Is Your Skin Dehydrated?

Sometimes you feel dry, blotchy, slightly red patches on your face while other parts of your skin looks oily. Does this happen after a night of one too many glasses of Champagne?

I know the frustration. Your skin could simply be suffering from dehydration without you realising. Dehydrated skin is not the same as dry skin, which many people are unaware of, leading to wrongly treating their conditions and worsening your skin problems.

Dry skin is a particular skin type where your skin is perpetually tight and oil-free, whereas dehydrated skin is a temporary skin condition which happens when your skin lacks moisture or your body is suffering silently from lack of nutrients. It can occur to any of the skin types—normal, combination, dry, sensitive. Basically, dry skin is a lack of oil, while dehydrated skin is a lack of water. Most importantly, unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin doesn’t always look or feel traditionally “dry,” as it still produces oil—in fact, it produces more oil to overcompensate for its temporary dryness, so what you think of as overly oily skin could actually be skin that needs more moisture. This may in turn cause breakouts and congestion in the skin.

Look for these symptoms of dehydrated skin:

  • Congested
  • Oily in some places, dry in others
  • Dull-looking
  • Lack elasticity
  • Fine lines

When it comes to dry skin, your daily skincare regime matters – rituals that are too harsh on the skin or bad environmental conditions can result in dry skin deplete of natural oils. It’s necessary to use the right facial care products targeted at your skin type in this scenario.

On the other hand, when it comes to dehydrated skin, diet and nutrition tends to be the key, defining factor. For example, drinking too many cocktails could strip away the body’s water levels as alcohol is extremely dehydrating for the body. Not having enough sleep per day also decreases the oxygen levels in our cells. Avoid using too rich facial products at this point, especially avoiding ones with fragrances or harsh ingredients. 

Tip 1: In the mornings, drink at least two cups of water once you wake up to kick start your system. Continue to hydrate throughout the day. 

Tip 2: Drink Green or White Tea. Although tea contains caffeine, when drunk in moderation, it is in fact a great source of water and works miracles for hydrating your skin. A study on tea’s effect on hydration proved that it did not have dehydrating effects on the body. Polyphenols in antioxidant-rich tea leaves also correct the damage done by UV rays on your skin cells. Think of tea as an elixir that rejuvenates your skin cells at the same time you’re replenishing your water content. Drink a cup of tea in the mornings and a herbal blend in the afternoon. Don’t exceed four cups of tea in a day.

If green and white tea are not your favourite, you can also hydrate your skin with Hibiscus tea. Hibiscus flowers are richly endowed with antioxidants. Simply drinking one cup of hibiscus tea can increase our body’s antioxidant levels, in addition to providing Vitamins A, C and E. 

Diet. When our diet lacks essential fatty acids, adequate supply of fresh water or lean protein, our cells become less adept at regulating their hydration levels because of impaired lipid barriers. Incorporate more protein such as chicken breast, fish or tofu into our meals instead of carbohydrates. Try also adding more essential fatty acids into your diet. Tomatoes, olive oil and avocadoes are some great choices!

The way to curb a dehydrated skin condition is simply to start from within. A healthy body leads to beautiful, plump skin. It definitely helps to take care of your skin from the inside. 

SA xx