Dry Versus Dehydrated Skin: What's the Difference?

The terms dry and dehydrated are often used interchangeably, but they mean two very different things. Dry is a skin type, meaning the type of skin you were born with. Some people have dry skin, some have oily and others have combination. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand is a skin condition that can come and go, meaning it can be improved with certain skincare and lifestyle changes.

Characteristics of dry skin:

  • Born with it
  • Dry all over
  • Lacks oil
  • Ages quicker
  • Needs oil-rich moisturizer year round

Characteristics of dehydrated skin:

  • Comes and goes with certain lifestyle changes, diet, environment
  • Can lead to breakouts
  • Lacks water
  • Needs water-based moisturizer

Overlapping characteristics:

  • Can feel flaky or itchy
  • Can look dull
  • Can experience tightness

So you can see why people get confused about dry and dehydrated skin -- they have a lot of overlapping features! But by knowing whether you have dry skin versus dehydrated skin, you'll be able to give your skin what it needs.

For dry skin, use an oil-based moisturizer all over your body on a daily basis. For dehydrated skin, use a water-based moisturizer daily, spritz on toner throughout the day and increase your water intake.

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