Dry skin vs. dehydrated skin – do you know the difference?
Dry skin is a common problem, and it is important to identify the source of the issue. Dry skin is a skin type which is due to a lack of oil production. This could relate to a genetic predisposition or simply be due to decreasing oil production with the natural aging process. Dry skin will appear dull and will have the potential to show premature signs of aging. Normal skin will have a slight amount of oil, especially in the T-Zone area (forehead, nose and chin) which is common and actually desirable as healthy skin needs to produce a certain level of oil to maintain hydration. Oil sits on top of water, and will hold the natural moisture into the skin. Unfortunately this is highly misunderstood and people have a tendency to try and strip the skin of all oil with harsh cleansers and toners which actually has the opposite effect as the skin will then overproduce oil to compensate. Moisturizers and sunscreen should ALWAYS be worn by ALL skin types as well, but the CORRECT products are what will help keep the skin balanced as well as the proper intake of essential Omega oils, which is why you need a professional skin analysis by an experienced esthetician.
Dehydrated skin is a skin condition which is related to a lack of water in the skin. Water is the body’s principle component and makes up 60% of your body weight. Dehydration can be superficial or quite severe. Drinking the correct amount of water per day is crucial (basic formula is calculated by determining your weight, and then dividing that number by 2, and that is the minimum number of ounces of water you need to drink daily) however other factors can also impact the body’s ability to maintain water – like where you live, how active your lifestyle is and your overall health in general. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you feel tired which in turn effects the skin. Lifestyle considerations such as salt and caffeine intake, smoking, alcohol and medications can contribute to dry skin as well as the environmental influence of heating and air conditioning as well as sun damage. But even if enough water is taken in daily, if the barrier function of the skin is impaired, water loss can still occur. So what to do? Applying hyaluronic acid products (hyaluronic acid holds 1000x its weight in water and is naturally found in the skin) is a good start, as well as incorporating products containing niacinamide (vitamin B3) and red light therapy which will improve the barrier function of the skin are a few suggestions. Consulting a professional to formulate a customized plan for you will get you on the right track
The key to healthy skin is BALANCE. Good lifestyle choices, nutrition, skin care habits and professional treatments combined will keep your skin looking and feeling beautiful for years to come.