Wait, dry and dehydrated skin are two different things? Yes, like most of you we too were under the impression that they were just different names for the same skin condition. Although used interchangeably, these two terms are not the same and have different underlying causes. Identifying whether your skin is dry or dehydrated is the first step towards adopting the right skincare routine and treatment.

In simple terms, when your face and body have fewer oil-producing glands, it is characterised as dry skin. On the other hand, when the top layer of your skin lacks water it is termed as dehydrated skin. So *surprise surprise* those with oily skin can also have dehydrated skin.

Let’s take a closer look at the two to identify their characteristics and causes.


Characteristics of dry skin

Characteristics of dry skin

  • Appears dry on the surface
  • Feels rough
  • Can be flaky

Causes of dry skin

Dry skin is a skin type and the dryness gets accelerated due to weather conditions, hot showers, harsh soaps, scrubs, using irritating or drying ingredients and other skin conditions.


Characteristics of dehydrated skin

Characteristics of dehydrated skin

  • Feels tight
  • Is sensitive
  • Shows fine lines
  • Looks dull

Causes of dehydrated skin


Rain, wind and cold affect dry skin, but the sun is the major cause of dehydrated skin. It robs the skin of its natural lipids, thereby increasing free radicals and accelerating the ageing process. Dehydration caused due to the damaging rays of the sun also makes skin look dull and lifeless.


As your skin ages, it may find it difficult to keep its moisture levels high. The structural changes associated with ageing cause dehydration, slowing down skin cell turnover. When skin gets dehydrated it starts to look older too. Rough texture, prominent lines and wrinkles are all too common among those with dehydrated skin.


While you want to maintain a cool room temperature, you should know that air-conditioning can harm your skin in the long run. Regular exposure to air-conditioning can cause severe dehydration and make your skin look dull and lifeless.


What should you do if you have dehydrated skin?

What should you do if you have dehydrated skin?

Other than drinking plenty of water it is also important to use skincare products that have hyaluronic acid as one of its main ingredients. It helps retain water in the skin for a long time as well as prevents the effects of ageing.