dry skin moisturizer


Do you have dry skin or dehydrated skin?

During the fall with the transition of warm to cool weather, you may experience a whole host of skincare issues including an onslaught of dry patches and flakiness.

According to Dr. Brendan Camp, a New York City-based dermatologist with Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, “dry” refers to skin that lacks oil whereas “dehydrated” refers to a lack of water.

Knowing where your skin falls on the spectrum of dryness versus dehydration could make all the difference when it comes to prevention, treatment, and maintenance of issues.

What is dry skin?

Our bodies normally make oil through oil glands. Dry skin results when there is too little oil production, or when too much oil is removed from the skin.

Though our skin type is inherited from our genetics, dry skin can be exacerbated by other things, such as over-exfoliation, lack of sun protection, and piping hot showers.

What is dehydrated skin?

The skin lacks luster, feels tight, tents when pinched, and accentuates features of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles.

Dehydrated skin can occur when too much water evaporates off the skin or when the body is not well hydrated. This can happen to people of any skin type—yes, even if it’s oily!

Environmental and lifestyle factors such as weather, humidity, diet, as well as alcohol and caffeine consumption can all cause water to evaporate off the skin.

How to treat dry skin

Use moisturizing creams with ingredients that help restore the skin's natural barrier function, namely ceramides, or lipids found in the top layer of the skin.

Exfoliate regularly

Exfoliation is another way to combat a dull complexion and improve the appearance of the skin, as it helps the natural process of skin shedding and reveals healthier skin cells.

Just beware of over-exfoliation (stick to once or twice a week) and look for products that contain beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) or alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs).

Avoid hot showers

A long, hot shower may feel cozy and relaxing, but it can strip the skin of oil and lead to dryness and dehydration.

How to treat dehydrated skin

Use skincare lotions that are made up of humectants, which attract and retain water. Look for ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, propylene glycol, sodium lactate, and urea.

Eat your water

If you have trouble drinking enough water throughout the day, try eating water-rich foods like cucumber, strawberries, watermelon, peaches, and lettuce.

Avoid retinols

Someone with dehydrated skin is more vulnerable to the potential side effects of products with retinol in them — namely redness, irritation, and stinging.

Choosing the right treatment

Run a humidifier if you're experiencing eczema, dryness, and dehydration, especially in the winter months.

To help eliminate any confusion, it may be worth switching up your products or visiting a dermatologist if you feel like your routine isn't working.

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