Let us distinguish the difference between dry skin, and dehydrated skin- as they are two different beasts. Simply put; dry skin, is a skin type, whereas dehydrated skin is a temporary skin condition.
Dry skin types don’t produce enough oil, which can result in skin feeling a little dull, lacklustre and with wrinkles more pronounced. Dehydrated skin on the other hand is a condition caused by external factors. And rather than lacking oil- skin lacks water. All skin types can experience skin dehydration, even the most oily or breakout prone. Dehydration most commonly occurs in cooler months, with heaters, air con and scorching hot showers all playing the culprit.
Both dry and dehydrated skin have many treatment strategies in common....
First things first- when treating parched skin look out for formulas containing ingredients known as humectants, occlusives, emollients and ceramides. A good hydrating treatment will often contain a varied combination of these.
Humectants: molecules that attract and bind water from the deeper layers of the skin (eg hyularonic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, fatty acids)
Occlusives: create a barrier over the skin to prevent water loss from the surface (eg jojoba oil, olive oil, shea butter, squalane)
Emollients: work by filling in the gaps between skin cells and replacing skin lipids (eg beexwax, shea butter, plant oils)
Ceramides: lipids (aka fat molecules) that help the skin retain moisture and allow for proper function
Serums provide the most potent and concentrated hit of ingredients to the skin- often formulated with an advanced delivery system to enhance penetration and offer deep level hydration.
When treating both dry and dehydrated skin look no further than a serum containing hyaluronic acid. This gold star humectant increases the skins moisture levels and continues to do so throughout the day. Peptide serums are also suitable for treating dry and dehydrated skin- boosting your skins ability to produce and use its own hyaluronic acid.
Lightweight serums such as hyaluronic acid, layered under a rich, emollient cream is a great approach for any skin type!
Often an overlooked step in skincare, moisturisers can offer a rich layer of hydration and nourishment to the skin. Again, look for your blend of emollients, humectants and ceramides knowing the formula will both attract moisture to skin, and lock it in. A great moisturiser will replenish your skin's ceramide levels and hydrate it in the process.
"In order to be a really effective moisturiser, you need to have both the occlusive to lock in the moisture and the humectant to draw in that water. That's what really makes a proper moisturiser”
There are many advanced formulas on the market with nuances catering to varied skin types. Sensitive, acne prone, dry- pick your moisturiser to match your skin and textural preferences. We love added ingredients such as niacinamide when it comes to treating sensitive or acne prone skin.
Don’t overlook this vital step! our skin’s barrier is also called the moisture barrier: the higher the water content, the better hydrated and therefore stronger the skin is. Moisturise people!
For those with a dry skin type, oils are a great friend. As we’ve said, dry skin lacks oil- so replacing the oils your skin fails make can bolster your routine. Opt for a rich cleansing oil to nourish your skin (instead of stripping it), and introduce a face oil to use as your final step in your routine. Oils are a sensory and often luxurious product. Take your time applying your oil with a beneficial facial massage.
It’s important to know oils are an occlusive- meaning they work to seal in what is applied beneath, retaining water content only, not adding to it. So we don't reccommend as a moisturiser replacement.
Masks offer highly concentrated actives, vitamins and nutrients designed to penetrate and work magic on the skin in a matter of minutes. They are the perfect respite for skin that is taut and uncomfortable. To calm and hydrate skin, a creamy, vitamin-infused mask with hydrating and nourishing ingredients should be a top priority. Look to formulas with shea butter, plant oils, fatty acids and hyaluronic acid. Hydrating masks can replenish and revitalise the skin, bringing it back to life!
Remember- dehydrated skin, unlike dry skin, is a temporary condition. So take stock on what is causing your skin to be sapped of moisture. Hot showers? Shift in season? Abrasive exfoliating products? Stress? These are all barrier damaging events. We recommend treating your skin with TLC when tightness sets it. Slow down on the actives or harsh products and pair back your routine, minimise hot showers, increase your water intake, and apply rich nourishing ingredients to rebuild your skins outer layer.
Barrier repair should focus on hydration, protection against free radicals and pollution, and skin nourishment