follicles lubricated. However, some people might experience a lack of production in this oil due to many reasons, causing our skin to become dry. Usually when skin is dry, people may experience itchy or flakey skin. In some cases, people may develop severe rashes from dry skin.
What to do: To counteract the lack of oil in our skin, we need to add moisturizer. Moisturizer has lightweight oils that help retain and add moisture back in our skin. Oil free moisturizers are commonly used for people who have oily skin and need that extra moisture.
Hydrating Dehydrated Skin
The skin will start to secrete more oil to compensate for the water loss when it lacks the water it needs. Furthermore, the skin might still appear dry and dull because it still lacks that water content that the skin needs to stay hydrated and supple. Dehydrated skin can be caused by various things like the weather, skin condition, or makeup.
What to do: To combat your dehydrated skin, stay away from products that contain ingredients that could be drying to your skin, such as fragrances or alcohol. You should focus on using water-based products that will hydrate your skin. As a result, this allows your skin to absorb the water content it needs to restore itself.
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Specialist doctor from the University Hospital in Gothenburg, alumnus UC Berkeley. My doctoral dissertation is about Digital Health and I have published 5 scientific articles in teledermatology and artificial intelligence.