What’s the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?

Are you a dry skin type?  When you’re diagnosed with dry skin, it indicates a lack of oil in your skin. At birth, it’s what you were handed […]

dry and dehydrated skin

Are you a dry skin type? 

When you’re diagnosed with dry skin, it indicates a lack of oil in your skin.

At birth, it’s what you were handed genetically, although it may not show up until much later, once puberty’s out of the way. 

If you identify as someone with dry skin; your skin may struggle to produce enough natural lipids to keep the surface of your skin moist and comfortable. 

Depending on how you manage your homecare, the stress from both external and internal factors can exacerbate your particular skin type, and you’ll be forever looking for dry skin remedies. Or, if identified early, you’ll get the right advice to keep your dry skin in good condition all year round. 

Is your skin dehydrated?

Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin is an acquired skin condition, and regardless of your skin type, your skin can suffer from a lack of moisture which is the main characteristic of dehydrated skin. 

If your skin is diagnosed as dehydrated, it will feel dry, even though it may be oily, and at times it will feel tight, especially after cleansing and, it may even have dry, rough patches.

Your skin lacks moisture, which is entirely different from a dry skin lacking lipids and is probably far more common. 

Dehydrated skin can occur over time, and can be caused by poor cleansing habits, harsh scrubs, inadequate sun protection, mediocre moisturisers, and a lack of essential nutrients and amino acids in the skin making it susceptible to damage and below-par performance. 

If you want healthy, beautiful skin long-term, regardless of the change in the season, keeping the skin hydrated is essential. 

All biological processes within the skin rely on proper moisture balance. 

If the skin is struggling and is constantly dehydrated the skin’s natural ability to maintain moisture known as the Natural Moisturising Factor (NMF) is compromised.

This will result in a loss of elasticity, the skin will be more susceptible to damage, and the process of skin cell exfoliation and renewal will be sluggish, resulting in a weakened protective barrier.

All this will leave the skin looking and feeling dry, dull, parched, sometimes even irritated with rough and flakey patches.

You can do something about it. We’ve got the solutions for you. 

It’s worth looking at your diet. A well functioning healthy skin needs essential fatty acids which you can only get from the foods you eat. Fish oil, nuts, flaxseed oil, are all great ways to get you daily dose.

Managing dehydrated skin means getting the basics right in your homecare. Starting with the right balancing cleanser for your skin type and condition. Avoid harsh foaming cleansers and scrubs as they’ll make things worse.

You may want to consider adding a cleansing oil to your nighttime routine before your usual cleanser.

Environ’s Dual Action Pre-Cleansing Oil will remove makeup, sebaceous oil and pollutants without disrupting the delicate balance of your natural barrier function. 

Once you’ve got your cleansing sorted, you can look at encouraging exfoliation and adding nutrients that may be missing from the skin matrix.

Regular exfoliation using an alpha hydroxy serum or cream will remove dead, dull skin cells that accumulate on the surface of your skin making way for new skin cells and the activation of enzymes to naturally hydrate your skin. 

I’ve found Environ has the solution for this with their Focus Care Moisture+ Alpha Hydroxy Night Cream, it can be used up to 3 times a week to gently exfoliate the skin and activate hydration. Follow with Focus Care Moisture+ HA Intensive Hydrating Serum and you’ll begin to see a big difference in the resilience and hydration in your skin.

It’s also a great idea to add something extra to your regular moisturiser. A combination I love is Aspect Super Moisturising Cream combined with Cosmedix Remedy Omega Complex Treatment Oil, by doing this you’ll be adding essential fatty acids to your skin which are vital to the healthy function of the skin.

When the skin becomes chronically dry, one of my absolute favourites is Cosmedix Rescue+ Intense Hydrating Balm & Mask. This mask will provide instant comfort and relief while supporting the barrier function allowing it to repair itself.

Your skin is a remarkable organ, and with little help and care from you, it will perform as it should, no matter the season.

If you’d like a skin consultation to help with the management of your dry or dehydrated skin, you can book it here

Mel x 


Melanie Russell Richards

Melanie’s knowledge, credentials and passion for the skin are unsurpassed. With over 30 years of industry experience, Melanie has a Bachelor of Dermal Science from Victoria University and is a member of The Society of Dermal Clinicians.

With so much knowledge and experience, it was time for Melanie to realise her dream of owning her own non-surgical skin clinic and establishing Select Skin in 2017.

Melanie is committed to treating her clients with honesty, integrity, and care. Achieving ethical and results-driven outcomes is the most rewarding part of her day.

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