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What Causes Dry Skin?
Skin dryness can feel flaky, itchy, rough, ashy, and tight—the exact opposite of the smooth, supple complexion we’re all after. There are three reasons your skin may be feeling parched. Either you have a dry skin type, your skin is temporarily dehydrated, or a mix of both.
Dry skin types are based on genetics; your skin naturally lacks enough lipids and oils to keep itself moisturized. Skin also produces less oil as we grow older, which is why aging skin can become dry over time.
Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is a temporary condition. Instead of craving oils and lipids, dehydrated skin lacks water. Dehydration can be caused by things like harsh climates and changing weather (such as wintertime), not drinking enough water, air conditioning and heating systems, cleansing with hard water, or using skincare products that strip away moisture. And yes, skin can be dry and dehydrated at the same time.
Do I Have Dry or Dehydrated Skin?
Use the pinch test to determine whether you have dry or dehydrated skin. Pinch your cheeks for a few seconds, then let go. If your skin bounces back to normal right away (but still feels pretty parched), you have dry skin. If the skin takes a few seconds to bounce back, even leaving fine lines behind, it’s probably dehydrated. Reach out to a dermatologist or facialist if you’re unsure.
The Best Skincare for Dry Skin
If you have a dry skin type, you’ll want to amp up the moisturization in your routine through skincare for dry skin. Look for the hourglass icon on our packaging to treat dryness; this may include milky cleansers, toners for dryness, night creams, and facial oils. Dry skin craves oils and lipids, so incorporate ingredients like jojoba oil, squalane (found in our moisturizer for dry skin: Skin Soak), olive oil, oat milk, camellia oil, polyglutamic acid (formulated in the Mood Lighting Luminizing Glow Drops), and almond oil. This includes your lips and body care, too. We include a mixture of moisturizing ingredients in both our Keep It Supple Body Oil and Silk Slip Conditioning Lip Oil for long-lasting smoothness.
The Best Skincare for Dehydrated Skin
If the skin is feeling a bit dehydrated, know that drinking more water alone won’t cut it. The best way to treat dehydrated skin is topically through skincare like hydrating serums, boosters, and masks. Instead of oils, be on the lookout for hydrating ingredients this time: aloe leaf juice, lactic acid (yes, this AHA is a humectant, meaning it retains hydration levels), hyaluronic acid, coconut water, and sodium hyaluronate are all great for dehydrated skin. While skin is still slightly damp, apply our Hydration Station Hyaluronic Acid Serum Booster for an instant boost in hydration. You can also reap sodium hyaluronate’s benefits for dehydrated skin by smoothing on our Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream.
How to Treat Dry and Dehydrated SkinIf you have both dry and dehydrated skin, incorporate a mixture of oils and hydrators into your routine. Our Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum has a water phase and oil phase to give skin the benefits of both in one product—just remember to shake it up first. You can also help keep thirsty skin at bay by using a face wash for dry skin that retains moisture (like a Cleansing Balm), rinsing with room temperature water, and skipping your AM face wash for micellar water or our Baby Cheeks Hydrating Milk instead.