Dry or dehydrated skin?

Describing your skin as dry or dehydrated sounds like it amounts to the same thing but actually, when it comes to skincare, they are completely different concerns.

Dry skin is a skin type that you are born with whereas dehydrated skin is a condition anyone can experience, at any stage in life. So how can you tell the difference?

The cause of dry skin is actually a lack of oil. Your body literally can’t produce as much sebum (oil produced by the body to lubricate the skin) as it needs.  Signs of a dry skin include:

  • skin feeling ‘tight’ especially after cleansing
  • flakiness
  • feels rough
  • dull appearance

People with dry skin tend to be dry elsewhere on the body including the hands, scalp and legs.

The cause of dehydrated skin, however, is a lack of water in the top layer of the skin.  When this happens the skin creates more oil to make up for the missing water. This can lead to breakouts, irritation and dry patches.  Signs of a dehydrated skin include:

  • lack-lustre appearance
  • absorbs moisture very quickly but can still feel parched
  • breakouts
  • accelerated signs of ageing such as fine lines and wrinkles

External factors such as exposure to hot and cold temperatures, the effects of indoor heating and cooling systems can all exacerbate both a dry and dehydrated skin.

Lifestyle choices such as a lack of essential fats in the diet, not drinking enough water, smoking and alcohol, and using the wrong type of skincare products can also all play a part.

If your skin is dry then you should opt for a dry skincare regime which uses oil- or cream-based products daily. A nourishing facial such as ESPA’s Advanced Radiance Facial, available here at the Spa at the Bedford Lodge Hotel, will also help boost the skin’s natural moisture barrier and protect against environmental aggressors.

Dehydrated skin types, on the other hand, should opt for hydrators such as products with hyaluronic acid which acts as a sponge that binds to water. I would thoroughly recommend treats such as ESPA’s the Optimal Skin Profacial to rebalance, hydrate and revitalise.

Whichever your skin type, we’re here to help.


Rebecca x