The difference between dry and dehydrated skin is often a source of confusion. Simply put, dehydrated skin signals a loss of water in your skin. We ask skin therapist Christine all about dehydration, why skin might feel tight, and what we can do to treat dehydrated skin, so your skin can be healthy and feel amazing!
What is dehydrated skin?
We can bet you’ll know relate to the feeling that dehydrated skin triggers, all too well. Skin Therapist, Christine, tells you that dehydrated skin will feel “tight” and it will “absorb [skincare products] quickly.”
"Skin will “drink” moisturiser as if it’s “really, really thirsty,” Christine explains.
How do I know if I have dehydrated skin?
A great Skin Therapist test for dehydrated skin can be done at home. Simply “pinch” or “lift” the skin using your thumb and your index finger. Skin Therapist, Christine, tells you that “depending on how slowly it goes back to itself,” your skin will indicate dehydration. If the skin quickly recovers to it’s plump, healthy state, you do not have dehydrated skin. Healthy skin retains water and looks plump and full of elasticity. In some cases, you may notice fine lines when you pinch dehydrated skin between your fingers.
Why is my skin dehydrated?
When thirst strikes, it’s easy for humans to drink a lot of water at a fast pace. Similar to this, thirsty skin lacks water and is in desperate need of H20 intake – as quickly as humanly possible! But wait… before you scurry to the bathroom sink, take a moment and get to grips with two of the leading causes for your dehydrated skin.
Two leading causes...
Skin Therapist, Dermalogica Naomi, reminds you that it is key to being aware of skin’s many layers. You must understand which layer of dehydrated skin to treat, in order to maintain a fabulously dewy glow. Skin can become dehydrated at two key points of your skin’s structure.
Dehydration of the 'epidermis' layer
Firstly, skin can become dehydrated at its “epidermis,”which is a broad term that generally refers to the skin’s upper layers, including the stratum corneum. Dermalogica Skin Therapist, Naomi, helps you understand your skin’s “epidermis.” Naomi explains that your “epidermis” has a crucial role in renewing the skin’s cells, “so that all of your nice, healthy cells can actually be seen, and can grow.” Skin can become dehydrated at this level due to changes in the weather (skin looses water in extremely hot or cold climates,) and when this happens, you may notice fine, crêpe-textured lines across the outermost layer of skin. You may also find that dead skin cells build up, and skin appears dull and tight to feel. In this case, skin will need help to exfoliate and produce new cells
Skin that is dehydrated at its epidermis will also require water-retaining ingredients. Dry skin is often a precursor to skin that is dehydrated in its epidermis. This is because, if skin is dry, it will lack important oils that hold water into the skin’s upper layers. If skin is dry and dehydrated, you will need to locate products that build both oil and water back into the skins upper layers.
Dehydration of the 'dermis' layer
Skin can also be dehydrated at the “dermis,” this is the deeper layer of skin that contains collagen and elastin as well as hair follicles. Skin Therapist, Dermalogica Naomi, tells you that, if skin is dehydrated at this layer, wrinkles will form.
Dermalogica Naomi compares the skin to trifle:
“If you can imagine a bowl of trifle, what you’ve got is the jelly – that lovely, firm setting jelly, represents your dermis.”
If jelly within a trifle is missing water, it will cave in, or collapse. This is what happens to your skin, when it lacks water in the dermis. Skin that does not contain water deep down is not as dense, and parts of the skin’s structure dip or collapse, forming wrinkles. To prevent dehydration at this part of the skin’s structure, it’s important to look for active ingredients that boost elastin and collagen production.
Treatment for dehydrated skin
Skin Therapist, Naomi, explains that because dehydrated skin indicates a loss of water in the skin’s structure, skin that suffers dehydration can actually be oily. When you are aged 40-50+ you may notice those painful, under-the-skin spots that typically emerge around your jawline area.
Dermalogica Naomi helps you understand this skin concern and says:
“to be honest, it is actually down to a… dehydrated skin because the bacteria has nowhere to go, so it sinks into skin.”
When your skin is exfoliated, new cells emerge to its outermost layer. If your skin lacks water, this process is stalled and oil builds into “deep pools” of bacteria, causing painful spots and cysts.
This is why dehydrated skin needs an exfoliator. Above all else, an exfoliator is the most important product for skin that is dehydrated. Try Dermalogica’s Daily Microfoliant which uses salicylic acid and rice enzymes to exfoliate dead skin cells away on a daily basis.
Of course, Jersey Beauty Skin Therapist, Christine, tells you that it’s important to give dehydrated skin waterretaining ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid. Christine goes on to tell you more about her favourite, skin-saving ingredient! She says: “it holds up to 1000 times its own weight in water.” Hyaluronic acid already exists in your skin’s structure, but this peters out over time, especially as your production of the hormones, oestrogen, declines. “The great news is,” Skin Therapist, Christine, tells us “hyaluronic acid can be found in products such as Dermalogica’s Skin Hydrating Masque.” This means you can build back skin’s hyaluronic acid, creating a fresh, dewy glow.
Dehydrated skin is a condition that cannot solely be treated by simply boosting how much water you drink. Though it’s important to drink around 2 litres of water daily, your skin can still be dehydrated even if you are not thirsty at all!
Look for products that contain water-retaining ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, and use regularly!