If your skin feels tight, rough, or dull, it might be dehydrated. The good news is that treating this problem is easy if you set a good skincare routine.
Here’s everything you need to know to keep your skin healthy and replenished.
Is My Skin Dehydrated or Dry?
There’s an important difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin. While the first is a condition that refers to a lack of water (in other words, your body is losing more water than it’s taking in), the second is a skin type. You’re born with it, although it can change with seasons and age.
Dehydrated skin can feel itchy, dull, and show the appearance of fine lines and surface wrinkles. In more severe cases, you might also feel your skin more flaky and inflamed.
You can do a simple test to determine whether your skin is dehydrated: Take a small portion of your skin (for example, your cheek) and squeeze it lightly. If you see the skin doesn’t bounce back after you let go, this means it might be dehydrated.
Why does Skincare Routine Matter?
Having a skincare routine in place is vital to ensure your skin is in good condition and can replenish its moisture. The key when it comes to it is to be consistent. You will want to make sure that:
- Your skincare routine is tailored to the needs of dehydrated skin.
- You stick to the chosen steps and follow them every day.
For example, if you are going to cleanse, hydrate, and protect your skin twice a day, you can do so in the morning and at night and boost hydration with a once-a-week mask or exfoliating treatment.
But we’re jumping ahead! Let’s first take a look at what your skincare routine should look like if you have dehydrated skin.
Top Skincare for Dehydrated Skin
The best skincare routine for skin dehydration focuses on three main aspects or steps: Cleansing, hydrating, and protecting. They are important because:
- Gentle cleansing will not strip your skin of its natural oils.
- Hydrating will restore moisture to the skin.
- And protection makes sure you don’t exacerbate dehydration.
In terms of cleansing, there are many products that are specifically designed for dehydrated skin.
These products typically avoid components like sulfates and alcohol, so they won’t leave your skin feeling dry, tight, or greasy.
The best hydrating products for dehydrated skin will be hydrating serums and moisturizers.
You should always look for those that are loaded with replenishing ingredients and antioxidants. For example, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or ceramides – all of which help to attract and retain moisture in the skin.
One of the easiest ways to protect your skin is to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 3, so you can guard your skin from UV damage.
A Step-by-Step Routine for Dehydrated Skin
Let’s go through our favorite routine for dehydrated skin, so you can see what our recommended steps are.
- First, apply a pH-balanced water-based cleanser – ideally one containing essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
- Then, add a serum or lotion. This will help your skin look plump and dewy.
- If you want to completely eliminate the feeling of tightness, consider adding an essence (a lightweight, watery liquid that provides an extra layer of hydration).
- It’s now time for the moisturizer. Look for those that include panthenol, ceramides, and squalane, as they have powerful restorative properties!
- Don’t forget to apply sunscreen. It should be at least SPF 30 and ideally, not contain any alcohol.
If you want to repeat your routine at night, you can do the same but replace your serum with a toner (which contains natural exfoliants to get rid of dead skin cells) and a light night cream that is pleasant to sleep in.
Dehydrated Skin and Lifestyle
Now, although these three steps will help you keep healthy, glowing skin, you should also consider treating dehydrated skin with lifestyle and dietary changes.
For example, it’s important to make sure you always drink plenty of fluids – especially when you’re exercising and after you work out. By fluids, we mean water, as coffee and alcohol will only make the problem worse! Staying hydrated internally is the best way to ensure you have beautiful, hydrated skin.
Also, try to always get plenty of sleep, consider stopping smoking, and add more fruits, vegetables, and legumes to your diet.
Assessing Your Existing Skincare Routine
If you have a dehydrated skin problem and you already have a skincare routine, it is time to assess it. The first step is to stop using harsh scrubs or rough cleansing brushes. Opt instead for a gentle cleanser that doesn’t disrupt your skin’s barrier.
It’s also a good idea to review the frequency of the products you apply. For example, if you are using targeted solutions or boosters, you can apply them every other day instead of every day and judge how your skin does.
A skincare routine is essential to maintain the health and appearance of your skin. When it comes to dehydrated skin, the best thing you can do is make sure yours includes cleansing, hydrating, and protecting.
When selecting products, always go for those containing hyaluronic acid, ceramides, omegas, lactic acid, and probiotics.
Just remember: Dehydrated skin is not the same as dry skin. Your goal should always be to provide hydration short term so, in the long term, you can restore your skin’s barrier.