Education, Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

The difference between dry and dehydrated Skin

words by: Alee Kwong
Jan 15, 2021

There are four different skin types that I am sure we are all aware of by now. There’s normal, combination, dry, and oily. Over the past few years, we have started taking a closer look at these skin types, finding that skin type is much more complex and can’t just have a simple label slapped onto it. Newer skin type labels that have been a part of the conversation are acne-prone, sensitive, and dehydrated.


So let’s just do a quick roll call to keep track of what skin types are currently being used in the skincare conversations. We have combination, dry, oily, dehydrated, acne-prone, and sensitive. Dry AND dehydrated? While those two words usually mean the same thing, in the context of skincare, they couldn’t be more different.┬áSimply put, dry skin lacks oil and dehydrated skin lacks water. When it comes to dry skin, it doesn’t produce enough sebum to retain moisture within the skin. This necessary moisture is what creates a barrier that protects the skin from external aggressors. Now with dehydrated skin, there’s not enough water, which can be caused by weather and diet.


The best way you can determine whether or not you have dry or dehydrated skin is by gently pinching your cheek. If you see fine lines or wrinkles on your cheek while you are pinching them, you need to start putting together a hydration plan for yourself and committing to drinking more water throughout the day. Dehydrated skin tends to feel tight, look dull, and you’ll start seeing wrinkles forming. Dry skin usually feels itchy and flakey. The best thing for dry skin is to pivot your skincare in a direction that is solely focused on hydration via oils.


While drinking water should be your first solution, here are other some tips for dehydrated skin:

  1. Add a hyaluronic acid serum to your skincare routine.
  2. Use a heavier moisturizer at night.
  3. Look into getting a humidifier.
  4. Keep tabs on how your skin behaves during different seasons.


Both of these skin types can be difficult to take care of, but understanding how they work and how to prevent them in the future is the first step to getting your skin to become more manageable.