Just a bit of background. Water constantly evaporates from the deeper layers of the skin, an effect known as transepidermal water loss. By regulating its water content, skin maintains a dry, easily shed surface. That surface acts as a barrier against pathogens, dirt, or damage, while protecting itself from drying out and becoming brittle and rigid. The ability to retain moisture depends on the lipid bilayer between the outer most layers of skin. This outer layer is regularly replaced through exfoliation which allows the renewed and younger skin layer to come through and maintain this critical balance of barrier functionality.
So what are the differences between dry and dehydrated skin? They both show similar characteristics such as tight, flaky, itchy and sensitive skin, yet the underlying problem is quite different.
Dry skin lacks sebum (oils) and dehydrated skin lacks water. Dry skin is mainly genetic. Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that is easily treatable with the right skin care routine, products and environmental conditions.
Dry skin is constant no matter what the weather is like. The underlying issue is lack of sufficient sebum production. Dry skin needs good effective exfoliation to boost the skin's renewal process along with a lot of heavy oil and lipid-based moisturizers or ointments to address the problem.
A moisturizer with the right balance of ingredients that can impart emolliency to skin is helpful. Emollients prevent evaporation of water from the skin by forming an occlusive coating on the surface of the skin. The alternative is a moisturiser with Humactants which also have an emollient effect but act differently by drawing water into the top layer of skin. The more lipid in your moisturizer formulation, the greater the emollient effect. Ointments are more emollient than oily creams which are more so than water-based creams, while some lotions sometimes have no emollient effect.
Dehydrated skin is a result of many factors. These include changes in weather, pollution, humidity, diet, stress and many many others. Environmental factors can play a significant factor in creating dehydrated skin, so it is considered a skin condition rather than a skin type.
What is an effective skin care routine? BOA exfoliant is a great way to exfoliate without aggravating the skin to make sure the skin renewal process is helped. Follow with a mild cleanser and then an emollient rich moisturizer and you'll be amazed by how you can manage both dehydrated and dry skin.