What are the Symptoms of Dehydrated Skin?

When talking about adequate skin care, you are probably already aware of different skin types: oily, dry, sensitive and combination. If you’re a dedicated skin care enthusiast, you most likely know exactly which category you belong to.

And yet, your skin might be experiencing symptoms that are not necessarily associated with your particular skin type.

To illustrate this, perhaps you suffer from oily skin, and yet you still notice rough, flaky texture in the areas where your skin tends to be the greasiest (nose, forehead, chin).

Or maybe, despite having combination skin, you still experience the tightening sensation every time you wash your face, even though this is something that in theory should only happen to dry skin types.

So, what’s the mystery behind this puzzling phenomenon?

The answer is easy: your skin is simply depleted of moisture.

Doesn’t this just mean you have dry skin, then?

Not exactly! Dry skin is usually a chronic issue, which can be counterbalanced with higher presence of oils in skin care. 

On the other hand, dehydrated skin is a more acute state that will benefit from introducing more water-based formulas into your day-to-day routine.

So, does this sound like something that might be currently happening to your skin?

You can find out whether your cells are actually dehydrated by going through this list of the most common symptoms associated with this somewhat confusing skin issue.

Flakiness and Dry Patches

Nothing says thirsty cells quite like flaky, rough skin.

Flakiness occurs when dry, dead layers of skin start peeling away from the face, creating uneven, patchy texture.

Other than being unappealing on the whole, flaky skin is also a nightmare when it comes applying makeup, especially foundations.

Doing away with flaky skin may not be an easy task. 

It might take some persistence, but it’s entirely achievable.

And your most valuable weapon in that fight will be chemical exfoliants.

If you’re not that well-versed in the world of cosmetic products, the word “chemical” might sound scary. You don’t want to put anything extreme on your face!

But don’t worry. Contrary to what their name might evoke, chemical exfoliants are actually much gentler on the skin than the harsh, physical scrubs that can only rip the outer layers and cause even more irritation.

This new generation of exfoliants act by delicately removing dead layers of cells (AKA flaky parts) and promoting the growth of new skin.

They can also help boost cell turnover, which means you skin will have a helping hand in achieving a healthy, balanced complexion.

 Now, picking the right kind of exfoliant is key to nailing soft, flake-free skin.

And with all these medicinal terms, it might be slightly daunting to figure out what is the right solution for you skin.

When it comes to gentle, all-around exfoliation that will take care of uneven skin textures and fine lines, but also brighten up your skin tone, then AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) are your best bet.

These active ingredients, which include glycolic acid and lactic acid, can be incredibly potent in erasing all the tiny imperfections on your face and making your complexion clear and radiant.

When it comes to application, things can also get a little bit confusing.

To help you out, your chemical exfoliant should be applied after you’ve toned your skin, but before other moisturizing products (essences, serums, face creams).

It might be a good idea to ease yourself into a routine with AHAs before you fully commit to a certain product. 

Apply it once every three days at first, then up the usage when you notice signs of improvement on your skin.

Since chemical exfoliants are photosensitive, it’s best to apply them as part of your PM routine. If you’re using it in the mornings, always add a layer of high-SPF at the end of your skin care to prevent adverse reactions to the sun.

And if you still need extra help to achieve a clean, even canvas when applying makeup, simply prep your skin with a hydrating primer before moving onto base products.

If you want to avoid foundation or concealer clinging to dry patches, go for hydrating, liquid formulas and avoid over-powdering your face, especially in the flakiness-prone areas.

Sallow Complexion

Sometimes, symptoms of dehydrated skin are not as easy to pin down.

Your face may just feel all-around less-than-ideal, and those grey undertones never seem to go away.

No matter the amount of water you drink or the sleep you get every night, you still wake up with uneven skin tone and rough texture.

Of course, “more moisture” is never a bad answer when it comes to improving the appearance of your complexion; however, things can go a little more in-depth than that.

For example, if your uneven skin tone is accompanied with areas of increased hyperpigmentation, dark spots or other kinds of imperfections, you might think about introducing a product enriched with Vitamin C into your everyday skin care routine.

This powerful antioxidant is extremely potent at fading overly pigmented areas on the skin, brightening up the complexion and contributing to a more uniform texture of the skin.

It can also be beneficial in treating age spots or other symptoms of damage caused by the sun.

Another great way to perk up your complexion is by treating your face to a nourishing face mask, serum and other products enriched with ingredients that have natural brightening properties.

These radiance-boosting nutrients include:

  • Kojic acid
  • Niacinamide
  • Licorice extract
  • Turmeric

Next time you stock up on cosmetics, look out for this all-natural skin brighteners in your skin care products.

With regular application, you will soon start to notice dark spots fading and your skin tone becoming noticeably luminous.

Heightened Sensitivity to External Factors

Some people suffer from dehydrated skins regardless of the season; however, for many, symptoms tend to get worse in the wake of intense weather conditions.

Freezing temperatures, wind, rain and snow can all contribute to your skin looking rougher than normal.

