Rapid Aging or Just Dehydration?

Have you noticed that your skin is feeling tight and that those brow lines seem more visible than usual?

Maybe you’re worried your age is starting to show a little too early and wonder what you could have done to cause such a thing? Truth is, there could be another reason for the sudden increase in lines and wrinkles on your face: Dehydration.

Yes, dehydration is treatable, as it tends to come and go and can be related to many factors and environmental fluctuations. Better yet, treating it can drastically reduce your skin’s signs of aging. However, dehydrated skin isn’t a condition to be taken lightly, as there can be severe consequences for letting your skin stay dehydrated for too long.

In today’s blog post, you will learn to identify the signs of skin dehydration, the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, how to treat it, and what the consequences of it are over time.

Dry Skin Vs. Dehydrated Skin

In today’s blog post, you will learn to identify the signs of skin dehydration, the difference between dry and dehydrated skin, how to treat it, and what the consequences of it are over time.

It is essential that you know the difference between the two, as each one has a different recommended treatment method. And while both can contribute to increased signs of aging with the premature appearance of lines and wrinkles, using the right skincare products for your skin type will go a long way to combat their appearance.

Here’s a breakdown of the two skin types and their characteristics.

Dry Skin


Dry skin is a permanent ‘skin type’ that cannot be cured. It results from a lack of oil, or sebum production, which ends up leaving the skin feeling dry and rough. Sebum is what forms a protective barrier between skin and outside irritants. So if you have dry skin you may notice that your skin is more sensitive to irritants. Which is okay, because dry skin can be significantly improved with the right topical skincare products, but it cannot be eradicated.

Think you may have dry skin? Check for the following signs before developing your skincare routine:

    • Small Pores

As we mentioned earlier, dry skin doesn’t produce enough oil. Naturally as a result, pores will tend to be smaller, due to the lack of sebum production. While many people focus their skincare routine on shrinking their pores, "it would be unhealthy to permanently make [y]our pores too small because it could impede human oil from getting to the skin surface where it functions to help moisturize our skin, by impeding evaporative water loss," Dr. Prystowsky.

    • Absence of Acne

If your pores are reduced and produce little oil, then they are less likely to clog and form blemishes (which is great!). However, it’s essential to note that people with dry skin are also the ones who may develop hormone-induced acne.

    • Irritated Skin

Your skin produces sebum to protect itself against harsh irritants from the outside world. If you have dry skin, you lack this protective barrier, and your skin is more likely to become irritated.

    • Flakey Skin

When your skin dries out, it will slough off the dead cells from its surface. The result is flaky, dry skin that may even appear ashy on darker skin tones. This can lead to your makeup looking cakey and uneven, as well.

Causes of Dry Skin

No, dry skin is not something that will ever go away, but you can manage the more problematic issues with the right skincare routine. There are a few causes of dry skin that contribute to its permanence, including the following:

    • Genetics

In most cases, dry skin is the result of genetics. If someone in your family has dry skin, then the rough, flaky skin you are experiencing is likely that and not dehydration. It is important to note however, that you can have dry skin that is also dehydrated.

    • Some Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions list dry skin as a symptom. No, it does not necessarily mean that these conditions cause a dry skin type, rather they induce the symptoms of dry skin and therefore should be noted. These include psoriasis, eczema, and hypothyroidism.

    • Aging

One cause of dry skin that affects everyone eventually is aging. This one is inevitable - As we get older, our skin naturally produces less oil and dries out, ultimately becoming a major contributor to the appearance of wrinkles as we age.

Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin on the other hand, is a ‘skin condition’ not a ‘skin type’ like dry skin. This is significant and it is often overlooked. Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin tends to produce an excess of oil to make up for its inability to retain moisture. Simply put - dehydrated skin lacks water, dry skin lacks oil. Healthy, well-hydrated skin is about 10-20% water, whereas dehydrated skin is usually less than 10% water. It’s important to note that any skin type can have dehydrated skin, so whether your skin is oily, combination or dry you can still be affected by dehydration. Dehydration is after all caused by external elements (weather and seasonal changes), unhealthy diet (lack of fresh produce) and lifestyle choices (alcohol or caffeine consumption).

But if you are suffering from dehydrated skin, you may also notice the following:

    • Tight Skin

The feeling of tightness on your skin is actually one of the most common and prominent indicators of skin dehydration. Does your skin feel ‘tight’ even if you have oily skin? Or particularly after you cleanse? The feeling of tightness along with redness, and inflammation are clear indicators of dehydration.

    • Dull Skin

Does your skin have an overall dull and tired appearance? Dehydration affects your skin’s ability to perform essential functions like cell turnover. Without proper hydration, your skin is unable to shed its outer layer frequently enough. Dead cells then accumulate on its surface and this contributes to clogged pores, congestion and a lackluster complexion.

    • Itchy Skin

If you have ever felt your skin start to itch after spending time outdoors, you could be experiencing dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin loses moisture quickly, and exposure to the outside elements like wind and extreme temperatures can zap moisture from the outside layers of the skin. Augments the tight and itchy sensation.

    • Sensitive Skin

Dehydrated skin will be much more susceptible to irritants than healthy, fully hydrated skin. The increased sensitivity is because dehydrated skin has a hard time maintaining the moist protective barrier that keeps dust, allergens, and bacteria out.

