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How To Avoid Dehydrated Skin + Skincare Ingredients To Try

How To Avoid Dehydrated Skin + Skincare Ingredients To Try



ehydrated skin lacks water, not oil.  It doesn’t matter how many times you slap on that occlusive, if your skin lacks moisture, it will show. Perhaps the glowing skin experts were right after all, “Water is one of the biggest secrets of great skin”. The next time that sister tells you she drinks five gallons of water to achieve a glow, believe her. It’s true we won’t all drink the moisture we need, but that’s a great start.

In other words, dehydrated skin is uncool. It can feel tight, and dull, and show signs of fine lines and flakiness. It’s different from dry skin, which lacks oil. Dehydrated skin can affect anyone, regardless of skin type, and can be caused by factors like weather, diet, and skincare habits.

Check out some factors that can contribute to dehydrated skin…

Photo: Sam Lion/Pexels
  • Weather: Exposure to cold, dry air or hot, windy conditions can strip moisture from the skin.
  • Insufficient water intake: As emphasized earlier, not drinking enough water affects skin hydration.
  • Harsh skincare products: The part of overusing harsh cleansers or exfoliants, which can disrupt the skin’s moisture barrier, shouldn’t be overlooked.
  • Dry air indoors: We know that the weather never gives us everything, and on hot days we turn on the air conditioner. Without a good humidifier, these things could strip us of moisture, while providing temporary relief. Also, pollution and central heating or air conditioning can sometimes be detrimental to our skin’s moisture balance.
  • Diet: Remember, you are what you eat. Guzzling too much caffeine or alcohol can dehydrate the body.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as diuretics, can increase water loss from the body and skin.
  • Age: As we age, the skin’s ability to retain moisture decreases, making it more prone to dehydration.
  • Skin conditions: Another issue could be skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis, which can impair the skin’s ability to retain moisture.
  • Stress: A notorious culprit for dehydrated skin is stress. It can affect the skin’s barrier function, leading to increased water loss.
  • Over-exfoliation: As we try to fix things, watch out for excessive exfoliation. It can strip away the skin’s natural oils, making the present state even worse than before.

How To Treat a Dehydrated Skin

Photo: Monstera Production/Pexels

Treating dehydrated skin involves both external and internal effort. Simply put, you drink your moisture and top it up on the outside.

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain hydration levels from within.
  • Use gentle, hydrating cleansers and moisturizers formulated for dehydrated skin. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides to help attract and retain moisture. This way, you adopt the two-factor authentication mode of retaining your skin’s moisture.
  • Nip dehydration in the bud by using a humidifier at home that can help add moisture to the air.
  • Also, cut back on hot baths. They may feel good but can strip the skin of its natural oils, exacerbating dehydration. Instead, opt for lukewarm water.
  • Another treatment for dehydrated skin is to wear protective clothing, such as scarves and gloves, in cold and windy weather to shield the skin from harsh environmental conditions.
  • Consume a diet rich in hydrating foods, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • You love your morning coffee, but reduce caffeine and booze for your skin’s sake.
  • Apply moisturizer to damp skin to help lock in moisture. Consider using hydrating facial masks or overnight masks for an extra hydration boost.
  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily to protect the skin from UV damage, which can contribute to dehydration and premature aging.
  • If dehydration persists or is accompanied by other skin issues, consult a dermatologist for specific advice and treatment options.

Skincare ingredients for dehydrated skin

Photo: Fernando Serrano/Pexels

For dehydrated skin, look for skincare products containing the following ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic acid: Known for its ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that helps hydrate and plump the skin.
  • Glycerin: Another effective humectant, glycerin attracts moisture to the skin, to keep it hydrated and supple.
  • Ceramides: These lipid molecules help reinforce the skin’s natural barrier, preventing moisture loss and improving hydration levels.
  • Squalane: A lightweight emollient derived from olives, squalane helps hydrate the skin without feeling greasy or heavy.
  • Aloe vera: Known for its soothing and hydrating properties, aloe vera can help alleviate dryness and irritation in dehydrated skin.
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3): This multi-functional ingredient helps improve the skin’s barrier function, reducing water loss and increasing hydration levels.
  • Panthenol (Provitamin B5): Panthenol helps attract and retain moisture in the skin, promoting hydration and soothing dryness.
  • Antioxidants: Ingredients like vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea extract protect the skin from environmental damage, which can contribute to dehydration.
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs): Gentle exfoliants like lactic acid and glycolic acid can help remove dead skin cells and improve the skin’s ability to absorb moisture.
  • Centella Asiatica: Also known as “tiger grass,” Centella Asiatica has soothing and hydrating properties, making it beneficial for dehydrated and sensitive skin types.

Shop editor’s finds


When choosing skincare products, choose gentle formulations free of harsh ingredients like alcohol, fragrance, and sulfates, which can further dehydrate the skin. Also, patch-test new products and introduce them gradually into your skincare routine to avoid potential irritation.

Featured image: Tigist Mezzanzanica/iStock

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