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What’s the Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin

What’s the Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin
16/08/2019 Timeless Skin Care Europe

Dry and dehydrated skin types sound pretty much the same, right? Unfortunately, they’re different skin issues that need to be treated in different ways. Let’s find out what they are and how to address them together. 

What’s the difference? 

Dry skin lacks oils and needs to be moisturised, while dehydrated skin lacks moisture from water and needs to be hydrated. Normal skin has a perfect balance between the two.

Dry skin is a skin type that people are born with, while dehydrated skin is a skin condition that can happen to anyone. So, you can have an oily skin type but have dehydrated skin. Or you could even have dry skin AND dehydrated skin that lacks both hydration AND moisture. 

How do I know which one I am? 

You might be dry if your skin is…  

  • Flakey in areas 
  • Rough in texture 
  • Dry all over the body 
  • Matte all of the time 
  • Dryness is usually caused by genetics 

You might be dehydrated if your skin is…  

  • Dull and looks ‘old’ 
  • Oily, but still feels tight 
  • Sensitive, itchy skin 
  • Not always dry-feeling 
  • Dehydration is usually caused by external factors (environment, skincare products) 


While the signs are fairly similar, the key difference between the two is determining the cause of the dryness or dehydration. For example, even if you have pimples, dull, and flaky skin, your skin is probably dry if your scalp and the rest of your body is prone to dryness. If your skin is feeling unusually tight, even though it’s also flaky and rough, it’s probably dehydration caused by an unsuitable product or sudden climate change. 

How do I treat dry or dehydrated skin? 

Because dehydrated skin lacks water, it’s dull, feels tight, and looks less bouncy than hydrated skin. Products best for dehydrated skin are lightweight yet powerful hydrating serums such as our Hyaluronic Acid Serum and Vitamin B5 Serum. Both serums hydrate skin deeply from within, supporting a healthy, nourished glow.  

Since dry skin lacks oils, our Pure Argan Oil and Pure Squalane Oil are the perfect oils to nourish and rescue dry skin. They both help to balance and nurture dry skin by providing intense moisture, helping to soften skin and get rid of flakiness. They can be used on their own as intensely moisturising treatments, or added to moisturisers for a nourishing, moisturising boost,