Hydrating And Moisturizing Are Not The Same Thing - Here's The Difference

We've all looked in the mirror or down at our arms and legs and wondered just what to do to get our skin back to its shiny, healthy self. Whether it's skin that leaves marks when you scratch an itch or red, flaky skin on our faces, it is difficult to find out just what our skin is trying to tell us.

If you've ever battled with dry, flaky skin, you know it can feel like a guessing game when you're searching for a remedy. People will tell you to moisturize the dryness away, but when that doesn't work, where do you turn? It may never occur to you that you may be treating your dry skin all wrong. Your rough and itchy skin may be begging for hydration rather than more moisturizer. Treating dry skin requires a different solution than treating dehydrated skin (via Today). There are ways to tell the difference between the need for moisture and the need for hydration. 

Is your skin just dry?

There are significant differences between dry skin and dehydrated skin, so treating them appropriately is important. First, dry skin is considered a skin type, while dehydrated skin is considered a condition. Skin types are described as normal, oily, dry, or combination,

Most people are born with the type of skin they have into adulthood, but age, seasons, and environment can bring out skin changes (via Healthline). Because dry skin is lacking in sebum oil in the dermis, dry skin sufferers need to find a way to add moisture back to their skin.

If you notice your skin is flaky, rough, scaling, and cracked skin, you may need to give it more moisture. In order to combat these symptoms, moisturizer is your best bet. Moisturizers create a barrier on top of the skin, sealing in the hydration, and providing your skin with the nourishment it needs (via Aveeno). To treat dry skin, increase how many times a day you moisturize. Consider products that contain the natural oils your skin is craving. Coconut oil is a great at-home remedy for this issue. Treating your dry skin does not have to be expensive or inconvenient.

What if your skin is dehydrated?

In some instances, people believe they are suffering from dry skin when their skin is actually dehydrated. If your skin isn't getting what it needs in terms of hydration, there are ways to tell. First, if you pinch a bit of your skin around your cheek area and your skin wrinkles or doesn't bounce back, it may be dehydrated (via Healthline). Unlike dry skin, treating dehydrated skin calls for a bit of a lifestyle change. If you think your skin is dehydrated, try to increase your water intake. In addition, stay away from fragrance-heavy products and look for skin care products that contain hyaluronic acid, peptides, and oatmeal (via Today). In addition, try not to scratch or expose your skin to harsh temperatures like showers that are too hot or washing your skin in water that is too cold.

By moisturizing twice a day and increasing your fluid intake, you will be set to battle what ails your skin. Dry skin and dehydration are different, but treating both of them with clean products that replace oils stripped by the elements is your best bet to get your glowing, healthy skin back to life.