One of my main skin concerns is dehydration. I've had it for a few years, and I was never really able to fix it - until now. I tried so many things, but it took more than just testing different products. Over time, I got a deeper understanding of the things that could cause my dehydration and how I prevent it from happening. With this post, I want to share my personal experience and some helpful tips with you.
What is dehydration?
When the skin lacks water it is considered dehydrated, while dryness shows that there is a lack of oil that is being produced. Someone with oily skin can still have dehydrated skin, and even dry skin can be dehydrated. Dehydration is a (temporary) skin condition and can basically affect all skin types.
Signs that your skin is dehydrated:
Your skin feels a bit tight after cleansing
Your skin is flaky and blotchy
Your skin is more sensitive than usual
Your skin appears to have very fine lines
I definitely noticed that my skin was flaky in different areas on my face and I had fine lines on my forehead. Sometimes I applied a good moisturizer or face oil and my skin would feel fine but when I applied some makeup I could see all the areas that were flaky (which was mainly the area between my eyebrows).
One of the biggest misconceptions is that drinking water will result in hydrated skin.
That would be too good to be true, but it's not that easy. Only a tiny percentage of the water you ingest reaches the outer layer of your skin. When you are drinking a lot of water, it is mostly delivered to your other organs like your kidney which is responsible for flushing out all the toxins making your skin look better.
What causes dehydration?
There are different ways of how dehydration can develop on your skin. Before you go out shopping for hydrating products, identify the root causes for your dehydration, and take it from there.
Dehydration can be caused by:
Water/steam that is too hot (when you wash your face or during showers)
Overly stripping skincare products like exfoliators or cleansers that are too harsh for your skin
Low humidity in the air
High sodium diet and highly processed foods
Exposure to UV rays
When the skin is dehydrated, it produces more oil to counteract the lack of hydration. I am definitely guilty of over exfoliating my skin and enjoying hot showers. I have combination skin and get blackheads regularly. Using chemical peels like BHA help me to get rid of it but I learned over time that my skin cannot tolerate using acids multiple times per week. I drastically cut down on my exfoliation and always use a (cleansing) balm on my face before I go into the shower, to protect my skin from the steam.
Rebuilding your skin's barrier
Now that we learned about the causes of dehydration, I want to give you some tips that have helped me. A dehydrated skin condition is also a sign that the natural skin barrier is compromised. You definitely want to keep your skin barrier strong and healthy because it is protecting your skin, fighting bad bacteria and preventing transepidermal water loss (TEWL). That's why your focus should be on rebuilding that skin barrier, so all the hydration you apply actually stays on your skin. There are many products on the market that can strengthen and rebuild your skin's barrier.
Hydrated skin is happy skin
One of the many products I have tried and that I immediately fell in love with is the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner. I can only say good things about this toner. It is such a unique formula, I haven't seen anything like it. It's a toner that is super lightweight but delivers the same moisture as an actual cream. Oily skin types probably wouldn't even need a moisturizer after. I only need two layers of it and my skin feels deeply hydrated and just healthy and glowy. The special ingredient in this product is the white tea-leaf extract which is rich in amino acids. I am really happy I discovered this product because it is totally changing my skincare game.
After singing the praises of the cream skin refiner, I want to also mention some other products that have also made a big difference to my dehydrated skin. I am talking about my beloved Whamisa Deep Rich Toner and the Hada Labo Hydrating Lotion. I've spoken about the Whamisa toner many times on Instagram and it's actually the product that has started my love for essences. The great thing about essences/toners like the Whamisa or Hada Labo one is that it penetrates through different layers of the skin due to the different molecular sizes of the hyaluronic acid that it contains.
One of the really popular ingredients that also helps to strengthen your skin barrier is niacinamide. It's vitamin B3 that has many benefits to the skin: decreases hyperpigmentation, increases skin's elasticity and boosts collagen production, evens out skin tone, reduces redness and blotchiness. Niacinamide is an extremely uncomplicated product to integrate into your routine because it basically goes well with any other actives and is suitable for all skin types.
I definitely cut down on exfoliation as my skin cannot tolerate the highly frequent use, and I am also using a cleansing balm before I go into the shower to protect my skin from the hot steam. After strengthening my skin's barrier again, as well as introducing amazing products like the Laneige Cream Skin Refiner, my skin seems a lot happier and the biggest achievement for me is to see my skin truly glow. Can you believe that even foundations like the Kosas Tinted Face Oil look great on my skin without dry patches? (For those who don't know: that foundation is not the easiest to work with ;)
I hope I was able to help you identify dehydration, get rid of it and prevent it.
Stay hydrated and blessed!
All brands and products mentioned in the article were named without payment and solely by personal choice. Brand names and product recommendations are currently to be marked as advertising content according to the law.