We often use the terms interchangeably, but there's actually a difference you should keep in mind.

So, what exactly is the difference?

Dry skin and dehydrated skin are often confused as being the same thing; however, they're actually different concerns. You may have one or the other, or both at the same time.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is a skin type (like oily or combination), and often occurs when the body doesn't produce enough natural oils–ie, sebum. This can result in itchiness, redness, flakiness, and/or increased incidence of psoriasis, eczema, or dermatitis.

Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin is a temporary condition and occurs when there is a lack of water in the skin. This can happen regardless of skin type; people with oily skin can still experience dehydration. This condition often results in dullness, congestion, sensitivity, lack of elasticity, and oiliness (this last one in particular might sound rather counterintuitive! Read on for the explanation).

Similarly, people often conflate moisture and hydration, but those two terms are slightly different, too. Our friends at Vintner's Daughter described it in the easiest way to understand once: think of it as a matter of oil versus water. Moisturizing [dry] skin involves the use of oils to nourish the skin and strengthen the natural lipid barrier; on the other hand, hydrating [dehydrated] skin means increasing its water content. At the risk of throwing in a wrench: when skin becomes dehydrated, it's lacking in water and requires deep hydration, but it also likely requires oil to lock that hydration in.

Dehydration can be the underlying cause of skin concerns associated with oily skin, such as breakouts, because without proper hydration, the skin compensates by producing excess oil, leading to clogged pores and irritation.

Now, how can I tell which my skin is?

Let's start with the similarities: both dry and dehydrated skin can be flaky, tight, and sensitive, meaning it can be tricky to tell definitively which you're dealing with.

To get a better idea, try looking closely at your skin. Dry skin will often look more scaly up close, due to a slower natural exfoliating process, while dehydrated skin will often result in fine, crepey lines and a tell-tale "tight" feeling.

Regardless of whether you're dealing with dryness or dehydration, we've got some stellar product recommendations to get your skin in tip-top shape.

Our Moisturizing Picks for Dry Skin

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Moisturize on a profound level with this unique face oil. Ceramides maintain youthful, plump, well-hydrated skin. Cholesterol lubricates surface layers, and biomimetic fatty acids balance skin's oil ration without the use of essential oils.

This product helps to stimulate cellular turnover, maintain skin elasticity, strengthen capillaries, inhibit melanin production, deliver oxygen to cells, and last but not least, protect against free-radical damage.

The ultra silky body balm intensely nourishes, hydrates, and promotes firmer, more supple skin. Acai, babassu, passion fruit, and raw virgin coconut oils deeply hydrate for a smoother, more radiant appearance. Mineral-rich seaweed seals in moisture and promotes skin elasticity.

Our Hydrating Picks for Dehydrated Skin

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This formula contains a unique blend of humectants that truly hydrates by maintaining moisture levels within the cellular structures of the skin. It includes AHAs to rebalance pH and pre- and probiotics to rebalance the skin microbiome.

A lightweight, non-greasy, moisture-boosting serum that smoothes wrinkles and fine lines while replenishing dry, thirsty skin. Hyaluronic acid attracts up to 1,000 times its weight in water, strengthening the skin's moisture barrier for visibly improved firmness and elasticity.

This is the ultimate hydration step. The Supernatural Crème uses 72-hour moisture-lock technology to deeply hydrate the skin, instantly delivering a luminous glow, alongside phenomenal age-defying results. It's like a tall drink of water for a dehydrated complexion.

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