Dehydrated skin

4 Ingredients to Take Your Skin From Dehydrated to Plump and Glowing

Does your skin feel tight, like it’s one size too small?

Is it dry, flaky, and parched?

Or are you noticing fine horizontal lines running across your face?

Then, you could be suffering from dehydrated skin.

As far as skin conditions are concerned, it is quite a paradox.

As it can be both dry and oily simultaneously.

So join us as we look at the ingredients that will treat this trickiest of conditions.

Understanding Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin is a condition, not a skin type, that is characterised by the following:

  • a rough, coarse texture
  • flaky, scaly patches
  • inflammation
  • redness
  • fine lines
  • oiliness

If your skin feels great after cleansing but oily a few hours later, it is likely dehydrated and oily, as this study shows (1).

The epidermis—your visible layer of skin—lacks water, so your skin tries to compensate by producing more oil to keep itself hydrated.

If you feel tightness on your cheeks and wrinkles quickly when you pull your skin taut, it is dehydrated and dry.

The Dehydrated Skin Test

A test we recommend to determine if your skin is dehydrated is to pinch your cheek; if you find it wrinkles with pressure instead of holding its usual shape, this is a good indication that your skin lacks water.

Common signs of dehydrated skin include inflammation, sensitivity and congestion. Your skin may feel tight and notice more lines in places you forget.

Dehydration can also cause dark circles under your eyes.

Understanding Dry Skin

If you have dry skin, your skin is lacking in OIL and can be categorised into three groups:

  • Xerosis is generally the most common dry skin complaint
  • Ichthyosis is a moderate dry skin condition
  • Ichthyosis Vulgaris is the most severe dry skin condition, characterised by scaling skin, often found on the legs.

Interesting fact: Legs are often dry because the skin on your legs has fewer sudoriferous glands.

What Causes Dehydrated Skin?

The following are both internal and external causes of dehydrated skin:

Intrinsic Ageing

Your skin contains ingredients that decrease with age, causing an imbalance in your skin’s natural lipid barrier.

Humectants that keep your skin plump and hydrated, such as hyaluronic acid and urea, deplete with age.

Extrinsic Ageing

Smoking, drinking, and taking recreational or prescribed drugs cause your skin to become dehydrated.

Other factors that can dry out skin include environmental toxins, UV rays, cold wind, harsh ingredients, air conditioning, and heating.

More often than not, dehydrated skin is also due to a cosmetic issue from harsh skincare products containing sensitising ingredients.

4 Ingredients to Treat Dehydration

To get that clear skin difference, you must achieve correct hydration within your skin cells; below are some of the classes of ingredients responsible for moisture retention and balance:

Humectants for Hydration

These are important for skin hydration, as this study shows (2).

Humectants attract water from the dermis and the atmosphere, drawing it into your outer layer of skin.

Hyaluronic acid, pyrrolidone carboxylic acid (PCA), glycerin, urea, and lactic acid are great examples of humectants.

Our humectant-based skin shot, H₂O hydrating skin shot, is a great way to give your skin a direct hit of moisture. If your skin is super dehydrated, layer over H20 with Quench plumping peptide gel for a moisture magnet boost.

Occlusives for Protection

These contain lovely, rich phytosterols for skin healing, with natural water barrier effects.

Shea butter, avocado, sunflower oil, cocoa butter, macadamia, jojoba, squalane, and evening primrose are all lovely occlusive ingredients that keep your skin soft and supple.

The skin treatment Barrier repair balm is an excellent example of an emollient-rich skincare product.

Replenishing Skin Identical Ingredients

Barrier-repairing ingredients like ceramides (3) contain compounds found in your skin which help keep the moisture balance in your skin.

They mimic ingredients found in your stratum corneum (the outer layer of skin), including lipids, ceramides, and cholesterol – which are the essential building blocks of your skin.

Emollients for Moisturisation

These fill in the gaps of impaired barrier function and smooth, dry, rough skin.

They are found in the form of lipids or oils and work by repelling polar water molecules, limiting their passage to the outer environment.

