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Dry or Dehydrated?

Dry skin is a skin type in which the skin lacks natural oil whereas dehydrated skin is a skin condition in which the skin lacks water.

Stick around to learn how to identify the difference.

Dry Skin

There are four skin types: normal, dry, combination, and oily. If you struggle with dry skin, your sebaceous glands don’t naturally secrete enough oils to keep your skin soft and to help retain skin moisture. The sebaceous glands are positioned in the mid-dermis. Consequently, this means that the cause of dry skin is deeper than just the surface. The primary distinguishing mark of dry skin is the texture—characterized as flaky, leathery, and cracked.

Addressing Dry Skin

Because skin types such as dry skin are genetically determined or permanent, it’s important to understand the key drivers that may further lead to dryness. Two proactive ways to alleviate dry skin include (1) avoiding any products that may strip your skin of its natural oils and (2) adding supplements that support sebum production such as Vitamin A, Vitamin E, or Omega-3 essential fats.

Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition characterized by the lack of water. Dehydration can also be the result of damage to skin’s barrier, whose primary function is to protect the body from excessive trans epidermal water loss. The primary distinguishing mark of dehydrated skin is tone and complexion—characterized as dry, dull, and surface fine lines & wrinkles.

Addressing Dehydrated Skin

Because dehydration is considered a temporary condition, there are various ways to address it. You can test to see if it your skin is dehydrated by performing a simple pinch test. To perform, pinch a small portion of your skin and observe how quickly the skin bounces back. If your skin takes longer to bounce back, it could be an indication that your skin is dehydrated. Three proactive ways to hydrate skin include investing in a humidifier, replenishing body with water after drinking caffeine or alcohol, and by protecting your skin’s barrier by seeking rich moisturizers or serums that seal in moisture.


Dry skin is defined as a skin type that results from lack of oil, whereas dehydrated skin is a skin condition that results from lack of water. Although the two terms are often used interchangeably it’s important to know the difference between the two so that you can effectively address them.

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