What is Dehydrated Skin?

Your skin becomes dehydrated when it’s lacking in moisture. This happens when there’s less fluid coming in than flowing out, and the skin becomes dried out and possibly itchy and dull in appearance. However, having dehydrated skin also affects the tone of your skin, making it uneven. Wrinkles around the eyes and lines are more visible.

What Causes Dehydrated Skin?

Dehydrated skin on the face comes from a number of factors, the first of which is the weather. Harsh conditions or simply a shift in the season can dry out the skin. Remember to have some extra moisturizer on hand in the winter months, and when one season shifts into another.

There are lifestyle choices that can lead to dry skin. For example, both alcohol and caffeine can dry out the skin if you drink them in excess. Therefore, moderating your usage of these substances could prevent you from getting dryness. In addition, drinking too little water can dehydrate your skin, so make sure you consume enough during the day.

Using products with chemicals or harsh ingredients can cause dry skin. Try to use organic skin products as much as possible and avoid chemicals. Use gentle anti aging cream natural and lotions with hydrating ingredients.

Another one of the dehydrated skin causes is a poor diet. This can contribute greatly to dehydrated skin on your face. In particular, not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables can lead to dull skin. This is because they provide a lot of hydration which the skin absorbs.

So what does dehydrated skin actually look like?

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dehydrated Skin?

Here is a list of the symptoms to look out for:

  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Bags under eyes
  • Itchiness
  • Dullness
  • ‘Shadows’ around the face (especially under the eyes and around the nose)
  • Increased incidence or appearance of fine lines and surface wrinkles
dehydrated skin
Photo From Shutterstock

What Helps Dehydrated Skin?

There are a number of lifestyle choices you can make which can hydrate your skin and enhance its quality and appearance. Here are some tips for dehydrated skin:

Enhance Your Diet – Eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and especially include foods which are very hydrating like watermelon and cucumbers. In addition, to combat dehydrated skin you should consume a lot of foods healthy for the skin with omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, herring, sardines, nuts, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed oil. These anti-oxidants reduce inflammation; consequently, they prevent further loss of moisture.

Drink Lots of Water – It’s very important to drink a lot of water on a daily basis, especially if you have dry skin. The hydration will help to moisturize the skin, and it could also provide anti-aging benefits. The water goes under the skin and provides it with volume. Therefore, this can smooth out frown lines and forehead wrinkles.

Protect Your Skin from the Weather – If there’s one thing that can really dry out the skin it’s the weather. Harsh elements like wind and rain can impact the skin. However, being in direct sunlight can also dry out your skin easily and may cause facial redness. As much as possible, try to protect your skin from the climate, with sunblock, scarves, gloves, and hats.

Hydrate When You Exercise – If you’ve been getting dehydrated, make sure you’re getting enough to drink before, during, and after your workout. You may be losing more liquid than you realise.

Use a Skin Product – There are a number of high-quality skin products on the market which can help ease your dehydrated skin. These include moisturizers and serums which provide moisture to the skin. As such, you should consider purchasing one or more of these products if you have dry skin.

Cut Down on Alcohol and Caffeine – Both of these popular drinks can cause dry skin if you overdo it. Try to cut back on your usage and see if it affects your skin. If so, that’s one thing you could try to make your skin less dry. If you do continue to “imbibe”, compensating with additional fluid is advised.

Take Short, Warm Showers – Using hot water can remove some of your body’s healthy natural oils. Take showers or baths and try to make them no longer than 5-10 minutes. Longer than that could contribute to drying your skin. Using moisturizer after gently blotting the skin dry will restore some of the skin oils.

How to Repair Dehydrated Skin

If you do have dry skin, it’s important to know how to choose the best products for skin dehydration to fix it. You need a good, rich moisturizer like La Mer Cream, Perricone MD, and Arbonne Skin Care with quality ingredients which will hydrate.

