Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin | Dry Skin Products


Not sure whether your skin is dehydrated or dry? We’ve got the lowdown on the differences between the two and the easy regime to restore softness and radiance to skin

If you have dry skin you’ll know the symptoms well – rough to the touch, uncomfortably tight after cleansing and feeling like makeup doesn’t ‘sit right’ even after applying layers of moisturiser.

Dehydrated skin, by contrast, isn’t quite as easy to recognise – especially if you have shine-prone skin, as many people might not realise that oily skin can indeed lack much-needed moisture.

‘Dry skin is a skin type – just like combination or oily skin – and is the result of having fewer oil-producing glands on the face,’ explains TONIC15 founder Jin Kwon. ‘By contrast, dehydrated skin is a temporary skin condition and is characterised by a lack of water in the skin cells.’

‘People with oily, blemish-prone complexions can still have dehydrated skin but because the face feels oily or shiny, are less likely to recognise their skin is dehydrated and their routine needs to be adjusted,’ adds Jin. ‘It might also come as a surprise that skin can also be dry and dehydrated at the same time.’


As dry skin lacks oil because there are fewer glands on the skin’s surface to secrete sebum, it is often low in essential lipids that are needed to nourish skin and so subsequently, is likely to have a weaker barrier.

Dehydration by contrast is a condition that can be caused by the weather – think winter’s winds or the scorching heat of summer – diet and water intake, the environment and even how much caffeine a person consumes which all have an impact on how hydrated skin is.

‘To find out whether skin is dehydrated, there are a few things you can do,’ says Jin. ‘Firstly, pinch your cheek between your thumb and forefinger – if it wrinkles and doesn’t ‘bounce back’ chances are your cells are in need of water.

You might also start to see dark circles, notice that fine lines seem more pronounced or be experiencing more congestion than usual.’

‘By contrast, dry skin feels and looks flaky and itchy,’ explains Jin. ‘You might even experience flaking, and these symptoms are more likely to be pronounced around the nose and eyebrow areas.’


There are several approaches you can take to help care for dry skin. ‘Try reducing the number of acids in your routine and opting for a gentle cleanser,’ suggests Jin. ‘The Sioris Cleanse Me Softly milk Cleanser will remove impurities without dehydrating skin.

‘You should also look out for nourishing ingredients such as honey and propolis which are rich in antioxidants and amino acids to nourish skin and support the skin’s barrier,’ says Jin. ‘The I’m From Honey Mask makes a great weekly treatment to support dry skin.’


Dehydration on the other hand requires a slightly different approach. ‘It might seem counterintuitive but of the best tips for reversing dehydration is to exfoliate,’ says Jin.

‘A build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of skin can prevent your face cream being absorbed fully. Removing these surface cells once a week will allow your skin to properly sink into skin.’

Try buffing the I’m From Fig Scrub Mask into skin once a week during your morning shower. It’s enriched with Fig Powder which helps to nibble away at dead skin cells as well as Black Sugar which gently buffs the skin’s surface to boost the efficacy of your subsequent skincare steps.

If you’re not a fan of sugar scrubs, the Make P:rem Radiance Me Mild Essential Peeling Gel is another great first-step for tackling dehydrated skin. Powered by Wintergreen Leaf Extract which naturally contains Salicylic Acid it helps to see off dead skin cells and leave skin smooth and ready to absorb the hydrating products in the rest of your routine.


Essences and toners aren’t just for removing impurities or the remains of the day’s makeup, the next-generation formulations are heavy-duty hydrators too.

The 7 skin method calls upon these 2.0 toners to restore moisture to dry skin and reverse dehydration. ‘The 7-skin method is, quite simply, the art of layering toners and essences,’ explains Jin. ‘This involves layering on a hydrating formula before your serum or moisturiser to lock-in moisture and nourish dry or dehydrated skin.’

‘Start by layering a watery toner onto skin and allowing it to soak into skin. Once completely absorbed, you can add another layer. Repeat this process a few times – ensuring you allow each layer to fully sink in before adding another – and if skin still feels tight or in need of more moisture, then you can layer on a slightly more viscous formula,’ says Jin.

Try Dr. Ceuracle’s Vegan Kombucha Tea Essence which is powered by probiotics and a vegan tea complex which work to boost hydration levels.

Other great picks include Make P:rem Chaga Concentrate Essence which is a single-ingredient power product powered by Chaga Mushrooms to condition skin. The By Wishtrend Boosting Essence is another hydrating hero which contains Black Tea Ferment and Honey Ferment Filtrate to moisturise and nourish skin.


To give skin a real moisture boost, serums should be your first port of call so don’t skip this step and head straight to your face cream for a hydration fix. ‘Ingredient such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides, propolis and fatty acids will all increase water levels in skin to reverse dehydration or dryness,’ says Jin.

‘The Huxley Grab Water Essence is a great choice that combines a myriad of hydrating ingredients. Thank You Farmer True Water Deep Serum has also been formulated with a medley of concentrated hydrators including Inositol and Hyaluronic Acid as well as plant-origin Mucin which acts as pollyfilla for skin,’ adds Jin.

‘I also recommend the Make P:rem Safe Me Relief Moisture Relief Moisture Green Ampoule to reverse dry skin or dehydration. Formulated with Brazilian Green Propolis which is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, it helps to restore and fortify the skin’s barrier to protect against moisture loss. Spot on for oil-prone skin, it has a lightweight formula which sinks straight in and doesn’t leave any residue behind.’


Skin repairs and regulates itself whilst you sleep so if you don’t want to wear a heavy face cream during the day, use the opportunity to go for a heavier night cream at night to lock in moisture while you get your ZZZs.

‘Heated air can cause moisture to evaporate from skin so night time is the perfect time to use a thicker, richer formula,’ says Jin. ‘Huxley Cream ; More Than Moist is enriched with Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Shea Butter and Birch Sap to deeply nourish and hydrate it leave skin soft, supple and soothed making it perfect for dry skin.

‘Oily skin types suffering from dehydration might prefer the sister Fresh and More Cream which is also incredibly moisture boosting but has a light, air-whipped texture that sinks quickly into skin,’ suggests Jin.

‘If skin is also sensitive as well as dry or dehydrated, the Make P:rem Safe Me Relief Moisture Cream has been formulated with just 12 gentle ingredients including plant-based squalene and sage to help condition skin without causing sensitivities.’


Whilst dry skin is a type and will need constant care and maintenance both dry and dehydrated skin will benefit from a weekly moisture-boosting mask which will help to soften and plump skin.

‘One of my top picks for dry or dehydrated skin is the I’m From Honey Mask. Hydrating the skin like no other, it’s powered by Propolis to target dry flaky skin,’ says Jin.

Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask is another great pick – especially for dehydrated, oily skin types. Not only does it contain pigmentation-fading Niacinamide but the cream transform into a rich essence that helps the product tightly adhere onto the skin, which maintains and lock-in the moisture for at least 8 hours.’

Whilst dry skin will require lifelong care and treatment, dehydrated skin whilst harder to recognise is easier to treat.

If you’ve identified signs of dehydration, increase your water intake and keep a genius facial spritz like Sioris Time is Runnning Out Mist close by for a moisture boost throughout the day.

You don’t need to put up with either condition – you just need to select the right skincare and show your skin a little TLC.

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