While both dry skin and dehydrated skin are used interchangeably, they have different meanings. The former is a skin type that produces less oil while the latter is characterized by a lack of water in the topmost layer of the skin. This water loss can negatively affect the skin’s barrier function and exacerbate acne.Things You Need to Know About Dehydrated Skin and Acne

Several factors can contribute to the development and worsening of acne. Skin type, diet, and genetics play a role, as well as certain skin conditions like dehydration. Continue reading as we explore more about dehydrated skin and its connection to acne or breakouts. 

Dry vs dehydrated skin

Dry skin – is a skin type that lacks oil or sebum that usually appears dull, rough, or flaky. The lack of natural oils (that keep the skin moisturized and protect it from environmental aggressors) also makes it more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles or makes existing ones more prominent. Common symptoms include:

  • Skin feels tight (especially after washing your face)
  • Skin that feels rough
  • Scaly appearance
  • Redness and irritation 
  • More noticeable fine lines and wrinkles

Dehydrated skin – is a temporary skin condition caused by lack of water, not sebum. Anyone, no matter their skin type, can still have dehydrated skin. You, for instance, can have oily or acne-prone skin and still experience dehydration. It feels dry and looks dull and can display premature signs of aging. Symptoms include:  

  • Skin dullness
  • Occasional skin tightness
  • Dark undereye circles
  • Itchiness
  • Surface wrinkles and loss of elasticity 

How dehydration contributes to acne

One important component of healthy skin is a balance between natural moisture (sebum) and water. Lack of water negatively affects the skin’s ability to fight aggressors or function normally, as well as lead to:

  • Increased sebum production – With a lack of water, the skin is prompted to produce more oil or sebum to compensate for water loss. Excess oil can then clog pores and contribute to blemishes and breakouts. 
  • Accumulation of dead skin cells – Lack of water in the skin can cause dead skin cells to build up and clog pores. This can contribute to blackheads and acne, as well as make the skin look dull and tired. 
  • Increased inflammation – It is fairly easy for dehydrated skin to get inflamed. Increased inflammation can contribute to or worsen acne. There is also a type of acne called inflammatory acne, which is characterized by red, swollen, and painful pimples.  

Caring for dehydrated and acne-prone skin

Adopt a skincare regimen designed for your skin concerns – Your skincare products and routine should support your skin barrier and help improve dehydration and acne breakouts.

  • Cleanser – choose a gentle, hydrating formula that won’t over-strip your skin.
  • Exfoliant – opt for a mild exfoliant and avoid those that are beaded or grainy.  
  • Serums – choose serums with hydrating ingredients, including niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, panthenol, and others.
  • Moisturizer – look for a hydrating formula and use it at least twice a day. An anti-aging face moisturizer with peptides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid is also ideal if you notice signs of aging. 

If you’re in the market for medical-grade skincare products, Dr. Sylvia Skin Care has an intensive collection. We have gentle and hydrating face cleansers, treatment serums, moisturizers, sunscreens, and more. We have products that suit different skin types and concerns. 

Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake – Both can dehydrate the skin, as well as contribute to redness and inflammation. It is best to just up your water intake or limit yourself to a glass of wine or two cups of coffee a day.

Drink lots of water – While water will not necessarily plump or moisturize your skin, it is still important for a healthy skin appearance. It delivers nutrients to cells, regulates body temperature, and performs a number of bodily functions that support overall health. 

Support your skin barrier – One way to do this is by keeping your routine simple. This means avoiding using several skin products at once, which can disrupt the skin’s natural moisture balance and contribute to redness and irritation. Other things that can help include:

  • Keep your skin moisturized with a product that has humectants and emollients. Moisturizer should be a part of your daily routine even if you have oily skin.  
  • Protect your skin from the sun by wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, regardless of the weather. Practice other sun protection measures such as limiting sun exposure, wearing protective clothing, and accessorizing with a brimmed hat and sunglasses.
  • Balance your skin pH by choosing products that are close to the skin’s normal pH (4.7 to 5.75). Avoid highly acidic or alkaline formulas; they can make the skin more prone to damage or inflammation. Check out Dr. Sylvia Skin Care’s cleansers and toner that can help rebalance the skin.   

See a skin or aesthetic doctor – Do so if you’re dealing with acne or if over-the-counter medications don’t seem to work. A dermatologist or aesthetic doctor can advise on how to take better care of your skin, as well as recommend medications and treatments that can improve your acne and overall skin health. 

Don’t let dehydration take away your glow. Tweak both your skincare routine and lifestyle habits to support your skin and overall health. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore to find out how we can help or schedule a consultation with one of our aesthetic doctors

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