These skin dehydrated products contain ingredients which can hold a lot of moisture, such as aloe vera, alpha-hydroxy acids, and hyaluronic acid. Some of these should be included in a skin product you purchase.

These ingredients allow moisture to go under the skin, giving it more volume and hydrating skin deeply. It can also smooth out lines and wrinkles under the eyes.

A moisturizer for skin dehydration also contains emollients like retinol, shea butter, peptides, mango oil, and coconut oil, which can protect the skin from damage. These are some of the ingredients to look for when you purchase a product.

Furthermore, using a product containing Glycolic Acid like SKINDULGENCE by Skintensives (Derm2go.com) will smooth the rough surface and allow more moisture to penetrate.

In addition to moisturizers for dehydrated skin, there are skin dehydrated products available like Crepe Erase, Plexaderm, and Jeunesse that delve deeper into the skin than moisturizers. Some include individual ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, argireline and other may mix several substances. You can use both a serum and moisturizers for dehydrated skin at the same time – it just gives you extra hydration.

There is also the consideration of using a hydrating facial mask. These deliver a very concentrated boost of nourishment to your face, and an extra hydrating snack to your sensitive skin.

They contain a lot of fruit extracts, as well as ingredients like ginkgo biloba, algae, and glycerin. You can’t use this every day, it’s too harsh for the skin. Use a mask twice a week.

Face Oil for dry skin like doTERRA Essential Oils with hydrating properties are also helpful for easing dehydrated skin. They have ingredients like evening primrose oil, argan, and rosehip. You can use this product along with your regular moisturizer.

People Also Ask

Q: Can Dehydrated Skin Cause Acne?

A: Yes, skin dehydration and acne are linked. The dry skin leads to more dead skin cells, which can clog your pores and cause pimples or blackheads. In addition, dry skin leads to extra oil production which can cause acne.

Q: Can Dehydrated Skin Be Oily?

A: In fact, yes, it can. When skin becomes dry, it begins to produce too much sebum. This is an oily substance which leads to greasy skin. It’s fairly common for dry skin to also be oily.

Q: Can Dehydrated Skin Heal Itself?

A: The skin will not heal itself without some kind of intervention or change in yourself. This could be drinking a lot more water, using the right products for dehydrated skin like Advanced Dermatology, SIO Beauty, Nu Skin, and Mario Badescus, or making changes in your diet. There’s almost no chance that the skin will just spontaneously heal.

Q: Is Dehydrated Skin Itchy?

A: It is very often itchy because it’s so dry. Therefore, it’s important to keep your skin moisturized all of the time.

Q: How Do I Exfoliate Dehydrated Skin?

A: It’s better not to exfoliate dehydrated skin until you have healed the condition. It’s too harsh for the skin at this point. Use gentle moisturizers and serums like Instantly Ageless and The Ordinary. In addition, for very scaly skin, a product like SKINDULGENCE (Derm2go.com) will remove the excess scale and permit more moisture to penetrate.


You can get dehydrated skin for a number of reasons, including not drinking enough water, weather conditions, or products which use harsh chemicals. When this happens, it leaves the skin dry and sometimes itchy and flakey. Over time this can really age the skin.

It’s crucial to use good quality skin products which are organic such as Image Skin Care, Mary Kay Skin Care, and Meaningful Beauty, meaning they contain no chemical or artificial substances. Look for natural moisturizers, serum for dehydrated skin like No. 7 Serum, face oils, and facial masks. In addition, set a skin regimen that you do every morning and every evening and be consistent.

If you do have this condition, don’t be too concerned. There are many effective products for dehydrated skin like Rodan and Fields, Obagi, Murad Skin Care, and Clinique which will hydrate and get rid of the dryness.

Louis N. Vogel, M.D.

By Louis N. Vogel, M.D.

Dr. Vogel has been a practicing Dermatologist for almost 30 years during which time he has successfully treated thousands of patients of almost every condition.


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[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29703638/
[2] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15921-5
[3] Dehydration. (2017). https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/dehydration.html