This is one skin myth we need to clear up. Why? Because approximately 98% of us at some point in our lives suffer from dehydrated skin. So that would suggest that there is a lot of us that are looking to treat it and effective treatment comes from understanding how and why the skin behaves the way it does.
Many people often get confused between Dry Skin and Dehydrated Skin thinking that they are one and the same. They are not. Let us define both skin subjects to highlight the clear difference between the two.
DRY SKIN: AN INHERENT SKIN TYPE
Dry skin is classified as a skin ‘type’. Your skin type is genetically inherited and stays stable for the most part of your life. It is defined by the amount of oil that your skin naturally creates.
Essentially, the goal is to take care of your skin type by way of BALANCING it (oil production). A naturally drier skin reflects a minimal amount of oil produced, so for this skin type, we need to re-nourish the skin with extra oil and lipids.
DEHYDRATED SKIN: A NON-PERMANENT SKIN CONDITION
Dehydrated skin is when there is a lack of water in the skin. Dry skin remember, is a lack of oil. This is where we want to clear up the confusion with a skin type versus skin conditions. Just to clarify, a skin condition refers to the skin’s reactive behaviour to external and internal stimulants (environment, diet and lifestyle etc) and they come and go according to the above exposures. Dehydration fits here.
Think about when you take a flight: When you exit the plane, your skin feels generally tight and uncomfortable. Or when you have been to a party and had a few drinks. You wake up the next day and your skin looks and feels dull. This skin becomes dehydrated due to what we have put it though. Not because of how it is naturally behaving.
Skin conditions are present alongside one’s natural skin type: there are times when you will be dealing with both areas. In fact, all skin types can be prone to dehydration! Skin conditions such as dehydration are, however, temporary if they are treated effectively.
HOW DOES THE SKIN BEHAVE WHEN ITS DEHYDRATED?
Do you recall our past blog where we spoke of that super skin function called the Acid Mantle? Just to refresh our memory, it is that fine layer of water and sebum that sits on the skin’s surface acting as a vital barrier for skin health and overall balance (PH regulation).
Dehydration occurs when this protective barrier lacks the water necessary for effective function. The skin naturally reacts by creating more oil – it thinks it’s helping but it’s not! So, often, you will have more oil on the surface of the skin while underneath, its lacking in water. It’s like the skin can feel both oily and dry at the same time – weird I know!
So, if you ever feel this or feel that your skin feels stretched tight or looks dull and crepey, keep reading!
CAUSES OF SKIN DEHYDRATION1. Seasonal/weather changes and dry air environments: such environments tend to suck essential moisture from your skin. Centrally heated environments and aeroplanes are two of the worst culprits!
2. Using the wrong skincare: using products that are not formulated specifically for your skin type cause an imbalance in the skin – specifically your cleanser and facial moisturiser.
3. Lack of adequate water intake: drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day is essential to keeping the whole body hydrated. Remember, the skin reflects how the body is functioning on the inside.
4. Over exfoliating and cleansing: this can upset the balance of the Acid Mantle overly stripping the skin of necessary oil.
5. Lifestyle habits and choices: drinking alcohol, smoking and excessive caffeine all dehydrate the body of essential water.
6. Using products that contain synthetic fragrances: cause a sensitising reaction on the skin and dehydrate the skin over time.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS OF DEHYDRATED SKIN✓ Scaly, flaky skin
✓ Dry patches
✓ Prone to congestion and breakouts in the T-zone
✓ Dry fine lines
Advanced signs:✓ Sunken eyes
✓ Skin that doesn’t bounce back quickly – loss of elasticity
HOW TO TREAT SKIN DEHYDRATION1. Drink lots of water: Replenish the skin by drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily. The skin however, is the last organ to receive water from the inside out so although vital, it’s not just enough to drink water – topical hydration is also needed.
2. Use a humidifier: A particularly good tip for the colder months. This will stop your skin from drying out by way of adding moisture back into the air.
3. Use gentle non-stripping cleansers: if your skin feels tight after cleansing, it’s not right for you. A good PH neutralising cleanser free of soap and detergents (nothing that is astringent based) will keep your skin well balanced. (Origani Erda Cleanser)
4. Use hydrating serums and moisturisers: Infuse moisture deeper into the skin with hydrating serums and maintain the Acid Mantle with barrier moisturisers. Use products that contain humectants (moisture-binders) like Hyaluronic Acid that reduce the loss of moisture. (Origani Immortajell range)
5. Use an overnight hydration mask once to twice a week: give your skin a more concentrated treatment weekly or when your thirsty skin needs it (I.e. post flight etc).
6. Use a gentle exfoliator 1-2 times a week: it is essential with dehydrated skin to regularly remove dead skin cells to encourage production of fresh new cells - this will Increase surface moisture retention and keep the skin well hydrated. (Origani Manuka Honey Peel)
While we have mentioned all of the ways to effectively treat dehydrated skin in the list above, it’s equally as important to be aware of your inherent skin type and to look after it (keeping your skin type well balanced is a great way to defend the skin from moisture loss – especially if you’re on the oilier/combination side.)
So, the good news is that dehydrated skin is relatively easy to fix! Well-hydrated skin is healthy skin. It’s plump, radiant and youthful-looking. Here’s to beautifully hydrated skin this Spring!
Origani is an Australian luxury organic skincare brand. We proudly formulate and produce cruelty-free, certified organic, vegan skincare and makeup.