Top Tips for Dehydrated Skin

Caused by environmental, diet and lifestyle factors – as well as neglect, age or an impaired skin barrier - dehydration is a temporary condition that occurs when there is a lack of water in the skin. This can present as tightness, fine lines and, in some cases, lead to flaking or an overproduction of oil. You might also find that products absorb quickly, and your makeup disappears by lunch.

Feeling parched? Keep reading to find out how to quench thirsty skin...

1. Cleanse wisely 

Don’t OVER cleanse. A single cleanse in the morning and a double cleanse at night, if you’re wearing makeup and SPF, is plenty. Opt for gentle formulas that cleanse the skin without stripping it. Your skin shouldn’t feel tight or dry after cleansing – that ‘squeaky clean’ feeling is a sign that your natural oils have been depleted. Cleansing milks, gels, oils and creams are all brilliant options.

2. Keep it temperate 

Feeling *hot hot hot*, might be nice on holiday but prolonged exposure to hot water can aggravate the skin and leave it feeling parched and inflamed. With this in mind, ensure that you use lukewarm water when washing your face and do so in the sink, not the shower, where you’re more likely to use water that’s warm enough for your body, but too hot face your face.

3. Reinforce your barrier 

When your skin barrier becomes damaged, there is a reduction in the lipids that hold the cells together. Think of it like leaving the front door ajar. This allows moisture to be lost at a faster rate, which is why you will begin to experience dehydration and dryness. In this instance, your skin not only needs water but also needs help retaining it. That's where moisturisers come into play - particularly at night, as we lose the most moisture while we sleep.

Choose formulas with barrier-strengthening ingredients such as ceramides, centella asiatica, cholesterol, beta-glucan and sodium PCA. And if your skin is also dry, choose rich, occlusive* formulas containing butters and oils to really lock in hydration.

*Occlusive - moisturising agents that work by forming a protective layer over the surface of your skin, creating a barrier to prevent moisture loss.

4. Steer clear from alcohol 

No, we don’t just mean the kind you drink from a bottle (although it’s best to reduce that too when you’re dehydrated). Avoid products with a high concentration of simple alcohols (in the first 7 ingredients of the INCI list). For ease, they will be listed as alcohol denat/denatured alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. The caveat being liquid chemical exfoliants, as alcohol is often used to stabilise the formula.

5. Use a hydrating serum 

Choose a formula that contains multiple humectants** such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid and panthenol to flood the skin with hydration and leave it looking plump and dewy. Apply to damp skin (a hydrating mist applied after cleansing will work wonders) and always follow with a moisturiser. Have dry AND dehydrated skin? Try adding a few drops of facial oil in with your moisturiser (or over the top at night) for extra nourishment.

**Humectant - an ingredient that draws water from the environment or from deep within the skin.

6. Increase your hydration 

While it’s not as simple as drinking more water to hydrate skin (there is a lack of research to prove this), it’s still important to ensure you’re drinking enough water to support your overall health, as being severely dehydrated can have an impact on the skin, as well as your mind. At least 2 litres a day, to be precise. You should also look to reduce your caffeine intake in this instance too.

Looking for an expert-led routine to hydrate your skin? Shop The Rehydrate Box (our last ever Box!), worth £150, yours for £60.

Words by Katie - Team Skin Rocks
Qualifications - BTEC, Beauty Therapy Applied Science

Discover more on The Skin Rocks App:

An Expert's Guide to Tackling Dehydration

A Guide to Moisturisers

Dehydrated Skin

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