18 Signs of Dehydrated Skin and How to Fix It

We can say it without any doubt, a majority of skin issues, stem from one missing factor – moisture! You can single out any skin woe – dry skin, acne, fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles, even sunken eyes – and all of them, would have one thing in common – dehydrated skin. When you feel your skin getting stretchy and itchy, especially after cleansing, and then turning into an oil tank within a span of few minutes, your skin is dehydrated and there’s shortage of moisture on stratum corneum, which is the outermost layer of skin. In this post, we list out 18 signs of dehydrated skin and how to fix it for clear skin.

Difference Between Dehydrated Skin and Dry Skin:

Dehydrated skin is completely different from dry skin, firstly, because dry skin, is a skin type, which has low oil and sebum content (skin’s natural oils) that keep it supple. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, is a result of lack of moisture in the uppermost layer of the skin, and it’s a symptom of a skin issue. Also, there’s an overproduction of sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture, triggering acne or worsening acne situation. Dehydrated skin also tends to be dull, itchy, blotchy, and stretchy. Dehydrated skin appears lifeless and without any glow, so that’s why it becomes extremely imported to correct dehydration of skin if you want to get clear and beautiful skin.

skin dehydration

Causes of Dehydrated Skin:

1. Use of alcohol-based skin care products that can dry out the skin.
2. Wrong dietary habits – junk food with high sodium and sugar content can cause inflammation on the skin, and make it dehydrated.
3. Weather conditions, dry air, pollution.
4. Too much caffeine (read “including coffee”).
5. Skincare products with fragrance.
6. Skipping sunscreen.
7. Skipping moisturizer.
8. Smoking and alcohol.

Signs of Dehydrated Skin:

As we have mentioned earlier, people often confuse “dehydrated skin” with “dry skin” because in both cases, skin becomes stretchy and dry. However, dehydrated skin is caused by external factors which when rectified will iron out a lot of skin issues. If you are confused whether is actually dehydrated or just dry, these are some signs to look for dehydrated skin:

1. Itchy and taut skin: Lack of moisture on the skin’s topmost layer can make skin extremely dry and itchy, even though there is adequate greasy layer on the skin.
2. Lifeless skin: Buildup of dead skin cells on the surface makes the complexion appear dull and lifeless.
3. Clogged Pores: Clogging of pores happens when there is buildup of dead cells, bacteria, and sebum and dehydration is often the main cause that leads to such a situation.
4. Congested Skin: When your skin feels heavy and rough, it’s a sign of congestion and of dehydration.
5. Shadows around the eyes and nose area.
6. Fine Lines upon Pinching Skin: When you pinch your skin, especially around the cheek area, do you notice fine lines? If yes, then your skin is dehydrated.
7. Shiny and Dry at the Same Time: Does your skin feel greasy yet dry at the same time? If yes, it’s a sureshot sign of dehydration.
8. Uneven Skin Tone: Dehydration also leads to blotchy complexion and uneven skin tone due to the shadows around the nose and eye area.

18 Ways to Fix Dehydrated Skin:

1. Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Easiest way to replenish lost moisture on the skin is by drinking adequate water, at least 8 glasses per day. Ideally, you should be sipping on water every 20 minutes. What’s more, it would also help with weight loss.

2. Using skincare products with harsh ingredients: A lot of creams, ointments, serums, moisturizers, toners, cleansers use skin-sensitizing ingredients that irritate and damage the outer layer of skin, sucking out the moisture from it. Some harsh ingredients that you need to totally avoid are – oxybenzone, petrolatum, parabens, SLS, hydroquinone, methyl paraben, propyl paraben, sodium benzoate, benzyl alcohol, phthalates, fragrance.

3. Stop using Wrong pH skincare products: Using products that do not match skin’s pH level can alter the skin’s acid mantle. Products with high alkaline value can lead to itchiness, excessive dryness, and dehydrated skin.

4. Go Slow on Retinol-based skincare products: If you have used retinol or retinoid-based skincare products, you would have noticed how it makes skin extremely dry and dehydrated.

5. Do not Use Brackish Water or Hard Water to Wash Face: Hard or brackish water is high in TDS (total dissolved solids), can dry out the outer layer of skin. Wash your face with plain drinking water two to three times a day.

6. Avoid Harsh Cleansers: It is rumored that Aishwarya Rai uses only besan to clean her face, and nothing else! Avoid harsh cleansers to clean your skin, say no to soap, because all of these rip the natural oils and make skin dull and dehydrated.

7. Moisture with oil-free moisturizer: An oil-free moisturizer that does not clog pores is the best way to bring the moisture back in all skin types, especially oily and acne-prone skin.

8. Use a very mild cleanser in the morning: If you have slept after thoroughly cleansing the face before hitting the bed the previous night, there’s actually nothing major to cleanse in the morning. In fact, totally avoid applying face wash or soap on your face the first thing in the morning. Apply only a pH balanced cleanser or plain micellar water.

9. Include Squalane Oil in skincare: Squalane oils is extremely moisturizing and has occlusive properties (which means it traps moisture), and has anti-inflammatory properties. Try to find products with squalane, especially facial serums to bring in major difference to the skin.

10. Always wear a sunscreen: We have always maintained that sunscreen is a must-have product in everyone’s skincare routine because harsh sun rays can accelerate premature ageing, cause hyperpigmentation, and leave skin dehydrated. Look for sunscreens with zinc oxide and broad spectrum protection.

11. Cut down on Caffeine: Oops, too many cups of coffee can dehydrate skin and may even lead to inflammation, cut down on the number of coffee cups.

12. Sleep for at least 7 hours: Less hours of sleep can lower skin’s pH level, increase inflammation, and rip the moisture level from the skin – they call it “beauty sleep” for a reason!

13. Completely avoid skincare products with alcohol: It’s a common knowledge that alcohol-based products the moisture off of skin, so totally avoid ingredients like ethanol, isopropyl alcohol on your skin.

14. Include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet: These food items boost skin’s hydration level and improve skin’s as well.

15. Totally avoid fragrance in skincare: Just like parabens, phthalates, and sulfates – “fragrance,” which is often added by skincare brands to increase the appeal of their products or to mask the unpleasant smell of active ingredients, is usually extracted from synthetic chemicals, and can irritate skin, penetrate into the skin and alter hormones, and may even cause cancer. We would like to add that even naturally extracted fragrances are not good for the skin, they might cause skin irritation and dehydration on most skin types.

16. Do not use lemon directly not the face, not even in face packs: It’s one of the things that you cannot apply directly on the face – use lemon with honey and other soothing agents like yogurt only.

17. Do not spot treat acne or pimples with baking soda or toothpaste: Though highly popular, these spot treatments rarely work and they leave skin dry, itchy, and dehydrated, and may further aggravate skin woes.

18. Look for skincare products with Ceramides, fatty acids, NMF (natural moisturizing factors), hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and occlusive moisturiser.

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