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How To Treat Dehydrated Skin

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Just what is dehydrated skin? It’s the same thing as having dry skin, isn’t it?

While the terms ‘dehydrated skin’ and ‘dry skin’ are often used interchangeably, there are actually differences between the two skin types.

What is dehydrated skin?

Signs of dehydrated skin are usually an excessive amount of oil on the skin surface but you still get that ‘tight’, dry and rough feeling. Even worse, you may sometimes experience flaking.

At the same time, your skin may also feel oily yet tight and dry. Yes, we know that sounds contradictory, but that’s what dehydrated skin is all about!

To add to the confusion, it is hard to differentiate dehydrated skin from dry skin because the dehydrated skin may come and go!

This means that it may improve or deteriorate depending on factors such as season, climate and activity level.

The good news is that, like most other skincare conditions, you can learn to choose the correct skincare products to manage dehydrated skin.

Unsuitable skincare products may worsen dehydrated skin.

Though dehydrated skin can be caused by external factors, using the wrong skincare products is a surefire way to aggravate the issue.

If you have dehydrated skin, here are sensible skin care practices you can follow:

  • Avoid skin-drying ingredients such as menthol, peppermint, fragrances (whether synthetic or natural), or alcohol that can wipe out the natural oil on the skin surface and leave it feeling even more dehydrated. These drying ingredients would likely stimulate excessive oil production, leading to oilier skin which could trigger a whole slew of other skin problems such as clogged pores and acne.
  • Proceed carefully when using facial products and scrubs containing strong exfoliating ingredients such as AHA, BHA, retinol or a high concentration of vitamin C. While these exfoliants can work wonders for healthy, normal skin, using them on dehydrated skin may aggravate the condition.

The secret here is to find out what works for your dehydrated skin and not upset its delicate balance.

6 Tips to caring for dehydrated skin

One man’s meat may be another man’s poison. Similarly, one woman’s skincare ally may be another woman’s beauty nemesis.

With a little common sense and careful scrutiny of the ingredients on your skincare products, you’ll be able to take charge of living with dehydrated skin like a pro and not let it run your life.

  1. Use mild facial cleansers. Cleansers that cause your skin to feel unnaturally ‘tight’ or leave it feeling ‘oily’ as if you haven’t washed your face at all are most probably unsuitable for you.
  2. Avoid harsh exfoliants, scrubs and hard-bristled facial cleansing brushes like plague – dehydrated skin is already sensitive and damaged and you shouldn’t worsen its condition.
  3. Swap facial toners containing alcohol or witch hazel (they tend to strip away the skin’s natural oil and moisture) for gentle toners with skin-restoring goodness that replenish what has been washed away.
  4. Eliminate the use of skincare products that contain fragrances of any kind, be it synthetic scents or essential oils. Fragrances in skincare products spell trouble for every skin type and not just for dehydrated skin.
  5. Only use skincare products that are rich in skin-supporting antioxidants and ingredients. These give dehydrated skin what it really needs to balance itself to look healthy and radiant.
  6. When using special skin boosters, serums or antioxidants to target specific skincare issues such as dark spots or wrinkles on dehydrated skin, do a patch test first before applying it on your face. If your skin is receptive to the product, it’s usually good enough to use it on your face on alternate days instead of daily so as not to overburden the already sensitive dehydrated skin.

Dehydrated Skin and Acne

Dehydrated skin often causes breakouts to occur more frequently because of the way your skin works. To keep your acne under control, numerous studies have shown that salicylic acid (BHA) and benzoyl peroxide are must-have anti-acne ingredients in your skincare routine.

However, many over-the-counter anti-acne products containing these ingredients also contain skin-aggravating ingredients that can increase oil production and also cause your skin to become flaky at the same time! So it is critical to choose your anti-acne products wisely when you have dehydrated skin.

The Paula’s Choice Skincare Clear collection has the perfect range of products for acne treatment. The Clear range is formulated to be completely non-irritating so you can use it when you have dehydrated skin.

If you do however choose to explore other skincare routines, always monitor how your skin responds to the skincare products.

