When we think of dehydrated skin, we often think of dry, parched skin that desperately needs a powerful moisturizer. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, it can be quite the opposite. When your skin is dehydrated, it amps up oil production in an attempt to hydrate itself. This leads to your skin being dry, but it has all of the characteristics of oily skin. You’ll even notice a midday shine. It can be hard to figure out is my skin dehydrated or oily skin when you’re in that situation, but we’ll help you out. This article will cover everything you need to know, including the best products for dehydrated skin.
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How Do You Know If You Have Oily Skin Or Dehydrated Skin?
First, you have to make sure that you have dehydrated skin. Both of these conditions can make your face a lot of extra shine, so it can be hard to tell the difference. To determine whether you have oily skin or dehydrated skin, you need to look for signs of dehydrated skin. If you don’t have dehydrated skin, your skin is just oily.
Signs Of Dehydrated Skin
Most of the time, you’ll instantly start looking for signs of dry skin to see if your skin is dehydrated. You’ll think of dry and flaky skin that gets irritated easily. This is possible, but it’s also possible to have dehydrated skin and not dry, flaky skin. How your skin reacts when dehydrated depends on your body and how severe the dehydration is. We’re all different.
Recent Illness Can Cause Dehydrated Skin
If you’ve had a recent illness that has resulted in losing bodily fluids and then suddenly have oily skin, it’s more than likely due to dehydration. When your body loses fluids, it loses them from everywhere. This is particularly common in people with conditions like Celiac Disease, food intolerances, IBS, and other conditions that cause diarrhea and vomiting. Take a moment to think about when you developed “oily skin.”
Dehydrated Skin Has Less Elasticity
In the medical community, this is called skin turgor. Skin turgor is the skin’s ability to return to its normal state. The skin bounces back into place when moved, just like elastic does. (That’s why it’s called elasticity.)
To test how dehydrated your skin is, pinch the back of your hand, pulling the skin up. Severely dehydrated skin won’t return to its standard shape very quickly. The longer it takes for your skin to return to normal, the more dehydrated you are.
It’s important to note that your skin returning to normal doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not dehydrated. If you’re mildly dehydrated you can still have some symptoms of dehydrated skin, but you’re not dehydrated enough to see this yet.
Dehydration is on a spectrum. It’s not as simple as being dehydrated or not being dehydrated. Instead, you can be fully hydrated, severely dehydrated, mildly dehydrated, etc. Some people are more sensitive to dehydration than others, too. While one mildly dehydrated person won’t experience symptoms, another might suddenly develop oily skin.
You’re Suddenly Aging
Dehydrated skin can show wrinkles and fine lines more than hydrated skin. Hydration tends to help plump the skin, making the appearance of these fine lines less noticeable. Dehydration tends to make things on the face sink in more, from your eyes to your wrinkles. If you’ve suddenly developed fine lines and your wrinkles are more profound, it could be due to dehydrated skin.
Dark Circles Under The Eyes
Having darker circles under your eyes is common if you haven’t been getting enough sleep. However, this can also be a symptom of dehydration. You’ll notice those Prada bags under your eyes suddenly bigger and darker than normal.
Sometimes, your skin will overproduce oil in some parts but remain dry in others. This can occur in patches. The dry parts will be itchy. The oily parts can be itchy too.
This was hard to determine because I’ve always had sensitive skin to an extent. However, it’s a lot more sensitive than it used to be. Skin products that had never irritated before were suddenly making my face red. I had to start leaving my clay mask on for five minutes instead of ten. If you’re skin suddenly feels irritated by things that never bothered you before, it’s a sign that something else is going on.
Your Face Feels Tight
Smile big. Dehydrated skin won’t be as flexible, so it will feel like you’re stretching your skin when you smile. If your skin is severely dehydrated, it can hurt to smile.
How To Fix Dehydrated Skin
To fix dehydrated skin, you need to hydrate yourself from the inside out. Making sure that you get plenty of water is ideal. If you’ve been sick recently, your skin should return to normal as time goes on. Stay properly hydrated.
In some cases, you’ll also need to keep yourself hydrated from the outside with products that are best for dehydrated skin. You can do many things to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day to help it return to its normal state sooner rather than later.
