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How to Treat Dull, Dry Or Dehydrated Skin

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What is Dull, Dehydrated Skin?

Dry and dehydrated skin can cause significant issues for those who suffer from them. That’s why understanding the differences between them is crucial in finding the right treatment that works for you. So, what exactly is the difference between dry and dehydrated skin?


Dry skin tends to be associated with other skin conditions and tends to appear rough, dry, and flaky. If you have dry skin, it’s quite likely that you’ll have virtually invisible pores and a complexion that can look dull and rough. You may also suffer from itchy skin. This often means you can have reddish patches with a tendency toward developing lines and wrinkles. Dry and dehydrated skin can be typified by sensitivity and fine lines, but can also include aspects of oily skin. With both conditions, it is important to always drink plenty of water.

What's the Best Way to Deal With Dry Skin?

The best way to tackle dry skin and find a way to hydrate the skin by finding a gentle cleanser or creamy wash that can be used twice daily. Applying a moisturizer just after cleansing can help soothe the skin, minimizing visible lines. Also, consider using a moisturizer while skin is still damp to lock in moisture. It’s also important to use a moisturizer throughout the day. The ideal moisturizer for dry skin should contain ingredients such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid, both of which help skin retain moisture and water. Exfoliating, on the other hand, needs to be limited to once a week, and it’s key to use a gentle exfoliator when doing so.


To find out whether you have dry skin or more about which skin type you have, visit our Skincare Finder here.

What Are The Causes of Dry Skin?

Dry skin can be influenced by many factors, with some main causes being:

As we age, our skin becomes thinner and drier, in part due to hormonal changes. The best way to address the appearance of aging in skin is to ensure that you maintain a solid moisturizing routine that works over both the day and night. To tackle the effects of skin dryness that is linked to aging in the day, consider our Daily Facial Moisturizer with SPF 15; It’s ideal for day-to-day use. At night, products such as Cetaphil Daily Hydrating Lotion with Hyaluronic Acid or Rich Hydrating Cream offer a great solution. If you’re looking for products specifically formulated for sensitive and dry skin, check out our Sheer Hydration and Deep Hydration ranges.

Living in a dry climate can adversely affect your skin’s moisture level, and humid conditions could also encourage skin dryness. Similarly, your skin can suffer if you’re exposed to extremely cold or windy weather.


What about the effects of the sun? The best way to confront this issue is to use a moisturizing cream daily. It’s also important to consider moisturizing your face with products such as face masks, as well as body moisturization. If you live in a harsh or sunny climate, it’s crucial to use sun protection products daily. Products such as Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Broad Spectrum (SPF 30) or Sheer Mineral Sunscreen Face Liquid (SPF 50) are designed with this in mind, all while keeping skin moisturized and nourished. Similarly, our Daily Facial Moisturizer, with an SPF of 15, is ideal for day-to-day use.

While jumping in the pool first thing in the morning might do wonders for your cardio, it can have a very detrimental effect on your skin. Chlorine and water can be incredibly drying on the skin. This doesn’t mean you have to stop swimming: try using an ointment or cream that contains moisturizing ingredients like avocado oil to help dry skin.

Your working day can impact your skin’s condition and negatively affect dry skin types. Professions that require exposure to particular substances or specific physical tasks (healthcare, hairdressing, or working in the hospitality industry) can mean that your skin may come into contact with harmful chemicals that could trigger negative reactions. These kinds of jobs have an increased risk of Occupational Irritant Contact Dermatitis (OICD), a common type of hand eczema.

Dry skin can also indicate an underlying skin condition, such as eczema. Eczema can be an allergic reaction, contact-driven reaction, or sensitivity.

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What Are The Types of Dry Skin Conditions?

Dermatitis is a medical term for dehydrated skin. If you suffer from a severe skin condition, it can be important to visit a board-certified dermatologist for medical advice. There are a variety of ways it manifests:


  • Contact dermatitis develops after skin comes into contact with something irritating it, such as a chemical, product, or particular surface, causing localized inflammation and skin that feels irritated.


  • Irritant contact dermatitis occurs when your skin is exposed to a chemical agent such as bleach that has irritating effects.


  • Allergic contact dermatitis develops when your skin comes into contact with a substance it is allergic to, such as certain metals like nickel found in jewelry or other day-to-day products.


  • Seborrheic dermatitis occurs when your skin produces too much oil and is particularly common in infants. The result is a red and scaly rash.


  • Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is particularly common in children. The condition results in dry, scaly patches across the skin and affects the skin barrier.

The Major Signs of Dry Skin and Dehydrated Skin

When looking to address dry skin, the major signs to look for include a feeling of tightness, particularly after showering, bathing, or swimming, as well as skin looking or feeling rough. Itching is another very common sign of dry skin with the appearance of flaking, scaling, or peeling. Dry skin is also liable to create lines, cracks, and even deep cracks. It is often red or ashy in appearance, flaky and tired-looking. Products such as Cracked Skin Repair Balm and Cracked Skin Repair Lotion are specifically designed to soothe and hydrate dry skin, while also treating deeper cracks.

How to Relieve Dry or Dehydrated Skin?

There are several ways to relieve dry vs. dehydrated skin, including:

Baths and showers that are too hot can have a drying effect, so it’s best to use warm rather than hot water and to limit your time in the shower or bath to 5-10 minutes. Use fragrance-free cleansers and be sure to dry yourself carefully and gently with a towel afterward.

This allows you to lock in moisture.

Look for hydrating ingredients such as jojoba oil, dimethicone, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, petrolatum, or shea butter. Products like Cetaphil’s Healing Ointment help soothe extremely dry and chapped skin: being enriched with shea butter and vitamin E, it softens and smooths skin.

Raw and dry skin can be easily aggravated by laundry detergents, with some fabrics also contributing to this. Consider choosing hypoallergenic products or natural fabrics as an alternative.

What Are The Best Products and Ways to Address Dry Skin?

It’s important to use the best possible products for dry and dehydrated skin, so what do dermatologists recommend for extremely dry skin? Ointments and creams are considered the best. Products such as the Advanced Relief Cream or Deep Hydration Healthy Glow Daily Cream go a long way to target the signs of dry skin.

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