For example, for some people, either using salicylic acid (BHA) or the benzoyl peroxide would be sufficient for them and there is no need to combine them together. For others, they would need to combine the use of both ingredients to see visible results.

One way to experiment is to apply the benzoyl peroxide product one day and the next day use the salicylic acid (BHA) product. Another way to experiment would be the use the salicylic (BHA) product during the day and the benzoyl peroxide at night.

Top skincare products to consider for dehydrated skin

RESIST Perfectly Balanced Cleanser

Why: the gentle foaming cleanser removes facial grime and makeup without robbing the skin’s natural oil, making it a balanced cleanser that refreshes your skin without leaving it feeling tight.

Benefits: dehydrated skin can sometimes feel a little rough and dull. RESIST Perfectly Balanced Cleanser is filled with skin replenishing ceramides and hyaluronic acid which conditions the skin and minimizes pores to make it feel softer and smoother. 100% free of fragrances which could potentially irritate dehydrated skin, you can rest assured that this cleanser doesn’t upset the skin’s fragile balance.

How to use: apply a small amount of RESIST Perfectly Balanced Cleanser to a wet face in gentle, circular movement before rinsing well. If you need to remove heavy or stubborn makeup, you may wash your face with the cleanser for a second time with a soft washcloth. Avoid vigorous rubbing with the washcloth as that will be damaging to the sensitive, dehydrated skin.

CALM Redness Relief Toner

Why: a light liquid texture that restores the skin’s moisture without piling on the grease, this toner has the added benefit of calming patches of redness and sensitivity which are sometimes apparent in dehydrated skin.

Benefits: formulated with a selection of potent antioxidants and skin-soothing botanical ingredients such as green tea and colloidal oatmeal, CALM Redness Relief Toner rejuvenates and soothes dehydrated skin without that heavy ‘greasy’ feeling. Being 100% fragrance-free, there are no fragrances of any type that could trigger irritation in the dehydrated skin.

How to use: after washing your face, pour toner onto a cotton ball and gently apply to face and neck in an upward motion. Then follow up with your usual skincare routine. If you’re heading out during the day, don’t forget your sunscreen rated SPF25 and higher.

RESIST Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum

Why: this is specially formulated for problematic skin targeting dehydration, fine lines, wrinkles and enlarged pores.

Benefits: brimming with a proprietary mix of antioxidants and grape-derived resveratrol (an antioxidant), hyaluronic acid (anti-aging and hydrating properties) and niacinamide (pore minimizer), RESIST Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum delivers skin-restoring nutrients in a water-light formula that gets quickly absorbed into dehydrated skin. It’s also 100% fragrance-free which means irritation-free for dehydrated skin.

How to use: after cleansing and toning, smooth a few drops of RESIST Ultra Light Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum on your face, eye areas and neck. If you wish, you may follow up with your moisturizer. Before you get out of the house during the day, remember to put on a sunscreen rated SPF25 and higher.

RESIST Daily Pore-refining Treatment 2% BHA

Why: this multitasking, leave-on treatment contains a low concentration of BHA that smooths rough, bumpy skin as well as takes care of sun damage, ageing and enlarged pores. It features a feather-light consistency for fast and easy absorption into the skin.

Benefits: RESIST Daily Pore-refining Treatment 2% BHA has a unique blend of antioxidants and peptides that protect the skin against environmental stressors such as pollution and soothes a range of skin issues such bumpy skin, sun damage, ageing and enlarged pores. It’s also 100% fragrance-free which means dehydrated skin will usually respond well to it without flaring up.

How to use: After cleansing and toning, soak a cotton ball with RESIST Daily Pore-refining Treatment 2% BHA and wipe it all over the face. However, always do a patch test on dehydrated skin before applying any new skincare product with BHA (an exfoliant which could potentially strip away natural oil in dehydrated skin) to the face to make sure that the skin responds well to it.

While it may sometimes be a tad uncomfortable to be living with dehydrated skin, the little inconveniences can be managed and rectified with the use of suitable skin care products.

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