Know The Difference and How To Treat
Read Dr Alek Nikolic’s Guide on Dry versus Dehydrated Skin
“More importantly there seems to be some confusion between Dry Skin and Dehydrated Skin. Most of us think this is the same thing but there is an important difference and as a result our skin care regimes will be slightly different too.” – Dr Alek Nikolic
With winter literally knocking on our doors I thought it would be a great time to write an article that has a closer look at how the cold weather can change our skins and in the same breath how we should change our skin care regimes to compensate for these changes.
Not everyone’s skin changes with the weather so changing your skin care regime just to suite the seasons is not a good idea. Listen to what your skin is telling you. If winter comes and your current skin care regime is working perfectly then no need to change. If it becomes a little dehydrated then add a stronger moisturiser. Read more to find out the difference between dry and dehydrated skin and what to do about it.
Spot The Difference:
[quote author=”Dr Alek Nikolic” align=”left” width=”300″]Very simply put Dry skin lacks Oil or Sebum while Dehydrated skin lacks Water or Moisture content in the skin.[/quote] Both dry and dehydrated skin can feel dry, tight, flaky, itchy, and sensitive and this is what makes the diagnosis slightly more difficult.
Let’s take a closer look at each:
Dehydrated skin is fairly common and as a result most of us will suffer from dehydrated skin at one time or another.
Causes of Dehydrated Skin:
Hot environmental conditions seen with sun exposure during summer months, heaters, and fires evaporate water from our skins and similarly water loss is experienced from our skins in cold weather and when the environment has a low humidity.
- Weather and environmental changes
- Skin product usage (incorrect ingredients or excessive use)
- Over-cleansing (or over-exfoliating) and too rough handling of the skin. The weather and environment are big ones.
Dehydrated skin is a Skin Type or occasionally referred to as a skin condition, which means it can change at any time but most importantly you can improve it.
Dehydration affects all skin types and that includes oily skin: Oily skin may look and feel oily but still lack water. This is typically caused by people who over cleanse, over exfoliate, or use harsh rough and granular cleansers.
Common Areas Of Dehydrated Skin:
- Outer cheeks
- Around the eyes
Thankfully most of us do not have naturally dry skin. Dry skin is due to a naturally low production of oil or sebum and as a result this is a skin condition and this is genetically determined. Very simply put if your skin has any shine to it then you do not have dry skin as the shine is a sign of oil or sebum production. There are some causes of dry skin that is not linked to ones genetics:
- Natural Aging: as we get older our hyaluronic acid production (water holding molecule) reduces and to add insult to injury our sebum or oil production in our skins is also reduced
- Lack of Essential Fatty Acids in the Diet
How to Treat DEHYDRATED SKIN:
‘Use Humectants & Occlusive Ingredients to Minimize Water Loss’
How to Minimize Water Loss:
- Help Your Skin Hold Onto Water– with humectant ingredients such as hyaluronic acid
- Prevent Water Evaporation– with occlusive ingredients such as petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
Here are my recommendations for Dehydrated Skin:
How to Treat DRY SKIN
‘Use Lipids to Nourish Your Skin’
Yes it is as simple as that: if our skins do not manufacture enough oil or sebum all we need to do is add some oil or fats in our skin care regime. I spoke about the importance of fats or ceramides in skin care so please check out Ceramides & Their Importance in Skin Health
So if you have dry skin, you should seek moisturizers rich in lipids.
Here are my recommendations for Dry Skin:
Please feel free to send me any comments or questions you may have on your skin or skin care regimes.
- This article was sourced from Just About Skin written by Rita Lee. She has an impressive blog and gives accurate information on skin and skin care products and regimes. I highly recommend her blog for in depth education on skin care ingredients.
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- The effects of barrier disruption and moisturisation on the dynamic drying mechanics of human stratum corneum. Liu X, German GK. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2015 Sep;49:80-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2015.04.017. Epub 2015 Apr 25.
- Intrinsic aging- and photoageing-dependent level changes of Glycosaminoglycans and their correlation with water content in human skin. Oh JH, Kim YK, Jung JY, Shin JE, Kim KH, Cho KH, Eun HC, Chung JH. J Dermatol Sci. 2011 Jun;62(3):192-201. doi: 10.1016/j.jdermsci.2011.02.007. Epub 2011 Mar 2.