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Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin – How to tell the difference?

 

From London to Belfast to anywhere in between, all winter conditions share one climatic factor: dry air that depletes the moisture from your skin. It’s totally normal to experience itchy, easily irritated dry skin at this time of year. If you already deal with dryness, the winter climate can mean flaky patches, scales, cracking, and inflammation. Add in the effects of indoor heating and hot showers that breakdown your skin’s natural moisture barrier. It’s no wonder that your skin feels tight and tough. But is your skin dry or dehydrated? Did you know there is a difference between the two? These two words appear to be synonymous but actually mean very different things for your skin.  Broken down to the most basic language, dryness refers to a skin type and dehydration refers to a skin condition.

 

BUT HOW DO I KNOW WHETHER I HAVE A DRY SKIN OR DEHYDRATED SKIN?

Dry skin lacks oil because it produces less sebum than normal skin. The lack of sebum means the skin is without lipids. It needs to retain moisture and build a strong barrier to protect against external aggressors. Dehydrated skin does not have enough water. Many external factors can dehydration but the most common are weather, environment, diet, and caffeine consumption. Further complicating things is that dehydration is a lack of water and not oil; you can have dehydrated and oily skin at the same time. So how can you tell what your skin needs? It’s actually as easy as pinching your cheek. If you pinch and your cheek wrinkles with gentle pressure instead of holding its’ shape, your skin need water. Other signs include under-eye circles that seem to be getting deeper and wrinkles appearing where there were none before.

 

LEARN HOW TO TREAT YOUR DEHYDRATED SKIN:

 

The good news is helping your skin bounce back from dehydration can be as easy as upping your daily water intake – the gold standard drink half of your body weight. Just remember water intake is a long-term solution as the skin is the last organ to receive the nutrients we consume. If you want an immediate pick-me-up, apply a thick layer of our All Day Hydrator and allow it to absorb in your skin for 10 minutes. After that, tissue off the excess to reveal hydrated skin. For long term rehydration, you need a routine that provides gentle cleansing partnered with deep hydration. Start with our sulphate free Anti-Pollution Toner and Cleanser, it does not strip away the natural oils and keep your skin moisturised. After cleansing, while the skin is still moist, apply our All Day Hydrator. Our Hydrator contains Hyaluronic Acid, which can retain over 500 times its weight in water, allowing it to deliver maximum moisture to your skin cells without overloading them. Finally, add a layer of our Resurrection Cream, our deeply hydrating day cream containing SPF 20 to protect your skin from outside stressors further.

 

BUT WHAT IF YOU HAVE DRY SKIN?

You know, the kind of skin that historically gets painful around the corners of your nose and mouth and leads to flaking. The first thing to note is that dry skin is a skin type, you can’t change it, but you can approve its appearance.  As with all skin issues, you should consider your diet.  Dry skin can benefit from food intake that is high in antioxidants such as fatty fish, avocados, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, and broccoli. Also, put skincare products in your routine that are oil-infused to help hydrate, they work by creating a seal on the skin’s surface, which prevents water from escaping. Always finish any skincare routine with a layer of sunscreen with at least an SPF 20 to protect your face.

 

Vitruvian Man Skincare Family Pic

 

One last step to consider while approaching your skincare routine is how gentle you are treating yourself and your skin.  As with everything in life, if something is flaring up, approaching the problem in a kind and thoughtful manner. This will always yield the best results. Some tips for mindful skincare: pat your skin dry, don’t rub aggressively and use lukewarm, not hot water to wash your face. Having skin that is experiencing any issue can take a toll on your mental health. Be kind to yourself when you look in the mirror because stress can exacerbate skin problems, so practising compassion for yourself is an integral part of getting your skin back on track.

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