“Hi GMA, I have a question, is there is a difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin?”

Yes, while dry skin and dehydrated skin can share many common symptoms and characteristics, there is a big difference! As a matter of fact, it is important to decipher whether you have dry skin, dehydrated skin or both to effectively treat and improve the skin’s overall appearance.  We’ve put together a simple guide to help you understand the differences between dry skin and dehydrated skin and some tips to maintaining plump, hydrated and beautiful-looking skin all year round!




Dry skin is a permanent skin type typically determined by intrinsic factors such as one’s genetics. Dry skin is characterized by fewer sebaceous glands in the skin and therefore the skin produces less sebum (oil) compared to normal skin. With a lack of sebum, the skin is without the lipids it needs to support the skin’s natural barrier to retain moisture and protect against external aggressors such as bacteria.

Unless properly treated and managed with the right skincare, patients with this skin type will experience dry skin all year round, regardless of the weather and season, but worse during the winter time due to the cold dry air and the indoor heat evaporating moisture from skin.

Common Symptoms:

  • Skin sensitivity
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Flaky and scaly appearance
  • Rough skin
  • Itchiness and tightness in skin
  • Increased incidence of dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis



Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that occurs when there is a lack of water in the skin (as opposed to oil), typically caused by extrinsic factors such as insufficient water intake, poor diet, harsh cosmetic products, dry weather conditions, environment, pollutants, etc.

Dehydrated skin is typically temporary and seasonable (e.g., the skin may only be dehydrated in the winter time). This skin condition can occur to anyone of any skin type including patients who have an oily complexion. In fact, dehydrated skin can contribute to excessive sebum production (as the skin attempts to compensate for lack of moisture) and worsen acne conditions especially for patients with oily skin type.

Common Symptoms:

  • Skin sensitivity
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Flaky and scaly appearance
  • Rough skin
  • Itchiness and tightness in skin
  • Dull skin appearance
  • Increased appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
  • More apparent under-eye dark circles
  • Sunken eyes
  • More congested




  • Use a more enriched moisturiser such as the Environ Super Moisturiser which nourishes the skin and supports the skin’s natural barrier function
  • Apply natural facial oils to repair and support a weakened skin barrier by forming a protective film on the skin’s surface. A stronger skin barrier will help prevent transepidermal water loss and bacterial invasion. Using the right facial oils will also moisturize and smooth dry skin
  • Use cream cleansers such as the Environ AVST Mild Cleansing Lotion which lifts surface impurities while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture balance
  • Reduce the amount of alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) in skincare routine



  • Use a hydrating toner/mist
  • Add a hydrating serum to lock in moisture in skin such as the PCA Skin Hyaluronic Acid Boosting Serum
  • Drink more water, at least eight glasses per day
  • Reduce sodium intake
  • Eat more water-rich fruits and veggies including cucumbers, spinach, celery, lettuce, watermelon and berries



  • Wear a chemical-free, mineral sunscreen daily and reapply every 2 to 3 hours. For proper UV protection, we recommend our Elta MD SPF formulations
  • Incorporate essential vitamins and antioxidants in skincare regimen to normalize skin and support long term skin health. We recommend our Environ AVST Moisturiser which contains an effective blend of vitamins A, C, E and other antioxidants and peptides
  • Avoid hot bath and showers
  • Use a humidifier especially during the winter time
  • Gently exfoliate your face and don’t forget your body, once or twice a week
  • Use a hydrating/moisturising mask twice a week
  • Incorporate a dermaroller for more effective penetration of active ingredients from skincare
  • Regular, monthly advanced facials for healthier, more hydrated skin


Feel free to book a complimentary skin assessment and consultation for a customized treatment plan and professional advice on proper skincare to combat dry and/or dehydrated skin.