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Dry Skin or Dehydrated Skin – What’s the Difference?

photo of Sabrina Jawad

Sabrina Jawad is a Licensed Master Aesthetician at Inova Medical Spa in Ashburn, VA. She has nine years of experience and extensive knowledge administering various results-driven aesthetic services including laser hair removal, IPL, eMatrix, chemical peels and restorative facials.  

“Dry skin” and “dehydrated skin” are often used interchangeably. But, they are not the same. Do you know the difference? Below are answers to some frequently asked questions, plus advice to make your skin look and feel its best.

What is dry skin?

Dry skin is skin that lacks natural oils. It’s a skin type. Your skin type is genetic – it’s the one you are born with. Other skin types are oily, combination or normal. The physical environment can also dry out your skin. Dry skin can look scaly and red. Additional signs include white flakes and irritation.

What is dehydrated skin?

Dehydrated skin is skin that lacks water. It’s a condition. Anyone – even those with oily skin – can experience dehydration. Symptoms often include dullness, dryness, dark under-eye circles, “shadows” around the face and itchiness. In some cases, fine lines and wrinkles become more pronounced. 

How do I know if my skin is dehydrated?

Take the pinch test! Perform this quick and simple test at home to determine if your skin is dehydrated.

  • Squeeze a small portion of your skin around the cheek area.
  • Is there wrinkling? Is your skin slow to bounce back? If so, your skin may be dehydrated.
photo of dry cracked earth

What should I do if I have dry or dehydrated skin?

Here are some tips to get the best skin possible.

  • If your skin is dry, add an emollient cream to your routine. It gives skin extra hydration.
  • If your skin is dehydrated, make sure you’re drinking enough water. Bring a bottle of water to work or activities. Add whole fruits and vegetables to your diet. Increase your exercise and limit caffeine intake.

Still not sure? Have a digital skin assessment. This simple procedure provides a more in-depth look at your skin. Schedule your free assessment with the master aestheticians at Inova Medical Spa today. Call 703-554-1130.

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