Skin: Dehydrated

Im starting with this one as it is the most common in the uk, and funnily it is the most unheard of and hardest to decipher!

Please remember this is a general overview of typical dehydrated skin..I'm not a dermatologist but i am sharing all that i know :) if you have any specific probs just email me!

This skin type is commonly misdiagnosed as oily/combination. I have to say i believe combination skin is myth and a generalised term to package a product, if your serious about diagnosing your skin a therapst will always find the reason as to why the skin appears combination...unless your in your teens and hormones or medication play a part in oil secretion then there is always a reason for an oily t-zone..usually dehydration. confused, i was at first?? let me explain.....

What the skin will look and feel like:

Skin will commonly look dull, lifeless, sometimes ashy or sallow due to lack of moisture, usually has an oily t-zone and normal or tight cheeks, flat (no plumpness or glow to the skin). After cleansing cheeks may feel tight and oil returns within a few hours.

Tip: To check whether you skin is a flat palm on the side of your cheek and push the skin in towards your nose...if tiny little feathery lines appear (not big wrinkles) you are dehydrated...imagine a plump juicy fresh peach...if you pushed the flesh of the fruit it would be firm and crinkle free, give it a week when the moisture has gone from the flesh and the fruit will crumple under touch! Random but this is how it was explained to me and it stuck lol!

Why does this happen:

Lack of moisture (not drinking enough fluids), air con/heated work environments, alcohol, smoker, lots of salt in the diet, lack of sleep, flights.

All of the above dehydrate the body...and a dehydrated body will use what moisture it has on vital organs etc first...unfortunately the skin, hair and nails come last.....hence if your body is dehydrated then so is your skin. Now here's the bit that most people don't know and this is why people assume they have oily/combination skin! If the skin isn't receiving enough moisture it will start to create its own lubrication to protect itself in the form guessed it..OIL!!!!

What you should not do to dehydrated skin:

Over cleanse and this skin type is confused with oily skin most people strip the skin to remove oil...this will only make the condition worse. Over stripping dehydrated skin can result in acne, skin bumps and breakouts that just wont go away. This skin will go into stress/survival mode when over stimulated and stripped so therefore will create even more oil to protect its self...more oil=more spots and even millia! I will so a separate post on millia as this is a real problem for most people!

What can you do to treat it:

Cleanse twice daily with a gentle foaming cleanser, make sure cleansers do not contain SLS (Sodium lauryl sulphate) these can be drying, this is also true for alcohol!

Exfoliate once a week...any more and the skin will come dependant and create more oil :O

Moisturise in the day with a light lotion, creams will often feel too heavy on the oilier zones of the face..i only really recommend creams for dry or sensitive skins

In the evening...this may seem backwards but the best thing to apply is face oil...clarins do one which i cannot rate highly enough...this oil treats the skin and it is to be used every night as a plumps the skin and skin drinks it up!!

Mask once a week to boost the skin and plump

Remember skin has to get worse before it gets better...if there is dirt deep down in the pores and you switch to a proper routine it has to come out somehow..please don't give up!!

Product recommendations:

I really hope this helps, i will do another skin type soon :) xx


  1. thank you!!! This is really really helpful. I always thought I had oily skin until I went for a skin test under the uv lights a year ago and I was told my skin was dehydrated. shocker!

    I shall definately be trying out some of your tips


  2. Wow this is the second post about getting a professional skin diagnosis. I'm thinking of getting one too. I think I have combo skin because I'm acne prone on my cheeks but okay on my T-zone. But its a good call to get that professionally checked out. Thanks!