5 signs your skin is dehydrated
It's true. Our skin loses water every day; it's normal. But dehydration happens when your skin loses more water than what you take in, which can lead to pesky irritations and sensitivity.
But how do you know if your skin is dehydrated? Let us walk you through the signs of dehydrated skin, and we'll even throw in some tips to keep your skin looking plump and glowing.
How does dehydrated skin occur?
Dehydrated skin occurs when there is damage to the outermost layer of your skin.
Think of it as a house...
The bricks are the skin cells, and the mortar is the lipids and fats that hold the skin cells together. This barrier prevents water loss. However, when the "mortar" is damaged, the barrier is disrupted, and water escapes leading to skin dehydration. .
What causes dehydrated skin?
- Environment and lifestyle can cause skin barrier damage and skin dehydration. These include:
- Low humidity
- Temperature extremes
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of water intake
- Too much sun exposure
- Use of harsh skincare products
- Hormonal imbalances (like menopause)
- Too hot showers
Dehydration can occur in any skin type, not just dry skin.
Yep, that includes you oily skin! The lack of water in your skin is what causes dehydration. If it's windy or the air is dry, this allows water evaporation from the skin
Signs your skin is dehydrated.
- Dry skin can present as dullness, a grey-white colour with a less radiant complexion.
- Skin lines are more noticeable.
- Skin is rough to touch due to flaking or peeling skin.
- Dry skin can shrink, leading to cracks in the skin that can bleed.
- Sometimes, especially in the elderly, dry skin is wrinkled and loose.
Dehydrated skin symptoms can look like this.
- Feeling of tightness.
- Stinging or painful skin.
Skin dryness can lead to dermatologic conditions like atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis, which have itchy flares (and it's hard not to scratch that itch sometimes). In addition, your skin can look red and experience clear discharge or pus.
Tips for preventing skin dehydration
- Drink at least 3L of water per day. Increased water intake improves skin hydration making it less dry and rough. It can also enhance extensibility and elasticity for younger and healthier skin.
- Avoid prolonged UV exposure. We know getting that Vitamin D is essential for immunity, especially if you're stuck iso. But too much sun exposure can cause skin ageing, cancer and damaged skin barriers. Use SPF 30 sunscreens before sun exposure and wear protective clothing like long sleeves and wide-brimmed hats. Avoid tanning beds!
- Be gentle on your skin. Use gentle or soap-free cleansers and avoid harsh skin care products that make your skin sting and itchier. Add stop rubbing!
- Limit bathing time to just 5-10 minutes using warm water.
How can you restore skin hydration?
Moisturise! Don't just use any products. Your moisturisers should contain the following ingredients:
Fatty acids (Linoleic, Linolenic, and Lauric acids) and Ceramides can repair the skin barrier. Plant oils contain both (Phytoceramides and fatty acids). Some of them can repair the skin's barrier, like sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, Argan oil, soybean oil, peanut jojoba oil, and oat oil.
Humectants These ingredients can suck in moisture from your environment and hydrate the skin. Humectants found in plants are glycerin, alpha-hydroxy acids, sugar, and urea.
- Occlusives. These ingredients can coat the skin's surface to prevent the water from leaving the skin—plant oils with occlusives include Argan, Safflower, Grape seed, mineral, Jojoba, and Soybean oil.
Some of our fave skin hydrating ingredients found in vegan products for dry skin include:
Coconut Rich Fatty Acids - (Lauric and Linoleic acids).
Effective and safe not just for dry, but eczema-prone skin. It helps improve skin barrier damage, prevents water loss and can add protection against UV, (but NOT as a replacement to sunscreens). In addition, coconut oil has monolaurin (a derivative of Lauric acid), which can help fight off bacterial infection, one of the common signs your skin is dry.
Proven to restore the skin's barrier and improve elasticity. In addition, it can restore skin hydration and maintain its water-holding capacity. It also relaxes the skin and enhances wound healing.
It can effectively repair the skin barrier with its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. It also aids in wound healing.
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