A question we commonly get is how do I get rid of dry skin? The thing is, many people mistake dry and dehydrated skin for the same thing. However they are very different problems and hence should be treated differently as well. A dry skin type lacks natural skin oils. Dehydrated skin on the other hand is a skin condition. So just like your body suffers from dehydration, your skin can get dehydrated too. Dehydrated skin occurs when your skin cannot effectively hold onto water, whereas dry skin is usually to do with your outermost layer or what we call your natural skin barrier. A key difference between dry and dehydrated skin is that the latter is actually more oily.
While many know what to do for dry skin, most do not know much about treating dehydrated skin. Let’s look at what you can do to treat your skin and things to avoid that could be possibly causing the problem or potentially worsening it.
➟ Water, and lots of it
When you hear dehydration, you know your first step should be drinking water. And that could easily be one of the causes of your skin feeling dehydrated because it lacks water! If you struggle with keeping up with your water intake, do things that will help you remember to hydrate. You can always keep a bottle in front of you wherever you are so that it’s easily accessible. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can drink flavoured water and even consume fruits and veggies that have a high water content.
➟ Avoid harsh scrubs and treatments
The first thing you may want to do is to exfoliate your skin thinking that it will get rid of all that excess oil and dry flaky skin but in reality that is only going to make it worse! The harsh scrubbing is going to irritate your skin even more, and is not going to be able to fix anything that is happening under the skin. The excess oil production might cause you to breakout but popping out those drying acne treatments is certainly not the solution.
➟ Gentle everything
Think soothing and hydrating. Since your skin lacks water, you need ingredients that will help bring the hydration back into your skin and soothing ingredients to improve your weakened skin barrier. So water based moisturizers are a great option. If your skin loses its moisture within a few hours after applying your moisturizer, use a light facial oil to lock in the moisture. However note that only a face oil is not going to hydrate your skin. Unlike dry skin that lacks oil , dehydrated skin lacks water.
➟ Environmental factors
Air conditioning and heaters, or extreme weather conditions can cause dehydration. This can also happen in airplanes particularly, where the moisture levels in the air are really low. That is why our skin tends to feel drier when travelling. To avoid water loss, amp up your moisturizer before the flight. Put on a thick heavy duty cream that will keep your skin hydrated while in the airplane.
➟ Cleanse well but gently
Cleansing is one step that you should never skip in your skincare routine. Since you should avoid harsh scrubs and masks, cleansing will make sure you are getting rid of dirt and impurities. Make sure to use a mild cleanser that will not dry out your skin. A good time to apply your moisturizer to lock in the most moisture you can is when your skin is still damp after a shower.
➟ Cleanse after working out
When you exercise, your skin loses water due to sweating. Dirt settles into the pores, hence you must cleanse your skin after a workout followed by a hydrating moisturizer. And don’t forget to drink a ton of water too!
➟ Consume a diet rich in fatty acids
A diet rich in Omega 3 fatty acids will help restore your skin barrier. Salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, eggs, etc are some good sources of omega 3.
➟ Avoid caffeine and alcohol
Excess alcohol and caffeine can leave your feeling more dehydrated so it is best to stay away or at least limit their consumption.