Is there a difference between Dry and Dehydrated Skin?



The answer is YES! There is a big difference between dry and dehydrated skin, yet both tend to feel the same- just plain dry! ‘Dry’ and ‘dehydrated’ seem like two words to describe the same thing. But when it comes to skincare, they are completely different concerns with different underlying causes. In this blog, i will run through the differences and the characteristics behind both and what can be done.


Dry skin

  • Is a skin type (just like oily, combination or sensitive). You were born this way, and you are dry everywhere else on your body- arms, legs, hands and scalp.

  • Feels rough, appears dry, dull and can be flaky. It can feel tight, especially after cleansing.

  • Dry skin lacks oil/sebum and lipids, NOT WATER. Often, dry skin is mistaken for dehydrated skin, and when this happens, although you have spent months and months trying out creams and moisturisers, your skin still feels dry, especially during winter. Dry skin requires a skin care routine that includes a high level of lipids to replace what it lacks (found in oils).

  • Dry skin can also be dehydrated.

Dehydrated skin

  • Is a skin condition, that is reversible, and anyone can experience it. It can come and go, based on diet, environmental factors and incorrect product use. High caffeine, salt and alcohol intake are key causes of dehydrated skin. Environmental factors such as , the sun, hard water and hot baths/showers can also dehydrate the skin. You can shower everyday but keep them short. The ageing process is a factor in many skin care issues, and dehydrated skin is no different. As your skin gets older, you may find it more difficult to keep your moisture levels high.

  • Looks dull, can feel rough and tight. Notice, these are also characteristics of dry skin, so it's no wonder they are often thought as the same.

  • Can be sensitive, shows fine lines, and accelerated signs of ageing, sagging skin and deep wrinkles. Dehydrated skin can start to look older too. Pinch your cheek, and if you have fine lines showing, the likelihood is you have dehydrated skin. Another indication is when your makeup tends to get patchy and crusty by the end of the day. This is due to your dehydrated skin trying to absorb any moisture contained in the makeup.

  • Can feel oily and dry simultaneously. You can also have dry and dehydrated skin at the same time. Oily and combination skin can also be dehydrated. When skin becomes dehydrated, it produces more oil to try and compensate for the lack of water. This can cause breakouts and dry patches.

  • Lacks enough water and needs water-based products for more hydration. When you hydrate your body by drinking water, unfortunately the skin is the last organ to receive the hydration, so using a water-based moisturiser as part of your skin care routine is crucial. Just using a face oil will not help. Further more, your cream should contain an ingredient called a humectant which has the ability to absorb water from it's surrounding, bind to it, and draw it into the stratum corneum layer of your skin. Excellent examples of natural humectants are Hyaluronic Acid, D-Panthenol and Glycerin. You will find these ingredients in our Daily Defence Moisturisers, Age Defy Night Serums and Baby J Moisturiser.

Our Skin Care Tip-

Both face oils and creams/serums will moisturise your skin, but if you have dehydrated skin, using just face oils will not help. Water based creams and serums that also contains lipids/oils will hydrate and moisturise your skin. If the product lists Aqua in it's ingredient list, then it contains water. If you have DRY skin, adding a face oil to your routine is strongly advised. As you've already learnt, DRY skin lacks oils/lipids, and face oils are highly concentrated in oils/lipids.


Our take-home message? Invest in a skin care routine that will moisturise, hydrate and most importantly nourish your skin with the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and antioxidants your skin requires to maintain it's health. Healthy skin is happy skin! Our Back 2 Basics Routine was developed to do just that. Each product in the routine has a specific role to play to give you healthy, glowing skin. Nourish your skin the way you would nourish your body, and it will look after you.


Until next time, it's goodbye from me! Lots of J Bo love, My Linh









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