The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin


by Angelina Wu ,

Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin at Nudie Glow Blog Korean Beauty Australia

At first glance, ‘dry’ and ‘dehydrated’ seem like two words that describe the same thing. But when it comes to skincare, they each refer to two different—yet similar—skin conditions that need to be treated differently! Learn how to correctly identify if your skin is dry or dehydrated, and the best products to use:

Dry vs. Dehydrated

People are born with dry skin types, but dehydrated skin is a temporary skin condition that anyone (even oily skin!) can experience due to environmental stressors, an unbalanced diet, traveling, or even a poor sleeping schedule. Dehydrated skin comes and goes, while dry skin rarely fluctuates; your skin will feel dry all year long.

“Hydrating” Products and “Moisturising” Products — Is There a Difference?

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, the next thing to keep in mind is that dry and dehydrated skin needs to be treated differently. A dry skin condition indicates that your skin is lacking oil, while dehydrated skin is caused by a lack of water, so it’s not just about slathering on the richest moisturiser you can find!

While we often see the words “hydrating” and “moisturising” being used interchangeably in skin care, hydrating actually means adding water to the skin, while moisturising products helps “seal” hydration in by decreasing water loss. So, dehydrated skin that lacks water needs to be hydrated with hydrating products, while dry skin that lacks oil needs to be moisturised with moisturising products!

What are some of the best hydrating ingredients and products?

Dehydrated skin is lacking in water, not oil, so piling on rich and heavy moisturising treatments will only lead to clogged and congested pores. Instead, reach for light humectants like hyaluronic acid, aloe and glycerin that’ll put water back into your skin, before sealing it all in with a moisturiser.

The COSRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream is packed full of hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and sea buckthorn to boost hydration while protecting your skin from further water loss. A lightweight hydrating essence like the Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence, face mists and sheet masks are also great additions to infuse instant hydration to the skin!

COSRX Low pH PHA Barrier Mist at Nudie Glow Korean Beauty Australia

What are some of the best moisturising ingredients and products?

Dry skin lacks the ability to produce an efficient amount of oil, thus being prone to transepidermal water loss (TEWL), or essentially, the evaporation of water from the skin. This lack of oil and water is the reason behind the flakiness, tightness, itchiness or even dulllness dry skin types experience.

Dr Jart Ceramidin Liquid at Nudie Glow Korean Beauty Australia

The best way to combat this is by using products that include occlusive agents, like oils and ceramides. The Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream contains beta glucan, jojoba oil and ceramides that soothe dry, irritated skin while strengthening your skin’s protective barrier. Another great option for dry skin types is the Dr. Jart’s Ceramidin Line, which includes the Ceramidin Liquid, Ceramidin Oil Balm and Ceramidin Cream that help repair and strengthen skin barrier to keep it moisturised all day long!


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