Treatment & Tips for Dry and Dehydrated Skin

Updated on February 9, 2023

If you have dry or dehydrated skin but want it to look and feel its best, you need to understand what skin type or condition you have to address the issue effectively. There is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin which will impact the approach that should be taken.

D.Thomas Clinic has compiled some helpful tips better to understand the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, address both causes, and know how to repair or manage the condition. 

What is the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin?

Dry skin is a genetic skin type, while dehydrated skin is a skin concern that any skin type can experience.

If you suffer from dry skin, you will experience the following:

  • Your skin underproduces oil (sebum)
  • You will have dry skin year-round, but it can get worse in cold weather
  • Your pores will be smaller in size

If you have dehydrated skin, which can affect anybody, then the following will apply:

  • Your skin lacks water
  • Dehydrated skin can be temporary
  • Dehydrated skin can feel oily and dry at the same time

Debbie Thomas, skin and laser expert at D.Thomas Clinic, says people commonly confuse dry skin and dehydrated skin. 

“It is easy for people to confuse the two as there are similarities between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Both cause a tight feeling to the skin, can cause flaking and lead to a rough skin texture. Those affected may have a dull, lackluster skin tone and accentuated fine lines, and the skin will feel sensitive and/or have increased sensitivity,” she says.

Despite the similarities, the causes of dry and dehydrated skin are quite different; as such, the steps to take and available treatments need to be tailored to each. We’ll take a look at the causes, management, and professional treatments for both conditions  

Dry Skin – causes, management, and recommended treatments

Causes of dry skinManaging dry skinRecommended professional treatments for dry skin
Genetics – largely responsible for our skin type, our genetics can limit our natural moisturizing factor (sebum production)

Hormones – hormonal imbalance (which typically accompanies menopause) causes dry skin because of declining levels of reproductive hormones that stimulate oil production.

Thyroid conditions – hypothyroidism causes dry skin through decreased eccrine gland secretion.Medication – can commonly decrease the body’s overall water content, drying your skin.

Age – as we age, our pores naturally produce less oil, raising the risk of dry skin.

Menopause – during menopause, our skin’s natural oil production rapidly depletes, leaving our skin at risk of dryness.

Avoid skincare products, soaps and household cleaners that contain harsh chemicals, fragrances, dyes and other ingredients that can irritate delicate skin. 

Avoid washing your face and showers at hot temperatures

Never skip moisturising – find a moisturiser containing humectants, emollients and even occlusives if your skin is extremely dry

Equip dry air with a humidifier to restore moisture and avoid the air drawing it from your skin.

DNA Essential Skin Grade 1 – our comprehensive bespoke DNA 1 is excellent for nourishing the skin, strengthening the skin barrier and gently removing dry, dead skin cells to reveal refreshed, hydrated skin. 

Dehydrated Skin – causes, management and recommended treatments

Causes of dehydrated skinManaging dehydrated skinRecommended professional treatments for dehydrated skin
Weather – hot temperatures increase water loss from the body and cold temperatures draw moisture away from the skin.

Incorrect skincare products – dehydrated skin is often confused with dry skin, without restoring the water content in the skin your skin will remain dehydrated because it doesn’t naturally produce water.

Heating/air conditioning – working in the same way as hot/cold weather.

Pollution – tiny particles and gases in dirt, exhaust fumes or smog can penetrate our skin cells and cause damage to our skin’s barrier. A damaged skin barrier leads to transepidermal water loss and dehydration. 

A damaged skin barrier – your skin barrier’s job is to lock moisture in and keep irritants out. If it is damaged and not working correctly, it cannot hold onto essential hydration and protect your skin from external aggressors.
Hydrate – all skin types need some amount of help to effectively moisturise their skin, because the skin doesn’t naturally produce water. Hydrating ingredients deliver water to the skin and promote skin hydration. These are known as humectants, like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, polyglutamic acid, lactic acid, sodium PCA, .etc

Barrier repair – skin-barrier strengthening ingredients help to lock in skin hydration and keep environmental toxins out, known as emollients and occlusives. Emollients help to rebuild the skin barrier and occlusives create a physical support barrier on the skin. Emollients include ceramides, fatty alcohols, squalane. Occlusives include petrolatum and your natural sebum production. 

Avoid overly stripping ingredients

Gentle, light exfoliation when the skin is less impaired

DNA Essential Skin Grade 1 – our comprehensive bespoke DNA 1 is excellent for nourishing the skin, restoring the skin barrier and helping to protect the skin from transepidermal water loss. LED therapy/Byonik – a damaged skin barrier cannot effectively manage the skin’s water content, going back to skin basics and rebuilding your skin’s strength is essential in treating dehydrated skin. Our Byonik is specifically focused on restoring your skin barrier with nourishment and hydration, using the healing power of light. 


Whether you have dry or dehydrated skin, the good news is there are ways to manage the condition, plus also professional help available if you need an expert touch. Turning to professional treatments will not only ensure you get the right treatment for your type of skin, and you’ll also develop good habits that will keep your skin in a better condition in the longer term.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.