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Is Your Skin Dry Or Dehydrated? Learn The Difference With An Expert

Is Your Skin Dry Or Dehydrated? Learn The Difference With An Expert

Chapped lips, cakey makeup and the stretchy feeling on my dry skin- these are the skincare evils I aim to ward off every winter season. During the first two weeks of the month, we especially tend to use ultra-hydrating and moisturising products. But before you take the skinvester’s plunge on adding the most expensive skincare product to your cart, ask yourself a question- is your skin dry or dehydrated?

Dry skin = dehydrated skin is a very common misconception. This little blunder can drive your preventative skincare to do more harm than care. So, if you’re somebody who is in the process of figuring their skin’s status out, we’ve got your back. We got Madhavi Irani, the Director of Customer Engagement at Enrich by profession, and a skincare aficionado by choice, to answer some of your burning questions.

How would you define dry skin?


“As most of us know, there are four skin types- oily, dry, combination, and normal. When you have dry skin, it means that the sebaceous glands in your skin do not secrete enough sebum. As a result, your skin lacks moisture and lipids,” Madhavi Irani answers.

She adds that lipids are natural fats that strengthen the skin barrier and protect it from environmental aggressors. People with dry skin often suffer from tightness, redness, fine lines, and sensitivity no matter how humid the weather is.


What are the main characteristics of dehydrated skin?

Madhavi explains, “Dehydration essentially means a lack of hydration. This can include dehydration of the body or skin and is commonest during Summer season or when you sweat a lot and don’t consume enough liquids.”

According to her, the best solution is to drink water at regular intervals. Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin is a skin condition. When the skin is dehydrated, it produces more oil to compensate for the lack of hydration. This is not a permanent condition and is largely a result of lifestyle choices, mainly forgetting to drink enough water. If your skin does not feel bouncy or elastic to touch or you notice fine lines that spring up suddenly, chances are you have dehydrated skin.

Dry or dehydrated – what’s the difference?


“There’s a simple pinch test to determine if your skin is dehydrated,” she explains. “Pinch a small amount of skin on your cheek, abdomen, chest, or the back of your hand and hold for a few seconds. If your skin snaps back, you’re likely not dehydrated. If it takes a few moments to bounce back, you’re likely dehydrated.” According to Madhavi Irani, here are some of the best indicators of dry v/s dehydrated skin:

Signs of dehydrated skin:

  • Itching
  • Dullness
  • Sensitivity
  • Fine lines & wrinkles
  • Prone to darker under eye circles

Signs of dry skin:

  • Uneven texture
  • Scaly appearance
  • Redness
  • Prone to irritation
  • Increased incidence of psoriasis, eczema or dermatitis

How does skincare for dry skin differ from that for dehydrated skin?

M answers, “For your best skin, you need to both hydrate and moisturize. If your skin is merely dehydrated, you can skip heavy-duty moisturizers and just fill up on hydrating liquids. Meanwhile, if you have dry skin, you need to use skin soothing and hydrating lotions, creams, and moisturizers that seal the moisture in.”

According to Madhavi, for best care, “Look for formulas that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, nut, or seed oil, such as coconut, almond, hemp, shea butter, plant oils, such as squalene, jojoba, rosehip, tea tree, and lanolin for dry skin. For dehydrated skin, oral hydration is a must because it helps add water to your complexion. Also incorporate water-rich foods into your diets, such as watermelon, strawberries, and cucumber, and occasionally spray your face with a water mist containing rose water or witch hazel.”

What are the most common mistakes people make while dealing with dry and dehydrated skin?


“With both dry and dehydrated skin, it’s important to exfoliate regularly, something most people forget to do. Dead cells tend to accumulate over time and make skin look duller. Regular exfoliation keeps skin fresh and allows the formulas that you apply to penetrate the upper layers of skin. You could use a chemical exfoliant such as an AHA or a physical exfoliant,” she answers.


What are some simple tips to take care of dry skin and those for dehydrated skin?

Madhavi says, “For dry skin, it’s important to exfoliate at least once a week, use a gentle, soap-free cleanser, followed by a face oil containing ultra-nourishing oils such as Hemp Seed, Rosehip, and Evening Primrose oils. For dehydrated skin, ensure you drink enough water, add humectants like Hyaluronic Acid into your skincare routine because they draw moisture into your skin, and spritz on a moisturizing face mist from time to time.”

If you’re looking to build a skincare routine for dehydrated skin, here are some of our favourites:

If you’re looking to build a skincare routine for dry skin, here are some of our favourites:

Figuring your skin type and concern has never been this easy. Have you built the correct skincare routine for your’s yet?


Featured Image: Pexels

11 Jan 2022

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