How To Know If Your Skin Is Dehydrated Or Dry

Did you know that dehydrated and dry skin is not the same thing? We bet you didn’t. Well, read on to know the difference!

A Rundown For Starters

To give you all a brief overview, we need to let you know that dehydrated skin means that your skin is lacking water. As a result, your face, hands, arms, legs, and feet start to appear dry, dull, and itchy. Your skin tone and complexion appear pale, while the fine lines on your face look more prominent. Dehydrated skin looks aged and loses its elasticity. This can happen to anyone, no matter what their skin type is.

However, by adopting a healthy lifestyle, you can bring back your fresh hydrated skin and start looking young again.

It is also important to note here that having dehydrated skin is not the same as having a dry skin type.

Now that we have covered the basics, let’s take a deep look into the difference between dehydrated and dry skin.

Dehydrated Skin Vs. Dry Skin

Most people often confuse the two but skin experts say, they’re not the same and we’ll tell you why!

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To keep it simple, dry skin is one that lacks natural oils while dehydrated skin lacks water. The first one is a skin type while the second one is a skin condition. These two cannot be correlated.

What Is Dry Skin?

There are four skin types: normal, oily, combination, and dry. Every individual is born with a specific skin type, but it often changes with changing seasons, age, and other environmental factors, etc. For people who have dry skin, their sebaceous glands do not produce enough oils.

In some people, health condition like hypothyroidism makes their skin dry.

Here’s what dry skin looks like:

  • Scaly skin
  • Redness or irritation
  • White flakes
  • Increased chances of psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis

What Is Dehydrated Skin?

Dehydrated skin is a condition where your body loses water more than it absorbs it. Other than not drinking enough water, this could also happen due to increased urination which is often caused by caffeine or diuretics. It may also occur as a result of excessive sweating during exercise.

Here’s what dehydrated skin looks like:

  • Darker under-eye circles
  • Itchiness
  • Dull skin
  • Sunken eyes
  • Shadows around the face (especially under the eyes and around your nose)
  • Sensitive fine lines and wrinkles

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There are times, when your skin gets severely dehydrated, here are the signs you should look for:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Faintness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Overall weakness
  • Urination that is darker and less frequent

If you want to test your skin for dehydration, try the pinch test

  • Pinch and hold a small section of skin on your cheek, abdomen, chest, or the back of your hand for a few seconds.
  • You’re probably not dehydrated if your skin snaps back.
  • If it takes you a few moments to recover, you’re probably dehydrated.
  • If desired, repeat in other areas.

This test is not a scientifically approved way of checking your skin for dehydration, but it is good for starters.

Treatment For Dry Skin

Since dry skin is not the same as dehydrated skin, you cannot just treat it by drinking more water. Compared to dehydrated skin, dry skin is more difficult to treat. If you were born with that skin type, you need to be extra particular about keeping it moisturized in dry, humid weather, especially in winters.

A dry skin moisturizer is essential for hydrating your skin without leaving it oily. An oily moisturizer will not treat dry skin; in fact, it may cause breakouts. So you need to check before making a purchase. Drinking more water will not cure dry skin, but it will benefit your overall health. So start with the age-old method of drinking 8 glasses a day, if your water intake is below substantial.

Treatment For Dehydrated Skin

On the other hand, dehydrated skin is easier to treat. You can replenish your skin by increasing your water intake. Drink at least eight glasses per day. After a few days, you will notice your skin getting better.

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Moreover, health experts suggest that drinking too much water can make you lose essential minerals in your skin. Instead, add water-rich foods (watermelon, melon, strawberry, and celery, etc.) to your diet.

Here are some other lifestyle changes that can bring back the shine in your skin:

  • Reduce your intake of coffee, tea, and other caffeine-containing beverages.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Regular exercise is essential.
  • While working out, drink plenty of water (the Nemours Foundation recommends taking a few sips every 20 minutes at minimum).
  • After your workout, replenish your fluids.
  • Get lots of rest.
  • Consume more plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

Skin loses its water content because of illnesses too. If you’ve recently been sick, you may notice your skin looking paler and older than before. Make sure you’re getting enough water, electrolyte drinks, and broth-based soups.

Severe dehydration can also be treated under the care of a doctor or in a hospital through intravenous fluids.

Parting thoughts

Oral hydration is essential for dehydrated skin because it adds water to the skin from within. Water-rich foods such as watermelon, strawberries, cucumber, and celery can also be included in your diet. Another quick tip? Carry a water mist, such as rose water, with you. Keep spraying it on your face after regular intervals to get the best results.

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Continue moisturizing dry skin. This procedure aids dry skin in retaining water and maintaining a proper level of hydration. Finding products that help you lock in moisture, especially overnight, is the key to addressing dry skin. Use a humidifier, especially in the winter, and wear a gel sleeping mask for an added boost.

If you’re unable to figure out if you have dehydrated or dry skin, you can always consult your dermatologist and be sure of everything. It is always good to seek professional help and find the appropriate treatment. Other than that, we hope this article helped you find the information you were looking for.

Filed under: Skin Care, Tips and Myths


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