Is My Skin Dry or Just Dehydrated?

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?

Learn more about Skincare for Dry Skin

Best Products For Dry Skin - Your Questions Answered

What are the best products to use for your dry skin? Our skincare experts answer your most frequently asked questions.

Which Cleanser Is Best for Dry Skin?

Cleansing is one of the most drying steps in a skincare routine. Here's what you should avoid and what you should use instead.

Can Dry Skin Cause Severe Itching?

Dry skin is often accompanied by an urge to scratch. Most people believe dry skin causes itchiness. What you're about to learn might surprise you.

What Products Should I Avoid If I Have Dry Skin?

If you have dry skin, you should avoid three families of skincare products. These products not only aggravate dryness; they could actually be causing your dry skin.

Should I Treat Dry Facial Skin Differently To My Body?

Different areas of skin vary ever so slightly in biology. How you treat these areas of dry skin is best determined by answering three specific lifestyle questions.

How Can I Prevent Flaky Skin?

The key to a flake-free complexion is exfoliation. There are several different approaches to exfoliation. The one that's best for you depends on your skin's hydration and sensitivity level.

What Are the Best Facial Moisturisers for Dry Skin?

The best facial moisturisers for dry skin replenish or boost skin's own levels of fatty acids, ceramides, and cholesterol. Use these recommended moisturisers morning and evening to improve dry skin.

How Often Should I Moisturise Dry Skin?

Find out how many times a day you should moisturise dry skin and which products are most effective at hydrating.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Skin is the largest organ of the body, and it's affected by almost everything you do. Although there's a wide range of triggers for dry skin, these eight are the most common.

How Can I Keep My Skin Hydrated?

Moisturiser is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to keeping skin hydrated. If you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin, try these five additional ways of keeping your complexion soft and smooth.

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.

Increase your beauty IQ

This guest post was written by life coach, motivational speaker and meditation guide, Kat John. Find out more about Kat here. I was once a victim to giving a sh*t what other people thought of me. I wanted people to like and approve of me and I did what it took for that to happen. […]

If you follow Mia Connor on Instagram, you’re probably already aware that she’s the queen of eyeliner. Seriously, I’ve never seen anyone nail a wing like her – and she makes it look so graceful too?! Turns out, Mia has a few pro tips for perfecting your liner technique. Apparently it’s all about the product, […]

back to top