Is your skin dry or dehydrated? Turns out, there’s a pretty big difference between the two. (Now that’s what we call a thirst trap.) Below, Kourt’s facialist Sharlena Hassani, founder of Artisan of Skin, explains how to tell if you’re experiencing dry or dehydrated skin—plus, tips for each.
It’s so important to understand the differences between these two seemingly similar things, so you can understand the steps you must take to treat the skin properly. Basically, it comes down to this: dry skin lacks oil or sebum, and dehydrated skin lacks water.
There are a bunch of internal and external factors that contribute to dehydrated skin—extreme weather conditions (dry heat for example), excessively hot showers, harsh skincare products and over-exfoliation, lack of sleep, and not drinking enough water. Dehydrated skin can have a crinkly look with more noticeable superficial lines and a dull or tired appearance.
One of the easiest ways to tell if your skin is dehydrated is to pinch the skin on the back of the hand. If the skin quickly returns to its normal state, you’re hydrated. If the skin takes a few moments to return to its normal state, you’re likely dehydrated.
Dry skin is a skin type where lack of water isn’t the problem (though the two are not mutually exclusive). When your skin lacks proper oil production, it appears more flaky and scaly and can have other side effects like redness and irritation. Dry skin is a condition that needs to be treated as such.
Moisturize properly, and incorporate a good, gentle exfoliant once or twice a week to help slough off flaking skin. This polishes and prepares the skin to absorb your leave-on skincare hydrators for better penetration and results. Exfoliating with gentle lactic and glycolic also helps it absorb more moisture from the environment.
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