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Dry and Dehydrated Skin: Are they the same?

By: Clarisse VirginoDry and Dehydrated Skin: Are they the same?

There are different skin types—there’s oily, sensitive, combination, dry, and dehydrated. While some people think dry and dehydrated are the same, they’re actually not. These skin types are not synonymous with each other. Here, we debunk the idea that dry and dehydrated are the same.

Our skin type highly depends on two things: genes and location. You can thank your parents for your dry skin because it is something that you may have inherited from either or both your folks. People with dry skin not only experience this on their face but sometimes also on their scalp and hands. The American Skin Association mentions that dry skin may be correlated with other skin diseases or associated with pathological conditions such as diabetes, hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism. Dehydrated skin though may be experienced by anyone. Some people even have a combination of dehydrated and oily skin. This skin type may be related to the food you eat and even incorrect product use, sometimes manifesting as zits and occasional hyperpigmentation.

In the Philippines, we experience summer almost all year round, thanks to global warming. Consequently, this makes many of us sweat profusely, not to mention our faces glimmer from oiliness. However, for some, this heat turns skin dry to the point of dehydration. According to the International Dermal Institute, “Prolonged exposure to the sun causes water to evaporate from the skin, which is why sunburned skin requires more moisture than unexposed areas. Cold winds, air conditioning units, forced air heating, and low temperatures can also dry out skin and contribute to premature aging.”

Thus, dry skin is something you can have ever since you were born while dehydrated skin is a condition which you can acquire as you grow older.

According to a study conducted by a group of doctors in the US: “Chronologically aged skin appears dry, thin, and flattened with loss of elasticity and architectural regularity. Although the skin contains a high percentage of water, which is essential for normal functioning, the moisture content of the skin decreases with increasing age. Dehydration of the skin can lead to the development of scaly, taut skin, superficial lines, premature aging, and wrinkles.”

On the other hand, dry skin, no matter how much you think you lack water, actually lacks oil. While many women (and even men) problematize about oily skin, believe it or not, our face still needs oil. The hair follicles on our face are attached to the sebaceous glands which produce sebum, the instant highlighter we get on our faces. Most women would want to eradicate this oil but this substance helps protect, lubricate, and nourish the skin, preventing it from drying out. Truth be told, the sebum our face produces is the real secret to staying young as it prevents premature aging.

Treatments for these skin types also differ. Naturally, dry skin would require moisturizing with natural oils and to eliminate harsh cleansers, which cause the underproduction of sebum.

Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, would require a person to drink more water and avoid caffeine and alcohol. These two drinks speed up the dullness of the skin, as well as smoking habitually. Hyaluronic acid will also help in keeping the dehydration at bay since its main goal is to replenish moisture, which is crucial to having younger-looking, supple skin.

Some people prefer to stay indoors with the air conditioning unit’s temperature down to ice-cold levels, thinking that this will help their skin stay healthy. However, this is a misconception. Air conditioning can affect the skin’s hydration. This can contribute both to the skin’s dehydration and dryness.

It is a must to know that the skin is the last organ to receive the nutrients we consume. This means that the skin is the last receiver of the water one drinks daily. In effect, our skin doesn’t really get that much water, which is why we need topical products to compensate our skin more.

Taking vitamin C can also be helpful to our skin as it is crucial in collagen formation. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body which helps in repairing damaged or dehydrated skin. Collagen is important to skin vitality.

While some people prefer that their skin is not oily and rather try to cover up the dullness with make-up, in the long run, this is not ideal. It may seem nice to not control oiliness on a daily basis, but this will greatly affect you 20 years from now. For one to have a healthy-looking skin, skincare must be targeted first. It’s important to take care of your skin because it’s the largest organ of your body and it protects everything else that’s inside. Aesthetics may not be one’s primary concern but keeping yourself healthy, inside and outside, is still the way to go.

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