Dry and Dehydrated skin
Skin dryness occurs when the outer layer (epidermal layer) of the skin loses its suppleness and plump-like appearance leaving the skin looking dull and flaky. Severe dryness of the skin can also lead to irritation and sensitivity (Please refer to our Redness & Sensitive page). The appearance and feeling of “dryness” stems from being dry due to the lack of your skin’s natural oil providing the moisture known as sebum and/or dry from dehydration where your skin lacks water to provide moisture. Even though these two may appear and feel the same, many people don’t know the difference or knew there was a difference. Below is a guide to help you identify and understand the differences, we will use dry and dehydration as subheadings to avoid confusion.
Characterised by minimal production of the skin’s natural oils, dry skin can appear as rough patches of skin with peeling or flaking. Unlike dehydration, dry skin can be genetically influenced called alipoid condition where the body simply does not produce any natural oil at all. Dry skin can be identified easily by looking for areas on your face with no shine as shine depicts the body’s natural oils being produced. However, there are many non-genetic factors that can cause dry skin such as the natural ageing process due to decreased amount of skin’s natural oils and certain skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis can exacerbate the dryness of the skin. Some medications can also play a role in drying out the skin as a side effect by reducing the sebum glands in the skin and unable to produce enough oil for moisture.
Dehydration is the lack of water content in the outer layers of the skin (epidermis) and majority of people will think that they just have dry skin but in fact skin dehydration is probably the more likely cause of this, especially for those who live in highly populated areas and affected by pollution. Dehydrated skin is also characterised by rough patches of skin with peeling or flaking but can be accompanied by the shiny look meaning they can also have oily skin but lack water moisture, which is why it can be confusing for some people. It may appear like fine lines or crepe-like on the forehead, cheeks and under the eyes and the line effect may look worse if you pinch the skin together. Dehydration is a modifiable skin concern that can be improved and there are several factors that affect our skin hydration levels such as pollution, air conditioning and heating, dry climates with relatively low humidity like winter or over use of skin products.
Dry and dehydrated skin can be a recurring problem, that's why it is important to use skin products that contain hydrating and moisturising benefits.