[ARTICLE] Difference between dry and dehydrated skin?

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Ever wondered what's the difference between dry and dehydrated skin? This article will hopefully bring insight to those who are may believe they have one of the two, but are unsure.

The skin has what is called a 'moisture barrier'. The barrier is compromised of dead skin cells, which keeps moisture locked in. This barrier can be deteriorated due to the use of harsh acids, aggressive exfoliation, dry climate, over cleansing, use of products that contain alcohol, or if you are not  drinking enough water. These things can cause the barrier to be weakened, leading to a higher production of sebum in order to compensate for the moisture that is lost.


Dry skin tends to mean that a person's skin lacks oil. Meaning not only is the facial skin dry, due to the lack of oil production, but so is the skin on the rest of the body. People with dry skin are more easily able to absorb moisturizers and creams due to this characteristic. Without being able to hold moisture in the skin, it can lead to a damaged moisture barrier. This can lead to skin looking rough and flaky. Since the follicles are not enlarged and due to the lack of oil production, this skin type typically has small pores


Dehydrated skin is skin that lacks water, as a result, sebum production increases. It is difficult for this skin type to retain moisture due to the damage of the hydrolipidic film of the skin, which affects the moisture barrier. This hydrolipidic film is made of natural oils, including fatty acids and lipids, and moisture which protects the skin’s surface. Once the film is damaged, the skin tries to compensate the facial skin with more sebum for the lack of moisture provided. Due to this, it may lead to breakouts and dry skin. People with dehydrated skin are still able to experience dry patches on the face, so this skin type can feel both oily and dry at the same time. Anyone, regardless of age or skin type, can have dehydrated skin. People with oily skin type can have dehydration within the skin unknowingly.  The main reason for this is because they tend to avoid moisturizers thinking they don't need it, when in fact they do.

I have dehydrated skin. I believe the reason for this is because of the use of harsh acids and the fact that I don't drink enough water everyday. Before, I would use a lot of harsh acids and not use a moisturizer because I thought people with oily skin don't have to use it. Well, I was wrong. As time went on, I could feel my skin becoming more oily and dry patches would develop on my face, particularly the creases of my nose. Instead of using a large number of acids at night to fight off my acne, I would rotate it between evening and night and between days. I now also included a hydrating toner and moisturizer to help my dehydrated skin. I can feel that my skin is becoming more supple, but it is still dehydrated. To further keep my skin from being dehydrated, I have changed my lifestyle by drinking more water, using a humidifier, and not showering in (very) hot water.


TL;DR
Dehydrated skin is damaged skin which needs to be repaired so that the skin can function properly.

Dry skin is skin that lacks oil, which needs more moisture.

Oily skin produces too much oil.

In order to prevent dehydrated skin, do not over cleanse, do not over exfoliate, do not use products that contain alcohol, and try to drink more water.
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