Are You Both Oily & Dry? The Difference Between Dry Skin & Dehydrated Skin

Dry skin vs Dehydrated skinIs your skin dry? Is it oily? Normal? Combination? Sensitive?… or what about… dehydrated?

Figuring out what your skin type is can help you decide on the best kind of external skin care ingredients to use. Here’s a quick description of each:

  • Oily – skin produces more oil than it needs. Like a fair bit of oil will come off on your finger when you touch it.
  • Dry – skin doesn’t produce enough oil, feeling very dry and maybe flakey to the touch
  • Normal – skin produces just the right amount of oil .. not particularly dry or oily to the touch
  • Combination – some of the skin on your face is one thing, and other parts another. Like an oily t-zone but dry cheeks, for example
  • Sensitive – skin overreacts to external stimuli, usually by producing redness
  • Dehydrated – skin lacks water, making it feel tight and prune like (think of a grape vs a raisin)

Okay so here’s something new that I have learned recently which is why I’m writing this blog post:

It’s that dry and dehydrated doesn’t mean the same thing.

For example, lots of people report having oily skin that also feels dry. So what’s up with that? How can you have oily AND dry skin at the same time?

What they actually mean is that their skin is oily and dehydrated.

“Dry” refers to a lack of oil, but “dehydrated” is referring to a lack of water.

So if your skin is oily (or it’s dry, but you just moisturized really well) … but it still feels tight, dry, and prune like… then you are actually lacking water in your skin.

If you refer back to the last post on the skin barrier function, you’ll understand that a lack of water happens in the skin due to a dysfunctional skin barrier, which allows water to evaporate out.

As I mentioned in the last post, without water in the skin, the pores tighten and start trapping dead skin and other debris, like makeup or irritating chemicals from products. This eventually can lead to acne or red, blotchy skin.

Lack of water also just makes your skin look dull, accentuates any “fine lines” you may have (again, think of grape vs raisin), and just feels uncomfortable.

So if you go back and check out the last post, you’ll get some pointers on what causes skin barrier dysfunction and how to get it functioning better. Which will also result in less water loss from the skin.

This post was just a quickie, but next post we’ll go over in detail how to moisturize properly in order to balance your skin’s oil production, and also keep it retaining water.

What’s your skin type?

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