4 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Dehydrated Skin

Dr. Minesh Amin

Low temperatures and even lower humidity levels cause millions to experience dry skin in the winter.

But if so many people have dehydrated skin, why is it so hard to treat?

There are a lot of misconceptions about dry and dehydrated skin. Many people overlook the errors hiding in their treatment plans and product line-ups.

Are you ready to end your battle for dry and dehydrated skin for good? Here’s what you need to know about dehydrated skin.

Dehydrated Skin is a Spectrum

Technically speaking, dehydrated skin and dry skin are different things. Dry skin is more of a chronic problem, whereas dehydrated skin is more a temporary issue.

Dehydrated skin needs water and dry skin lacks the naturally occurring oils to maintain a healthy level of moisture. Understanding and identifying which you have is the key to optimizing how to treat your skin.

Dry skin can be a symptom of many underlying health conditions like autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, and skin diseases.

Dry skin also shows signs of irritation, redness, and flaking. Dehydrated skin typically has a general dullness and other physiological effects of dehydration.

Your Skin is a Reflection of Your Lifestyle

What you eat, how much you sleep, and the quality of your self-care habits show themselves through the health of your skin. Stressed out people who lack sleep and eat french fries every day don’t have the best complexions.

It all starts with food. Most fruit and vegetables are more than 90% water. They also contain essential nutrients for glowing skin like beta carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, antioxidants and so much more.

Having high blood sugar levels can also cause your body to become dehydrated. Processed foods, dairy products, and “fake” foods all contribute to spikes in blood sugar.

Acids Are Key to Balancing Skin

When you see flaking skin your immediate reaction is usually to grab the product you have that will deliver the most hydration. But, what most people don’t know is that exfoliating acids play a key role in helping heal your tired skin.

We’re not talking about hyaluronic acid, which has become synonymous with skin hydration (we’ll talk about that next).

Glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acid are chemical exfoliants that help remove dead skin and brighten tone and luster.

Caking on thick creams and failing to exfoliate the skin can lead to a build-up of skin leftovers. This can cause breakouts, inflammation, and a lot of other unattractive scenarios.

However, don’t overdo it with the acids. A professional peel followed by a hydrating treatment is an excellent way to restore dry skin.

The Moisture Locking Products You’re Using Could Be Making Your Skin Worse

Luxurious skin oils and thick hearty creams are a logical choice for treating dry skin but can be a bad choice for people with sensitive skin.

Mineral and plant oils, shea, and cocoa butter can all clog pores. But, they can also help form a protective barrier between harsh weather and the skin. Chemicals like paraffin and petrolatum are common in moisturizers, but these can also cause skin irritation in some people.

Overloading the skin with hydrating products can also cause the skin to “get lazy,” according to some dermatologists. Your body can actually become so dependent on external forces to keep it regulated, that it stops hydrating skin the way it should.

Unfortunately, these chemicals react differently for different skin types, so finding out what does and doesn’t work for you requires a lot of trial and error.

Hydrating Products Only “Work” If They Are Used Correctly and Consistently

A lot of blame is put on skincare products for not living up to their claims, but the results largely depend on the routine use and application of the user.

First, it’s important to understand that no product will provide the results you want if it isn’t used consistently. Applying a hyaluronic acid serum sporadically when you notice that your skin is dry, is not going to help your dehydrated skin much.

This is where “getting real” with yourself is important. Understand what type of routine you can commit to. Define the types of results you’re expecting.

When applying a moisturizing product, give the product time to absorb into your skin. Like a teabag entering a cup of hot water, the dried herbs need at least a few minutes to concentrate into the water.

Gently patting the product into your skin versus forcefully whipping or rubbing is also a game-changer. Patting helps your skin absorb the product better and more evenly distributes it across the skin.

Treating Dehydrated and Dry Skin At Its Core

If only beautifying your skin and resolving skin issues was as simple as finding and applying the first product we tried. In reality, resolving skin problems is more complex, and often requires an assessment of the state of your health.

Serums and creams will continue to fail you if you don’t take the time to pinpoint the underlying medical and environmental causes of the state of your skin.

Our team takes a specialized approach to help our patients. We often request blood panels to take a science-based approach to understand what makes each of our patients unique, and in formulating a treatment program and regimen that will generate the results they’re looking for.

We help patients with dehydrated skin and a variety of other skin conditions. Click here to learn more about our team!