Understanding Water Movement 

Before we start, we apologise as we have to go all skin-sciencey for a short while.

When thinking about dehydration, we need to focus on the natural hydrolipidic film, a type of emulsion that covers the surface of your skin.

This complex fluid is formed by specific substances excreted from the sudoriferous and sebaceous glands, epidermal lipids, and the natural moisturising factor.

Interestingly, this film over your skin contains an essential fatty acid substance known as 7-dehydrocholesterol.

UV directly affects 7-dehydrocholesterol, producing Vitamin D. This vitamin is then absorbed into the bloodstream and used within the body to help develop bone tissue and correct the use of calcium and phosphorous.

The film is created by two phases – the liposoluble phase and the hydrosoluble phase.

The liposoluble phase: This film is the oily phase secreted from sebaceous secretions. It originates in the sebaceous gland and is closely attached to hair follicles and the epidermic lipids of the bilayers of the stratum corneum (your outer layer of skin). It is slightly acidic.

Hydrosoluble Phase: The hydrolipidic film progressively reduces as you age, and the hydrous transfer through your skin reflects your body’s internal hydration levels.

This aqueous phase is comprised of your natural moisturising factor (NMF). It is essential in maintaining hydration of the epidermal layer and perspiration from the eccrine sweat glands covering the entire surface of your skin.

Drying elements from the environment increase evaporation from the epidermis, and excess transpiration occurs.

The hydrous transfer then reflects the internal hydration levels of the body through your skin; thus, dehydration and a slowing down of the hydrosoluble phase occur, especially when natural hydration is out of balance.

So, as you can see, it is all a matter of maintaining the water balance in your skin; all skin tissues have to maintain sufficient water for the correct function, including the ability to adjust within your environment.

Water, how much is enough?

Clients often ask, “Why is my skin so dry or dehydrated as I drink plenty of water?” Sadly, drinking eight glasses of water daily is excellent for your body but not for your skin.

Sorry to disappoint, but think about it – if it were that easy to get rid of dehydrated skin, then we would all be drinking lots of water, and there would be no incidents of dehydrated skin.

Whilst your skin is the largest organ in the body, it is the last to receive water and nutrients; all the other organs steal it first.

This means the cause and treatment for dehydrated skin are far more complicated than just drinking water.

To conclude. The naked truth

As you can see, having balanced, hydrated skin is based on the following factors:

  • relevant ambient humidity
  • the retention power of the stratum corneum, your outer layer of skin
  • the products used that will lock moisture into your skin’s upper layers
  • the period involving how long water moves from the lower skin layers to the upper regions of the stratum corneum

Finally, remember that dehydration is due to a lack of water, not oil, and even oily skin can experience dehydration.

This is because the activity of your sebaceous glands can be normal or overactive in dehydrated skin.


1. The Clinical Relevance of Maintaining the Functional Integrity of the Stratum Corneum in both Healthy and Disease-affected Skin.

2. Ceramides and skin function.

3. The efficiency of humectants as skin moisturisers in the presence of oil.

7 replies on “4 Ingredients to Take Your Skin From Dehydrated to Plump and Glowing”

Hi, I have recently found your website and I am looking to purchase some products, but I need some help in exactly what to buy. Would I be able to email you to get some help?

Hi Samantha,
I have recently discovered your site and really like all the information. I am really keen to purchase some of your products but need some direction in which ones to get. I have been sifting through them all but have now confused myself! Would it be possible for you to email me so I can give you a quick overview of my skin, age etc so I could get a few suggestions of what to buy please.
Many thanks

There is a theory that dehydration creates tiny horizontal lines which obvioulsy lead to folds wrinkles in the skin. I think it is really more about the fact that a dehydrated skin looks parched, flaky, sallow whilst one that is hydrated, plump and moist looks so much more youthful. Take the ingredient hyaluronic acid that not only locks 1000 times its weight in water onto the skin, but also stimulates collagen and elastin your internal scaffolding really helping to prevent ageing. Samantha

I nevr really understood the difference betweem dry and dehydrated skin, so thankyou for making it sO clear, great read

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.