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Is your skin dehydrated?

The beauty industry is slowly waking up to the fact that over exfoliating, using harsh retinoid creams and sunbathing has created a new skin type which needs a huge amount of care and attention. What is dehydrated skin and how it should be treated?

Dry skin

What is dehydrated skin?

Many people assume that dehydrated skin is simply dry skin which is lacking in oil, but while dry skin is a common skin type, dehydrated skin can actually occur in all skins. It is a skin condition caused by a lack of water, not oil. Because of this, even the oiliest skin types can suffer. In fact, dehydrated skin is fast becoming one of the most common skin complaints discussed in beauty salons and dermatology offices. The modern phenomenon of stripping skin with harsh acne treatments, over exfoliating and using treatments like chemical peels has literally drained the moisture out of many people’s skin.

Symptoms of dehydrated skin

Dehydrated skin takes on a rough, lifeless, grey appearance and may be subject to fine lines and wrinkles even in the fairly young. Dry, scaly patches may also be present and in severe cases, peeling and dermatitis. Oily skin types may have a thick greasy sheen as the skin goes into panic mode and overcompensates by producing more and more oil. This can be even more problematic as the excess oil can block pores and cause acne, from small closed blackheads right up to infected cysts with the potential to scar.

Clinique Moisture Surge

Treatments for dehydrated skin

The best way to prevent the problem or rectify it if you are already suffering is to rehydrate the skin. In dry to normal skin types a rich hydrating moisturiser should do the trick within a few weeks. A great product to use is Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (Clinique, £32) which is designed to plump the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles caused by dehydration.

Avene cream

If you have oily skin things can be more tricky. To avoid blocking pores and making the situation worse, you need to look for an oil free moisturiser. Check that the product is described as “hydrating” and that it contains aqua (water) and/or hydraulic acid to boost moisture levels. Avene Hydrance Optimale Light Hydrating Cream (Amazon, £14.85) is perfect for this skin type as it will prevent dehydration without being too heavy.

Normal skincare types are usually pretty problem free so if dehydration is your only worry, Vichy Aqualia Thermal (Boots, £16) should do the trick nicely.

More on skin care

5 Step guide to a creasefree complexion
Are you wasting your beauty products?
The top 5 next generation skin firmers

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