Is my skin dry or dehydrated?

Welcome to the first CG Beauty post on Curly Cailín! If you came here for the curl content and you’re wondering why I’m talking about skincare and beauty. Make sure you read this post Introducing CG Beauty on Curly Cailín. Think of these beauty posts as all the same principles as the Curly Girl Method – sulfate, silicone and harsh, drying alcohols FREE – but in the skincare and beauty world.

With Winter in full swing, it’s the harshest season on our skin. So I figured it’s a great place to start, when it comes to skincare. The winter weather, harsh elements outside, and central heating inside, often leave us with what we think is dry skin. We rush out or jump online and buy a range of products specifically targeting “dry skin.” Then wonder why they don’t work. Before you do that, ask yourself, “Is my skin dry or dehydrated?” Because there’s a difference.

is my skin dry or dehydrated curly cailin

Dry or Deyhydrated?

To put it simply, dry skin is due to a lack of oil, dehydrated skin is due to a lack of water. Dry and dehydrated skins have similar characteristics, but different underlying reasons. Dry skin is due to a lack of oil (sebum) in the skin. Pores are often small and the skin feels tight, especially after cleansing. Skin can look dull, and doesn’t absorb products easily. You could apply a whole tub of moisturiser before feeling any relief! Flakiness, irritation and sensitivity are also common. And dry skins tend to age, or look older, quicker. Dry skin can also be a temporary skin condition.

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition which can affect any skin type, including dry. Does that make sense? Due to a lack of water, as opposed to oil. Oil does not equal hydration. Water does. Oils are foods and nutrients for our skin, and hair; and help to seal in moisture. They do not moisturise the skin, but soften the top layers of the skin. Most people with oily/combination skin are surprised to learn their skin is often dehydrated. The top layers of the skin product excess sebum, and are oily. The deeper layers of the skin are often parched and dehydrated.

Dehydrated skin absorbs moisture really quickly, but struggles to retain that moisture. The tell-tale sign of this skin condition is fine lines on the forehead and patchy makeup. The dehydrated areas of your face will soak up and absorb the water in your foundation. So you often have dry cheeks and an oily t-zone. Lips are often the first area of the face to show signs of dehydrated skin.

Top Tip: If you have oily/combination, dehydrated skin. Apply your moisturiser to the outer edges and high points of your face first. Using whatever’s left on your hands, to the rest to your t-zone and centre of your face.

Katie Jane Hughes, Celebrity & Editorial MUA

What causes dehydrated skin?

People with all skin types can experience dehydrated skin during all months of the year. Central heating, cold wind and dry air contribute to dehydrated skin in Autumn and Winter. Too much sun exposure, dry air and air conditioning in the Spring and Summer. Or for anyone in Ireland, all the seasons, every day! Diet, lifestyle and hormones can all contribute too. Alcohol, caffeine, smoking, and of course not drinking enough water, are all contributing factors to dehydration, and dehydrated skin.

Treating Dehydrated Skin

Tips for treating dehydrated skin start with buying a hyaluronic acid serum. Such as this one from Pestle & Mortar, or Hydraluron by Indeed Labs, currently 1/3 off at Boots. I’ve got a post on hyaluronic acid and why it’s a skincare must have, coming soon. Look for moisturisers labelled “hydra” or “hydrating.” Hydrate by Pestle & Mortar and Tidal by Sunday Riley and are my favourites. However, please note Tidal contains lauryl dimethicone, but it’s not in the first five, or even ten ingredients. So I’ve recommended it anyway, as it’s such a stand out product; and truly one of my favourites for my dehydrated skin!

Is my skin dry or dehydrated?

Look for “Sodium Hyaluronate” near the top of the ingredients list. Don’t use anything that foams, ever! Just like following the CG method, anything that foams or lathers, is incredibly drying, harsh and stripping for both your hair, and your skin. The same for micellar waters – even if they say they are for dry/dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin needs layers of light skincare products, such as milks, moisturisers and light oils. Stay away from mineral oils, silicones, lanolins, drying alcohols and synthetic fragrance. All of which will make your dehydrated skin worse!

Treating Dry Skin

Treating dry skin is much the same. Don’t use anything that foams, or micellar waters; and especially facial cleansing wipes. They are for flights and festivals, and that’s pretty much it! Stay away from mineral oils, silicones, lanolins, drying alochols and synthetic fragrance. Again, all of these will only aggravate your dry, and often sensitive skin. When buying a moisturiser, look for ones that have words like “nourishing.” These moisturisers, aimed at dry skin, tend to be thicker than hydrating ones. Nourish by Kate Somerville (the green one) is one of my favourites. Use balms, oils and serums and apply them directly onto dry skin when cleansing. Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm is a cult-favourite! You can get 15% off at Look Fantastic using code LF15 at checkout.

Curly Cailín CG Beauty Is My Skin Dry or Dehydrated

Remember, your skin can be dry and dehydrated. Dry is the skin type, dehydrated is a skin condition. You can have any skin type, and still be dehydrated. I have dehydrated, combination, sensitive skin. Aka high maintenance AF!

I hope you’ve found this post helpful. I’ve got lots more CG Beauty content planned for the coming weeks and months. Let me know in the comments what skin type you have, and what products you feel really help and make a difference to your skin. Or what posts you’d like to see next on CG Beauty. And don’t forget to follow me on Instagram where I interact and engage with people on the daily.

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