Is your skin looking and feeling tight and uncomfortable?  Does it look dull and unhealthy?   If it does, your first instinct is probably to think your skin is dry and grab your moisturizer.  Well, it could be dry, but it is probably more likely to be dehydrated – or both!  Most people confuse the terms dry skin with dehydrated skin, or they assume that they are interchangeable.  Yes your skin can be both, but it can also be oily on the surface, yet dehydrated at the same time.  In fact, dehydrated skin often overcompensates for itself and produces more oil – therefore making the surface oily.  Let me clear things up a bit.

Dry skin is caused by exactly that – having dry skin.  It generally does feel tight and uncomfortable but is quite often flaky and rough and can be helped by using products formulated for dry skin.  Dehydrated skin will usually also feel uncomfortable but the surface can be dry, normal, or oily, because dehydrated skin is usually caused by what is going on inside your body.   If your body is lacking water and hydration, or is malnourished, then your skin will look dull and dehydrated.

You can keep your skin properly hydrated by drinking lots of water, but also by limiting caffeine, not smoking, eating a healthy diet, using a humidifier, and applying a good quality moisturizer.  Winter time and its cold weather can also contribute to dehydrated skin because of the cool dry air so you may notice more dehydration at this time of the year.  Once you make sure your body and skin are hydrated properly – which can take a good month or two to get back on track – take a good look at the surface of your skin because you may not have dry skin. Figure out if you are dry, normal or oily and treat your skin as such with cleansers, moisturizers, and of course – sunscreen.

This just goes to show you that if you keep your body healthy – your skin will thank you and produce that radiant, healthy glow that we all want.