Is my skin dry or dehydrated? 

Dry and dehydrated skin may feel the same, but 

their causes are different: dehydrated skin lacks water, while dry skin lacks lipids

There’s a big difference between dry and dehydrated skin, yet both tend to feel the same – just  plain dry. Find out the characteristics of each to determine which you might have! 

When your skin feels dry, you may naturally assume that it is dry. But it might just be dehydrated  and in need of water. What does that really mean? We’ll explain. 

What is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin? 

Dry skin is a skin type and dehydrated skin is a skin condition. Your skin type is what you’re  naturally born with, such as oily skin or dry skin. Your skin condition, however, is what happens  to your skin, such as dehydration, acne and irritation. Skin conditions can happen to anyone,  temporarily or longer, and in some instances, a skin condition can stay for good. 

What is dry skin? 

If you have a dry skin type, it means you’re lacking oil. You were born this way, and you’re dry  everywhere else on your body including hands, scalp, legs, etc. When you put on moisturizers  and lotions, chances are they soak up fairly quickly. You may also regularly experience issues like  flaking, cracking, sensitivity or eczema on a regular basis. 

What is dehydrated skin? 

If you have a dehydrated skin condition, your skin is lacking water. This can be caused by lots  of factors such as makeup, diet, incorrect product use, weather; it goes on. But here’s where  it gets tricky: When skin is dehydrated, it creates more oil to make up for the missing water.  This can cause breakouts, irritation and dry patches. Skin can even feel oily and dry at the  same time. 

How to treat dry and dehydrated skin 

If a dry skin type sounds like you, be sure to use a dry skin regimen that contains oil- or  cream-based products daily. You may also want to keep a hand treatment for dry skin with  you at all times. 

If you think your skin is dehydrated, try to identify what’s dehydrating you and correct it. It could  be your lifestyle or your environment. Use water-rich products like Circular Hydration Serum and Skin Hydrating Masque, which contain water-loving Hyaluronic Acid to help balance your  skin as needed. Look for a product that targets the signals of dehydration before you may even  notice them yourself, like Smart Response Serum. This serum is a great choice for skin that’s  constantly changing, since its SmartResponse Technology reaches even the smallest cracks  in the moisture barrier and responds where it detects dehydration. And keep a water-based,  hydrating toner handy to hydrate your skin throughout the day. 

Pro Tip: It is entirely possible for your skin to be dry and dehydrated at the same time. If this is  the case, use a regimen that contains oil and water. If you need help finding the right products,  chat with one of our skin therapists! 

Does drinking water hydrate skin? 

While we’re on the topic of water, it helps to know that skin is the last organ to receive the  nutrients we consume, which means it’s the last to get the water you sip. It isn’t enough to just  drink water; skin also needs topical products to feel comfortably hydrated.