The skin is the last organ to receive nutrients which means that the water we consume is not enough to keep it at its optimum always. Dehydrated skin is simply skin that lacks water. It’s a skin condition characterized by overproduction of oil to make up for… (try guess), missing water! The result? Dry patches, sunken eyes, sensitivity, and breakouts. The skin appears inflamed, flaky, and dull. It also feels tight and amplifies fine lines and dark circles.
Dehydrated skin is commonly confused with dry skin (yup they’re not one and the same) – with the two terms being used interchangeably in many cases. Dry skin is a skin type, rather than a condition, characterized by decreased natural oils called sebum due to underproduction by sebaceous glands. Oily, normal, and combination skin (other skin types) are also prone to dehydration!
P.S: Your skin can be dry and dehydrated at the same time. That just means it will need both water and oil.
Causes of dehydrated skin
The protective barriers of the skin can be affected, depleting its water content. Here are 3 major factors that cause this:
Drinking too much coffee and alcohol yet not enough water (oops!) is not healthy, and your skin can confirm this. Guilty? Don’t worry, we’re here to help not to judge – everything in moderation guys :). The same goes for smoking, use of harsh products on the skin particularly those containing ethanol, certain medications as well as consumption of high fat or high sugar foods.
2. Environmental stressors
According to the Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists of Korea 2020, elasticity and softness of the skin depend on the level of moisture present in the outer layer which is known to be affected by various environmental changes. Dry, cold, and hot environments cause dehydrated skin! Air pollution is also a happy contributor.
3. Exposure to direct sunlight
Ultraviolet rays cause the skin to lose its natural water content by breaking down hyaluron found in the outer layer of the skin. Hyaluron is nothing complicated :). It contains fibers responsible for firmness and elasticity (a necessity)! When damaged, water is lost causing the skin to lose its shape and wrinkles and fine lines to appear. Premature aging culprit alert!
Treatment for dehydrated skin
Here are 5 ways to treat dehydrated skin:
1. Incorporate water-rich foods into your diet
Say it with us… goodbye junk! Okay now, back to reality… don’t immediately throw out your stash snacks if that’s not what you want to do – all we’re saying is that you can limit intake :). Watermelons, celery, cucumber, tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries, and apples should be on your shopping list every time you go grocery shopping. You can thank us later :).
2. Drink more water
We keep hearing that we should drink water so allow us to make the recommended 2 litres or 8 glasses of daily water intake make sense. The body is 90% water and the skin is the largest organ (drops mic). On a serious note though, water REALLY is life. As we like to say here at Uncover as within so without – the state of your gut will show on your skin!
3. Use products with hydrating ingredients
Products that add more water to the skin help get rid of dehydrated skin. Hydrating ingredients include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, ceramides, glycerin, alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), amino acids, peptides, vitamin C, coenzyme Q, glycerine, aloe, snail mucin, lactic acid, and citric acid. Our famous “I Am Cool” hydrating aloe sheet mask is sooo worth the try!
Shop aloe sheet masks here.
4. Add a serum to your skincare regimen
Serums are designed to have a powerful dose of specific active ingredients to the skin. This means it takes a short time to see visible results! Finding a serum packed with any of the hydrating ingredients listed above will come to your rescue :p. Serums with peptides are ideal for dehydrated skin since they boost the skin’s ability to produce its own hyaluronic acid, which helps the skin maintain moisture.
Shop our Neulii Cica Pepta Repair Serum packed with up to 5 different types of peptides here.
5. Take skincare supplements
Vitamin A, C, E, fatty acids, and the mineral selenium are THE hydration queens when it comes to supplements. Vitamin A and C boost collagen which reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin E and selenium are in the damage control department for UV rays while fatty acids hydrate the skin and prevent dryness.
Check out our article on 6 ingredients to look for in skincare supplements here.
Hydrated skin contains 10% to 20% water. Once water content drops below 10%, the skin becomes dehydrated! Hydrated skin is created by the natural moisturizing factor of the outer layer of the skin that attracts water. Water is absolutely essential for the normal functioning of the skin and especially its outer layer stratum corneum (Sevrain, 2007).
Hydrated skin is soft, supple, and plump. However, hydrating can be confused for moisturising (same as dry and dehydrated skin). Hydrators have humectants that pull water into the skin from the environment or within the body while moisturisers have occlusives that seal water. What moisturising does is create a barrier on the skin that seals all hydration to prevent it from disappearing. Hashtag tag team! Teamwork makes the dream work right? 🙂
5 Tips to keep your skin hydrated:
1. Apply moisturiser on damp skin
When skin is damp it has water which means it’s already hydrated. Moisturizing on damp skin literally seals the deal which is perfect! Pun intended :p
2. Use products that work for the climate you’re in
Ensure the products you use take care of your skin’s hydration needs depending on the climate. Remember to use more hydrating products where necessary!
3. Avoid ingredients that could cause dehydration
Certain ingredients are known for stripping moisture off the skin without remorse. Be on the lookout for such to ensure you’re doing your skin justice.
4. Use a gentle cleanser
A gentle cleanser so that it doesn’t strip the moisture off your skin. For everything ingredients, check out our article on 14 ingredients to look for in skincare products here.
5. Avoid direct sunlight
Wear a hat and apply sunscreen after every two hours or three times a day to protect the skin from UV rays. This way you’ll be able to keep your skin supple 🙂
Heard of the famous pinch test? Take a look at this – pinch one of your cheeks with a little bit of pressure then release. How does it look? If wrinkled, you probably have dehydrated skin. If your skin holds its shape chances are you have hydrated skin.
What was your result? Let us know in the comments 🙂