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Is Dehydration Dimming Your Glow?

Dehydration really means one thing, you are lacking water. So it would make sense that when your skin is dehydrated, it is simply lacking hydration, right? While dehydrated skin

can be quite annoying, it’s fairly easy to treat with the right changes. Treatment begins from the inside out in order to replenish and maintain hydration throughout your body.

Dehydrated skin can appear dry, but it’s not the same has having a dry skin type.

Does dry skin affect you seasonally or all year round?

  • More during seasonal changes

  • All year round

  • I never really notice

Dehydrated Skin VS Dry Skin

Although these two issues have been used quite synonymously, but they are very different issues.

So we know that dehydrated skin means it is lacking water. Which means that dry skin is skin lacking in natural oils (also known as sebum). That being said, dry skin is a skin type and dehydrated skin is a skin condition.

When we think of skin types, they are classified as normal, dry, oily and combination. Typically you are born with one type but that can change throughout age, hormone shifts, and seasonal changes. With dry skin, your sebaceous glands don't produce enough natural oils, making skin feel tight and rough.

You need to be sure to add extra hydration in the form of a moisturizer, to help protect the skin from more moisture loss.

The more common signs of dry skin are:

- scaly skin

- white flakes

- redness

- irritation

Be sure not to get dry skin type confused with skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema, that cause dry skin.

Over to dehydrated skin. The definition of dehydration is your body losing more water than it is taking in. On top of not drinking enough water, this can come from increased urination from drinking excess caffeine.

Different from dry skin, dehydration can cause the following:

  • itchiness

  • dullness

  • darker under-eye circles

  • sunken eyes

  • “shadows” around the face (especially under the eyes and around your nose)

A simple pinch test on your skin can help determine your hydration levels. Grab a small portion of skin around your cheek and squeeze lightly. If you see more wrinkling or if the skin doesn't bounce back after you let go, this may be a sign of dehydration.

Treating Dehydrated skin

Different than dry skin, dehydrated skin is treatable with a few lifestyle changes. Drinking plenty of water is the first major step in replenishing your hydration. A good rule to start with is the standard "eight glasses per day" rule to ensure you are getting a bare minimum.

Body type and activity levels will dictate how much water you do need to consume so make sure to ask a doctor or do some research.

Drinking too much water is also something to make sure to avoid. Excessive water intake without electrolytes will lead to a loss in minerals. Water-rich veggies and fruits will help to replenish those minerals. Sodium is good in smart quantities to help from mineral depletion.

Changing your lifestyle habits is another great way to treat dehydrated skin. Follow these diet and lifestyle changes to see improvement in your skin:

  • Drink alcohol in moderation only (if at all).

  • Drink less coffee and other sources of caffeine.

  • Stop smoking.

  • Exercise regularly.

  • Drink water while you work out (the Nemours Foundation recommends taking a few sips every 20 minutes at minimum).

  • Replenish fluids after you work out.

  • Get plenty of sleep.

  • Eat more plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

If you are just getting over being sick, there is a high chance you will be dehydrated as a result of fluids lost. Make sure to drink plenty of water, electrolytes and even broth-based soups.

When we get down to dry skin, treating it might take a little more work. Finding a good moisturizer made for dry skin will be key in hydrating the skin without adding more oils. Drinking water in conjunction with a solid moisturizer, your skin will be back to it's vibrant self soon enough.

Bottom Line

Having dehydrated skin might sound complex, but it is treatable once you have diagnosed it and understand what changes need to be made.

If your skin doesn't improve hydration, you may actually have dry skin type and not just dehydrated skin. Routine checks at a dermatologist office as well as doing your due-diligence to understand your skin will ensure you are treating your body's biggest organ the best way possible.

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