Dry or dehydrated skin: what’s the difference?

Dry skin can be uncomfortable and persistent. Understanding whether your skin is dry or dehydrated and how to best nourish it will help improve the look and feel of your complexion.

What is dry skin?

Dry skin is skin that does not produce enough lipids. Lipids form an oily protective barrier on skin’s surface and, without them, skin is less likely to retain moisture, leaving it looking and feeling parched.

Skin can become dry as a result of a skin condition, or from common environmental factors like changes in temperature, low moisture in the air, or using a strong soap.

Whereas healthy skin feels soft and comfortable, dry skin can feel tight, itchy and slightly rough to the touch.

What does dry skin look like?

Dry skin can appear in patches or all over the face and body. It often looks scaly, flaky and rough.

Other symptoms of dry skin can include red or ashy skin, fine lines and premature aging. If skin becomes extremely dry it can also become cracked.

What is the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin?

Dry and dehydrated skin may sound like the same thing, but they have different causes and require different skincare treatments.

Dry skin is a skin type. This means that people with dry skin are often born with it, and will have dry skin throughout their lives. As dry skin is caused by a lack of oil, the best way to treat it is with oil-rich products that will nourish and replenish the skin’s lipid layer.

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that occurs when the skin lacks water. This means that whether your skin type is dry, oily or normal, you can still experience dehydrated skin. However, dry skin is prone to becoming dehydrated as it lacks a strong protective layer of lipids that helps keep moisture in.

Dehydrated skin often looks dull, flat and has fine lines.

The best way to treat dehydrated skin is with water-rich products that replenish the skin’s moisture levels.

What are the best tips to care for my dry skin?

Drink water:
Water is the primary building block of all cells in the body, including skin cells--skin itself is made up of almost 70% water. Drinking water keeps the body hydrated and improves skin health.

Use a gentle cleanser:
Darphin’s Aromatic Cleansing Balm with Rosewood combines Marula Oil, Sage, Ylang Ylang and Rosewood Essential Oils in a honey-like texture to gently cleanse the skin without stripping the skin of moisture and relieve tightness. 

Hydrate and moisturise your skin:

For dehydrated skin, our Hydraskin Light moisturising cream uses natural ingredients including Salicornia Herbacea and Butterfly Lavender to deeply hydrate the skin.

For dehydrated and dry skin Darphin’s Hydraskin Rich nourishes the skin and supports natural barriers that keep moisture in.

Protect your skin against extreme temperatures:
Avoid using very hot water when bathing or showering as this can dry out the skin. Before exposing your skin to extremely cold temperatures, apply a moisturiser to help protect it.

Rose Hydra-Nourishing Oil Cream is an opulent oil cream that deeply hydrates dry skin, relieving it of any feeling of dryness and tightness - it helps renew skin damaged by the cold.