Dehydration is a common skin condition that can affect anyone, especially during the colder months. It's often confused with dryness, but it's entirely reversible with the right approach to your diet and lifestyle, along with a thoughtful skincare routine.
What's the difference between dry & dehydrated skin?
Dry skin is a skin type that you're born with, and it lacks the lipids (fats/oils) it needs to retain moisture and protect the skin's barrier from external aggressors.
Dehydrated skin is a condition that occurs when the skin lacks water, usually caused by environmental and lifestyle factors and can be treated.
What does dehydrated skin look like?
- flaky patches
- darker under-eye circles
- increased appearance of fine lines and surface wrinkles
Causes of dehydration.
- Factors like low humidity, drying winds, cold temperatures, and artificial heating/cooling can cause dehydration.
- Ageing - clinical evidence suggests that moisture (and oil) content in the skin decreases with age, and the skin is less able to attract and retain water.
- Skincare products that contain harsh or skin-sensitising ingredients that disturb the skin barrier or disrupt the skin's microbiome. Using the wrong products or the wrong combination of products for your skin also leads to imbalance.
- Hot water – hot showers and baths can throw off the skin’s balance and lead to dehydration.
How to rehydrate your skin with lifestyle changes.
- Drink an adequate amount of water for your body type and activity levels
- Reduce your salt intake
- Eat water-rich fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats like nuts, seeds and olive oil
- Cut down on processed and fast foods that can also contribute due to their high salt content
- Use a humidifier and have it in your room overnight when the weather dry
How to rehydrate your skin using skincare.
- Use gentle but effective cleansers that won’t strip skin or leave it feeling tight or dry and cleanse using warm or lukewarm water.
- Never use harsh scrubs, cleansing brushes or tools.
- Include hydrating ingredients on freshly cleansed skin to help them absorb faster like the multi-tasking antioxidant hydration powerhouse, AM Serum.
- Moisturising is a must, its function is to serve as a barrier between your skin and environmental pollution, they contain oils, waxes and butters, but they also contain water.
- Don’t forget your skin barrier. A strong, healthy and well-functioning skin barrier is crucial for regulating hydration and reducing transepidermal water loss as well as protecting against pollutants and outside stressors.
Dehydration can affect every skin type, but it's entirely reversible with the right approach to your diet and lifestyle, along with a good skincare routine. Treating dry skin similarly to dehydrated skin can help alleviate some of the aggravating factors that are brought on by environment and lifestyle. By understanding the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, and the causes of dehydration, you can achieve healthy, radiant skin at any age.