Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: Find The Root Cause of Your Flakiness

Tight, itchy, dry skin is a common occurrence during the winter months, but now that spring is on the verge, why hasn’t your skin sprung back to a dewier, more moisturized state? (Oily-skinned friends, feel free to stop rolling your eyes now.)

It’s time to take a long, hard look at what might actually be going on with your flaky skin. Experts agree there are important differences in the causes of your dryness that can help you identify the correct ways of treating the issue. It may be that you have been treating dry skin instead of dehydrated skin (or vice versa) and using products that won’t tackle the underlying problem.

Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin 

First, some basic skin science. There are numerous layers of water-based cells that make up our skin. An acidic mix of oily lipids and waxes, mostly sebum and sweat, protects the top layer of skin. Dry or dehydrated skin becomes an issue when the top layer, the stratum corneum, is damaged and moisture escapes. How this top layer is left vulnerable is what differentiates dry skin from dehydrated skin.

Dry skin is a skin type, which means it’s most likely a result of genetics. An underactive thyroid, a hormonal imbalance, or untreated dehydrated skin, can also cause dryness because they inhibit the production of the natural oils that protect the skin. Less protective oil in the skin cells leaves you feeling dry, scaly and sensitive.Dehydrated skin is a skin condition, meaning it is temporary and more easily treatable than dry skin. Often caused by external elements, such as weather or harsh soaps, dehydrated skin is simply moisture-deficient skin with low, depleted water content. Dehydrated skin commonly feels flaky, less supple, taught and itchy and can be caused by over exfoliating, poor diet (i.e. not eating enough water-rich vegetables, or indulging too much in caffeine and alcohol), stripping cleansers, cold weather, sun exposure and other environmental factors.

How To Treat Dry Skin 

Since the issue with dry skin is based on a lack of protective oils, replenishing and substituting for that layer is the best way to treat and relieve dryness. It is recommended to nourish dry skin with oil-based products, and for drier skin issues, regular oil massages are key to stimulating dermal activity.

Using an antioxidant-rich face oil like StriVectinLABS High Performance Booster Oil as the first step in your skincare routine is a great way to give skin a healthy boost and increase the effectiveness of any other product. The Booster Oil combines powerful antioxidants, vitamins and fatty acids, plus proprietary anti-aging technology NIA-114, to nourish and replenish skin — so not only will it relieve dryness, but it will also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.Rich creams, masques and butters will help replenish that layer, too. Opt for a deeply moisturizing cream like StriVectinLABS Extreme Cream, which uses the NIA-114 molecule, an energizing Oxygen Complex, and hyaluronic acid to deliver anti-aging actives along with intense hydration that lasts 24 hours.

To see results, you’ll also need to eliminate harsh, stripping cleansers and give your skin the opportunity to produce and use its natural sebum. Wash your face with cool water and a mild, soap-free cleanser at night before applying hydrating and replenishing products; in the morning, just rinse with water, to encourage natural oils produced overnight to do their job.

How to Treat Dehydrated Skin 

The key to treating dehydrated skin lies in retaining moisture. Whether topical or a change in diet, the goal is to re-hydrate the cells and prevent further water evaporation. Drink plenty of water and apply a lotion to skin when the skin is still moist after a shower to lock in the extra moisture. Simple diet and lifestyle changes can help, too. Try eating water-rich foods like watermelon and cucumber to increase your fluids, sleeping with a humidifier in your room and taking short, lukewarm showers to prevent the heat from sucking out more moisture.

Since dehydrated skin cells need the most help retaining moisture, products such as the StriVectinLABS Extreme Cream, which works all day long to add and retain hydration in the skin, will get the job done effectively and give you the results you’re looking for: a nourished, hydrated, glowing, and overall healthy-looking complexion.

Want more effective, at-home dermatology tips? Head over to our DIY Dermatology hub. This post is sponsored by StriVectinLABS.

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