The short answer is “dry” is a skin type. Having dry skin means you produce very little oil or sebum. It’s in your DNA and while it may evolve as you age and experience hormonal changes, it’s typically the hand you are dealt.
Dry skin has its advantages and its challenges which we will explore thoroughly. Dehydrated skin is a condition all skin types can experience. Dehydration means lacking in moisture or water. It’s usually the result of environmental exposure, improper or incorrect product usage, poor diet, and/or not drinking enough water (or drinking too much alcohol and caffeinated drinks). Let’s explore the subtle differences and compare the similarities of dry skin types and dehydrated skin conditions.
Dry skin is lacking the lipid balance it needs to help your skin retain water. This can often lead to an impaired barrier function, meaning your skin’s ability to act as a protective barrier, releasing toxins, absorbing nutrients and protecting you from the elements is diminished. Your experience of that will be tight, red, often flaky, irritated skin. The good news is with dry skin, a skin type lacking in oil producing glands, you are unlikely to experience acne at any stage of life. Youthful dry skin will often appear flawless with invisible pores and rarely a blemish. The downside; poorly treated dry skin types age quickly, wrinkle easily and are often irritated. Fortunately, we have lots of tools at our disposal to keep your skin dewy and comfortably glowing. One of the most important things you can do for your skin and your body is drink plenty of water. Your skin is the first to suffer when your body is dehydrated. Avoid extended exposure to the sun and always use a broad spectrum sunblock, reapplied every 90 minutes when outdoors. Enzymatic treatments, mild peels, hydrating facials and treatments that infuse your skin with moisture rich nutrients are our go-to suggestions for our clients living with skin on the dry side. At home, be sure you are using products capable of penetrating your transepidermal barrier and not just slathering on heavy creams that sit on the surface masquerading as hydration. Hyaluronic acids, peptides, Vitamins A, B, C, and E (retinoids, niacinamide, ascorbic acid and tocopheryl acetate, respectively) are always welcome. Search for those ingredients listed on your labels when you’re shopping and be sure they are near the top of the ingredient list. The higher on the list, the more potent the Ingredient.
The short answer is “dry” is a skin type. Having dry skin means you produce very little oil or sebum.
Dehydrated skin is a condition that can be experienced by any skin type. If your skin is dehydrated it is desperate for water and will feel tight, look dull, and will often be congested. People with oily skin types tend to aggressively overtreat their skin in a futile attempt to dry out congestion. However, this typically has the opposite effect, causing the glands to overproduce sebum to protect the skin from the onslaught of harsh product use. What these products do accomplish is the absorption of all the moisture on the surface of the skin, leaving it dehydrated and producing even more oil to overcompensate. No bueno. The best approach to rehydrating the skin is obviously starting with water consumption. Be sure you are drinking enough water and do your best to limit intake of caffeine and alcohol. Finding the delicate balance to hydrate skin effectively while keeping the natural oils in check can be tricky and is impacted by many factors which vary from person to person, so it’s always best to consult your licensed skincare provider. In our practice we like hydrating with serums and balancing with lightweight, oil free moisturizers. Treatments such as hydrating infusions, IV therapy and therapeutic masks can help combat these is