Follow us On

Dehydrated vs dry skin. What’s the deal?

Keeping my face smoothHave you ever suffered from itchy, tight or dry skin?

We’re not just talking to girls with dry skin here, we know there are some of you out there who have experienced this, but who also describe their skin as ‘oily’. How is this possible? Well, the truth is that there are two different conditions associated with ‘dry’ skin. There is dry skin as most of us know it, but you can also have dehydrated skin, even if your skin is oily. We asked Sonette Donker from Skin iD Clinic to explain the difference between dry and dehydrated skin.

“Firstly a dry skin is genetic (you are born with it and have it for the rest of your life) and is considered a skin type, whereas dehydration is caused by external elements, i.e. Air conditioning, diet, sun exposure etc, this makes it a skin condition that can change often.

A dry skin lacks oil; it has small (sebaceous) oil glands and produces very little oil. Often looking at this skin the pores are not visible and due to this not producing enough oil to protect the skin, this skin type ages very quickly. The upside is you very rarely have breakouts and never have an oily shine.

Every skin type including an oily skin type can suffer with dehydration. The skin is lacking water, not oil. For this reason an oily skin can be shiny and have plenty oil, but could feel tight at the same time. The best way to prevent dehydration is eating healthy, water containing foods such as fresh fruits, veggies and drink water. Then, make sure to invest in good hydrating products containing Hyaluronic acid and Aloe Vera.”

So, you see, the reason why your skin isn’t behaving as it should, may be because you have been treating dry skin instead of dehydrated skin (or vice versa) and using products that aren’t tackling the underlying problem.


Emmy is the daughter of a sailor, animal loving, coffee addicted, beauty product junkie editor of Rouge.

Glamour International