My Skin is Dehydrated, now what?
It is common for people to interchange the word dry and dehydrated when referring to their skin, but the two terms are quite different. Dehydrated skin is a state of being (meaning it is in the moment) whereas dry skin is a actual skin condition. When you skin lacks water or hydration, it is dehydrated and can be fixed fairly quickly. When skin is dry, it lacks oil or sebum, and this is a long-term state that has to be addressed differently. You can actually have skin that isn’t dry but is in fact dehydrated. Think about your skin’s state after a long flight, a long night of drinking or a long flight with a lot of drinking. Dehydration!
The most common signs of dehydration include: dullness, itchiness or tightness, sunken eyes or shadows around the face, as well as the increased appearance of fine lines and surface wrinkles, whereas signs of dryness include scaly skin, white flakes, redness and irritation. You might have come across a common dehydration skin test where you pinch a bit of skin to see how quickly it bounces back. This problem with this is that as you age you skin might not bounce back to due lack of elasticity versus being dehydrated. So the signs mentioned above are a better indication of an issue.
Your skin is dehydrated, now what? First, make sure your skincare products are good quality and delivering on what they say they will. Clean formulas aren’t the end all be all, but they do help as they don’t include some of those questionable ingredients. Second, plan on layering your products as not one product will do the trick, kind of like layering your clothing.
Start by using a cleanser that cleanses but doesn’t strip and dry your skin. Your face shouldn’t feel tight post cleansing.
Try exfoliating once a week and then build up to 2-3 times a week. Look for a product that removes dead skin cells but doesn’t create dryness. Formulas with lactic acid are a good go to as this ingredient helps skin keep moisture by protecting its barrier.
Next up, a toner. Modern toners are formulated to add hydration to the skin versus strip everything away like the old school formulas from decades past. Avoid formulas with alcohol as one of the top ingredients as that can be extremely drying.
Serums bring in higher levels of actives which can include ingredients like hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin.
Finally, seal it all in with a moisturizer. The best moisturizer for dehydrated skin will lock in the layers underneath and deliver moisture as well. Use a lighter-weight one for daytime and a heavier night cream for overnight. A product like Starflower + Snow Mushroom ultra-hydrating sleep mask is a more modern way of slugging. It seals in the products underneath, delivers intense hydration but allows skin to breath. Other ingredients to search out ingredients like glycerin, lactic acid, and hyaluronic acid.
Tips outside of your skincare regimen: Drink water, drink water, drink water, limit the temperature of your showers (hot feels good but isn’t the best for skin,) limit alcohol and caffeine and eat foods high in water content and foods high in essential fatty acids.