Although they sound similar, dry skin and dehydrated skin are different. Dry skin is a skin type, akin to oily skin or combination skin, whereas dehydrated skin is a skin condition. Dry skin is deprived of oil and appears flaky or textured; dehydrated skin is deprived of water and appears tight and lacklustre, with fine lines or creping present. Though this is something we all experience from time to time, there are a handful of immediate tips and tricks you can do to give yourself – and your complexion – an instant boost.
How does Dehydration occur?
Dehydration occurs when the stratum corneum (outermost layer of the epidermis) lacks moisture. This can be the result of using skincare products containing harsh ingredients that strip the skin, exposure to air conditioning or indoor heating, having hot baths or showers, not drinking enough water or, conversely, drinking too much coffee or alcohol.
How can I treat Dehydration?
When addressing dehydration, it’s important to consider both immediate and long term culprits. Internal dehydration, for example, can be remedied fairly quickly with a glass or two of water. I personally drink three litres a day. Long term dehydration that can result in fine lines and laxity can be caused by continued exposure to central heating, a dry climate or prolonged periods of stress. This option can benefit greatly from a modified regime including hydrating ingredients that boost barrier function and lock in water.
In terms of preventing and treating dehydration, a triple-pronged approach always seems to yield the best results…
Nourish from within
A healthy and well-balanced diet is the cornerstone of a dewy complexion. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day. Sipping herbal, non-caffeinated teas throughout winter and adding slices of lemon and fresh herbs like mint to water in warmer weather can help to keep your intake up. Incorporate foods with a naturally high water content into your meals, such as leafy greens, fruits and celery. While steering clear of ingredients or foods that will strip moisture from your liver for example added salt.
Hydrate, then moisturise
When it comes to skincare, use a plumping serum first and then lock in all those active ingredients with a barrier protecting moisturiser so they can work their magic. In serums, search for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera and lactic acid. Then, look for a moisturiser containing emollients (lipids that prevent water loss from the stratum corneum) like plant oils and fatty acids, or humectants (which pull water from the environment into the skin) like glycerin, hyaluronic acid and sorbitol.
Deliver water, topically
A few spritzes of a water-based mist can feel wonderfully soothing on a dehydrated face. Providing an instant rehydration hit, using a mist immediately after cleansing and before applying the serum can really boost its effectiveness. Having the skin nice and damp allows for optimal product absorption and staying power. Many formulas also contain uplifting aromatics like rose or neroli extracts that not only boost the complexion but also your mood.