This post is a little different than usual because I have collaborated with a fellow Toronto blogger, Darlene. She is most active on her social media platform Instagram, where you will find her main account and other accounts below. She recently graduated from nutrition school, works a day time job, and aspires to continue her hustle as a skin consultant, hair stylist and creates custom foundations!
I am very excited about this collaboration because we have both input our thoughts together to create one long, very informative post for you all to refer.
Let me shamelessly plug in, that this is all information we are proud to provide for you. And as I always say, every human is different, and reacts to everything differently. So with that being said, something may work for one person, but not for another. It’s all trial and error with some things. We are providing tips for you as well in hopes you’ll find some clarity and use.
Let’s dive right in……
Dry skin versus dehydrated skin is often confused with one another. Simply put, dry skin is a skin type, whereas dehydrated skin is a condition.
Dry skin is a skin type and dehydrated skin is a skin condition. Skin type is generally what you’re born with, so, oily skin, combination or dry. The skin conditions are temporary things that happens to your skin, so, any acne or irritations. However, in some conditions, they can stick around.
While quality skincare can help your skin look and feel great, without combining proper nutrition, prioritizing sleep, proper makeup habits, managing stress and maintaining optimal hydration, your skin won’t reach its max capacity to glow inside out.
WHAT IS DRY SKIN AND WHAT ARE SOME COMMON CHARACTERISTICS?
Dry skin is a skin type. It is generally what you’re born with, that is oily skin, combination or dry. Dry skin is simply the lack of oil in the skin. In this skin type, you do not have the active oil production. Dry skin, unlike oily skin, tends to have smaller tiny pores all over the face and will appear smooth in texture. Skin is naturally very matte looking, but may also be flakey or itchy, and even irritated or pink due to the severity of dryness.
For some people, dry skin may be a constant thing year round and may suddenly become worse in cold weather. For Darlene, she has normal to dry skin, so she notices that her skin will get drier than usual when it is winter time because of the lack of humidity, coldness, wind and also the sudden temperature adjustment from when she goes out from her heated home to the extreme negative degree weather outside. For others, dry skin not only shows on their face but also all over their scalp and body.
WHAT IS DEHYDRATED SKIN AND WHAT ARE SOME COMMON CHARACTERISTICS?
Dehydrated skin essentially means lacking water. Skin types like oily skin can still experience dehydration. The skin will appear sallow, tired, and can be oily with dry patches. Unfortunately, it is actually more prone to breakouts because, in attempting to hydrate itself, it creates more oil.
Dehydrated skin can be a result of weather or seasonal changes (ie. if you live in cool dry areas or places with minimal rainfall), incorrect or misused skincare products, heat/air conditioning, pollution in your home area, diet (such as alcohol and caffeine), and so on.
Further, sometimes the thirst reflex is actually mistaken for hunger. This happens when 1-2% of body water is lost, and if it continues to be ignored (up to 3%), it poses more serious mental and physical concerns.
CAUSES OF DEHYDRATED SKIN
- External elements (environment and seasonal changes)
- Lifestyle choices
CAUSES OF DRY SKIN
- Weather or seasonal changes
- Dry air
- Exposure to harsh chemicals or products
- Unbalanced skin pH
- Skin conditions
The Importance of Water for Skin, Mind and Body
Drinking water ensures cells are hydrated, prevents plumpness and structure loss. The minimum amount of water to drink daily is 1.5 qt which equates to 6 cups/day. Water helps flush out toxins and cleanse the kidneys, dissolve minerals for better absorption, act as a delivery system for nutrients, act as a lubricant and also plays a role in regulating body temperature.
Some of the physiological symptoms of dehydration are the occurrence of headaches, lethargy, mental confusion, rapid breathing, dry skin, sunken eyes, infrequently urinating, and even constipation. Sometimes, the thirst reflex is actually mistaken for hunger. This happens when 1-2% of body water is lost, and if it continues to be ignored (up to 3%), it poses more serious mental and physical concerns.
