There is a lot of confusion surrounding dry and dehydrated skin. Most people aren’t even aware there is a difference. But what is the difference? Dehydrated skin is lacking water, while dry is lacking oil. Dry skin is normally just tight, while dehydrated skin is usually flaky.
There are 4 different skin types: Normal, Dry, Oily, and Combination
Notice that Dehydrated skin IS NOT a skin type. It is a skin condition, meaning any skin type can be dehydrated. Since anyone can be dehydrated, anyone can get flaky skin. When I refer to “Flaky” skin, I don’t mean skin that is dried out around a pimple and is now flaking. Healing acne gets flaky skin, which is normal, but it does not mean that your skin is dehydrated.
So how can you tell when skin flaking means dehydration? Dehydrated skin will flake in areas that should be considered healthy skin. If your skin is flaking, but you haven’t been picking at your face and you don’t have any acne, your skin is probably dehydrated. Many common areas are around the nose and chin, but it can happen anywhere on the face.
Cleansers and misuse of products can also cause skin to flake, but one way to tell if it’s your products is if you feel dry and tight after using them. A lot of sudsy cleansers can strip your skin leaving you tight and dry, which can cause flaking.
Now that we know the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, how do we go about fixing the flaky mess? Dehydration means water, so if you add water to your face, you’ll be all good right? NOOPE. Water evaporates from the skin, which means it will leave you even more dehydrated. You need to use water-based ingredients that can penetrate the skin but won’t be evaporated out.
The best products to use for hydration are hyaluronic acid, a hydrating toner, and an exfoliating tool. Hyaluronic Acid is a magic ingredient for dehydrated skin. It’s beneficial for hydration because it binds to water helping our skin retain hydration. An effective and common way people use Hyaluronic acid is through serums. I will list my favorites below along with toners and my favorite exfoliation tool.
Hydrating toners are great because they can used to help spread other product easily across the face making it, so you need to use less of each product. You can also use toners to layer hydration, like with the 7 skin method.
Exfoliation is important because you will need to slough away all the flaky dead skin. Being able to exfoliate away dead skin helps products penetrate the skin making them more effective.
- The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid + B5
- Hylamide Low-Molecular HA
- This is my number 1 recommendation. A cheaper alternative is The ordinary
- Herbivore Hydrating Mist
- Evan Healy Hydrosols
- Little Barn Apothocary Balance Mist
- SW Basics Floral Waters
- The Foreo
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