Does your skin feel more flaky and sensitive than usual? Has your natural radiance been zapped from your complexion? Dehydration might be the culprit.
Hydration is important, but it usually boils down to more than a simple lack of water intake. In the summer, it could be the air conditioning. In the winter, it's likely the heat. But no mater what the root cause is, this dry spell is fairly easy to reverse.
Your water intake directly impacts your skin, just as it does the rest of your bodily functions. Make water your main choice of drink, drink water when thirsty, and drink water with meals.
Skin type (dry, combination, oily, and normal) is the product of genetics, whereas skin conditions (acne, dehydration, inflammation, redness, and dullness) are problems that arise from either your skin type or improper care of your skin, meaning they can be corrected when properly treated.
Contrary to popular belief, dehydrated skin isn’t necessarily overly dry, it’s just lacking moisture and tends to feel tight. And in fact, often those who experience it most are acne-prone or oily skin types, as the harsher products used to combat these issues tend to strip the skin of moisture.
Causes of dehydrated skin
External aggressors are typically to blame for dehydrated skin, so things like sun exposure, air pollution, dry weather, not drinking enough water, drinking too much alcohol, an unbalanced diet, and chlorine all contribute to the lack of moisture in your skin. But there are other reasons you might experience that tight, itchy feeling, too: using products that disrupt your skin’s pH can also contribute to it, alongside skin and health conditions like hypothyroidism, eczema, rosacea, and dermatitis.
Signs of dehydrated skin
Skin that’s dehydrated looks dull, and will show premature signs of ageing, like surface wrinkles and loss of elasticity. Additionally, you may experience itchiness along with dark under eye circles, sunken eyes, flaky skin, and redness.
Treatment for dehydrated skin
Conscious lifestyle choices
Dehydrated skin can come down to lifestyle choices, so if you want to rehydrate your skin, limit fizzy drinks and caffeine, exercise regularly, drink more water (around 2L per day), get plenty of sleep, and of course, nix the nicotine. Your best bet for fighting dehydration is conscious lifestyle choices and a targeted at-home skincare routine. Stick to using water-based moisturisers, vitamin B and C.
Steer clear of harsh cleansers
Harsh cleansing agents strip the skin of natural moisturizing factors and oils and allow micro-cuts or cracks in the top layer of skin to take place. Avoid using harsh chemical cleansers and oil based creams and any products that use a high percentage of acids and enzymes, and use SPF50+ daily.
Use coconut oil
Another key element that helps in hydrating your skin is coconut oil. Unlike commercial creams which are either loaded with water or petroleum by-products, coconut oil is absolutely natural and low in artificial water content. An oily substance called sebum helps in adding moisture to the skin and keeps it hydrated for a longer period of time. It also protects the skin from dirt and pollution as it traps them in, keeping the skin clean. Opt only the organic ones as they are purer.
Nix hot showers and baths
On the surface, it may seem like taking hot showers and baths would help quash dehydrated skin but the opposite is true. Hot showers and baths encourage water to flow out of your skin and evaporate into the shower, therefore dehydrate the skin. The best kinds of showers are short, lukewarm showers, to ensure water stays within the skin.
Make veggies and fruits your new munchies
If you want a hydrated glowing skin, the old saying which says "you are what you eat" could never be so relevant and correct. No matter how much you apply creams and lotions, beautiful skin starts only with proper nourishment from within. Including lots of green veggies and fruits in your daily diet is the only way to keep your skin healthy from within. They are the only source that supplies essential nutrients needed for the rapid renewal and growth of cells. Vegetables and fruits of various colours have different nutritional values. Beta carotene found in pumpkin, carrot and papaya is vital for the development of skin cells and maintains the healthy glow. Strawberry, oranges, amla, lemon, sweet potato, kiwi fruits, etc. are high in Vitamin C and important anti-oxidants which lends a healthy inner radiance to your skin and improves the immune system. Tomato contains lycopene which plays a significant role in fighting free radicals, skin damage due to sun, etc. On the other hand, cucumber, watermelon and spinach contain a lot of water which also helps in keeping the skin hydrated from inside. So toss these colourful veggies and fruits in your salad bowl and relish them with some tasty garnishing and let your skin do the talking.
When you over-cleanse your skin, you’re repeatedly stripping it of both its natural microbiome and moisturizing barrier agents. If you have to cleanse your skin more than twice a day, apply a light moisturizer post-cleanse to replace any lost hydration.
Leave your skin moist after cleansing
Instead of completely drying your skin after cleansing, gently pat-dry so your skin is still slightly damp as you apply your moisturizer. This helps to ensure the moisturizer you apply will pull that water in so your skin can ‘drink’ it.