Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin: There is a Difference

Your skin is amazing. It does all kinds of cool stuff, all on its own, without you even knowing. When it is in balance and in the groove, the result is smooth, clear, glowing skin.

Your skin is SO amazing, that it will let you know it is out of balance by showing you - displaying certain characteristics such as redness, tightness, flaking, breakouts - or all of the above. Unfortunately, your skin does not come with an owner's manual, so it is sometimes hard to decipher exactly what it is trying to tell you and what it needs. 

One of the most frequent skin concerns that my clients ask me about is dryness.

Why am I still dry, even when I'm moisturizing like crazy?

Why am I breaking out, even though my skin is dry?

While there are many factors that contribute to skin concerns, you can begin to address dry skin by understanding the difference between DRY and DEHYDRATED skin.

What is DRY SKIN?

Dry skin is a lack of oil and lipids in the skin and is largely related to your skin's uniqueness and the body constitution you were born with. It is caused by a lack of natural oil production in the sebaceous glands within your hair follicles. It displays itself as rough, dry and flaky skin. 

Dry skin needs moisture - oil and protective lipids to function properly. By adding nourishing oils, like Gilded Camellia Luxury Beauty Oil, your skin is able to remain properly lubricated and is able to protect the skin's hydration by decreasing Transepidermal Water Loss (loss of moisture through the surface of the skin that leads to impaired barrier function of the skin). 

But I keep applying facial oils and moisturizer and I'm still dry. What am I doing wrong?

It could be that your skin is also dehydrated. If your skin is dry AND dehydrated,  applying moisturizer is only part of the solution. You need to address both the lack of hydration (water) AND he lack of moisture (oil).


Dehydrated skin is lacking water. This can be due to lack of fluid intake, weather, medications or using products that are not right for your skin. Dehydrated skin presents itself as tight, dull and lacking a healthy glow. 

Dehydrated skin is also a common culprit for breakouts. Your skin realizes that it is dehydrated and out of balance. In an effort to bring itself back into balance, it will increase it's natural oil production to compensate. This influx of oil can lead to breakouts.

Dehydrated skin needs water in the form of both drinking more fluids, but also with skin care ingredients that help to bind water into the skin (humectants). Ingredients to look for are hyaluronic acid, glycerin and honey. All of these help skin to retain much-needed hydration

One of the best ways to hydrate the skin and keep it there is to apply a hyaluronic acid serum, such as Skin Script's Ageless Skin Hydrating Serum, followed by a layer of moisturizer, such as Cacteen Balancing Moisturizer  or Acai Berry Moisturizer to maintain a proper balance of both lipids and hydration and to protect skin's barrier function.

I already have oily skin, so I must not need to add any more oil.

Yes and no. If you have oily skin, you may be able to maintain a proper oil/water balance by simply using a hydrating serum. However, while it may sound counterintuitive, adding a facial oil or additional lipid based moisturizer appropriate for your skin to your skin care routine can help to actually regulate and balance out your skin's natural oil production. 

If you are unsure about how to treat your dry skin, it is always helpful to see a trained skin care therapist to help determine a skin care routine that would benefit your unique skin.