When it comes to skin, dry and dehydrated are terms that are often used interchangeably, unfortunately even by some professional skin therapists! However, they are two very different things. Here we discuss some of the key differences, and how you can use this knowledge to improve your home skincare regime and overall skin health.
Dry skin refers to skin that is lacking in oil. This can be a result of under-production of your natural sebaceous (oil) glands, or from overstripping your skin’s natural sebum levels, or a combination of the two. When we talk about ‘skin type’, we are referring to your sebaceous gland activity, whether it be lacking resulting in dry skin, over-production resulting in oil skin, or a mix of both depending on the region of the face, which results in combination skin.
It is important to remember that sebaceous activity can fluctuate in response to hormonal changes, medication, gut health, stress, and other internal and external factors. One of the most significant of these is age. Sebaceous production declines gradually as we age, so ensuring to replenish dry skin with products containing evidence-based oils and essential fatty acids is crucial.
Dehydrated skin refers to skin that is lacking in water. This is a skin condition, not a skin type, and is separate from the skin’s sebaceous production. Skin can be oily and dehydrated simultaneously, or it can be dry and dehydrated. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell the difference between the latter two, however, it is important to address these in different ways.
The immediate solution that springs to mind for a lack of water in the skin is of course to drink more water. And yes, often low water consumption throughout the day can be a major cause of skin dehydration. However, as some of you may understand from personal experience, sometimes skin dehydration can occur no matter how much water is guzzled each day. Water can be lost from the skin as a result of several factors. For example: heat or exercise, diuretic food, drink or medications, UV exposure, or an impaired skin barrier, to name a few. Depending on the cause of your dehydration, several topical products can be used to improve it. Occlusive ingredients, such as lanolin or squalane, can reduce Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL), ie. evaporation of water through the skin’s surface, by creating a barrier and sealing in hydration. Humectant ingredients also help, such as hyaluronic acid and lactic acid, as they attract and bind with water molecules to retain skin’s hydration for longer.
For optimal skin health, barrier function, and homeostasis, ensuring adequate levels of both oil and water is essential, as depletion of either can result in sensitisation, flakiness, crepiness, barrier impairment, and premature degradation of skin cells, collagen, and elastin. If you aren’t completely sure which course of action is right for you and your routine, we always recommend consulting with a skin professional, and opting for lots of humectant ingredients as well as omegas 3 & 6. April Brodie SkinSculpt Facial Oil has been developed for just this – not only providing the perfect glide for facial tools, but delivering the optimal blend of botanicals and omegas 3 & 6 to lock in hydration, improve skin cell integrity and barrier function, increase moisture, decrease TEWL, and create a glowing, healthy, and happy complexion no matter your skin type or condition.