Often, when we enter a skin care shop and seek for a face cream, the first question we are asked is “What is your skin type?”. Half a dozen questions after, to which we answer with fear, the diagnosis arrives: “Your skin type is oily!”. We assume from then on, and for the rest of our lives, that our skin is oily! Therefore, we perceive that diagnosis as a guideline to take care of our skin… And there we are, buying a cleansing gel for oily skin, a moisturizing day cream, one night cream for acne, and a clay mask for the weekend. And life seems to be good for us.
Recently my skin started to get dull, uneven, with a few little pimples and a harsh touch, so I decided to do a facial treatment. I told the technique all my concerns and, after an analysis, she kindly told me that my skin was not actually suffering from oiliness or acne, but that it was dehydrated! This diagnosis made no sense to me, considering that I was absolutely sure that my skin was oily with a tendency to acne. But then I let her explain.
It turned out that my skin was severely dehydrated, which was a surprise, since I generally considered my skin oily or, at least, mixed.
She explained to me that the skin can be both oily and dehydrated!
The truth is that dry skin is characterized by having fewer sebum-producing glands on the face and body. On the other hand, dehydrated skin is a skin that suffers from lack of water. Well, water and sebum are not the same thing…
Most of us easily understand the negative impacts of dehydration on our overall health. But from the moment it starts to be visible on our skin and causes changes… I’m not going to lie, it surprised me.
#1 Skin Diagnosis: Dry or Dehydrated?!
In a very simple way, “dryness” refers to a type of skin, while “dehydration” refers to a skin condition. Dry skin has no oiliness, because it produces less sebum than normal skin. The lack of sebum means that the skin is left without the lipids needed to retain the moisture inside. In addition to presenting some fragility, because the barrier of the skin can’t protect it against external aggressions, it is a skin that suffers from lack of oil and water!
On the other hand, dehydrated skin doesn’t have enough water. External factors are the main responsibles for skin dehydration. Such as climate, the environment, food, caffeine consumption, among others. As a consequence, these factors may lead to a decrease in our water reserves.
A good test to see if our skin is dehydrated is to slightly squeeze the cheekbones. If the skin wrinkles with a slight pressure, instead of keeping its shape smooth, then our cells are desperate for water! This effect, accompanied by the sensation of pulling, the lack of luminosity, the intensification of wrinkles or their appearance in places where they didn’t exist, the aggravation of dark circles and a congested aspect in general are “symptoms” that can indicate a dehydrated skin.
On the other side, dry skin tends to feel uncomfortable, scaly, and itchy. The most common affected areas of the face are the forehead, near the eyebrows, around the nose and around the lips. When the skin is really dry, rubbing it may even seem like rubbing sandpaper…
A piece of advice: Regardless of all the testing you do at home, or the diagnosis given to you in the past, you should always confirm with a specialist. In addition, it is necessary to check with some regularity the state of the skin. Because if today the skin is oily with acne, tomorrow it can be dehydrated and evolve into a combination skin.
#2 Treatment of dehydrated skin
Dry skin has been studied for several years, so there are several ways to soothe the skin and restore comfort. A good option (I don’t want to be accused of presenting solutions only for dehydrated skin) is the brand new Caudalie SOS Intense Moisturizing Cream . It has a creamy texture that appeases dry and sensitive skin. Promotes the smoothness and comfort of the skin. And relieves from redness and the sensation of pulling, so common on dry skin.
On the other hand, in the case of dehydration, the story is different. There are some very successful treatment options. But it is really important to combinate them with some lifestyle habits. Here, let’s walk through this step by step…
It’s essential to exfoliate the skin!
The use of a gentle exfoliator significantly improves the quality of the skin. Once the dead cells accumulate on the surface of the skin, the ability to absorb moisturizing ingredients dramatically decrease. Therefore, exfoliate, at least once a week, to remove the dead cells, allows the moisturizer to “work” so much better. A gentle exfoliant for the skin, super practical to use and it takes only 2 minutes to act is the Nuxe insta-masque exfoliating mask. It has moisturizing properties and is suitable for all skin types, even the most sensitive ones.
Add a Serum to your routine!
To properly moisturize the skin, chose a serum and apply it before the moisturizer. Serums and creams are not the same thing. In this particular case, the application of a serum makes all the difference. Chose one with Hyaluronic Acid in its composition. A molecule that will retain water inside the skin. This will hydrate the skin from the deepest layers.
In that sense, we couldn’t not suggest the Caudalie Vinosource SOS Thirst Quenching Serum. The name says it all. It’s one of the best sellers for skin dehydration. Besides that, he won the award “product that changed my life”! Promises an increase in skin hydration by 127% and a reduction in sensitivity by 61%. It is undoubtedly a product to invest, and has the advantage of serving all skin types!
Use a richer moisturizer at night!
Although we are in a controlled environment and away from the pollution and the outside climate, the truth is that our skin loses water during the night. Use a rich, oil-free and non-comedogenic moisturizer to intensely moisturize the skin at night, and counterbalance the loss of water. I suggest Caudalie Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream! A care with moisturizing hyaluronic acid and papain enzymes. This moisturizer exfoliates the skin at the same time as it floods it with hydration. All of this, while sleeping.
Pay attention to the seasons!
Temperature and humidity variations can affect the way our skin behaves. Who has already changed the moisturizer in the winter to feel the skin more comfortable?!
In the winter the air is cold, with low humidity, the pores are more closed and the microcirculation is reduced. Combining all of these with hot baths and central heating, causes the skin to resent itself. It can even cause pulling, itching, peeling and certainly dehydration! Even in the thickest and oily skins. That is why it is so important to take care of the needs of our skin. It isn’t at all crazy to have a specific care ritual for the winter and another for the summer!
Although we have given the example of winter, the truth is that the skin is equally subject to dehydration during the summer! Too much sun exposure can lead to excessive loss of water through the skin. So betting on sunscreens in the summer can be a excellent option!
Drink water to avoid dehydrated skin!
It may seem too obvious, but the truth is that water is really important! Even when we talk about our skin. The most dehydrated, wrinkled and dull skins are associated with people with low daily water consumption. Drinking lots of water and eating fruits and vegetables significantly improves the appearance of our skin.
#3 The Maintenance
Unlike other types of skin, that can go under changes, dry skin is such an intrinsic condition that it will last for most of the lifetime. While dehydration is a state of skin that can be corrected.
In fact, the state of dehydration can be corrected relatively quickly! But, to prevent the development of signs of dehydration, drinking lots of water throughout the day is the first step! The second is to always have a moisturizing mist on hand, or use a moisturizing mask weekly to restore skin hydration. In the latter case, opt for a non-comedogenic mask suitable for all skin types. Two good options are the Erborian Bamboo Waterlock, or the Vichy Liftactiv Hyalu Mask for a more professional treatment.
The secret of beautiful and luminous skin is hydration! Well-moisturized skin radiates glow, health and well-being. Fine lines and wrinkles are less obvious, and the skin seems full and young. However, we need to be careful to maintain the hydration of the skin. Namely the daily intake of water, and an adjustment of the skin beauty ritual when necessary. Keeping in mind the needs of the skin, and adjusting our daily treatment is important to maintain healthy skin for a long time.