Skin usually contains up to 20 percent water. However, dehydrated skin seems to lack sufficient fluid and can appear dry, itchy, and dull, with fine lines being more noticeable. If you have dehydrated skin, your water content can drop below 10 percent. Therefore, many people with this condition assume their skin is actually dry, because of the way it looks. Dehydration occurs because of the loss of body fluids, whereas dry skin is an actual skin type, resulting from low levels of sebum (oil) in the skin.
Mild dehydration can make you feel slightly thirsty, and your mouth and tongue will feel dry as well. This condition can also cause mood swings and blurry vision, aches, pains, headaches, and muscle cramps. If you’re not drinking enough fluids, having too much caffeine, or simply losing fluids that are not being replenished after sweating from exercise, your skin can become dehydrated. Try a pinch test to determine if your skin is in dehydrated condition. Lightly squeeze a portion of your skin around the cheek area. If you notice any wrinkling and your skin doesn’t bounce back when you let go, it may be dehydrated.
Treatment for dehydrated skin will begin from inside out, by adjusting your fluid intake. You will need to replenish your skin by drinking six to eight glasses of water or other non-caffeinated beverages daily. Fruits and vegetables with a high water content can also be counted as part of your fluid intake.
On the other hand, dry skin is more common as people age because their sebaceous glands tend to produce less oil. This skin type can also occur due to hypothyroidism from a thyroid condition. Signs of dry skin are usually scaly, flaky, skin that gets irritated easily.
If your skin type is usually dry, it will probably worsen during the winter due to low humidity levels. You will therefore need to give your skin some extra TLC by slathering on rich emollients and humectants. Plus, you are probably best off only washing off your makeup in the evening and avoiding cleansing your face in the morning.
Although dry skin and dehydrated skin have some similarities, they are actually not caused by the same factors. Once you know what type of skin you have, it’s easier to map out a good daily skincare routine, which will keep your skin looking beautiful and luminescent all year round.
Risselle Naimark is a Professional Freelance Makeup Artist and Skincare Consultant. She carries an extensive line of personalized skincare, cosmetics, and anti-aging products. Risselle is also available for weddings, Bar Mitzvahs, makeup lessons, and all of your beauty needs. She can be reached at 718 263-5517.