Ever been for a skincare consultation expecting the usual 'too dry' or 'too oily', only to walk away with the unknown burden of 'dehydrated skin' hanging over you? Me too. Now I'm no skincare expert so don't take the following as The Truth - it's simply a combination of my own experience and research. For more details I suggest you check out Caroline Hirons 'Dry or Dehydrated?' cheat sheet, or see a skincare professional.
Dehydrated skin is a condition of the skin, as opposed to a skin type like dry or oily, hence why both dry and oily skinned people can suffer from it. In short, the different between dry and dehydrated skin is that dry skin is lacking in oil whereas dehydrated skin is lacking in moisture. It's quite hard to self-diagnose dehydrated skin because the symptoms aren't quite as obvious as those pertaining to skin type. However, if your skin is looking a little dull, sallow and 'tired' then it's probably dehydrated. Your skin may soak up moisturiser like nobody's business, but also have really oily and really dry patches.
The first (and most obvious) thing to do if you have dehydrated skin is drink more water. If your skin is dehydrated then so is the rest of your body, which ain't good. 4-6 glasses a day is recommended and (in my opinion) fairly doable... Drinking more water really does make a difference, and can have really noticeable effects upon the brightness and clarity of your skin if you stick at it for (at least) a few weeks. Now I'm no medic, so let's move swiftly on to skincare. There are two key ingredients that I look for in products to combat dehydrated skin; glycerin and hyraluronic acid. Glycerin can be found in most 'moisturising' products, and is usually pretty high up the ingredients list. It's a humectant, so attracts water but also helps to seal moisture into the skin. Look for products with glycerin within the first 5 items on the ingredients list to ensure you're getting a worthy amount. Hyaluronic acid is also a humectant but much more powerful and therefore much more expensive. Each molecule can attract up to 1000 times its weight in moisture, and although produced naturally by the skin, our ability to do so decreases with age, making hyaluronic acid a popular ingredient in many anti-aging products.
One of the many benefits of having well-hydrated skin (for me at least) is the effect that it has upon blemish scars. Hydrated skin has a faster cell turnover, so scars and red marks will fade much faster if your skin is hydrated. Ever since making a conscious effort to drink more water and incorporate products with hydrating ingredients into my skincare routine, I've noticed a huge difference in the tone and colour of my skin, as well as the texture and the speed in which my blemish scars fade.
The first product I turned to was Hydraluron. This rather pricey serum has something of a cult following in the beauty world ever since earning the praise of skincare guru Caroline Hirons. Hydraluron is a light, clear serum with an incredibly high hyaluronic acid content. It basically acts like a magnet to anything that you apply on top of it, and makes said anything work a billion times better. A thin layer of this underneath your evening oil/serum and moisturiser will make them much more effective. I usually use this with rosehip oil and a standard moisturiser at night time, and even after just a few days of sticking to this routine I saw a huge difference in my skin (glowy, soft, smooth, reduced redness, the whole shebang). A few weeks down the line and my blemish scars are barely visible. Okay, it's not cheap, but a little goes a long way and once you've sorted out the crux of your issues you could definitely reduce use of it down to two or three nights a week.
Another evening hydration staple for me is Aesop's Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Serum*. This serum was recommended to me during a skincare consultation at Aesop as the perfect antidote to dehydrated skin. Designed to be used in place of a moisturiser and without an oil as this contains the benefits of both, it is a perfect alternative to a cream or oil-based moisturiser if you have especially oily or sensitive skin. This serum has a thick, gloopy texture, and is quite sticky (due to the high glycerin content). It also leaves a slightly tacky, shiny film over my face so I wouldn't advise to wearing it in the daytime or underneath makeup. However, it does leave your skin feeling silky smooth and soft come morning, without being at all oily. This serum also contains aloe vera which really helps to soothe and calm irritated skin, and lavender oil, which is a natural antiseptic. Being an antioxidant, it also helps to protect skin against the nastier effects of the sun and environment. Worth checking out if you're looking for hydration with something a little extra.
It's important to maintain hydration throughout the day, not just in the evening. One of my all time favourite skincare products is Avene's Soothing Hydrating Serum* (full review here). This ultra light, fast-absorbing gel disappears completely into the skin leaving a smooth shine-free surface perfect for makeup application. It's the ideal way to stay hydrated during the day without applying a day cream (I have yet to find one that sits well under foundation), and has had a noticeable effect upon the texture and appearance of my skin.
Like I said I'm no dermatologist, but if you have any questions do ask and I will try my best to answer them! I'd also love to know which products you turn to for a boost of hydration. Let me know in the comments below! To stay updated on future posts and reviews you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Bloglovin. Today is the final day to vote in the Company Style Blogger Awards, and it would mean the world if you could spare 30 seconds to cast me a vote!
* PR sample