Dry Skin Or Dehydrated Skin?: Here’s How To Tell The Difference.

One of the most common skin concerns we get asked about at ASI is dry and dehydrated skin - what are the best products to use to turn that flaky, rough and tight feeling into the soft, dewy, happy skin of your dreams?! 

Well, it all starts with firstly knowing if you actually have a dry skin or dehydrated skin… or maybe you have both!

You see, although the symptoms are similar; dry skin or dehydrated skin are two completely different things.  Knowing exactly which one you are dealing with is the first important step to building your perfect skincare routine.

So how do you tell if you have a dry skin or dehydrated skin?  Here’s the difference:

Dry Skin

First of all… dry skin is a ‘skin type’ - not a skin condition.   Like oily, sensitive, normal or combination skin, dry skin is a characteristic of your skin that is mainly predetermined by genetics.

Dry skin doesn’t produce the adequate amount of natural oils (sebum) needed to keep the surface moisturised, lubricated and protected.  And while on the plus side, a dry skin is less likely to suffer from oily breakouts, this deficit in oil production can cause your skin’s microbiome to become unbalanced - leading to the development of common skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and acne.

Recent studies have also found that people who suffer from recurring dry skin also tend to have an altered version of the FLG gene that produces Filaggrin; a structural protein that is also fundamental in the development and maintenance of the skin’s protective barrier.  Also, the compromised skin barrier will often lead to TEWL (Transepidermal Water Loss), an escape of the skin’s natural moisture levels, leading to secondary dehydration. 

But don’t go blaming all your dry skin woes on your family tree… because when it comes to skin, even if you won the genetic lottery, environmental factors such as sun exposure, pollution, diet, medications and illness can all directly affect how much oil your skin naturally produces.

What are the signs you have a dry skin?:

You are most likely a dry skin type if your skin often feels rough, scaly, itchy or irritated.  You may also have:

  • Almost invisible pores
  • Tight and less pliable 
  • Dull, lackluster complexion
  • Often red, irritated or itchy
  • More visible lines and wrinkles
  • Experiencing issues like eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis

How do I take care of my dry skin?:

Since a dry skin is, first and foremost, lacking in the natural oils that make up the protective barrier (Acid Mantle); incorporating skincare products that feature nourishing vitamins and essential fatty acids will go a long way in helping to strengthen and rebuild the acid mantle while locking in crucial moisture levels and stablising the microbiome of the skin.

Cleanse your dry skin by starting your routine with a gentle hydrating wash and avoiding irritating scrubs or stripping toners.  

If you are super dry or extra sensitive, stick with a creamy cleanser like ASI’s Radian Cream Cleanser but if your skin is feeling flaky or rough, the Rejuvenating Foaming Cleanser will deliver a deep and hydrating cleanse while cleansing away booth impurities and dead skin buildup. 

Boost & hydrate your dry skin by replenishing its natural oil and hydration levels.  A potent cosmeceutical serum formulated with highly active peptides and growth factors, the Multi Peptide Serum will not only instantly boost hydration levels on your skin’s surface but will also promote and encourage your skin to level up on the production of it’s natural secretions to strengthen the skin’s barrier.

Support your dry skin with the power of Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide), well known for its ability to preserve hydration and improve the synthesis of the healthy essential fatty acids that make up the skin’s protective barrier.  ASI’s Vitamin B3 Complex  is also perfect for calming a sensitive or irritated skin, especially those that are suffering from eczema or rosacea.

Nourish your dry skin day and night with EFA based moisturisers that not only give instant soothing relief to a tight and dry skin but also replace the lack of essential fatty acids needed for a strong and healthy skin barrier.  

During the day, ASI’s Rejuvenating Day Cream will keep your skin nourished and protected with it’s avocado and macadamia oil base - rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9 - to promote collagen production and boost your skin’s natural healing process.  Also, high in skin loving Zinc, your skin will enjoy a restored and enhanced metabolism while being protected from the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB radiation.

And at night, the Rejuvenating Night Treatment will give your skin a multi-vitamin boost - powered by active retinol -  to gently but effectively refresh and refine your skin from the inside out.

Dehydrated Skin

Unlike dry skin, a dehydrated skin is a skin condition.  You are not born with a dehydrated skin type but have developed dehydration due to external factors such as air conditioning or poor diet and not drinking enough water, using harsh skin care and of course, outdoor environment including the sun, wind and pollution.  Also, illness and medications can cause your skin to become dehydrated.  All these things… and there are many as you can see… will zap the hydration right out of your skin.  

The good news is that when it comes to dehydrated skin… you are totally in control!

What are the signs you have a dehydrated skin?:

Given the information above… and the fact that research in the last several years shows that around 80% of Australians are suffering from dehydration, it is most probable that your skin is dehydrated to some extent.

A great way to check exactly how dehydrated you are is with a pinch test.  Simply squeeze a small part of the skin on the back of your hand and hold for a few seconds then let go.  If your skin takes its time to bounce back to its original form… then you are dehydrated.  The slower it takes… the more dehydrated you are.

A dehydrated skin can still look shiny or oily while feeling tight and dry.  That’s because your skin is not lacking oil… just lacking moisture.  You may also notice:

  • Skin flaking
  • Crepey lines and wrinkles
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Dull complexion
  • Skin can feel itchy

How do I take care of my dehydrated skin?:

Whatever the cause, since your skin is losing more water than it's gaining, you’ll need to ramp up some additional hydration.  It’s always best to relieve a dehydrated skin by drinking plenty of water.  In fact, the Australian government recommends drinking 10 cups of fluid everyday for men, and 8 cups daily for women.

However, if drinking an adequate amount of fluids is still not making your skin glow then following a hydration boosting skin routine should do the trick.

Cleanse your dehydrated skin morning and night with ASIs Rejuvenation Foaming Cleanser.  It will lightly exfoliate and cleanse away surface oils and dead skin build up while delivering deep hydration to the skin.  And with the added benefits of Chamomile, your skin will be soothed of any irritation or itchiness.

Boost your dehydrated skin hydration levels after every cleanse with a few drops of Pure Hydration Concentrate .  PHC will deliver pure hyaluronic acid deep into the skin, instantly boosting your skin’s moisture levels 1000 fold while vitamin C helps to stimulate natural hyalauronic synthesis in the skin by stimulating fibroblast cells in the dermis.

Support your dehydrated skin with a triple dose of vitamin therapy.  Vitamin B3 and vitamin C in the mornings will help to stimulate microcirculation, increasing nourishment of skin cells as well as speeding the detoxification of the cells in the dermis.  This combo will also increase free fatty acid levels in skin leading to increased hydration levels at the skin’s surface.

At night, a combination of vitamin C and vitamin A (retinol) will work to stabilise cell function while assisting in the promotion of healthy collagen and elastin formation to support skin healing and an effective skin metabolism - all which have an effect on moisture retention in the skin.

Nourish your dehydrated skin with ASIs Purifying Hydration Mask,  a potent cosmeceutical mask enriched with detoxifying Volcanic Clays, hydrating Sodium Hyaluronate and an advanced Perfection Peptide formulated to purify, heal, hydrate and enhance skin clarity.

Follow this up with ASI’s Rejuvenating Day Cream during the day and Rejuvenating Night Treatment before bed to give your skin a nourishing boost that will lock in hydration.

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