Picture of Author: <b> Karen Austin
Author: Karen Austin

Dryness and Dehydration… What’s the Difference?


As skin specialists, some of the most common skin conditions we see are dehydration and dryness. These two words are often used interchangeably by our clients to describe their skin. Little do most people know, these two conditions are quite different in how they present on the skin as well as how they are treated.


Dryness can also be referred to as ‘lipid dry’ and is usually described as ‘moisture’ in the skin. Dryness can be due to a couple of reasons; most commonly the skin is unable to create enough oils

to keep it moisturised, or it can be caused due to temperature extremes (including heating and cooling), incorrect skin care, allergies, or age.

This presents on the skin as rough texture, flaking, peeling and a dull looking complexion. A skin which is lipid dry will feel tight after cleansing and will usually look worse after make-up application.

So, what can we do about dry skin? There are a couple of things we can do;

– Use a good quality moisturiser, look for one that is biomimetic. Biomimetic is a fancy word for an oil that mimics the natural oils in the skin. This means that it is absorbed directly into the skin instead of sitting on the top of the skin like over the counter moisturisers, and some cosmeceuticals. All moisturisers used at Richmond Skin & Laser are delivered directly into the skin.

– Use a good quality oil serum just like a moisturiser, the best ones to use mimic the natural oils of the skin. Our favourite oil serum are DMK’s Seba-e or herbal pigment mixed with Herb & Mineral Mist.

– Taking supplements such as EFA Ultra will help improve the quality of the oil your skin produces so that they can reach the surface and nourish the skin better.

A lipid dry skin causes little tears in the surface of the skin, this will eventually lead to sensitivity, redness, bacteria, impaired barrier and more.


When we refer to dehydration in the skin, we are specifically talking about the water content of the skin. Even the oiliest of skins can suffer from dehydration. This shows with symptoms such as rough texture, sallow skin tone, an increase in fine lines, crepe-y texture, flaking and often breakouts. Dehydration can be caused by heating and cooling changes, skin care stripping the surface layer of the skin, internal illness and inflammation.

So, you’re drinking a lot of water and your skin is still dehydrated? Fun fact for you; although drinking water is essential for healthy organ function, it doesn’t hydrate the skin like we think! Our skin does not receive any water we drink. The reason we think it helps, is because it keeps the body healthy which reflects on the skin overall health and function.

Did you know our skin is waterproof?

If it wasn’t, our skin would be like a sponge and soak up all the water. Imagine something as simple as washing your hands, and then having to wring out your hands!

We want to prevent water loss from the skin, but also increase hydration. This can be achieved by:

– Using good quality serums to increase water levels. Our go to is DMK’s Beta Gel!

The important points to know about delivering ingredients into the skin, has to do with the molecular structure of the ingredients and the delivery system of how it penetrates the cell.

– Taking a good quality supplement such as our EFA Ultra’s helps prevent Tran-epidermal water loss from the epidermis by increasing quality of skin oils and reducing inflammation and barrier impairment.

– DMK’s enzyme therapy facials help to pull water up through the dermis into the upper layers of the skin.



We hope this month’s blog has been insightful and helped you understand more about the skin AND remember you can be dry and dehydrated at the SAME TIME!

If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to call the clinic and speak with one of your skin experts on 88205801.

Keep a look out for next month’s newsletter as we will be introducing our new staff members and skin analysis machine!

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