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  • Dr Hala Mahfoud

Dehydrated Skin & Dry Skin Are Not The Same!

Updated: 6 days ago

What's the difference, and how can you treat dehydrated skin?



Dry and dehydrated skin are two different things, but they share a common ground; that your skin is missing something.


With the symptoms of both being so similar it’s no wonder that many of us can mistake dehydrated skin for dry skin, and they are even sometimes discussed synonymously. It’s important to remember that they are subtly different in causes, manifestation, & remedies.


Dry or Dehydrated Skin?


Dry skin is a skin type in which your skin is lacking oils, and usually manifests as:

  • Skin lacking elasticity: tight and brittle.

  • Rough skin texture.

  • Scaly skin.

  • Chapping and cracking prone skin.

  • Early signs of aging; fine lines & wrinkles.

Dehydrated skin on the other hand is a skin condition in which your skin is lacking water, and usually manifests as:

  • White flaky skin.

  • Red & irritated skin.

  • Dull skin complexion.

  • Sunken eyes & dark circles.

  • Itchy skin.


Causes of Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin


Dry skin can be caused by genetic factors (such as diabetes or hypothyroidism) that result in the skin producing less sebum, however there are a few environmental factors that should be considered:

  • Exposure to harsh chemicals.

  • Over-washing of the face.

  • Hot baths & showers.

  • Cold weather.

Dehydrated skin on the other hand is not caused by genetic or hormonal factors such as hypothyroidism. Here are some of the causes of dehydrated skin:

  • Too much sun exposure, being one of the main causes yet often overlooked.

  • Exposure to harsh chemicals.

  • Certain medication.

  • Stress or fatigue.

Managing Dehydrated Skin


Dehydrated skin can be treated by lifestyle changes in most cases, unlike dry skin. Let’s talk about some of the lifestyle and product changes you can make that will have your skin looking and feeling plump & refreshed.


1. Hydration is Key

Dehydrated skin is commonly associated with poor water movement but drinking enough water during the day is crucial, not just for your skin. Maintaining a good level of hydration is key for all bodily functions and can have a profound impact on your skin. After all, water makes up around 70% of our bodies and can help maintain both physical and mental health.


2. Be Careful of Sun Exposure

Overexposure to the sun can draw water out of your skin, and UV damage can keep it dehydrated. Avoid spending long hours in the sun and make sure to wear a hydrating sun block if you have dehydrated skin.


We recommend Dr Hala's Protect SPF50, a physical sun block enriched with AHA's to keep your skin hydrated and improve cell turnover!


3. Choose Skincare Specific to Your Skin

Taking the time to select products that are suitable for your skin is invaluable when it comes to your complexion. For dehydrated skin try to avoid harsh products as they can strip your skin of oils, leaving it susceptible to water loss.


For example, choose a chemical exfoliator rather than a physical exfoliator. While it may seem counterintuitive, chemical exfoliators can actually be more gentle on the skin than their physical counterpart.

Use a gentle cleanser. Dr Hala’s Gentle Cleanser is designed with sensitive skin in mind, with no parabens or artificial fragrances to avoid stripping the skin.


Hyaluronic Acid (HA) serum’s are a great option for replenishing skin hydration. A single HA molecule can hold up to 1000x it’s weight in water and can be used on every single skin type!



4. Avoid Overheated or Air-Conditioned Rooms

Dry air, caused both by overheated and air-conditioned rooms, can really sap the hydration from your skin. If you can’t avoid either, try using a facial mist throughout the day to limit the effects.


5. Diet

Try to limit your intake of alcohol, caffeine, and processed/sugary foods.


Alcohol and caffeine are natural diuretics, which means they cause your body to expel water even if you are dehydrated. It’s no surprise that this can dehydrate your skin, as well as leave you feeling fatigued.


Processed foods are often high in Sodium, which plays a big part in your body’s hydration. A high intake of sodium can draw water from the cells of your body and leave you dehydrated and fatigued, similar to alcohol. Sugar works in the same way and we would recommend avoiding sugary snacks!


Share Your Progress!


If you have dehydrated skin and want to improve it with the 5 tips above, we’d love to hear about your progress! Send us a message or even fill out the contact form and keep us updated. For more advice regarding your skin don’t hesitate to fill out the contact form, consultations with Dr Hala are free of charge and can even be performed over the phone if getting to the clinic is difficult for you.

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