What is dehydrated skin? On your face and body, it’s more than mere dry skin. Dry skin (considered a common skin type) usually talks to a lack of natural oils in the skin, which can form part of or be linked to a damaged skin barrier.
Dehydrated skin, though, goes a little deeper. It’s not a skin type but rather a condition. Dehydration talks to a lack of water deep inside the skin. And, left untreated, it can be quite devastating for your skin and health in general.
Here, we ask what the symptoms and effects of dehydrated skin are, why it’s possible for skin to be oily, acne-prone and dehydrated at the same time. And we look at how hydration works in the skin, to discover products that can help heal dehydrated skin on your face and body.
SYMPTOMS: A SIMPLE DEHYDRATED SKIN TEST
Dry skin is easy to spot: It’s tight, rough to the touch, can be sensitive, flaky and it eventually becomes red and inflamed. Dehydrated skin, though, lacks moisture deep inside the layers of skin, so it makes skin less elastic and resilient.
The simple dehydration test is to pinch a small portion of skin on your face (try the cheek) lightly. Then watch how quickly it returns to normal. Dehydrated skin will form wrinkles where you pinch it, and it will take longer to return to its original shape.
It’s often easier to spot on the looser skin on the top of your hands first. If you pinch the skin and it stays in that “pulled” state for a while before settling back into its normal flat shape again, you know the skin is dehydrated.
THE EFFECTS OF DEHYDRATED SKIN
Dehydration in any part of your body is bad for you. Our bodies are made up of around 60% water. And this includes all our organs (of which your skin is the largest) and skin cells, which are like any other cells in the body – they need water to function properly.
Dehydrated skin will, with time, quite literally stop functioning the way it should. It will lose its elasticity, become prone to fine lines and wrinkles, and it will start to show up as poor a complexion in the face. This naturally accelerates skin deterioration and ageing. Think about it: Your body will starve without water. It’s exactly the same with hydration in your skin.
Incidentally, dehydrated skin will often first start showing up on the surface of the skin as dry skin – dry, flaky, irritated skin. And drinking water is, of course, an excellent general rule for hydration. And you should drink lots of water every day. But we’re often told that drinking water is enough to rehydrate the skin. How true is that?
IS DRINKING WATER ENOUGH TO HYDRATE YOUR SKIN?
It seems to make sense. If your skin is dehydrated, drink more water. A good general rule for hydration in your body. But there’s reason to believe that merely drinking water is not enough for your skin.
It’s logic. When you drink water, it doesn’t go directly to your skin (you’re not a plant). You’re ingesting it, so it goes through your intestines first. The water then gets absorbed into your bloodstream and then it gets filtered through your kidneys. Only after this does your body start distributing the moisture to your cells. That’s a lot of hurdles for the water to jump through.
And then we’re not even sure how far down the “must hydrate” priority list your skin cells are. Some researchers believe that most of the water you drink goes to your body’s internal cells, with very little actually making it all the way out to your skin and the outer layers of your body.
Perhaps it’s better to look at how skin cells rehydrate.
HOW HYDRATION WORKS IN SKIN CELLS
Cells hydrate a bit differently. Parts of each called mitochondria (the “battery” of the cell) produce the chemical adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is literally what powers your cell – helps the cell do its job of keeping you alive. And for mitochondria to produce ATP it needs hydrogen, which is a part of water (H20, where the H2 stands for two hydrogen atoms).
Incidentally, your cell uses this same process to “clean” itself of unwanted inflammation, which is strongly linked to the chronic inflammation that causes the inflammation ageing we often speak about in relation to Lamelle’s Dermaheal range. (This just shows again how dehydration is linked to ageing and illness).
Now, your cells have trouble extracting the hydrogen they need from the water you drink because our water is treated with chemicals. Chlorinated water binds the hydrogen in too tight clusters for your cells to be able to extract it. So, you could drink water and your cells still stay dehydrated.
Your skin cells actually rely on a substance to “extract” the hydrogen out of the water and make it available to them in a form they can use. That substance is hyaluronic acid.
HYALURONIC ACID AND PRODUCTS FOR HEALING DEHYDRATED SKIN
Hyaluronic acid is a remarkable substance. It goes around your body collecting hydrogen for your cells to use. And it can bind up to a thousand times its own weight in hydrogen, so it really is a marvel and the key to hydrating your skin cells properly.
To fix dehydrated skin, you need hyaluronic acid (HA). And your body produces it naturally, but it can dwindle as you get older – which is perhaps what’s really causing your dehydrated skin.
That’s why Lamelle developed an advanced HA topical serum that delivers hyaluronic acid to dehydrated skin.
LAMELLE CORRECTIVES HA PLUS
Made with hyaluronic acid molecules in a variety of different sizes – because the different layers of skin absorb different sized HA molecules, including HAFi fragments for easier absorption – Lamelle’s Correctives HA Plus serum delivers HA to the skin to promote normal cell function.
The HA Plus serum not only plumps and hydrates skin but it also promotes skin healing. And the added HAFi fragments help stimulate your body’s own production of new hyaluronic acid.
Speak to your doctor or skincare therapist today about treating your dehydrated skin with Lamelle’s Correctives HA Plus serum.
Plus: Did you know that dehydrated skin causes your skin to compensate by producing more oils. This can lead to pimples and breakouts. So, dehydration could be the underlying cause for acne-prone skin. Have a look at some treatments for acne and problematic skin.