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Dry Skin Tips: Is My Skin Dry or Dehydrated?

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Dry skin is a skin type that is caused by a lack of sebum production, whereas dehydrated skin is a temporary state caused by a lack of water in the skin. If you're unsure how to tell if your skin is dehydrated or dry, keep reading. There are some tell-tale signs to look for that can help you understand the difference.

How to Choose a Cleanser for Dry Skin


Dry skin is a skin type that doesn't produce enough oils to keep your skin from excessive evaporation of water and protect it from external aggression, while dehydrated skin simply doesn't have enough water in the uppermost layer of the skin1. Both can lead to rough skin, but there are some differences that can help you understand whether your skin is dry or dehydrated.


Dry skin and dehydrated skin may have different root causes but choosing skincare products containing skincare ingredients such as ceramides to help protect or restore the skin's epidermal barrier, hyaluronic acid with moisturizing property , and niacinamide with soothing property can benefit both conditions.

Signs of Dry Skin

Dry skin is a skin type that produces less sebum than normal or oily skin. Because of this, it may appear flaky, feel dry all over—from your head to your toes—may be prone to cracking and may be susceptible to sensitivities like eczema1.

How to Tell If Your Skin is Dehydrated

Dehydrated skin is a temporary state of the skin that is caused by losing more water than the skin is taking in. Often, dehydrated skin looks dull, feels tight, and may feel both oily and dry at the same time. It may also come and go depending on activities, the season or even a cosmetic or skincare product.

Dehydrated & Dry Skin Tips

Although dry skin and dehydrated skin are different—each with their own unique needs and concerns—there are some steps you can take to address both conditions. For instance, by choosing hydrating cleansers and moisturizers that include ingredients like ceramides, which help protect or restore the skin's epidermal barrier, hyaluronic acid, which known to helps retain the skin’s natural moisture, and niacinamide, which with soothing property , both dry and dehydrated skin can get the care it needs.

For those with dry skin, taking warm, not hot, baths or showers and using a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser can help reduce the drying effects of everyday bathing. Afterward, pat the skin dry and immediately apply moisturizer. When dressing, choose clothing made from soft fabrics and add a silk or cotton layer when wearing wool or other rough fabrics. And when washing your clothes, choose a hypoallergenic detergent to help prevent irritating your dry skin.

If you have dehydrated skin, recommend increasing your water intake—which can help prevent the body, and therefore the skin, from becoming dehydrated2.

Schedule an appointment with your dermatologist if you need additional help. They can recommend over-the-counter products, prescription solutions, dry skin tips and advice to reduce the occurrence of dehydrated skin so you can achieve skin that's soft, moisturized and comfortable.