Expert Advice

Dehydrated Skin v Dry Skin: What’s the Difference?

Dehydrated Skin v Dry Skin

The world of skin types can be confusing. Dry, oily, acne-prone, mature…the list goes on. Dry skin and dehydrated skin share a lot of the same traits, so you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re one and the same. But appearances can be deceiving. These common skin concerns are actually very different – and require very different skincare. You might be dousing your skin in the wrong product. 

So, what’s really the difference between dry and dehydrated skin – and what are the best products to use? Let’s take a deep dive. 

Dry Skin & Dehydrated Skin Demystified 

Dehydrated skin lacks water 

Tight. Rough. Red. Dull. Sound like you? You probably have dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin is classified as a condition. It describes skin that lacks water. It can be sensitive or even peeling if the dehydration is severe. Dehydration in skin is usually caused by external factors. Think hot baths, chlorine, caffeine consumption, and the climate. That means you could have an oily skin type, but still suffer from dehydration.

Dry skin lacks oil 

Dry skin is not the same as dehydrated skin, although you can experience both issues at the same time. Dry skin is a skin type that produces less oil (sebum) than normal skin. Without this oil, skin has difficulty retaining moisture. Lack of oil can also weaken the skin’s barrier against pollutants and environmental aggressors. Dryness in skin is often genetic. However, with nourishing skincare products, you can keep the dryness at bay.  

What Products Are Best For Dry And Dehydrated Skin? 

Identifying whether you have dry skin or dehydrated skin is the first step. The second step is to figure out what skincare products you need. It all comes down to whether your skin needs hydration or moisture – and yes, they are two different things!  

Hydration v moisture explained 

If you’re seeing the words “hydration” and “moisture” on your skincare products, the goal is the same: to get enough water to your skin. The difference lies in how they work. Simply put, hydrating products aim to increase the water content of skin. Moisturizing products are all about locking in that moisture. Knowing which is which will help you choose formulations that truly serve your skin.  

Dehydrated skin needs hydration 

If our skin is not receiving enough hydration, signs of dehydration start to show. Add air conditioning and artificial heating to the mix, and skin is crying out for hydration. Hydrating products can help to increase the water content of cells, so they’re a no-brainer for dehydrated skin.   

The best dehydrated skin products 

Look for a hydrating serum that is water-based – it easily penetrates thirsty skin. We recommend Hosanna H2O Intensive Skin-Plumping Serum. It sinks into skin without residue, which makes it easy to layer your moisturizer and makeup. Not only is this hydrating serum certified vegan, but it’s a certified organic serum as well.  

No nasties here – just pristine New Zealand nature. Antioxidant-rich Vinanza® Grape has powerful properties to help protect skin and keep it firm and supple. 15,000 year old Waiwera® spring water ensures that you’re getting the purest form of hydration.  

Dry skin needs moisture 

Moisture all the way! Dry skin lacks oil, so it needs to be moisturized. Moisturizing products essentially perform the role of your skin’s natural oils. They prevent moisture from evaporating from skin (also known as trans-epidermal water loss). In doing so, a moisturizer reinforces your skin’s barrier function. You need a well-functioning skin barrier to keep bacteria and chemicals from entering the body.  

The best dry skin products 

If you suffer from dry skin, a rich moisturizer is key to lock in moisture and restore your dewy appearance. This is even more critical during winter when your skin is prone to extra dryness. The best moisturizer for dry skin is 100% natural, such as Vanilla Pod Hydrating Day CreamIt’s light enough to use all year round. Nutrient-rich avocado oil helps to create a healthy, plumped visage. Meanwhile, rosehip’s high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as essential fatty acids, help to soften the appearance of wrinkles.  

The world of beauty terminology can be confusing. Wander the aisles of your favorite department store and some of the words can leave you scratching your head. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed. Knowing the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, and choosing the right products for your skin type, will help you get your glow back. 

Explore our range for dry and dehydrated skin.



Writer and expert