When it comes to differentiating a dry skin from a dehydrated one, many make a confusion. There is a significant difference and learning about it can improve the quality of one’s skin care routine: dry skin is a skin type while dehydrated skin is a skin condition that is not permanent (if treated correctly) and can appear regardless of your skin type.
Let’s take a moment to discuss the importance of water. We all know it’s an essential part of our being, up to 60% to be precise, so keeping the body regularly hydrated is crucial when it comes to a healthy and radiant skin.
While drinking the recommended amount (2 liters) can clear the complexion and flesh out the toxins from the system, insufficient water intake may lead to serious skin disorders. Nonetheless, to end the suffering of our skin, first, you need to determine where the problem lies. Is your skin naturally dry or simply dehydrated?
Do You Have a Dry Skin Type?
What are the symptoms of a dry skin type? Dry skin is marked by cracking, itching, and scaling. Meaning this type has a low level of sebum and doesn’t maintain the oil easily. The skin feels tight to the touch and is often flaky.
The chances of you having a dry skin type are high if you experience the following symptoms:
- Dull complexion;
- Small, invisible pores;
- Skin that lacks elasticity;
- Red patches;
- Visible lines;
- Inflamed skin;
- Rough and easily irritated skin;
Dry skin is caused mainly by our genetics, aging, and hormonal fluctuations. Other factors worsening our skin type are extreme temperatures and weather, UV radiation, hot baths, medication, and improper cosmetics.
Even so, dry skin can lead to several different types of skin disorders, medically known as dermatitis:
- Contact dermatitis – This type of dry skin develops when the skin comes in contact with an irritating agent, such as bleach or other substances, causing an allergic reaction.
- Seborrheic dermatitis – When the skin produces too much oil, it causes inflammation with visible rashes and redness.
- Eczema – Medically referred to as atopic dermatitis, this is a chronic condition causing dry patches on the skin.
Developing a dry skin disorder is possible and common for the majority of people reaching a more mature age. It is a natural process that occurs due to a decrease of the oil or sebum production as we grow older.
Also, dryness is more likely to happen in cold winter periods since the humidity levels are low. Not to mention the medical history of our parents, which we carry in our genes. Hence, if someone from your family tree happens to be familiar with this sort of skin flare-out, the chances are it has been passed on to you.
What Are the Best Treatments for Dry Skin?
There are a couple of ways to treat a dry skin and avoid its consequences. The first part includes being aware of your skin type and the other part is knowing the proper safety measures that you need to implement in your daily skincare regimen. Take into consideration that dry skin responds to lifestyle factors. Therefore, try to be more proactive through the following six steps.
Unscented, gentle skin products are the perfect solution for dry skin cleansing. With a dry skin, it is crucial to avoid alcohol-based products which can irritate the skin and prevent it from retaining a natural oil balance. Likewise, when you exfoliate, don’t be rough on the skin. Scrubbing too hard or too often can damage every skin, not only those already prone to irritation.
After cleansing, always apply a moisturizer. Whether you choose a lotion, cream or oil, in just a few minutes after the bath or face cleansing routine, dry off and use the power of hydration and skin protection. Also, oils and creams are more beneficial for dry skin than lotions. Remember this the next time you are on a beauty shopping trip.
As one of the sporadic factors causing dry skin, sun damage also causes the appearance of wrinkles, dark spots, and skin roughness. To stay protected, use sunscreens at all times. From head to toe, cover your body with an additional sun deflecting layer, which includes an SPF 15 lip balm as well, and a hat to keep those warm sun rays away from your face.
Though there is a risk of sun damage, there are also winter humidity issues. Since the level of humidity is low, so too is the skin’s moisture balance. Thus, try to stay warm but not too close to an open heat source, as it can yet again dry out the skin. So be sure to turn on a humidifier in your room, and wear gloves when you need to step outside.
Switch to Proper Detergents
As mentioned before, chemicals can amplify the skin’s dryness. To be sure that the problem doesn’t arise due to irritating laundry detergents or the type of clothing materials, use only hypoallergenic detergents and clothes that are softer and more delicate.
Try using natural remedies to soothe and calm your skin. The healing properties of oils, salts, honey, and Aloe Vera can visibly improve the quality of your skin.
Is Your Skin Dehydrated?
No matter your skin type, this condition can affect us all. We have come to the big question lingering in our minds – What are the features of skin dehydration?
Dehydration implies the body has insufficient water to function properly, which leads to serious health problems with grave complications. According to conducted studies, even mild dehydration affects our mood and energy.
That being said, it’s important to catch the symptoms early on, so pay attention to:
- Dry skin – Though skin dryness is caused by many factors, when the body suffers from dehydration, people experience several stages including dizziness and deficient blood volume, leading to a dry skin condition.
- Muscle spasms – If your muscles cramp up during physically demanding tasks or if your body gets hot, it is a good sign that you are dehydrated.
- Not so pleasant breath – Since you lack water, the body can’t make enough saliva. This allows bacteria to grow and multiply, causing a bad breath.
- Headaches – Repeated headaches and migraines can be another sign of a dehydration, as the liquid in which our brain is kept starts running low, so the brain pushes up against the skull.
- Craving sweets and salty snacks – Your body needs energy and due to the dehydration, the glycerin production is at its lowest, so it’s common to experience food cravings.
The reason why people get confused about dry and dehydrated skin is quite understandable, because the indicators are fairly similar. For example, the characteristics of a dehydrated skin are:
- Dull looking skin;
- Utter sensitivity;
- Tight and rough skin;
- Visible lines and wrinkles;
- Sagging skin.
Furthermore, the main parties responsible for the water deficiency are the same as those causing the skin to become dry. Sun exposure, long and hot baths, wrong skin care cosmetics, climate, and aging are also related to skin dehydration. So how can you actually know if the skin is merely dry or mildly dehydrated?
Well, there are two options for conducting a test:
- The first one is to grab the skin on the back of your hand around the watch area and the palm. Pull the skin a bit with two fingers and let it go. If the skin returns quickly to its previous position, you are in the clear from dehydration. On the other hand, if it bounces back slowly, then you might be at risk.
- Another alternative of making sure there is no need to worry about hydration is to test your urine. The orange color is an obvious sign that something is wrong.
How to Better Hydrate Your Skin
What is the best tactic to combat dehydration? Hydration obviously. So, prepare to soak in some valuable advice.
- Increase the water supply. Not only should you drink water more, but you should also consider adding fruit and vegetables to your diet.
- Shower with lukewarm water. Avoid hot and long baths. Either bathe every other day or reduce the time spent in the shower.
- Always use moisturizers. During and after the bath, apply moisturizing products to nourish the skin.
- Gently clean the skin. A soft towel and soothing movements are enough to prevent skin irritations.
- Adjust the temperature. Use a humidifier and avoid air conditioning.
- Don’t forget to put on some sunscreen. The sun dries the skin, leading to dehydration.
To sum up, the difference between dry and dehydrated skin is small, but important. Although dryness can occur from time to time, severe and constant dry skin troubles require medical attention. The only way to prevent both from happening is to increase the water intake and reduce environmental risks.
Seems like an easy job to do, considering that there are numerous hydrating delicious summer treats that can be consumed in the cold winter as well. What’s more, there are a variety of neutral and strong sunscreens to keep our skin safe from harm. So, take care of your skin if you wish to remain young longer.