Hydrating Dehydrated Skin From The Inside Out
Hydrating your skin involves a lot more than using the correct moisturizer. Granted, the right products are going to help. However, you need to help your skin be healthy from the inside out to make a lasting difference. Try:
- Eating more foods that are packed with water, like fruits and vegetables
- Drinking at least 64 ounces of plain water a day
- Have some Pedialyte for faster rehydration
- Enjoy some milk (it’s surprisingly hydrating)
- Sip on water, smoothies, soups, or other hydrating beverages throughout the day instead of chugging beverages
Water is always recommended for staying hydrated, but I get tired of water sometimes. So, what do I drink to stay hydrated other than water? These are some delicious, hydrating things you can drink:
- Sports drinks
- Milk (I can’t drink milk, but if you love it have a glass or two)
- Coconut water
- Aloe juice
- Broths, like chicken broth
- Herbal tea
- Fruit infused water
These are the best ways to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Try fruits known for their high water content, like watermelon and strawberries. Ensure you get plenty of water throughout the day to help your skin bounce back.
Hydrating Skin From The Outside
Sometimes, you need something more than just drinking water and eating fruit. You know that you’re hydrated, but your skin displays dehydration symptoms. This is especially true in areas with harsh winters known for drying out the skin. These tips can help you keep your skin hydrated externally.
Pick Up A Humidifier
A humidifier puts more moisture into the air. These are often recommended to help soothe skin conditions like eczema that cause dry, irritated skin. Putting more moisture into the air in your home can be especially helpful to combat dry winter air.
Best Humidifiers For Dry Skin
Lotion is designed to help lock in moisture. The skin does not always absorb thicker lotions; instead, they create a barrier on top of the skin. This helps keep moisture locked inside. Using facial lotions as a final step in your skincare routine can be very beneficial. However, it’s important to note that if you’re working on hydrating the skin using external methods throughout the day, that barrier can prevent some moisture from getting to your skin.
Best Moisturizers For Dry Skin
How To Hydrate Your Skin Without Lotion
If you don’t want to use a thick lotion throughout the day (I only use one at night), that’s understandable. Sometimes they can leave your skin feeling greasy, which isn’t ideal. Instead, pick up some aloe vera. This is known for being soothing when you have a sunburn, but it’s also a great product for giving your skin a quick boost of hydration. Hydrating serums and other facial products are another great idea.
Best Hydrating Facial Products
Use A Facial Mist Throughout The Day
Facial mists are great for a quick boost of hydration throughout the day. I skipped the makeup routine so that the ingredients in my facial mist could be easily absorbed throughout the day. Then, I kept a bottle of Pixie Glow Mist on my desk. It helped soothe the burning and irritation in my dry patches and didn’t worsen my oily patches. Check the ingredients list in your facial mist to get maximum hydration. Aloe vera is a great ingredient to look for.
Rosewater is another great idea. Rosewater is known for its ability to hydrate skin. I don’t think it works as well as a facial mist with aloe vera, but we’re all different. If your facial mist isn’t working, pick up some rose water.
Use Hydrating Products
Illamasqua Hydra Veil is an excellent product for dry skin. It’s designed as a primer but can also be used as a moisturizer. As a primer, it’s not the best on the market. It is impressive as a moisturizer for dehydrated skin.
I get a dry line along my jawline during winter, making it look like I’m a beginner at applying foundation. The skin gets redder and is a different color than my face. That line gets dry and irritated. Illamasqya Hydra Veil works wonders to soothe my skin and help with dryness. It’s worked wonders while my skin returns to normal, too.
I love this product because you can keep using it after your skin isn’t dehydrated. It works well if you have combination skin too. This product doesn’t make my oily patches worse. The gel-like consistency means that a little goes a very long way. Even if you use this every day, it will take a while to get through the entire jar. (Bonus: Illamasqua is also cruelty-free.)
Dehydrated skin can be more than just another skin condition. It can result in quicker aging, painful irritation, and more. First, determine if you have dehydrated skin. Going to a dermatologist for a proper diagnosis is best, but these tips can help you decide what to do before your first appointment. If you do have dehydrated skin, combine as many of these tips as you can to get your skin hydrated as quickly as possible. Check out this article for more skincare tips!