I always thought that my skin type was “oily.” Even dermatologists that I consulted with confirmed that my skin type was oily. But little changes in my skin that I noticed over the years made me realize that my skin type wasn’t in fact oily at all, I was in fact suffering from a condition of extremely dehydrated skin! And treating my skin type as oily and using products intended for oily skin was the absolutely worse thing I could do, result in skin become more and more oily over time…
Until recently, I never understood why my skin would get oilier and oilier in the wintertime, and seem to get a little less oily in the summer. Always seemed like I should have the opposite problem: summer is hotter and therefore I should be more oily, right? For example, every time I went back to Hawaii, my skin would get less and less oily every day. Hawaii is so humid and hot… you would think it would make my skin overreact with tons of sebum-production.
This weird contradiction really confused me for years, which resulted in me getting the wrong skin care products and doing the wrong skin routine. For WAY too long. And treating my skin with the wrong products resulted in more sebum, larger pores, and overly-sensitive skin.
But now – finally – I get it! The puzzle pieces fell into place and I unlocked the mystery. All those years, I suffered from severely dehydrated skin, which was only getting worse the more I ignored it or treated it with the wrong products.
So in this post I will be discussing two incredibly common skin issues: dry skin and dehydrated skin. Chances are, you’re dealing (at least a little) from one of them (or both). And like me, you may not even realize it!
First, let’s get this straight: Skin Type vs. Skin Condition
People are born with naturally dry or oily skin. Dry skin is a skin type. Just like oily skin is a skin type. Dehydrated skin is a skin condition, and can arise temporarily or long-term. Acne and rosacea are also skin conditions. You could be dealing with just one condition, or you could be dealing with an array of conditions.
When your skin type becomes a condition is when your dry or oily skin start to cause problems for your skin such as acne, sensitivity, or premature aging. Dry or Dehydrated skin conditions can affect people for a short time, or be a life-long issue. Understanding and treating these conditions properly can help stop skin problems in their tracks, and hopefully reverse the damage.
Dry skin is actually a skin type that you’re born with, and it’s skin that lacks oil. When you put on moisturizers and oils, your skin usually absorbs it pretty quickly.
The best way to treat dry skin is by stop using harsh products that strip your skin, use mild cleansers, and apply protective oils through moisturizers that are heavy in oils.
Dry skin, if not taken care of correctly, can result in the condition of dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin means that it is lacking water, and it can occur because of a lot of factors: how much water you drink, foods you eat, climate, weather, makeup, and product use.
Dehydrated skin can over-produce sebum and oil to try to keep your skin hydrated and healthy. This can cause oily skin, acne, irritation, dry patches, rosacea, etc… All because your skin isn’t getting enough water!
To make it worse, you can easily misdiagnose yourself (or be misdiagnosed by dermatologists) as an oily skin type. Using products for oily skin could then make your skin even worse! You’re trying to take care of your skin, stop the excess oil production, but unknowingly you’re causing more damage to your skin.
The best way to treat dehydrated skin is to apply hydrating moisturizers and help the skin to retain its own water. Drink more water or eat more water-rich foods such as watermelon and cucumber. Apply your products immediately after getting out of the shower so that you can help “trap” the water and moisture in your skin. Choose gentle products that don’t strip away your moisture, and keep adding more and more hydrating moisturizers that include humectants (like glycerin and hyaluronic acid) for your skin. Adding facial oils aren’t a bad idea either as they will provide an extra layer of moisturizing protection for your skin!
What this means for you:
So if you suffer from oily skin, or other conditions, you might want to try experimenting! Take a month to try a few new products or change your habits to see how your skin reacts. Treat your skin as suffering from a dehydrated condition, and add as much moisturizers as possible! You may in fact see a quick improvement.
With the proper care of your dehydrated skin, your skin will calm down and produce less sebum and less irritation. My skin improved radically since I started treating it as a dry skin type with a dehydrated skin condition. My skin is less irritated, don’t suffer much with acne, and doesn’t produce as much oil.
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