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Dehydrated Skin And Dry Skin Are Two Very Separate Things

Your skin can be oily, but dehydrated and flakey at the same time. Confused? We explain the differences and how to rebuild your skin's moisture-barrier.

The two words dehydrated and dry are often used interchangeably when it comes to describing skin types. We’ve made this mistake way back when, but have come to learn that there’s a huge difference between the two. Misdiagnosing your skin type can trigger the butterfly effect – and it’s straight up chaotic – so pay attention, ladies and gents.

To put things plainly, dehydrated skin simply means that your skin lacks hydration. But that’s not the same as having dry skin, because that would mean there’s very little production of oil.

Here’s where it gets confusing: you can be both at the same time. Think of dehydrated skin like the top of a flow chart, where dry skin – that is, non-oily – and oily skin come under it.

Still confused? Think of your skin like two napkins, one plain and the other greasy. Both of them still lack moisture on the inside, just that one is bone-dry and the other has oil pooling atop the surface.

If your skin feels dry and tight after cleansing, is dull, sallow, tired looking, irritated, acne-prone, lacks bounce and congested, it’s most likely dehydrated. Factors that contribute to dehydrated skin come in an array of bullets – a change in climate, a cleanser that’s too harsh, essential oils, acids, fragrances, overuse of clay masks and irritation from other sources.

Now, treating these two skin types are thankfully, not too different. Replenishing your skin’s moisture barrier will take time, so be patient in this process. Firstly, get rid of any potential threats. Drop everything and restart from the bottom. Scroll down for the essential moisture-barrier-repairing heroes.

The Humectants

This is the stuff responsible for delivering and attracting moisture to the skin. Common names include: hyaluronic acid, glycerin and squalane. These three work differently for different individuals, so there’s really no way of knowing unless through trial-and-error. You can find them in both serums and creams.



The Occlusive

Now that you have moisture within, seal it all in with occlusives that act as a barrier, preventing moisture from evaporating away. The common types are lecithin, silicone derivatives, beeswax, shea butter and even vaseline. But be warned! Use them sparingly, as occlusives when overused can cause congestion and aggravate acne. Other helpful ingredients include niacinamide and ceramides.



What To Read Next: How We Pack A Month’s Worth of Makeup Into A Single BoxClé de Peau Beauté Is The Brand You Should Stop Sleeping On and The Benefits That Your Oily Skin Can Reap From Retinoic Acid | Cover Image: Natalyn Chan

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