Dehydrated skin is the root of SO many skin issues, and it’s often completely overlooked because it can be hard to identify. Dehydrated skin can be dull, it can feel tight, it can be flaky, rough, papery lined and even spotty or oily. A lot of the time, when people think that there’s something weird going on with their skin, it’s just dehydration. The important thing about dehydration is to combat it with water instead of oil, which many people do without realising. So with that in mind, here are some really simple, easy to follow tips to treat dehydration:
Drinking enough 💦 It may be pretty relentless advice, but it’s really important. When your body gets dehydrated your skin is the first part to stop receiving water. This is actually the reason that drinking water improves the skin – none of that ‘detox’ nonsense. The only way your body actually detoxifies itself is through the liver and kidneys – whilst drinking water is essential for supporting their functions, you can’t ‘flush away’ bad stuff in the skin. As I said, spots and oiliness can be caused by dehydration because the skin produces more oil to make up for the lack of water. So by giving your skin enough water, it helps it to stop overdoing the oil, therefore, spots and oiliness are gone! It has nothing to do with toxins. If you struggle to get enough water, get yourself a nice water bottle, and download an app like Plant Nanny to remind you.
Exfoliation! It’s really important to remove dead skin cells to allow your still-living cells to absorb all the skincare products you use. Plus, if you have dullness or flaky skin, exfoliation will help with that too. I think that chemical exfoliants (as opposed to scrubs) are better for dehydration because they tend to be less disruptive to the delicate layer of water and oil that protects the skin. I absolutely love my Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser which contains lactic acid, as well as Pixi Glow Tonic, and I’ve also recently fallen in love with Pixi Glow Peel Pads, although they are a much more advanced acid product so don’t go in all guns blazing with them. Two other longtime favourites are from Skyn Iceland – their Fresh Start Masks, and their Nordic Skin Peel Pads.
Hyaluronic acid. This is a naturally occurring part of the skin, it’s a jelly like substance that holds water. In skincare you need to have a combination of low and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid. Low molecular weight (aka micro hyaluronic or hyaluronic acid fragments) penetrates deeply unto the skin, and stimulates the skin’s production of high molecular weight HA. Applying high molecular weight HA directly to the skin absorbs only into the outer layers, which plumps up the skin, helps it to retain water and gives it a smooth appearance. For micro hyaluronic acid, a good serum is what you want – I love Caudalie Thirst Quenching Serum and Avene Hydrance Serum. Because of their texture, serums sink deeply into the skin to get ingredients where they need to be. And for macro hyaluronic acids try a toner or moisturiser – my favourites are Pixi Rose Tonic, Fresh Deep Hydration Toner and for a moistuirser, one of my true loves, Caudalie Moisturising Sorbet.
Sheet masks! All sheet masks have a hydrating effect in the skin, simply because the water in them gets absorbed by the skin while it’s on. If your skin is dehydrated, slapping a sheet mask on twice a week is the quickest and easiest way to sort it out. I absolutely love Tony Moly Sheet Masks, which you can get for SUPER cheap here (I use YesStyle a lot, you can trust them). Or Look Fantastic have a great range of sheet masks too, I LOVE the look of the Origins Hydrating Sheet Masks, they come in all kinds of versions like Jasmine, Orange and Rose.
I hope these tips are helpful for you – just remember that if your skin is playing up, and you aren’t sure what’s wrong with it, you should really consider the fact that it might be dehydrated. Adding more water to your skin can’t hurt, so always try these tips before moving onto a drastically different skincare routine!