By Donna Felice, RN, LE

“Your skin is very dehydrated”, the aesthetician commented as she spritzed toner on my face. I was surprised at her assessment. I have always had very oily skin and dehydration was something I had never considered to be a concern for me. For years, I purposely skipped serums and moisturizers, as most people with oily skin do. The last thing a person with oily skin wants is more moisture – or so I thought.

Before I studied aesthetics, I was not aware that my skin stopped being oily years ago. But, by depriving my skin of moisture and using cleansers designed for oily skin I was dehydrating my skin, and my skin continued to appear (at least on the surface) oily. In an effort to protect its own outer layers, dehydrated skin will produce oil. For years I was caught in a vicious cycle of trying to control the oil and in the process dehydrating my skin which produced more oil to protect itself.

Most people do not understand the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin is a skin type caused by either under-active, or a lack of, sebaceous glands. The sebaceous glands are microscopic glands in the skin that secrete an oily/waxy matter, called sebum, to lubricate and waterproof the skin. Dry skin appears dry, tight and has tight pores due to the lack of oil in the skin. Dry skin cannot be cured, but it can be managed. Professional treatments, along with a home care regimen designed for dry skin can manage this skin type and keep you looking your best.

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that can occur in any skin type: dry, normal, oily or combination skin. Dehydrated skin is skin that lacks water. This can be caused by environmental factors, sun exposure, perspiration or harsh soaps. Dehydrated skin also feels tight, especially around the mouth when you smile. Dehydrated skin appears to have fine, etched lines when you pinch up the skin between your thumb and forefinger. Dehydrated skin can produce excess oil to protect itself, like in my case. Another problem it can cause is a build up of flaky, dull cells. The skin’s natural enzymes require water to function properly. With a lack water, the skin can not exfoliate itself properly, leading to a dull, sallow complexion. Dehyrated skin can be cured. Professional treatments, a tailored home care regimen along with some lifestyle changes can reverse this condition.

Here are some simple tips to treat your dehydrated skin:

  • Take a lukewarm shower. Hot water evaporates the skin’s moisture. Taking a lukewarm shower can help prevent this.
  • Apply a moisturizer while your skin is skill damp. This will help to lock in moisture.
  • Look for products containing hyaluronic acid. This ingredient binds water into your skin to plump up cells and also penetrates the dermal layer increasing skin suppleness. (un)SPA can help you select the right products for your skin type and condition.
  • Take Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplements, or increase your dietary intake of Omega 3.
  • Eat your water. Foods rich in water like raw fruits and vegetables will help your body hold onto water for a longer period of time.

If you are suffering from dehydrated skin, (un)SPA is now offering a Summer Rehydration Facial. This 30 minute treatment is specifically designed to provide deep rehydration to your skin. We use an enzyme that will dissolve dead skin cells revealing healthy soft skin, and allowing your skin to drink in moisture. This is followed with a mask for a cooling, hydrating and purifying effect.You will love the fresh faced, “vacation glow” that our Summer Rehydration Facials provide! We can also assist you in selecting the right products for your skin which will help you maintain skin wellness. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.