April 4, 2013 @ 2:18 PM

Today I put a post on Facebook that said:  

Dry skin is lack of ‘oil’….. dehydrated skin is lack of ‘water’. 
People can have oily skin, yet be very dehydrated! 
If you have oily skin... it's best to use an (oil free) moisturiser daily... to prevent dehydration (ageing)


Then someone asked "How do you tell the difference?".

So....  Here is my explanation.

Dehydrated skin indications:    

  • dull colour
  • uneven texture
  • fine lines
  • sun damaged
  • can be irritated, flaky and feel tight
  • loss of elasticity 

What causes Dehydration?  

Our skin is made up of 70% water.... so it is quite easy for skin to lose a good deal of water hydration each day.   Causes can be:

  • Sun exposure or wind
  • heating or air-conditioning
  • smoking
  • alcohol and coffee
  • hormones and/or medication
  • incorrect (harsh) skin care products
  • poor diet & water intake
  • excessive sweating


Dry skin indications:

  • tightness after cleansing 
  • tightness of the skin when it is not moisturised
  • flaky skin and/or dry patches
  • may feel rough to touch
  • may be sensitive
  • very tight pores
  • visible signs of aging.... deeper wrinkles, crows feet
  • severe dry skin can be conditions such as eczema, dermatitis & psoriasis.

What causes Dry skin?

  • age  (particularly menopause)
  • incorrect skin care products (for example: soap, or 'oil free' moisturisers when your skin is not oily)
  • sun damage
  • medical conditions  (diabetes, under active thyroid etc)
  • Weather conditions & heating or air-conditioning
  • genetic/environment   (just as many Asian & European people have oily skin....  many regions develop dry skin conditions)



As mentioned earlier.... people can have oily dehydrated skin.  This can often happen when people with oily skin do not moisturise as they feel that will make their skin oilier.  Or, they use harsh products (often containing Benzol peroxide) - that strip the skin of it's natural oils and moisture.  (The skin then works overtime to compensate and create more oil).  

If you have oily skin - you MUST still moisturise.  There are a number of moisturisers available for oily skin that do not contain "rich" oily ingredients.   A moisturiser for oily skin will act as a protector.   Do not use harsh products that strip the skin, particularly soap.  You should also ensure that you maintain your water level by eating a healthy diet and drinking water.  Remembering that caffeine can dehydrate your skin.     Try to have plants around you.... then air conditioners and heaters will take the moisture from the plants rather than your skin (and you will be more inclined to water a plant if it looks dry).  

If you have  normal or dry skin - then a richer moisturiser is required.  Ideally use a moisturiser during the day with SPF that will protect your skin from sun damage.  And a richer cream at night to "feed" the skin.  Ensure that you use an eye cream as well as the eyes are the first place to show signs of ageing.   A serum is a good way to supplement the skin.  I consider serums to be 'vitamin pills' for your skin.   As too are masks.     


On a personal note.... I used to have particularly oily skin.  This is common in teenagers... but my oily skin continued well into my 20's.   During my 30's it became "normal".   Now that I am 45 years old... I classify my skin as dry.  If I don't moisturise - I really feel the tightness in my skin.   I have gone from having large pores during teenage years, to very tight pores now.   I am vigilant with sunscreen, and I pay particular attention to my eyes.  I have been told by many that I don't look my age.  But I can mainly thank good skin care products for that.