Did You Know? Dehydrated Skin & Dry Skin are NOT the Same Thing
Dry Skin vs Dehydrated Skin
Until now, you may have been using the term 'dehydrated' and 'dry' interchangeably when talking about your tight, dry, flaky skin. However, these two terms are actually very different when it comes to describing your skin.
Dry skin and dehydrated skin are related
Dry Skin is mainly lacking in skin lipids, which are the fatty acids that we generally refer to as our skin oils. If your skin is dry, it can feel sensitive, tight and flaky all at the same time. Dry skin can be a genetic condition, a result of aging, or related to overuse of skincare products that strip the skin of its natural oils.
Dehydrated Skin is mainly lacking water. If your skin is dehydrated, it can feel sensitive, tight and flaky and oily, all at the same time. Dehydrated skin is often a byproduct of dry skin, as the lack of skin lipids will increase transepidermal water loss (this is the water that is in the lower levels of your skin).
The two conditions, while different, are closely related. So, what can you do to help with your dry and/or dehydrated skin?
Ways to improve your dry and/or dehydrated skin
Using moisturizer is a pretty obvious solution. What else can I do for my skin?
- Use gentle cleansing products to help maintain your skin's natural oils.
Gentle is better! You can thoroughly cleanse your skin without using harsh sulfates, soaps or scrubs that leave you feeling tight and dry. This applies to everyone, even those with acne. Overusing cleansers with ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide can dry out your skin too much, which throws off your skin's balance and triggers further problems.
- Don't get addicted to exfoliation
Too much of a good thing isn't great for your skin. For the same reasons as using cleansers that strip away all oils on your face, exfoliation disrupts your skin's barrier causing similar problems. Extra-rough exfoliants on your face can even cause micro-tears in the skin which leaves your skin susceptible to bacteria and other bad stuff that you
want to keep out.
- Use probiotic skincare
Try using probiotics on your skin! Everyone has an ecosystem of living microorganisms on their skin, known as the microbiome. Using probiotics can help shift the composition of this ecosystem in a way that discourages the growth of bad bacteria. This is important, since many of the skin conditions people are trying to avoid are specifically related to the overgrowth of various types of bad bacteria that cause acne, eczema, etc.