Moreover, when your skin is experiencing moisture deficiency, its protective barrier begins to weaken, making your face even more vulnerable to environmental dangers such as UV rays, harsh weather, pollution, etc.

Mitigating the potential danger to your skin involves building a protective beauty routine, but also making a couple of changes in your daily habits.

When discussing beauty regimens, this means feeding your cells with skin-repairing products as often as possible, either through serums, essences or moisturizers.

A protection-centric skin care routine simply cannot exist without an effective sun screen, which will be your first line of defense against your skin’s number one enemy, the infamous UV rays.

And to prevent your skin from becoming even more parched during the colder season, always wrap yourself in soft scarves and caps and avoid spending too much time exposed to extreme weather.

Dehydrated skin can also occur with arid weather. 

If the climate where you live tends to be notably dry, perhaps you should think about investing in an air humidifier for your office or living space. This way, the precious H2O will remain in the air and you won’t have to worry about your skin drying out as the day progresses.

Sometimes, the culprits for your skin feeling dehydrated lie in your day-to-day habits – regardless of the outside conditions.

For example, using scorching water to shower or wash your face is a big no-no if your skin is already robbed of moisture.

Clean your face instead using lukewarm water and avoid rubbing it with towels or, even worse, any physical scrubs like loofas, sponges or gloves.

Feeling of Tightness

A telltale sign that your cells are parched is that uncomfortable feeling like someone is constantly stretching your skin.

This irksome sensation usually becomes even more palpable after you wash your face.

Avoiding this side effect of dehydrated skin involves building an elaborate moisturizing routine.

In the meantime, you can minimize the dried-out twinge by simply opting for more hydrating formulas when cleansing your face.

For example, instead of removing your makeup with facial wipes or overly harsh cleansers, go for a cleansing oil or cleansing balm.

These rich, moisture-packed formulas will break down highly pigmented products, such as lipsticks, high-coverage foundations and waterproof mascaras without stripping your face of its natural water.

And if you want to get the job done thoroughly, follow up the makeup remover with a second cleanser.

Products that come in milkier, creamier formulas are great for this purpose, as they will remove any residual makeup while simultaneously hydrating your skin.

Another tip to avoid that initial loss of moisture is to get cracking with your skin care as soon as you’ve washed your face, meaning you should even forego the towel.

Dive straight into a hydrating toner that will prevent the moisture from escaping your cells, but also balance the pH levels in your skin.

To make the most out of your toner, skip the cotton round and apply it straight to the skin by softly patting it in with your fingers. This way, you avoid any unnecessary rubbing and pulling that will only make your skin feel more uncomfortable.

Sometimes, this unpleasant feeling can creep up on you even after you’ve followed all the proper skin care steps.

In this case, make sure to arm yourself with a refreshing face mist.

This wondrous product can be applied at any time of the day, as a primer or even over your makeup.

Simple slip it in your hand bag and spritz it all over your face whenever you feel that tightness is about to hit.

Prominent Signs of Aging

When skin is deprived of water, it brings out the worst in our complexion.

Due to lack of moisture in the outer layers of the skin, you might feel like your wrinkles, fine lines and age spots have all suddenly become more visible.

There is good news, though: with proper care, you can minimize the unwanted manifestations of aged skin by focusing your beauty routine around skin-plumping product and ingredients.

Increasing the amount of moisturizing products on your skin can be incredibly beneficial for improving its H2O levels and keeping it firmly locked in your cells.

So, how do you begin layering your skin care?

As mentioned before, it all starts with a water-packed cleanser.

Follow your cleanser with a hydrating toner to prevent water from escaping your cells.

Then, proceed to apply an essence, a liquid formula that’s supposed to supply your skin with the first layer of moisturizing nutrients.

Next, treat your skin to a supercharging serum, a skin care innovation designed to infuse a plentitude of active ingredients directly into your cells.

Some nutrients to look out for when looking for serums targeted at dehydrated skin:

  • Hyaluronic acid (replenishes your cells with moisture and smoothens out fine lines)
  • Niacinamide (repairs dull skin and helps fortify the protective barrier)
  • Vitamin C (helps tackle age spots and other discoloration on the face)

Finally, it’s time to seal all these hydrating layers with a moisturizer.

To find a moisturizer that will successfully combat signs of dehydrated skin, make sure to focus on the key ingredients that can help replenish your cells with water.

For example, humectants (which boost hydration from the inside and prevent the water from escaping your cells) are a godsend for tackling lack of moisture. In practical terms, this means going for ingredients such as:

  • Glycerin
  • Aloe Vera
  • Cucumber extract
  • Licorice root extract

When it comes to formulas, thicker doesn’t necessarily means better when fixing dehydrated skin.

If you’re experiencing lack of moisture at the same time as increased oil production, it’s best to go for light, watery products like lotions and featherweight moisturizers that will bring H2O to your cells without making it overly greasy.

Have you found out whether your skin is actually dehydrated? If the answer is “yes”, we hope you have learned a few tips and tricks on how to keep the moisture locked in your cells for good. Once you master these easy beauty techniques, we are sure your skin will become supple and radiant in no time.