If you feel as though you already drink more than the daily recommended quantity of water and still experience dehydrated skin, this quick guide is for you.
Adequately hydrated skin is about much more than drinking lots of water and applying moisturising products to the skin. Here’s why…
Dryness vs. Dehydration
The skin’s hydration essentially refers to its water content. This is very different to its lipid (oil) content. A lack of water in the skin is referred to as dehydration, while a lack of oil is referred to as dryness. These are two very different conditions, and should be approached differently. Although they are commonly experienced simultaneously, it is possible to experience one and not the other.
Causes of Dehydrated Skin
There are several reasons as to why your skin may be lacking in water. One of these is not consuming enough water throughout the day, however, this is certainly not the only potential cause. Even if you begin the day with adequate hydration levels in the skin, this can deplete throughout the day. This could be caused by UV exposure, heat or exercise leading to perspiration, or not using skincare products that seal in moisture. Air conditioning and dry climates can also deplete the skin’s hydration levels.
How To Avoid Dehydration
Sometimes, dehydration can be caused by complex internal factors, such as digestive dysfunction, heart conditions, nutritional imbalance, certain medications, or other circumstances. In most cases though, there are several simple steps you can take to avoid dehydration:
Ensure adequate water intake.
The daily recommended amount is 2L – this should be supplemented even further upon consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and after exercise, sweating, or illness.
Use humectant ingredients in your skincare.
These attract water molecules, allowing it to be retained in the skin for longer. These include hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, glycerin, and urea.
Seal in your serums with a barrier cream.
Creams which include occlusive agents such as lanolin or squalane will prevent transepidermal water loss and keep your skin hydrated for longer.
Never go without sunscreen.
UV exposure can significantly deplete hydration levels – this includes UV light which can penetrate through glass windows, as well as blue light which is emitted by phones and computer screens.
Seek lifestyle support when needed.
If you believe it may be possible for your skin’s dehydration to be caused by hormonal, dietary, or medication factors, discuss this with your skin therapist and seek support from appropriate healthcare providers such as your GP or a nutritionist.