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What’s the Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin?

What’s the Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin?

When your skin starts feeling dry and tight, your first instinct is probably to slather on a rich moisturizer. Ahh, relief. That is, until your skin starts feeling dry and tight again after just a few hours. And now, it’s also greasy.

Wondering what’s going on? Chances are you’re dealing with dehydrated skin but treating it like it’s dry. While the words may seem interchangeable, there’s actually a huge difference between dry and dehydrated skin, and most importantly, in what your skin is lacking.

Dry skin lacks oil, also referred to as moisture.

Dehydrated skin lacks water, also referred to as hydration.

While the explanation is simple enough, knowing which type of skin you’re dealing with is crucial to understanding and treating your skin.

How do you tell the difference?

Dry skin produces less natural oils than other skin types. Those with dry skin experience rough, itchy skin, often with flakes. Sensitive and easily irritated skin can also be a symptom of dry skin. Those with true dry skin may have dry skin all their life or dry skin can develop as we age. Either way, dry skin is a skin type

Those with dehydrated skin will feel skin tightness and often dull complexions. Other symptoms can include inflammation and acne. Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin often overproduces oil. If your skin has ever felt tight and oily at the same time, you’re suffering from dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin can be caused by many factors, like diet, stress, climate, poor sleeping habits, etc. But because it is caused by external factors, dehydrated skin is a skin condition.

How do I treat dry skin? 

If you have dry skin, find products that add and keep moisture locked into your skin. (Here are six tried and true tips for dry skin.) One of the main causes of dry skin is a compromised moisture barrier. Look for ingredients that will help strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier while adding soothing relief and long-lasting moisture.

Ohlolly Suggests

Urang Pink Everlasting Ampoule. Made with silk amino acids and hydrolyzed collagen to strengthen skin's moisture barrier, plus centella asiatica extract to soothe irritation. An ampoule is a perfect daily treatment that can be used both morning and night. 

Sioris You Look So Young Night Cream. At night, your skin has extra time to heal, so give it the moisturize it craves with a rich night cream. We love this one because it’s made of 5% tamanu oil, which provides deep and healing moisture, plus calming centella asiatica. 

Belborn Intensive Bounce Ampoule Mask. When skin needs instant relief from dryness, use a sheet mask! This mask is packed with more than an ounce of ampoule and full of skin-strengthening ingredients like peptides and ceramides. 

How do I treat dehydrated skin? 

For dehydrated skin, stick with light, buildable layers of hydration as opposed to using heavy moisturizers. Dehydrated skin often overproduces oil, so it’s also crucial to find products that will help balance skin’s water and oil production.

Ohlolly Blog Dry vs Dehydrated 2

Ohlolly Suggests:

HaruHaru WONDER Black Bamboo Mist. Made with hydrating essentials like glycerin and beta glucan, we love this mist for dehydrated skin. Use immediately after cleansing while skin is still damp and anytime throughout the day when skin starts to feel tight or irritated. 

Pyunkang Yul Moisture Serum. Ideal for easily irritated, sensitive, and oily yet dehydrated skin. This lightweight serum helps skin maintain the perfect balance of water and oil while providing cooling hydration. The secret is in the natural ingredients like coptis japonica root extract and olive oil. 

Urang True Rose Repair Essence. Rose water is an amazing ingredient for dehydrated skin. Not only does it add instant hydration, but it’s full of anti-inflammatory and anti-acne properties. This lightweight essence is perfect for adding hydration with zero greasiness. 

Can I have both dry and dehydrated skin?

Unfortunately, yes. Since dry skin is a skin type and dehydrated skin is a skin condition, then it is possible to have both dry and dehydrated skin. This is especially true during climate changes, like in the winter when air humidity is low and inside heaters are blasting. During these times, treat skin extra gently, i.e., don’t overwash or over exfoliate, and keep a hydrating mist with you at all times.

During your skincare routine, start with light, hydrating products to add water back into your skin and then finish with heavier moisturizing products to help prevent moisture loss throughout the day.

Still have questions? Email us at hello@ohlolly.com. We’re always here to help.

Written by Kait McGuire @ Ohlolly