Is My Skin Dry or Just Dehydrated?

To design a skincare regimen that works for you, it's important to understand whether your complexion is dry or dehydrated. The answer is found in three short questions.


First off, it's important to understand the difference between dryness and dehydration:

  • Dry skin is a skin type.
  • Dehydrated skin is a temporary condition that any skin type can suffer from.

Have you always had dry skin? Is your dry skin seasonal? Do you have patches of dry skin?

 

Is My Skin Dry or Just Dehydrated?

 

The answers to these questions will tell you whether your skin is dry or simply dehydrated.

 

1. Have you always had dry skin?


If the answer is yes, then you can safely diagnose yourself with a dry skin type. Dry skin is often inherited. Your genetic code may have resulted in skin that's less able to maintain an efficient barrier function. A healthy barrier keeps hydration locked in and irritants locked out.

If the answer is no and you haven't experienced significant hormonal changes recently (e.g. pregnancy, menopause), then it's extremely likely that your skin is temporarily dehydrated.

 

2. Is your dry skin seasonal?


If the answer is yes, then your skin is temporarily dehydrated. This is very common during the winter months, when exposure to cold, dry air, moisture-zapping central heating, and hot baths or showers all deplete the skin of hydration.

If the answer is no, then you have dry skin. Dry skin is dry throughout all seasons. That's because this type of skin inherently lacks the ability to hold onto hydration, regardless of the weather.

If the answer is sort of, then you still probably have dry skin. Seasonal changes affect dry skin too. A dry complexion is much easier to manage during humid summers and more difficult to manage in dry winter months or arid climates.

 

Is My Skin Dry or Just Dehydrated?

 

3. Do you have patches of dry skin?


If the answer is yes, it's most likely your skin is temporarily dehydrated. A patch of dry skin indicates that the barrier in that specific area has been challenged too many times. This could be from allergens or irritants, such as fragrance and alcohol, in your skincare products.

We recommend ditching the high-alcohol toners and switching to fragrance-free skincare brands such as CliniqueFirst Aid Beauty, and Hylamide.

The sudden development of dry patches could also be indicative of an allergy or intolerance to makeup, laundry products, clothing, or food. Dry patches could also be the sign of a skin infection. If you're unable to relieve such patches, it's always best to consult your doctor.

If the answer is no or sort of, you have dry skin—very likely over your whole body. Dryness will be more pronounced in certain areas and less obvious in others, but this isn't the same as having dry patches.

On the other hand, you may have eczema, which shows as very distinct plaques in specific areas such as the back of your knees, inside of your elbows, neck, scalp, and hands. This is why you may have answered 'sort of'.

If you're still unsure whether you have chronically dry or temporarily dehydrated skin, Adore Beauty's skincare experts are always available to help. Contact us personally through our skincare recommendations form.

 

Is My Skin Dry or Just Dehydrated?