Dry Skin vs Dehydrated Skin: What is the Difference?

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Although dry skin and dehydrated skin tend to feel the same—plain dry—there is a significant difference between the two. Sometimes, when your skin feels a little dry, you might just need a little water to hydrate it. But it’s not always the same, and it’s a little hard to distinguish between them.

Just to get one thing off the table—dryness of a skin type while dehydration can be studied as a skin condition.

This article will help you differentiate between dry and dehydrated skin to help you define your issue. As a bit of a bonus, we will also shed some light on how to manage both of these skin affairs.


What is Dry Skin?

Dry Skin

There are four skin types divided into billions of people. There’s oily, dry, regular, and combination. Genetics play a significant role in deciding your skin type. However, they can also result from the environment, lifestyle choices, and the skin products you use.

For instance, some individuals have acne issues due to oily skin and begin using Salicylic Acid in large amounts. This ends up drying their skin out. As another example, winters can be responsible for changing your skin type by making it drier due to the temperature.

What are lipids? They are natural fats that help protect and strengthen your skin against the harsh environment. When you have dry skin, your skin’s natural oil, ‘sebum,’ does not secrete enough to provide the lipids with adequate moisture. Therefore, you can understand how if the lipids do not function properly, they can expose your skin to more harm.


Signs You Have Dry Skin

So is there a definite way to tell that you have dry skin? Yes! If your skin feels flaky, tight, and a little itchy—you have dry skin! The easiest way to check if you have dry skin is to simply pinch yourself.

Another way to do this is to do the blotting test. Once you clean your face with a regular face wash, wait 30 minutes and pat a blotting paper or tissue on your skin. If you don’t see any oil secretion, chances are you have dry skin.

Here are a couple of more ways you can tell you have dry skin:

  • Flat & dull: If at times, your skin seems and feels flat or dull, it could possibly be due to the lack of natural oils.
  • Texture problems: When you touch your skin, does it feel rough and uneven? Dry skin can do that.
  • Redness: If the natural oils do not protect your skin, there are chances you will develop redness on some parts of your face. It is because your skin barrier is weak, leading to redness and irritation.
  • Fine lines: Have you ever seen a fresh grape? Have you ever seen dry raisins? That’s precisely how your skin shrinks due to the lack of water in your skin cells. Fine lines can happen in both dry skins and due to dehydration.


What is Dehydrated Skin?

Dehydrated Skin

No one is a stranger to the term dehydration. When your body lacks adequate hydration, many issues can arise, including those concerned with the skin. Often, the best solution is to keep track of your liquids and keep drinking filtered water at regular intervals, water purifier at your home can help you in getting healthy water

As we have mentioned earlier, dehydrated skin is a condition, while dry skin is a type. Lack of hydration can push the skin to produce more ‘sebum’ or natural oils to compensate for the lack of hydration.

Unlike dry skin, you can easily deal with dehydrated skin in a way where it doesn’t bother you forever. A couple of lifestyle choices can even fix this issue.


Signs Your Skin is Dehydrated

Pinching our cheeks can go a long way. Similar to what we asked you to do to check dry skin, you pull at your cheeks a little to check the elasticity. In the case when you notice excessive lines on your skin, there is a high chance you are suffering from dehydration.

Moreover, if you are suffering from acne, you might want to chug a lot of water. Due to the excessive sebum extraction over time, your pores can get clogged, invite pollutants, and develop acne.

This may be the reason why you notice your oily skin getting better with the use of a moisturizer. When the skin feels it is replenished with enough moisture, it does not require secreting or producing oils to balance everything.

Nevertheless, it is essential to remember that dehydrated skin can also turn irritation, flaky and dry over time. So drink your water.


How To Take Care of Dry Skin?

How To Take Care of Dry Skin

Let’s just be clear, and you cannot fix dry skin completely! You are born with the skin type, and this very thing cannot change. But there are some things you can do in order to manage it better. We have compiled a few tips here for you:


If you believe you do not need to exfoliate because you have dry skin, you’re gravely wrong. In fact, your skin is going to love all the exfoliation it can get. Your skin may be looking dull due to the accumulation of dead cells over time. Try to look for a chemical-based exfoliate which comes with AHA to keep your skin fresh.


Gentle Cleansers Are The Way To Go

We get it! It is challenging to find a face wash for dry skin due to all the harsh, drying chemicals out there. Therefore, we suggest you go for gentle cleansers that have plant oils and natural ingredients. Cleansers that have added Hyaluronic Acid can word great in nourishing your skin as well.


Use a Face Oil

You can strengthen your skin barrier with the use of face oils! They can effectively seal moisture into your skin. If you are looking for an ultra-nourishing oil, you can opt for hemp seed or evening primrose. They can help improve your skin texture and provide a more substantial barrier for your skin.


How To Take Care of Dehydrated Skin?

How To Take Care of Dehydrated Skin

Since dehydrated skin is not something you are born with, you can quickly fix it. Here are some tips to help you hydrate and nourish your skin ineffective ways:

Drink Loads of Water

One cannot say it enough. Drink all the water you can. We suggest you drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. You can increase the amount according to the weather (summer) or climate.

Read more about How Take Care Of Your Skin In Summer


Try Humectants!

Confused? No worries, we’ll explain it. Humectants are those ingredients that can help pull water to your skin cells. One example of that is Hyaluronic Acid, which we have suggested even for dry skin. Some things are, indeed, similar.


Face Mists Are Great!

Who doesn’t love a fresh spritz of face mist on warm weather days? When you add mists and toners into your skincare routine, you can provide ample hydration to your skin. Whenever you spray some fresh mist on your face, try to give it some time to dry down and absorb. Follow it up with a face oil or moisturizer of your choice. This works like magic!


Use a Serum

Serums are hydrating and can turn into a boon for your skin. They are lightweight and concentrated, helping you hydrate the skin and leave no sticky texture after. Serums have moisturizing effects that nourish and pamper your skin like never before. You must try it.



Using all those unique hydrating products for your skin and leaving no stone unturned will not be sustainable if you don’t use a moisturizer. A moisturizer helps in locking all the hydration you received from natural products like serums, toners, and mists. Yes, even if you have oily skin, you use a moisturizer! We cannot stress this enough.



Dehydrated skin and dry skin are in no way comparable since they’re vastly different in their nature. While one is a treatable condition, the other is a skin type you’re born with and have to manage. Regardless of this, there are ways you can resolve your skin issues with some simple tips listed above. I hope you find them helpful! Wishing you glowing, happy, and supple skin.

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