We often describe our skin as oily, dry or combination and not much in between, but our skin is so much more complex than that! The biggest misconception with skin is that dryness and dehydration are the same thing or interchangeable, but this simply isn’t true - there’s quite a difference between the two and they need to be treated differently. Many people are dehydrated and mistreat it as dryness, so let’s outline the symptoms and solutions for both ailments in the skin.
True dryness in the skin is a lack of oil or sebum production. This means that the skin cannot properly lubricate or nourish itself, leaving your skin depleted, rough and super dry. To fix this problem you need to replenish the nourishing oil in the skin. Facial oils or oil based serums are the most effective way to do this, but oil rich moisturizers are good as well - especially to seal in your serum and protect the skin from the drying environmental elements. Taking some sort of oral oil supplement daily, such as fish oil, flax seed oil or borage oil can also balance the body’s moisture and oil levels from an internal point.
More often than not, the “dry” discomfort that we feel in the skin is actually dehydration. Dehydration can also cause a number of different imbalances in the skin, including over oil production. Dehydration is a lack of water in the skin and can be characterized by tightness, dullness, and flakes - even when you’ve moisturized with oils and moisturizers. Your skin can feel oily and dry at the same time; this is a sign of dehydration as well! When your skin is lacking in that natural water hydration, it can sometimes over-produce oil to over-compensate since it cannot produce water. This leads to oily skin and clogged pores while still feeling tight and having some flakes. You can combat the effects of dehydration by drinking enough water, but also using serums or products that have natural humectants in them that naturally draw in moisture, or other super hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid which can hold up to a thousand times its weight in moisture!
It’s important to know the difference between dryness and dehydration for the overall health of your skin - remember it is the largest organ and the body’s first line of defense. Always provide your skin with both moisture and hydration, perfectly balanced skin has both oil and water lubricating and plumping up the skin cells!
Visit skinnourishment.ca to shop for moisturizers and facial serums - we have kinds for all skin types.