Do you know the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin? Let’s take a closer look and find out.

Water is essential to the entire body; after all, our bodies are made up of approximately 70% water. Keeping the body hydrated both internally and externally is something that we all need to do to look and feel good. When our bodies become dehydrated, many things can happen and none of them are good. The most obvious is that we become thirsty. But, we can also experience dry mouth, muscle cramping, headaches, nausea and loss of energy. And, our skin can suffer, too. But dehydrated skin and dry skin are two different things.
What’s the difference between dehydrated and dry skin?
Dry skin is considered a skin type. Like oily skin, normal skin, combination skin, etc. When your skin is dry, it has almost no oil present on the surface. Dry skin can get better or worse due to internal and external factors including weather, season, skincare regimen or lack thereof, and so much more. People who experience dry skin usually have visible, flaky patches of skin on the surface. They tend to be sensitive to temperature extremes and their fine lines and wrinkles are more noticeable. The upside is that those with dry skin tend to have fewer breakouts than those with oily skin.

If you have dry skin, you definitely need to choose a facial cleanser that is formulated for dry skin to help replenish that much-needed moisture. You will want to use a facial serum coupled with daytime and nighttime moisturizer to help nourish your dry skin. And, of course, you want to keep your entire body hydrated with a nourishing body lotion to apply immediately after your bath or shower when the skin is still damp. The good thing about dry skin is that you can help alleviate the symptoms and keep your skin looking fabulous!

Dehydrated skin is an actual skin condition that can affect any skin type, no matter what type you have. In other words, everyone’s skin is prone to dehydration! Dehydrated skin is the result of the body needing moisture, both inside and out. As Herbalife Nutrition Expert Susan Bowerman always says, most people need 8–12 cups of fluid a day (about 2–3 liters), but the needs vary somewhat, depending on your age, gender and activity level.

When it comes to dehydrated skin there are some obvious signs to look for. Your skin will look dull, sallow and tired in its appearance. It may feel tight, sensitive and, in some cases, like it’s burning. It can look red, irritated and take on a rough, flaky-looking texture. And, unfortunately, any fine lines and wrinkles that you may have can become much more noticeable. In reality, the signs of dehydrated skin are quite similar to those you get from sunburn. Dehydrated skin can occur at any time throughout the year and is often aggravated by the weather, air conditioning, indoor heat, wind, baths or saunas and, of course, our lifestyle choices. Things like smoking, drinking too much alcohol or caffeine and ingesting too much salt can all contribute to skin dehydration. We also need to be conscientious of what we are putting on our skin. Using skincare products that contain a lot of harsh and irritating ingredients, or that aren’t dermatologist-tested, can further provoke the condition.

So, what can we do? Be sure to keep your body hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Be conscientious of what you are putting in and on your body. Be diligent with your morning and evening skincare regimen. Look for moisturizing ingredients, such as Aloe vera to provide the skin with the much-needed moisture it lacks. Choose facial and body cleansers that are free from sulfates, as they will be much gentler on the skin. And, be sure to always apply your moisturizer from head to toe to keep your skin hydrated throughout the day. If you are really suffering, you may want to consider a warm mist humidifier to increase the humidity in your home or office.

Keeping your body well hydrated both inside and out, is the key to keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful. A healthy diet, coupled with a daily skincare regimen is exactly what your skin needs. Remember, the healthiest skin is always the most beautiful!

Written by beauty expert, Jacquie Carter – Director, Worldwide Outer Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife.