Dry vs Dehydrated

skincare tid-bitsamber magusComment

These two often get clumped together and a lot of my past facial clients never really understood that there is a difference between being dry and your skin being dehydrated.  As well as clients with oily skin where always amazed that they could be suffering from their skin being dehydrated.

Today I want to break down the differences between dry skin and your skin being dehydrated, in hopes that it can help you better understand the needs of your skin.


Here's a little skin tid-bit..Did you know that your Skin is made up of 70% water – around 20-30% of that is in the epidermis (top layer of the skin).  So when your skin is dry it is lacking oil, when your skin is dehydrated it is lacking water.

Dry Skin

  • Skin type, but can also be a temporary condition
  • Caused by lack of oil in the skin
  • small pores
  • skin may get flaky
  • a tight feeling to the skin. Certainly after showering
  • Skin looks dull
  • Skin isn't plump
  • milia and blackheads may still be present
  • Doesn't absorb products easily
  • Easily irritated
  • Aggravated by poor skincare

Dehydrated Skin

  • A skin condition, that can affect ALL skin types
  • Caused by lack of water in the skin
  • absorbs moisturizers really quickly.
  • When you pinch the skin on your forehead together gently it may look like crinkled plastic wrap
  • Pores can be both large and small
  • Skin can feel tight and dry and to make it even more confusing it can also feel oily and have breakouts......yay dehydration!!!
  • Blackheads and spots are still visible
  • aggravated by lifestyle

What are the causes of dehydrated skin

  • Environment - For those of you living in any cold climate, more than likely your skin will be dehydrated.  Wind, cold are, dry air, too much sun, air conditioning and central heating are all things that can cause your skin to become dehydrated.
  • Diet - What you put into your body will always have an effect on how your skin looks. The wrong foods, alcohol, caffeine, not eating enough water-heavy foods and simply not drinking enough water.
  • Lifestyle - Stressed anyone?? stress can cause your skin to do all sorts of crazy things, a poor skincare routine, not enough sleep, using the wrong products for your skin, medication-including birth control and smoking.
  • Genetics - Pregnancy can dehydrate your skin as well as your monthly cycle.

What to do and what not to do


  • Drink plenty of water, at minimum 2 litres a day, this is what your body needs just to function properly.  They say roughly, for every 2 pounds you weigh your meant to drink 1 oz of water. This of course can vary so much, depending on lifestyle, activity, health....
  • Use balms or oils


  • Don't use any products that are harsh or stripping on the skin
  • Stay away from foaming products
  • Stay away from mineral oils
  • Avoid synthetic fragrances which will make a dehydrated skin worse and make a dry skin scream for help.

I hope this helped clear up the dry vs dehydrated issues that you may have been having.  If you have any other questions regarding what to do, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will get back to you :)