No matter what skin type you have – dry, oily or combination, dehydrated skin may be a problem. Skin dehydration deals with the outer layer of the skin. It happens when your skin is not able to retain a proper amount of water.
When the outermost layer (stratum corneum) gets damaged, the skin cannot maintain the proper level of hydration, and this brings forth many problems.
Signs of Dehydrated Skin
If you are not sure whether you are experiencing skin dehydration or are just dealing with a little bit of dryness, examine your skin closely, and see if the following signs are present:
• Your face looks dull. The tone is not even, and the fine lines and wrinkles that did not seem to be there yesterday are more visible.
• Skin gets itchy and irritated after using some products.
• There are dry patches on the skin that itch and do not go away even after exfoliating.
• The skin is oily but at the same time, feels dry, non-elastic, and tight.
If at least two of these signs are present, take a much closer look at your lifestyle, and you will definitely figure out if skin dehydration is the problem you are facing.
If you are not drinking enough water, using a lot of stripping products on your face, consuming a lot of caffeine and alcoholic beverages, then you are quite a good candidate for dehydration.
Difference between Dry and Dehydrated Skin
Some people take dry skin for dehydrated skin, and that is a mistake. There are a number of essential differences between the two.
First of all, dry skin is a skin type and in most cases, it is genetic, while dehydration is a skin condition that can be a problem for all skin types.
Secondly, dry skin has a problem with retaining moisture, while dehydrated skin’s main problem is retaining hydration.
Dry skin is caused by internal factors. Dehydration is caused by external factors, including climate and lifestyle.
Lastly, dry skin has a simple cure. Using a good moisturizer and serum will do the trick. In the case of dehydrated skin, using topical creams is not enough. It is of high importance to make some lifestyle changes as well.
What to Avoid
If you have already figured out that the condition your skin is suffering from is dehydration, then taking necessary steps and avoiding some products will certainly do you good.
Here are some the products to avoid using when your skin lacks hydration:
• Drying masks (such as clay masks)
• Benzyl peroxide
• Salicylic acid
• Acne spot treatments
• Chamomile and tea tree oil
• Fragranced face products
• Products containing acids
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin?
Taking out the products that only make the skin condition more severe, it is time to take the necessary steps to bring back all the moisture and hydration the skin has lost.
Use Gentle Cleansers
When choosing a cleaner for your dehydrated skin, pay attention to whether the cleanser is foaming or not. Foaming cleansers are usually very harsh on the skin and strip it. Non-foaming cleansers, on the other hand, are much more gentle.
Remember that your face should not feel dry, itchy or tight after you have washed it.
If possible, go for cleanser options that are pH balanced. This is an added benefit for dehydrated skin.
Do Not Over-Wash Your Face
Do not wash your face more than two times a day, especially if you are dealing with dehydrated skin. Your skin is much more sensitive when its outer layer is damaged.
Pay attention to the warmth of the water. Never wash your face with hot water, as it will damage the skin even more. Wash your face with lukewarm water.
Moisturizing is of paramount importance when your skin is dehydrated. Make sure you stick to a routine and apply your moisturizing cream at least two times a day.
In the case of dehydration, it is highly recommended to use moisturizers that contain water-attracting ingredients.
Hyaluronic acid is one of the strongest water-attracting ingredients. It is a very common component in serums and moisturizers. For dehydrated skin, pick a topical cream or serum that has a higher concentration of this ingredient.
Another component to look for in products when you are suffering from dehydrated skin is glycerin.
To lock the moisture in after you have cleansed your face and put on cream, add the final layer – an occlusive. This can be some kind of mineral oil or even Vaseline, that will act as a protective layer that will not let the hydration you have just ‘pressed’ into the skin leaving it again.
Giving up caffeine and alcohol as much as possible while you are trying to bring your skin back to normal will be another helpful step in the battle with dehydration.