Water is vital for life. The body consists of about 60 percent water, which is vital for normal physiological balance and normal body processes. Just like any part of the body, the skin needs water to remain smooth, elastic, and plump.
Hydration plays an imperative role in keeping not only the body functioning properly, but also to keep the skin moist. Without adequate water intake, the skin may appear duller, with wrinkles and pores more obvious and prominent.
Skin and Hydration
In skin physiology, cutaneous water content plays a pivotal role in various skin functions, including its barrier and envelope functions.
Water hydrates the skin from the inside by pulling fluid from the capillary beds in the skin. When the body is dehydrated, the skin becomes dry. As a result, wrinkles, fine lines, and blemishes may develop, even in younger people.
A study published in the journal Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, reported that skin health is tied to hydration. The scientists found that people with low daily water consumption, to begin with, are more prone to having dry skin. Thus, correcting low hydration levels can positively impact skin health, especially for those who are prone to dry skin.
The skin is the largest organ in the body that acts as a large interfacial film separating the human body and the external environment. The epidermis, the outermost layer, acts as the first barrier or line of defense from potentially harmful elements.
The skin layer has many properties such as being soft, pliable, and strong to withstand physical stress. Water content or hydration impacts these mechanical properties. The water content of the epidermis is the main factor that affects its elasticity and flexibility.
Dehydrated Skin vs. Dry Skin
Dry or dehydrated are synonymous. But when it comes to the skin. These two terms cannot be used interchangeably.
Put simply, dry skin occurs when there is a lack of skin oil, leaving the skin tight and flaky. Meanwhile, dehydrated skin happens when it lacks water.
When you have dry skin, the sebaceous glands don’t produce enough natural oils to keep the skin elastic and smooth. Often, it is also termed as “flaky skin”.
The lack of oil causes skin peeling, flakes, and itchiness. In other cases, redness and irritation occur. Dry skin is usually seen in patients with certain dermatological conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and even post-acne breakouts.
Dehydrated skin means the body is losing more water than it’s taking in. Aside from drinking less water, this can be linked to increased urination due to consuming caffeine or diuretics. Some people develop dehydration due to excessive perspiration from exercise.
The signs and symptoms of dehydrated skin include dullness, itchiness, sunken eyes, darker under-eye circles, increased appearance of wrinkles or fine lines. In some cases, people develop “shadows” or darker spots under the eyes and around the nose area.
You can test if you have a dehydration test through the “pinch test”. Take a small part of your skin around the cheek and try to squeeze it lightly. If wrinkling occurs and the skin does not go back to its normal position after letting it go, the skin is dehydrated.
Treating Dry and Dehydrated Skin
In terms of treatment, dry skin often resolves with the help of moisturizers and hydrating products. For one, hyaluronic acid can benefit people with dry skin. One product that has gained immense popularity is the Visaglow hyaluronic acid filler, which can restore hydrated skin instantly.
Also, Nourishing Night Oil (NNO) enriched with Vitamin E, which contains jojoba oil and vitamin E, can help restore smooth, elastic, and plump skin on the facial area, which is prone to dry and dehydrated skin.
For dehydrated skin, some ways to address it include adequate water intake of approximately 8 to 10 glasses a day, avoiding too many caffeine-containing beverages like soda and coffee, avoiding too much alcohol intake, a restful night’s sleep, and avoiding strong and harmful skin products.
Plus, making sure your diet is rich in fruits and vegetables, can help keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
In a nutshell, dehydrated skin can be treated not only with skin products but also, lifestyle changes to help keep water levels in the body at normal levels. These lifestyle changes will not only make your skin younger-looking but also, help your body function normally.
Know the Difference
Though dry skin and dehydrated skin may have some similarities, knowing their differences is crucial to treat them accordingly. Consult with a dermatologist if you have any of the symptoms mentioned above.
Dermatologists can help you treat skin dryness and at the same time, assess if you have other underlying conditions that may be causing your dry or dehydrated skin. In addition, they can recommend treatment regimens that best suit your skin type.
Remember, lifestyle changes, in addition to a skincare regimen, can keep the skin healthy, radiant, and younger-looking. Treat your skin like any organ in the body.