Dry or Dehydrated Skin, What’s the Difference?

The words appear to have the same meaning at first sight. In skin care, however, they convey very different concerns that are worth delving into.

First things first.

Dry skin is considered a skin type. Skin types are determined by genetics and experts count four basic types: normal, dry, oily, and combination skin.

Dehydrated skin is a condition caused by many external factors that anyone can experience due to lack of water in the top layers of the skin, because skin can get thirsty too.

The sun, air conditioning, lack of liquids, alcohol consumption, long parching airplane rides, and even stress can all lead to dehydrated skin. Other culprits could be using the wrong products (harsh exfoliators or harsh acne treatments, for example), which makes it imperative to know whether what you’re experiencing is a spell of dehydrated skin.

Knowing the difference is key to selecting the right skin care and, if necessary, making lifestyle changes that will allow your skin to glow.

Here’s how you can tell:

You have dry skin if it feels itchy, flaky, rough, and overall uncomfortable.

If you skin looks dull, feels sensitive, shows redness and more fine lines than usual, you’re most likely going through a bout of dehydrated skin. A trick, experts say, is to gently pinch your cheek. If you notice fine lines forming, then chances are you have dehydrated skin.

Got it? Now here are a few options to get you started:

Dehydrated skin:

Start off your routine with a serum such as Caudalie Vinopure. The lightweight formula reduces the appearance of blemishes, unclogs pores, and soothes irritated skin.

Treat your face to a hydrating mask such as Bioderma Sensibio Mask. The soft and creamy mask immediately soothes and softens the skin and gently restores the skin’s barrier.

And never leave the house without some sunscreen, such as Avène Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+. Its creamy texture for the face and body is a powerful antioxidant that offers long-lasting hydration.

Dry skin:

Renew and protect your skin while your sleep with Caudalie Vinactiv Night Oil. The oil detoxifies and soothes the skin, leaving it refreshed.

If a lightweight cream is in order, try La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Moisturizer. Formulated for sensitive and dry skin, this gentle cream intensely soothes, comforts, and hydrates the skin. And for the delicate eye area, try Embryolisse Radiant Eye. The multi-task anti-aging formula refreshes tired eyes and reduces fine lines, while refining the skin texture.


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