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Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: How to Tell the Difference

Difference between dry and dehydrated skin


Cold, dry weather can do a lot to your skin, causing flakiness, redness and sensitivity, and tightness, amongst a ton of other unfavorable symptoms. If you deal with even one of these issues, you’ve probably chalked it up to having dry skin… but did you know that your skin could simply be dehydrated? Yes, there is a difference! People often think that dry skin and dehydrated skin mean the same thing, but they’re different in terms of skin appearance and the types of ingredients you should be looking for or using in your products! We’ve got all the info you need to make sure your skin is getting the proper TLC it needs! 

Difference between dry and dehydrated skin

Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin isn’t a skin type like dry or oily, it’s a skin condition that lacks water. This can be from, you guessed it, not drinking enough water, but can also be due to changes in weather, indoor heating or cooling systems, or something as simple as using products that strip your skin from important oils and moisture that it needs to thrive.

Signs of dehydration are when skin:

  • Looks or feels dull
  • Is rough to the touch
  • Feels tight

Ingredients to look for:

  • Aloe vera— Calming and soothing properties
  • Hyaluronic Acid—Replenishes and holds cell moisture to hydrate and plump the skin
  • Glycerin— Draws water to the skin

Pro Tip: If you like adding a pop of color to your cheeks, opt for a liquid or cream-based blush like our Lip Cheek products to minimize the build-up of dry, powder-based products on your skin. If it’s dehydrated, you don’t want to dry it out even more with layers of products that don’t give your skin the nutrients it needs!

Difference between dry and dehydrated skin

Dry Skin

Dry skin, unlike dehydrated skin, is a skin type that lacks essential oils, which can be anything from genetics (thanks, mom), to using products that strip oils we need from the skin’s barrier that are meant to prevent dryness. While dry skin may be a pain to deal with in the long-term, there are tons of products and ingredients to help keep your skin happy, healthy, and glowing!

Signs of dryness are when skin:

  • Becomes flaky
  • Itches or feels irritable
  • Appears red and/or sensitive

Ingredients to look for:

  • Squalene—Calms inflammation and redness
  • Jojoba— Healing properties that balance your natural oil production
  • Lactic Acid— Seals in moisture and restores suppleness 

Pro Tip: Opt for a cream-based concealer or foundation to keep your skin from drying out more! Cream-based products such as our Cream Concealer will help to keep your face moisturized without looking or feeling oily.

Do you struggle with dry or dehydrated skin? You’re not alone! Here’s some more tips on pH balanceproducts for dry skin, and proper makeup application and skin prep for dry skin!

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