Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: Tell the Difference

7 min read

Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: Tell the Difference Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin: Tell the Difference

Let’s face it: When it comes to skincare, things can get a little overwhelming. How many times have you found yourself faced with a pesky patch of peeling skin in the winter or summer — and no matter what you try, it seems like it’s here to stay?

Well, fear not! We’re right here with you, ready to walk you through some tell-tale ways to spot the difference between dry skin vs. dehydrated skin and how to better combat both.

Keep reading to ensure your skin is on the fast track to that silky smooth glow we’re all chasing.

What Is Problem Skin?

Picture this: You’ve been slowly but steadily starting to see the permanent hair removal results you’ve always wanted… Just to find out that the skin hiding beneath all that hair is in dire need of some TLC.

Your legs are finally free of hair but burdened by dry patches of skin that no amount of lotion seems to help. Your face has escaped the clutches of peach fuzz just to come down with a bad case of the cold-weather blues.

You see all the spots for improvement but keep asking yourself, “Why isn’t this moisturizer working like it should?”

Or: “I’m drinking water, why is my skin working against me?”

Don’t worry, we’ve all been there — and we don’t want anyone else to struggle to figure out what works for their skin like we did. Below, we’ve got some tips and tricks to help you figure out why your skin is acting up and tell if it’s dry or just plain dehydrated.

Dry Skin: The Sahara Under My Hair-a

Dry skin affects us all — especially if you have a naturally dry skin type. People with oily skin and combination skin can find some dry patches when the seasons change. Still, when it comes to dry skin, you are normally suffering from a lack of natural oil production.

You might need emollient cream or a humectant to stop the loss of skin hydration. People with eczema are especially familiar with this problem and the frustrating itchiness that comes with it.

Dry skin tends to rise and fall with the temperatures — as you may know already — and it’s at its worst during the coldest months of the year because of the lack of water content in the air. Placing an extra emphasis on a high-quality moisturizer (and maybe a humidifier) as part of your winter skin care routine can make a big difference.

Some other common causes of dry skin to look out for can stem from prescription medications and (believe it or not) over-bathing! When you scrub too hard with harsh soap or use a harsh detergent to wash your clothes, it can lead to irritated and dry skin.

Some symptoms unique to dryness (AKA, not dehydration) are:

  • Lack of oil production
  • Flaking
  • Fine lines or cracks
  • Breakage in the skin barrier

A lot of these problems can be annoying to deal with at the least and painful at the most, so taking the time to identify these symptoms and tackle them with the proper remedy could be life-changing. Now that you’ve got all that smooth skin to show off, help it live its best life!

Dehydrated Skin: How to Tell the Difference

Water. The Jim to your skin’s Pam. Proper hydration can solve a multitude of problems, but lucky for you, all those health benefits gift a glow to your skin on top of all that other good stuff. Still, how do you know if your skin is being troublesome because your ceramides aren’t doing their job?

Funnily enough, some symptoms are specific to dehydrated skin to set it apart from other skin snafus you might encounter.

One of the best ways to test for proper hydration is the ever-famous pinch test! The next time you find yourself curious, grab a piece of your rosy cheeks and pinch. If you notice its elasticity bounce back normally, odds are you have hydrated skin.

If the skin wrinkles or stays where you pinched, you’re most likely not getting enough water. A few other unique symptoms that go along with dehydration are:

  • Dullness of the skin
  • A more frequent appearance of wrinkles or fine lines
  • “Shadowed” skin or dark circles

In more severe cases of dehydration, symptoms like dizziness, dry mouth, or just an overall feeling of weakness can arise. If you’re experiencing all of these things along with the patchy skin, start by incorporating a more regular intake of water into your every day and see if your problems lessen before banging your head against every bottle of moisturizer you can get your little hands on.

How Do I Get Rid of Dry Skin?

Now that you’ve finally figured out why your skin is giving you trouble, you might be wondering, “So what if I’ve already tried drinking water or dousing myself in lotion? What else can I try?”

Don’t click just yet — we’ve got some practical solutions to help you on your road to sensational skin.

If you’re falling into the dry skin category, there are a multitude of ways to soothe your trouble spots. Of course, we’ve already mentioned moisturizer as the Holy Grail, but if that’s not doing the trick, try upping the humidity while you’re getting yourself so fresh and so clean (clean).

Humidity has a massive effect on the state of your skin, so keeping the door closed and humidity high while you shower could be exactly what your skin is craving.

Other Easy Dry Skin Solutions

A few more viable ways to improve the issue could be:

  • Getting set up with a humidifier to add some more water content into your space
  • Using gentle soaps, lotions, and skincare products rather than generic brands with harsh chemicals
  • Avoiding hot showers or baths and using warm water instead
  • Focusing on creating a proper skincare routine, and yes, that includes sunscreen!

The face needs some special TLC. It has much more sensitive skin than the rest of your body and requires a little extra care to keep it glowing and healthy.

There could be a few external factors hindering this area from reaching its full potential. Over-exfoliation could be one of them, and as we mentioned above, finding a skincare routine that works for you could be your saving grace. Make sure you add in a good antioxidant like a vitamin C serum and a quality sunscreen to hydrate and protect your skin even when nothing else is on it.

For that extra glow, try using a facial skin brush like RoseSkinCo.’s Petal 2 to remove oil, dirt, makeup residue, and dead skin while also promoting collagen production and blood flow.

Simple Night Time Skincare Routine with RoseSkinCo | Products I Used to Clear My Skin!!

How Can I Hydrate My Skin?

Maybe none of the above is working for you. If that’s the case, you’ve probably found that your skin is more dehydrated than anything, and you thought you were already getting enough water.

Dehydration is considered more of a skin condition than a skin type, so the solutions may look a little different. Here are a few easy fixes to try out:

We know it can be frustrating that dehydration can happen to any skin type at any time, but knowing how to combat both in this situation can leave you with an arsenal of practical solutions to tackle any skin issue from any direction.

One Step at a Time

BAM — you’re one step closer to that dream skin you’ve always wanted. As we know, skincare can be overwhelming when you’re just looking at the big picture. If you take the time to sit back, be patient with the process, and take it one day at a time, we’re confident that you, too, will be confident soon.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to a dermatologist for a professional opinion if you’re finding breakouts, dead skin cells, and a persistent underproduction of sebum is leaving you frustrated and constantly dry. We’re working for the wellness of our skin right along with you, so don’t stress. We wish you good luck on your journey to smooth skin!


Dry skin - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

Dermatologists' top tips for relieving dry skin | AAD

Dehydrated Skin: Symptoms, vs. Dry Skin, Test, Treatments, and More | Healthline