Dehydrated skin is thirsty skin. While its symptoms overlap with that of dry skin – which usually feels tight, itchy and irritated – dehydrated skin is sensitive, flaky and has dull skin tone. The solution: skin care products – and diet and lifestyle – that boost the skin’s hydration level or promotes its ability to bind with more water.
Dehydrated vs. Dry Skin
Anyone can get dehydrated skin, even those who have dry skin type. This is because dehydrated skin can be caused by diet, lifestyle, incorrect use of skin care products, and environmental factors. This means that you can have skin that naturally lacks oil as well as water, even as dehydrated skin can feel oily and tight.
Unlike dry skin which is a skin type defined by lack of sebum or oil, dehydrated skin is a condition caused by lack of moisture. Generally, dry skin has small pores because the hair follicles are not dilated since there is very little sebum coming out. In contrast, under the magnifying glass, dehydrated skin has tiny triangular fine lines, a phenomenon similar to soil cracks when drought occurs. This means that fine lines on forehead are not necessarily signs of dehydrated skin.
To check for truly dehydrated skin, do a pinch test: When the skin on the back of your hands is pinched, it remains in that shape for a few seconds before dropping back slowly, unlike a well-hydrated skin which snaps back right away.
How Does Dehydrated Skin Look Like?
The topmost layer of the skin, stratum corneum, is made of keratinocytes. They create an insoluble barrier to keep water locked in and moisture-stripping irritants locked out. When the skin is dehydrated its normal functioning starts to breakdown, further leading to moisture loss. As a result, external irritants can easily get into the epidermis, causing itching and increased sensitivity. Lack of moisture also prevents the normal turnover of skin cells, leaving your skin looking dull and flaky.
Dehydrated skin can look similar to dry skin, but when taken altogether the signs of dehydrated skin are different, such as
May experience breakouts
Can be oily and dry at the same time
What to Do with ‘Thirsty’ Skin
Because dehydrated skin is thirsty, your skin care routine should focus on restoring moisture instead of oil. When using cleansers, avoid soap-based varieties, as they tend to rob the skin of moisture. Instead, use products that boost skin hydration levels, such as the Dermal Balancing Cleanser from Dr Sylvia Skin Care, which contains aloe vera extracts that supply moisture directly to the tissues.
Moisturize using ingredients that have water-binding benefits such as Dr Sylvia’s Advanced B5 Hydration with Resveratrol known for its cell-renewing and moisturizing properties that leave the skin supple and smooth. If you have acne-prone or oily skin, consider using Dr Sylvia’s Botanical Hydration Gel, which not only provides ample hydration but also encourages normal sebum production to minimise enlarged pores.
Dehydrated skin is also prone to wrinkling, which is perhaps why many users put on just any wrinkle reduction serum they could find, sometimes aggravating a skin problem that is simply caused by lack of water. As skin can be dehydrated by incorrect use of skin care products, make sure your anti aging serum contains ingredients that boost skin hydration or your skin’s ability to hold on to moisture.
Vitamin B, in particular B3 and B5, has a well-documented effect on the skin’s hydration levels. Vitamin C, B and E Serum from Dr Sylvia Skin Care contains vitamins B3 and B5 to help combat dehydration as well as wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
Developed by a Harvard-trained skin care specialist, Dr Sylvia Skin Care is scientifically formulated to match skin types and treat various skin conditions. If you have skin concerns that you think Dr Sylvia Skin Care can treat, read our blog posts on treatment for enlarged pores, uneven skin texture, and dull skin tone.