Published February 10, 2024
Do you think dry skin and dehydrated skin are the same thing? And that moisturizing and nourishing are interchangeable? While the two terms may seem similar, there are in fact major differences between them. In this article, we'll be sharing all the information you need to make the distinction, as well as explaining how you can look after your skin, whether it's dry or dehydrated.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY DRY SKIN?
Dry skin is a skin type that is often caused by genetic factors. This means that, just like with oily skin, you can't completely get rid of the specific problems associated with it. However, dry skin can also occur at certain specific times in our lives, such as during pregnancy or the menopause. But in such cases, the skin returns to its usual type after any specific episodes have passed.
WHAT DOES DRY SKIN NEED?
Dry skin is a result of a lack of lipids in the epidermis. This layer on the skin's surface consists of cells connected to each other by a kind of cement made up of lipids, which helps to maintain cell cohesion and form an impermeable protective barrier. People with dry skin have a more fragile intercellular cement, and the cells separate, leading to excessive evaporation of moisture while also letting in external pathogens.
Treatments designed for dry skin aim to provide lipids to restore skin cell cohesion and restore an effective skin barrier function. Our experts recommend using creams rich in lipids like fatty acids, ceramides, or squalenes, while avoiding aggressive cleansing with excessively hot water or treatments that aren't suited to this skin type.
THE DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS OF DRY SKIN
The following symptoms are considered to be indicative of dry skin:
- Skin that feels tight
- A rough texture, with rashes, cracks, or scaly patches.
- Frequent itching and/or irritation.
- Reduced elasticity.
- A less radiant complexion.
- “Scaly” skin.
- Heightened sensitivity to temperature variations.
SO WHAT ABOUT DEHYDRATED SKIN?
Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin is a temporary condition that can affect all skin types, meaning it's perfectly possible to have dry or oily skin that's simultaneously dehydrated
WHAT IS SKIN HYDRATION?
One of the skin's various barrier functions is the moisture barrier, the role of which is to preserve skin moisture. In order to retain water, the skin uses a number of systems that extend from the surface of the epidermis right down to the dermis:
- The hydrolipidic film, which is a mixture of sweat and sebum.
- Natural moisturizing factors (NMFs), which include fatty acids and amino acids.
- Tight junctions, made up of proteins that bind cells together, thus preventing moisture from passing through and making tissues watertight.
- Hyaluronic acid.
Skin naturally becomes dehydrated as we age. Sebaceous glands are less productive and therefore produce less sebum, which compromises the skin barrier. The most abundant cells in the epidermis, corneocytes, secrete lower quantities of intercellular lipids, which in turn encourages moisture evaporation. NMF production also decreases, causing reduced moisture levels in the stratum corneum. The skin barrier also suffers from a decline in the quality of epidermal cell junctions. Lastly, hyaluronic acid, which aids in moisture retention, is produced in lesser quantities in the dermis.
WHICH KIND OF HYALURONIC ACID IS BEST FOR SKIN HYDRATION?
Generally, when people think of hyaluronic acid, they believe it needs to deeply penetrate the skin to perform its role as a natural moisturizer. Although it is true that hyaluronic acid can capture 1,000 times its weight in water, this isn't what actually prevents moisture from evaporating. What is truly needed to prevent moisture from evaporating towards the surface is a bolstered skin barrier. This is when high molecular weight hyaluronic acid is used, as it remains on the surface and forms a protective film against moisture loss.
To learn more about the different kinds of hyaluronic acid, have a look at the in-depth article on the 5 kinds of hyaluronic acid written by our skin experts.
HOW DO YOU IDENTIFY DEHYDRATED SKIN?
Dehydrated skin is usually the result of external factors (like cold, heat, or wind) and internal factors (like tiredness, lack of sleep, or stress). Dehydrated skin is characterized by:
- A dull complexion.
- Reduced suppleness.
- Skin that feels a bit tight.
- The appearance of dehydration lines.
These symptoms tend to appear after cleansing, during the winter, and at times when pollution levels are high.
CARING FOR DRY OR DEHYDRATED SKIN
The skin's needs for moisture and nutrition vary from person to person. Combination or oily skin tends to benefit from lighter treatments that promote moisturization, while dry skin needs more nourishing treatments to ensure maximum skin comfort.
PRODUCTS FOR DRY SKIN
If you suffer from dry skin, applying a nourishing treatment will help boost your skin's lipid cement, therefore revitalizing your skin barrier.
Our experts recommend treatments from the GLOBAL-REPAIR Collection for this purpose: these anti-aging products have ultra-nourishing, non-greasy textures. Thanks to a blend of oils from plants like evening primrose, jojoba, borage, and camellia, they deliver superior nutrition for dry skin.
From this collection, we highly recommend GLOBAL-REPAIR ADVANCED. This unique combination of a comprehensive anti-aging day cream and an advanced youth serum incorporates a patented repair complex that emulates the lipidic structure of healthy 22-year-old skin. These features ensure the restorative benefits of this formula for the 10 main signs of aging.
PRODUCTS FOR DEHYDRATED SKIN
When it comes to dehydrated skin, the use of moisturizers will help deliver active ingredients that can bind moisture within the skin's various layers.
The HYDRA Collection is ideally suited to this purpose. It includes three exceptional skincare treatments:
- The serum, which is applied directly after cleansing the face. This formula combines 5 kinds of hyaluronic acid and an antioxidant-rich Japanese pagoda tree extract. It instantly plumps the skin, provides moisturisation, and protects it from external stresses.
- The day cream complements the serum and also includes the 5 different kinds of hyaluronic acid. It is intended for dry to normal skin.- The final option is intended for people with oily skin as an alternative to this moisturizer: HYDRA-HYAL CREAM-GEL. This mattifying anti-aging solution also guarantees a perfect complexion thanks to a pore-minimizing Pistacia lentiscus extract.