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The most important difference between dry and dehydrated skin

The most important factor to have healthy skin is hydration. Some people have dry skin but others have dehydrated skin. These two terms are not equivalent. However, there is a lot of confusion and some people think that dry and dehydrated skin is the same.

In this post, I will explain to you the difference between dry and dehydrated skin and will give you a few tips to keep hydrated and healthy skin.


The importance of water for the skin for dry and dehydrated skin

Water is essential for the body. In fact, our body’s composition is mainly water, 70% of our body weight is water. For this reason, we need to keep our bodies hydrated, not only from inside but also from outside. That includes our skin.

Healthy skin has a layer composed of a mixture of water and sebum to protect it. This layer protects our skin from external factors and avoids the loss of internal water. When the equilibrium between water and sebum is not balanced, we start to feel discomfort on our skin. In other words, discomfort appears when the skin starts to dehydrate.

What is dry skin?

Dry skin is a type of skin that is a permanent skin condition. In other words, you are born with a specific skin type –  dry skin. Additionally, skin becomes dry due to ageing, despite having a non-dry skin type from birth.

The main characteristic of dry skin is the reduced amount of sebum on the surface. As a consequence, people with dry skin feel skin-tight, itchy, can show skin flaking, and become temperature sensitive. The appearance of wrinkles and fine lines at an early age for people is due to dry skin.

The main recommendation for people with dry skin is to use lipid-rich products for skin barrier support and soft cleansers which help to keep the moisture locked on the skin. People with this skin type need to use hydrating serum, in the morning as well as in the nighttime skincare routines. They should also hydrate all the body and obviously, and that applies to everyone. Drinking plenty of water helps hydration inside the body.


What is dehydrated skin?

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition. Any person with any skin type can suffer from dehydrated skin at some point.

Dehydrated skin is a signal your body sends when it needs water, internal or external. The skin becomes tired, dull, pale, and it can feel irritating or itchy. It can also become red and rough, and wrinkles and fine lines become more visible. That can happen all over the body or in a specific area of the body.

Some people define dehydrated skin feelings as the feelings when the skin has sunburns. Dehydrated skin can appear at any time, but it is more frequent in environments with a cooling or heating system, windy spots, saunas, etc. Some activities, like smoking, drinking alcohol or caffeine in excess, or sun exposure, increase the possibility of suffering from dehydrated skin.

Most of the time, dehydrated skin does not affect all the body, but small patches of your skin in the face, neck or hands, normally, the most exposed areas.

An important point is that people with dry skin can also suffer from dehydrated skin at any point in their life. It is a big mistake to think that because your skin is dry it cannot be dehydrated.


How to avoid dehydrated skin?

There are different things you can do to avoid dehydrated skin, which include:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Be careful with the cosmetics you use
  • Use sulfate-free cleansers
  • Use emollient creams frequently
  • Use a humidifier device to keep high moisture levels in the room you are in

What are the differences between dry and dehydrated skin

  • Dry skin is a skin type while dehydrated skin is a skin condition
  • Only people with certain genetic has dry skin while everybody can have dehydrated skin
  • Dry skin is permanent while dehydrated skin is temporal
  • Dehydrated skin comes and goes while dry skin is permanent
  • Dry skin affects all body skin while dehydrated skin normally affects some areas of the body
  • What are them: Dry skin lacks lipids while dehydrated skin lacks water
  • Which are the symptoms: For dry skin they are tightness, itchiness, skin flaking and for dehydrated skin are tiredness, dullness, irritation

I hope you find this information useful and that now you can have some idea of whether you suffer from dry skin, dehydrated skin or normal skin. Let me know in the comments how your skin is or if you have any other skin concerns you would like to read about.


Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.

I love beauty and skincare, try new products, and share my opinion with you. All my knowledge comes from years of experience and reading articles. I have dry skin, Fitzpatrick type IV, warm undertone, and my main concern is hyperpigmentation. Keep in mind that what works for me may not work for you. We are all different and products can have different results on your skin. Want to talk? Email me at contact@irenebeautyandmore.com


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