Dry vs Dehydrated Skin: What's the Difference? (Plus How To Treat Both!)

Dry vs Dehydrated Skin: What's the Difference? (Plus How To Treat Both!)

Often associated together, did you know that dry and dehydrated skin are actually two very different things? And the treatment for both can be quite different. 

So, what’s the difference between dry and dehydrated skin? Well, dry skin has to do with a lower oil production and can be something that you have throughout your life—that’s why it’s considered a skin type. Dehydrated skin on the other hand means your skin is lacking water and is more of a conditional or seasonal state, but one that every skin type—even oily, can experience at some point.

“Dry skin lacks oil and can leave skin feeling flaky or tight,” explains Steph Scalet, Glo’s Global Aesthetics Lead. “Dehydrated skin lacks water and can leave skin looking dull. Dehydrated skin can affect any skin type and is often caused by external factors such as weather changes, diet, environment, travel, and alcohol. And, just to confuse matters, our skin can be both dry and dehydrated at the same time.”

It goes without saying that making sure you’re hydrating effectively throughout the day will help both dry and dehydrated skin, but there are also targeted products and ingredients that will support both too. 

How To Treat Dry Skin

“Oils will make a big difference for dry, flaky, tight skin,” adds Steph. “Jojoba oil and rosehip seed oil will strengthen the skin barrier and safeguard against moisture loss. A nighttime slugging routine can help act as an occlusive barrier and help lock in hydration, as well.”

With dry skin, strengthening and repairing the moisture barrier over time is key. Look to serums for a more concentrated way to help heal and repair. For this we love hyaluronic acid for the hydration factor and EGF for its barrier repair.

Your skin can also benefit from a facial oil in the evening after cleansing and toning such as Phyto-Active Conditioning Oil Drops which feature nourishing squalane, or a moisturizing face mask like Restorative Mask. Leave your mask on overnight for deeply hydrated, refreshed skin.

Our recommended products for dry skin: 

How To Treat Dehydrated Skin

When you’re dehydrated, your goal is to restore the water content in the skin, so deep hydrators will help. “The best ingredient for dehydrated skin is hyaluronic acid,” shares Steph. “This hero ingredient can hold 1000 times its weight in water and instantly plump and soothe dehydrated skin. Lifestyle changes can also easily address dehydrated skin, add more water intake to your daily routine and less alcohol.”

HA-Revive Hyaluronic Drops provide exceptional hydration and nourishment with mixed molecule hyaluronic acid. It provides instant hydration to revive dry, dehydrated skin and can be used daily.

Pair your hyaluronic acid with a vitamin C serum during the day to really help replenish and protect skin. Next, lock in your hydrator with a moisturizer suited to your skin type. After you reintroduce these vital nutrients to your skin, you’ll notice your skin feeling plumped, bouncy, and brighter. 

Recommended products for dehydrated skin:

Dry & Dehydrated Skin Tips

“Both dry and dehydrated skin can benefit from adding squalane into their rituals. Squalane is a compound that we naturally produce in our bodies and locks in hydration by creating a protective barrier on the skin's surface,” advises Steph.

Preventing Dry or Dehydrated Skin

It goes without saying that SPF is a vital factor in all skincare rituals, but for dry and dehydrated skin opting for a high-factor will be helpful in really safeguarding skin from environmental damage not just from the sun but also pollution and blue light. 

Alongside skincare there are also lifestyle choices you can make too to support your skin. Having a humidifier run at night can really help replenish lost moisture—especially in winter months. Eating lots of fresh water-rich fruits and vegetables will support your systemic health.

And, always washing your face in cool water will go a long way too, as warm and hot water can be super drying for the complexion.

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