Dehydrated and dry skin: Understanding the differences

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Dehydrated skin and dry skin are often seen as similar problems. However, understanding their differences is essential to choosing the right treatment and caring for your skin properly. In this article, we explore the specifics of these two skin types so that you can adopt the appropriate gestures.

What is dehydrated skin?

Dehydrated skin is essentially lacking inwater. It can affect any skin type, whether oily, combination or dry. Dehydrated skin is characterized by :

  • A feeling of tightness and discomfort
  • Fine dehydration lines
  • Dull complexion and lack of radiance
  • Loss of elasticity
  • Oily areas with excessive sebum production

Skin dehydration can be caused by various external factors, such as exposure to the sun, pollution, the use of overly aggressive cosmetics or the cold. Lifestyle habits also play a role, such as insufficient water consumption, unbalanced diet, smoking and stress.

How can dehydrated skin be treated and prevented?


To restore skin hydration, it is recommended to :

  • Increase water consumption, by drinking at least 1.5 liters a day.
  • Use products with moisturizing active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerine, specifically designed for dehydrated skin.
  • Adopt an appropriate skincare routine, including a gentle cleanser, a moisturizing serum, a non-comedogenic moisturizer and a daily sunscreen.
  • Protect your skin from external aggressors (cold, sun, pollution)
  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

What is dry skin?

Dry skin is characterized by a lack of lipids, or fats. Unlike dehydrated skin, it is generally a skin type in its own right, not a temporary condition. The main characteristics of dry skin are :

  • A feeling of tightness
  • Constant sensations of discomfort
  • Rough, flaky appearance
  • The appearance of redness and cracking

The causes of dry skin can be genetic, hormonal or due to environmental factors such as cold, wind and temperature variations.

How can dry skin be treated and prevented?

To care for dryskin, it’s important to :

  • Apply a lipid-rich moisturizer every day to help restore the skin barrier.
  • Use gentle cleansing techniques to avoid aggressing the skin, such as avoiding excessively hot water and abrasive scrubs.
  • Choose products specifically formulated for dry skin, with nourishing and repairing ingredients such as vegetable oils (sweet almond, jojoba) or shea butter.
  • Protect your skin from external aggressors (cold, wind, temperature variations) with appropriate protective gear (scarf, hat, gloves).
  • Humidify the air in the room with a humidifier, or place a container of water near the radiator to prevent the skin from drying out further.

Dehydrated and dry skin: Diagnosing and adapting your skin care routine

To identify whether your skin is dehydrated, dry or both, it’s advisable to consult a dermatologist, who will be able to make a precise diagnosis. However, you can start to observe your skin on a daily basis and adjust your skincare routine according to the needs it expresses.

  • If your skin feels tight mainly after cleansing, and applying a moisturizing cream brings immediate relief, it’s probably dehydrated.
  • If your skin feels flaky, rough and constantly uncomfortable, even after applying moisturizers, it’s probably dry.
  • Note that it’s also possible to have both dry and dehydrated skin, requiring a combined treatment to address both types of deficiency.

Finally, it’s essential to listen to your skin and regularly readjust your skincare routine according to any changes or specific needs linked to the seasons and external aggressions.

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