What is dehydration of the skin?

Many associate dryness as dehydration but the 2 are very different. Dryness is due to the oil levels in the skin while dehydration is due to the water levels. The 2 are very important for good skin health function and should be addresses as equality. Dehydration can effect all skin types inclusive of dry, oily, combination and acne skin. It’s all about the water!

To clarify dehydration- this is a loss of water from the body and the inability to retain moisture in the epidermis. The amount of water inside the body is transmitted to the outside layers, it is dependant on these internal levels for good hydration. TEWL ( trans-dermal water loss ) flow is the movement of water through the epidermis and what gives us supple soft skin. As we get older and our skins natural ability to replace skin cells slows down, the new cells are replaced with cells containing less water leaving us looking more lined and wrinkled.

What does dehydration of the skin look like?

Dehydrated skin is hard to describe as it can present differently in many people. Skin generally appears lacking in lustre, look dull, taught and wrinkled like its lacking elasticity and when touched has no bounce. It is prone to black heads that are hard to get out and bumpy with congestion. When skin is dehydrated it will soak up moisturiser but still feel dry in areas and oily in others. A dehydrated skin is usually quite crappie and lines appear if the skin is pinched slightly.

What causes dehydration of the skin?

There are numerous causes for dehydration, not enough consumption of water, or herbal teas, the use of diuretics to assist with retention, excessive sweating, using strong astringent ‘toners’, inadequate cleansing, ineffective moisturisers, smoking, alcohol consumption, medications, harsh climates/environments and neglect.

Treatments for dehydration

Although water consumption is essential to assist with dehydration it is not enough. Serum application that is high in Hyaluronic acid (water binding molecule) is the first step at repairing the acid mantle as serums have smaller molecules and can penetrate deeper into the skin. We aim for the epidermis! Light exfoliation with an enzyme based exfoliate, using a good SPF as sun exposure protects our skin from not just the sun but also pollutants, increasing you essential fatty acids by eating oily fish like salmon and ocean trout or by taking evening primrose or vitamin E vitamins. Regular hydration facials, IPL treatments and LED light therapy treatments are also good to boost the hydration levels within the skin and give you immediate relief.