Are you dry, dehydrated or BOTH?

Many people experience “dryness” in the winter. Most often, this is not dryness, but dehydration, usually 
caused by indoor heat, wind and general low humidity.

True dryness is caused by lack of oil or sebum, produced by the sebaceous glands. This is a skin type and 
is usually a lifelong problem, although it can worsen with age.

Dehydration, on the other hand, is a skin condition, which can be experienced by all skin types. It is 
usually temporary and easily treated. Even oily, acne-prone skin can be dehydrated. Many people can be 
dry and dehydrated. It’s important to treat the dehydration first to accurately assess the level of dryness.

Dehydration is successfully treated with the proper hydrators, occlusive serums and by adding water to 
your environment. A humidifier in your bedroom can be a big help.

Look for hydrators that contain glycerin, hyaluronic acid and sodium PCA. 

If you are truly dry, you need to incorporate natural, organic oils into your skin care routine. Some 
effective oils to consider are jojoba oil, which most closely mimics the constitution of our natural sebum. 
Other effective oils are argan oil, rose hips oil, hemp seed oil and sea buckthorn oil. Add these to your 
hydrator or serum. Just a couple of drops will suffice.

Most conventional moisturizers are either hydrators or emollients, oil-based formulations. 

If you are dehydrated, you need a hydrator. If you are dry, you need an oil-based moisturizer. 

A hot ingredient now is hyaluronic acid. Some creams tout their product as containing five different 
molecular weights of this “miracle” ingredient. In truth, molecular weight has little to do with 
effectiveness, just the texture of the cream. Some hyaluronic acid creams can irritate sensitive skin types. 
The much-touted quality of absorbing 1,000 times it’s weight in water can be a problem, as the 
molecules of hyaluronic acid can “steal” water from the surrounding tissues, exacerbating the problem. 
Sometimes a tried and true, less expensive ingredient like glycerin can be a better choice.

Rely on your esthetician to properly diagnose your skin type and condition. Follow her guidelines and 
your skin will look it’s best.

Carmel Buckley