Do I have dry skin, or am I just dehydrated?

Written by: Kelsie Matthews, L.E

One of the most common complaints I get from my patients as an Esthetician is people having “dry skin”. But what exactly does it mean to have “dry” skin? Dry skin is a condition associated with the skin not having enough moisture content. This is often accompanied by itching and flaking of the skin. The medical term for dry skin is xerosis or xeroderma. So essentially, “dry” skin is a lack of natural oil in the skin. However, your skin can also be “dehydrated”, meaning there is a lack of water. 


According to a Quench USA survey, nearly 80% of Americans do not drink enough water. Being dehydrated does not only affect your body, but your skin as well. Here are some signs that your skin is dehydrated:


  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Congestion
  • Dull skin
  • Exaggerated wrinkles
  • Premature sagging of the skin


A good way to test for dehydrated skin, is to pinch an area. If your skin returns to normal, you are most likely not extremely dehydrated. If your skin stays pinched/standing up, that means your skin is dehydrated. 




The best ways to avoid dehydrated skin of course include drinking plenty of water on a daily basis, but there are also products and treatments that specifically target hydrating the skin vs. the body. My favorite hydrating treatment is the Hydrafacial. Not only is this a great rejuvenation treatment for the skin, but it also leaves your skin glowy and perfectly hydrated. The other way I like to make sure my skin is hydrated is by using the SkinMedica HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator. This is a great hyaluronic acid product that is like a glass of water for the skin. 


Hyaluronic acid is a water drawing molecule. It LOVES water. Since it can hold 1000x its weight in water, when it is applied to the skin, it instantly plumps up fine lines and increases hydration tremendously. This is an ingredient that is vital in everyone’s skincare routine, no matter how old or young you are. It’s safe to use daily, and can be used all over your body, not just your face. 


So next time you feel like your skin is dry, ask yourself how much water you’ve consumed lately. Pinch your hand, and see if it’s something easy to fix like getting in your H2O.


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