    • Chronic Acne

Dry skin works overtime to produce oil in an attempt to balance out its lack of water. The excess oil clogs pores, causing blackheads and blemishes. This acne will continue to appear as long as the skin remains dehydrated.

    • Fine Lines and Wrinkles

When your skin isn’t hydrated adequately, it loses its elasticity and develops fine lines. This is not to be confused with deep wrinkles. Unlike deep wrinkles, the fine lines and wrinkles developed from dehydrated skin can usually be diminished in appearance when you use a deep moisturizer. However, dehydrated skin actually facilitates rapid aging, and you may notice more exaggerated wrinkles, or ones in places you don't remember having them, along with more exaggerated dark circles beneath your eyes.

Causes of Dehydrated Skin

Unlike dry skin, dehydrated skin results from a range of external factors, including:

  • Environment: Spending hours in the sun, wind, or freezing cold can dehydrate your skin quickly.
  • Hot Showers: Water that is too hot will burn the surface layer of your skin, causing dehydration.
  • Air Conditioning: Air conditioning removes moisture from the air, which can dehydrate your skin as well.
  • Harsh Chemicals: Harsh chemicals in some poor-quality skincare products can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dehydration.
What is Rapid Aging

Rapid aging is when the symptoms of aging begin to appear prematurely. You may notice your skin looks dull or dry. There may be more pronounced lines on your forehead or around your eyes and mouth.

The effect of dehydration on aging

Dehydrated skin has a severe negative impact on aging. The lack of natural oil protection allows water to evaporate off your skin quickly. As we naturally age, the fibers that are responsible for keeping skin elastic, called elastin, begin to wear down. The wear on the skin’s elastin coupled with the lack of hydration augments the formation of pronounced wrinkles.

How to Treat Dehydrated Skin to Prevent Rapid Aging

Fortunately, a good skincare routine with high-quality products and ingredients designed to ease dehydration can eliminate the signs of rapid aging before they go too far. To help your skin heal from dehydration we’ve put together a handy guide, so follow the steps listed below.

    • Use a Gentle Cleanser

To cleanse the skin gently, use a mild exfoliating cleanser and lukewarm water. Be sure your cleaner is free of harsh chemicals and fragrances, as these can worsen dehydration and make your skin look irritated. Look for products like our Nourishing and Moisturizing Oil and Foam Cleanser, which gently remove makeup and deeply cleanse your skin without drying it out.

    • Apply a Toner

Toner is a must-have if you have dry skin. Toners rehydrate your skin and protect it from harsh environmental irritants. Toners like our Perfect Balance Toner are not astringents so they won’t dry out the skin, but instead, perfectly balance the pH of your skin to prevent oil build-up, acne, and redness.

    • Use an Eye Cream

One of the first places on your skin to show signs of aging is in the eye area. Eye wrinkles, sometimes called “crow's feet,” become more pronounced when your skin is dehydrated. To combat this, always use an extra moisturizing eye cream like our Focus Renewal Eye Cream for maximum moisture retention.

    • Use a Serum

One of the most effective ways to rehydrate your skin is by using a serum. Serums are lightweight moisturizers that penetrate deeper to deliver nutrients into your skin. Look for serums with hyaluronic acid (which is the same ingredient used in many fillers), like our Deep Radiance Essence and Serum; a combination essence plus serum. Hyaluronic acid is produced naturally by our skin, but supplementing it via skincare is key for addressing dehydration. Serums help to keep skin soft and supple as they attract moisture. Serums that contain hyaluronic acid stimulators, will boost your skin's ability to produce its own hyaluronic acid.

    • Use a Moisturizer

While some people insist that drinking enough water will keep skin hydrated, it’s not yet proven to be the case. One of the best things you can do to keep your skin from becoming dehydrated is keeping its moisture layer protected. To do this, always use a moisturizer like our Firm and Lift Regeneration Cream. Our moisturizer is made to restore the moisture lipid barrier of the stratum corneum of dry, cracked skin while stimulating collagen and elastin production in the skin by up to 200%. These ingredients will counteract the external factors causing dehydration and will allow your skin to retain the moisture (water) it needs. Like most other skincare products, be sure to apply a deeply hydrating moisturizer to your skin daily, in the morning and evening to see optimal results.

Final Thoughts

We’ve taken a deep dive into what dry and dehydrated skin is and how to treat it. It would be difficult to even begin to identify if the fine lines and wrinkles you are seeing on your face are due to dehydration when you don’t understand the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin first. Ultimately, dehydrated skin is not a skin condition to be taken lightly. If left untreated dehydrated skin - actually facilitates rapid aging with the emergence of fine lines and wrinkles, due simply to dehydration. This rapid aging manifests in the form of more exaggerated wrinkles, or wrinkles in places you don't remember having, along with more exaggerated under-eye dark circles. So is it rapid aging or just dehydration? The likelihood is that it’s just dehydration. Ensuring that you understand your skin symptoms, and the difference between dry and dehydrated skin to determine the best course of action for your skin health and skincare routine will be key in combating the augmented appearance of rapid aging due to dehydration.