RAWKANVAS The Limelight

Dry vs dehydration skin: What’s the difference?

If you’ve been losing sleep over the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin (because, of course you were!) then look no further! We’re going to go through the difference once and for all – so you can sleep peacefully until the next random thought keeps you awake at 3am... We’re just kidding. 

OK, so dry skin and dehydrated skin are often confused as being the same thing. And if you thought they were the same – no one would blame you! But alas, they’re completely different. One is a skin type and one is a skin concern. As simple as it gets: 

  • Dry skin lacks natural oil production – this is a skin type 
  • Dehydrated skin just lacks water – this is a skin concern 

So now you know the difference between the two, how do you know whether your skin is dry or dehydrated? And what do you do to assist your skin? Let’s look at the common signs and some care tips. 
Signs of dry skin 

  • Rough, flaky or itchy skin 
  • Redness and irritation 
  • Skin feels tight 
  • Small, fine lines 
  • Thin, fragile skin 

Think you might have the dry skin type, but you’re not totally sure? We have an easy test for you – the blotting test. 
Blotting test: 
At least 30 minutes after cleansing, gently pat a sheet of blotting paper all around your face. Then hold the sheet up to the light. If you have a significant amount of oil on the paper, you likely have oily skin. If there’s very little oil, your skin is normal. No oil? Skin feeling tight? This now indicates a dry skin type. 

Skin types are usually genetic and they’re easily managed with the right skincare for your skin type! 
How to care for dry skin 

Lacking oil production, a care routine for dry skin will focus on introducing nourishing oils – from your cleanser through to your facial oil. 


Signs of dehydrated skin 

Caused by a lack of hydration, all skin types can experience dehydration, at any time. While the signs are very similar between dry and dehydration skin, there are a few important things to look out for... 

  • Tight-feeling skin, even after moisturising 
  • Redness 
  • Congestion 
  • Oily, shiny complexion (oil production is working overtime to compensate for the lack of hydration) 
  • Fine lines and wrinkles are more pronounced than usual 

Still unsure? We have another easy test for you – the pinch test! 

Pinch test: 
Gently pinch your skin and release. If it bounces back immediately, your skin is hydrated. If it takes a moment for the skin to return to its regular state, your skin needs moisture – stat! 
How to care for dehydrated skin 

  • Hydrate: This one’s obvious – but up your water intake! 
  • Use hydrating skincare ingredients: Ingredients like hyaluronic acid or glycerin increase your skins water retention so get these ingredients into your routine. All RAWKANVAS moisturisers include these hydrating ingredients 
  • Apply skincare to moistened skin: It might feel odd, but long story short when your skin is moistened it’s both hydrated and more permeable than dry skin. Think of your skin like a sponge… by moistening your skin before applying your product, your skin is best prepared to absorb your product thereby increasing the benefits of all your products, but most importantly, your hydrating products. We have a full blog on it here 

More must-knows 

Always use a cream moisturiser that contains both hydrating and moisturising ingredients to replenish dry or dehydrated skin. Hydrating ingredients add water into the skin, while moisturising ingredients help to seal that hydration into the skin. 

Hydration is all about replenishing the skins water levels. When our skin lacks hydration, we will often see it indicated via premature fine lines, flakiness and tightness. 

Moisturising restores the skins protective lipid barrier. The barrier can be weakened if the skin produces little oil – which can be a result of the dry skin type. 


So whether it’s dry skin or dehydrated skin, now you can be on your way to happier and healthier skin!