Updated from 25th January, 2015. A forgotten post which clarifies a lot about our skin care confusions related to moisturization and why skin is dry. Did you know hydration and moisturization are two different things and they come under two different skin problem categories. A skin can both be dehydrated and unmoisturized or it could just be dehydrated or just be unmoisturized.
This winter has been particularly dry in the city and after ages of time, I experienced flaky and cracked skin! And, it has been hell for me for the past couple of days! Which made me realize why is my skin reacting in this way! My skin is dry.
I have used coconut oil, almond oil, apricot oil, even cocoa butter and the recent DIY – washed ghee. They have all helped a bit but not much! And, then, I recalled that there are actually two types of dry skin – dehydrated and actually dry skin!
Do you really know the difference between dry skin and oily skin? Yes, you will say. Skin is dry if it feels stretched and oily skin is like a frying pan. But, ultimately the underlying reason is that both the skin types lack some important ingredient which keeps the skin balanced. Either the skin lacks hydration or moisturization.
Hydration means water and moisturization means oil.
Now, do not confuse the two. A healthy balance of the above two is the key to that perfect skin and solving all the dry skin issues which plague you. So, let us look at both of the terms with respect to their skin conditions a little closely.
Why Skin is Dry?
Skin is dry for two reasons – it lacks water or the hydration levels of the skin is too less
because of the less water consumption by the person, if we cancel out all other factors which lead to dry skin and assume that the person is following healthy skin habits. Also, there is a decrease in the natural skin oils or lipids which create a protective layer over the skin and help keep it moisturised.
So, to counter dry skin, apply both oil and water based moisturizers or you can use different moisturizers having water and oil and layer them. That is what I do.
I use aloevera gel first and follow up with a facial oil. Also, a tip is to apply the moisturisers and oils on damp skin.
For my body, I like to moisturize using body oil right after my shower when my skin is soaking wet. This helps lock in the water and lets the oil get absorbed better due to the heat from steam. If necessary, I follow with a layer of body moisturizer or body lotion. Usually, this is limited to my arms which tend to get dry too quickly.
Also Read: What hydrates our skin?
Which Dry Skin do You have?
So, now, it is up to you to decide which dry skin do you have? In most of the cases, generally the reason skin is dry is dehydration instead of lack of oils!
Drinking More Water does NOT help
Now that you know that your skin is dry due to less water content, I would like to add that drinking up a lot water and herbal tea does not replenish the moisture levels in your skin! The acidic level of the skin and the lipid barrier has been disturbed which is why skin is behaving in the way it is!!
Even Oily skin can be Dehydrated!
Even in oily skin, there is ample of oil but what it really lacks is hydration. Even oily skin can get dehydrated and this dehydration sends mixed signals to the brain which in turn causes skin to produce more oil to counter the missing water from the skin. Result – even more oily skin but no hydration. So, to counter oily skin, apply water-based moisturizers regularly and lock in that moisture.
How to Treat this kind of Dehydration?
- Eat a lot of omega 3’s – nuts, flax seeds, fish.
- Eat water based fruits!
- Avoid hot water baths at ANY cost!
- Check out the cleanser you are using. Make sure it is mild and is not made of any acids, even salicylic acid!
- Exfoliate your skin regularly because it will be turning flaky quite a lot! And, always use hydrating scrubs. The best bet would be sugar scrubs as they add moisture to your skin. Dry brushing is a good idea for the body.
Remember that skin will take time to heal!! So, be regular with your skin care routine. And, your skin will improve in 2-3 weeks.
So, is your skin dehydrated or dry? How do you take care of your body? Does it need more oil or water?