A/B Hotline (Pt. 1) - Dry Vs. Dehydrated Skin

Certain terms can get confusing when presented next to each other, for example: dry skin and dehydrated skin. It’s easy to think of the terms as interchangeable, both denote a lack in moisture and both result in duller complexions. Though the reality of the matter is that they are distinctly different, particularly when it comes to how you go about treating them.

So what is the difference?!


Dry skin is skin type, similar to how some people are set to inherit their grandmother’s ethically sourced diamonds, some people are predetermined to inherit dry, normal, oily or combination skin. It’s also good to note that some women, with age, experience dryer skin. In essence, dry skin lacks sebum and does not produce oil resulting in skin that is sometimes tough, flakey, itchy, sensitive, and prone to inflammation.

Though not all is woe, with a proper skincare regimen, these undesirable symptoms can be avoided. Starting from the inside out, a well balanced diet with a healthy dose of antioxidants and fatty acids such as omega-3 can help with inflammation and improve skin barrier functions. Topical solutions like ceramides are perfect for avoiding moisture loss, protecting against free radicals and giving you that glow you deserve. Plant based oils such as rose hip oil and jojoba oil are rich in fatty acids and replenishing emollients (think of emollients as your skin’s new best friend that soothe your woes and remind you to drink water) that aid the skin barrier in retaining moisture. It’s a good idea to give your skin the best chance to absorb all the goodness by providing a well exfoliated canvas once a week; though it should be noted that gentle physical exfoliants are recommended over chemical exfoliants such as BHAs and AHAs.


Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin is a skin condition, which is characterized by a lack of water. Often caused by external factors, it can be experience by anyone at any given time, even those with dry skin can simultaneously have dehydrated skin as well. A devious cocktail of intermitted sips of water, chased with an IV drip of coffee and capped off with sleep deprivation can factor into skin’s dehydration along side yourself. Further causes include sudden changes in temperature, air conditioners, heaters and smoking.

The skin is the last organ to take in nutrients, and when it’s dehydrated, it tries to over compensate and over produces oil resulting in congestion and breakouts. An obvious solution is to be vigilant in drinking the recommended amount of water daily as well as consuming fruits high in water such as watermelon and cucumber. Skincare products that contain humectant-rich products like hyaluronic acid and glycerin help in binding water to the our layer of the skin for plumper, healthier glowing skin.

It’s pretty obvious by now that the keyword for both dry and dehydrated skin is: hydration. As much as you’ve heard this single piece of advice, a clear testament to its importance, you need to drink more water —and treat maybe yourself to a delicious fruit smoothie.


About the Author
Nauf Alfahad is a Digital Editor at a leading publishing company with a background in Applied Linguistics. Her interests range a wide expanse driven by her need to understand the human condition, her appreciation for well curated aesthetics, and achieving that inner glow.  
For more on this beauty and brains, follow her at @riyadhblogs