TIP: When this happens, be sure to drink a cup or two of water when you feel “hungry”. After 15-20 minutes, gauge your appetite from there.
TIP: To ensure skin is well oiled from inside out, you can simply incorporate essential fatty acids in your diet such as fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils.
Essential fatty acids are in particular beneficial for dry skin because it under-produces oil (called sebum, which is your body’s way of naturally moisturizing itself). The reason why these are essential is because the body needs them but cannot produce them. So, the only way to get them is through the food we eat or through quality supplements.
What You Can Do
Some factors to consider when you have dry skin are as follows:
- Essential fatty acid (EFAs) deficiency
- Poor intake of water
- Lack of vitamin A
In your diet, you should consider implementing:
- High quality EFAs and fats that have not been cooked over high heat
- ie. chia seeds, flax seeds, salmon, sardines, shellfish, plant oils like avocado oil, coconut oil
- Low saturated fats
- ie. grass-fed organic butter, ghee, coconut oil, fish and shellfish, chicken, turkey, lean meats, beans and legumes
- Stay hydrated! Drink at least 6 glasses of water daily (depending on lifestyle and individual weight)
- other hydrating drinks include coconut water, kombucha, pure fruit juices (highly recommend any of the raw organic cold-pressed juices, easily purchased from Village Juicery, Greenhouse Juice Co., Elxr juice lab, etc. if you’re from the GTA), lemon water or simply infuse water with fruits + herbs
- Limit alcohol and stimulants
- ie. energy drinks, coffee, caffeinated sugary teas & lattes (think Starbucks)
- eating water-rich foods
- ie. cucumbers, melons, citrus fruits, lettuce
- Avoiding the standard American diet aka SAD diet: generally characterized by high intakes of red meat, processed meat, pre-packaged foods, butter, fried foods, high-fat dairy products, refined grains, potatoes, corn (and high-fructose corn syrup and high-sugar drinks.
You can also consider adding supplements to your diet. Supplements to consider adding (refer to a well-versed expert like a nutritional practitioner or holistic esthetician to help you select what is best for your health and concerns):
- EFAs like flax oil, borage oil, evening primrose oil, omega 3s
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Astaxanthin or krill oil
For dehydrated skin, you are lacking water. Therefore, it’s best to stick to products that are hydrating. That is products that contain ingredients with “hydrating molecules that help absorb water, like hyaluronic acid,” says Zeichner. There are many products out there that contain a small percentage of hyaluronic acid in them.
I have attached two infographics below that explain the different Acid uses in Skin Care Products for your reference.
If you do choose any of these acids to use, make sure you do your research. Some acids cannot be mixed in use with one another, or some may be too harsh for your skin. Always do your research and test the products for not only days, but WEEKS to really know if it works for your skin.
If you have dry skin, your skin needs products that moisturize because you lack the ability to produce an efficient amount of oil while being prone to transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is essentially evaporation of water from the skin. This means that the lack of oil and water leaves the skin without enough nourishment to keep your skin moisturized, which is why it appears flaky, sometimes itchy, tight and an overall dullness. According to Zeichner, the best way to combat this is by using products that include “ingredients that act as moisturizing agents, like humectants such as glycerin or ceramides.”
TIP: Whenever you feel your skin feeling very dry and you want to moisturize, I, Pris, personally love to layer on the essences, oils, moisturizers or leave-in treatments. The evening is the best time of the day for your skin to replenish and repair itself. Therefore, you can layer on as much as your skin can handle!
Please refer to my previous blog posts for my skincare product reviews for suggestions on products with a full length review.
Reviews to check out:
(created by Darlene)
I have attached a few infographics I found via Pinterest that I think you all will find helpful. Credits to those who made them (they are on the photo; so I did not make them!)
That’s all folks. If you made it this far, thank you so much for tuning in and hope you found this useful. If you have any questions feel free to drop them below, or hit either one of us up on Instagram!
Drop down below in the comment section, where you’re from reading this and what your skin is like! We’d love to know.
Pris Wong xo
& Darlene 🙂