Signs of dry and dehydrated skin

Dermatologist Dr Ariel Haus explains the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, and what you

Dermatologist Dr Ariel Haus explains the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, and what you can do about them.


At first glance, ‘dry’ and ‘dehydrated’ seem like two words describing the same thing. But when it comes to skincare, they are completely different concerns with separate causes. We spoke to dermatologist Dr Ariel Haus about how dryness is different to dehydrated skin and what you can do to care for it.

Signs of dry and dehydrated skin
Signs of dry and dehydrated skin

What’s the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?

Dry skin is a skin type, but dehydrated skin is a condition which anyone of any skin type can experience.

“Dry skin has a lack of oil, or lipids. With dehydrated skin, there’s a lack of water in the stratum corneum, which is the top layer of the skin. You don’t need to have dry skin to have dehydrated skin. Oily or combination skin types can become dehydrated as well,” says Dr Haus.


So how do you tell which one you have? Here’s a quick run-down of key characteristics:


Dry Skin Symptoms

  • Feels rough and appears dry
  • Can be itchy or flaky
  • Can become inflamed and cracked
  • Is aggravated by certain soaps/shower gels/detergents or extreme weather


Signs of Dehydrated Skin

  • Looks dull
  • Feels tight
  • Is sensitive
  • Shows fine lines, or sagging skin and deep wrinkles


Understanding Dry Skin

Dry skin types are usually lacking in sebum production, aka the rights oils needed in the skin’s epidermis to keep it smooth, hydrated and soft. Not enough sebum means that the skin’s barrier is weakened. Adding cold weather or covering it up with make-up into the mix and then skin can feel harsh and rough, which can affect your day-to-day confidence.


Upgrade your skincare routine

The solution is daily care to manage, moisturise and maintain hydration in dry skin. This doesn’t necessarily mean a more time-consuming routine, but you shouldn’t compromise or skip on caring for dry skin types. Making smart changes to your daily care products will offer assured results every day.



We recommend:


Make-up remover TOLERIANE Dermo-Cleanser

This gentle cleansing milk simply wipes off with a cotton pad or muslin cloth and removes all traces of dirt and make-up whilst being soothing to skin. And be sure to use lukewarm and not hot water when showering.


Base protector HYALU B5

This intensely moisturising serum hydrates skin cells creating a plumped-up effect and strengthens the skin’s barrier to help retain moisture.


Face cream HYDRAPHASE UV Intense

Layering this UV-protective moisturiser over the top is a richly nourishing formula with a high concentration of Thermal Spring Water and glycerin which leaves skin smoother, more supple and with a strengthened skin barrier.



This non-comedogenic formula is ideal to use after exfoliating or as your morning and evening fast-acting moisturiser. It intensely moisturises and works to reduce the sensations of tightness and sore skin.


Understanding Causes of Dehydrated Skin




“The sun can make the skin dehydrated,” says Dr Haus. “UVA is the main factor that can affect our skin, increase the ageing process, increase oxidants in the skin, dehydrate it and increase free radicals in the cells, damaging the skin.”


Hard Water, Hot Showers & Baths


“I see a lot of patients with very dry and dehydrated skin, especially in London where there’s a lot of hard water,” Dr Haus explains.

“Hard water contains limestone, which can remove water from the skin. You can have a shower every day, but make it a short shower, and stick to water that’s warm rather than hot.”




“The ageing process makes our bodies more dehydrated, including the skin,” he says. “Structural changes associated with the ageing process cause a slow-down of cell turnover, with fine lines becoming more prominent” says Dr Haus.


Air-Conditioning & Central Heating


If you spend a lot of time in air-conditioned rooms, or with the central heating turned up, this could be making dehydrated skin feel worse.


The Wrong Skincare


“Here in the UK – especially in the winter – the environment is very cold and dry, which can aggravate dehydrated skin even more,” says Dr Haus. “It’s important to get a very good moisturiser for the body, and another separate product for the face. Avoid harsh scrubs when you cleanse your skin, too.”



We recommend the La Roche-Posay HYDRAPHASE range for deep daily hydration