Skin is confusing. Our faces alone are covered in “zones” making purchasing the right products to treat every zone and condition on our faces virtually impossible. Some cleansers and toners work great in our t-zones, but fall short on our chins. Combination products rarely tackle all of the products and people who have dry sensitive skin have even more issues because they get stuck dealing with reactions to some products. So what do you do if you have dry itchy patches on skin surfaces on one part of your face caused by dry skin that don’t seem to be treatable with dry skin products? Well, it’s possible that your dry skin symptoms aren’t dry skin at all; it might be that you have oily skin that is dehydrated.
What causes dry skin is normally environmental, due to winter air or space heaters. Sometimes, dry red skin is caused by underlying health conditions or vitamin deficiencies. Sometimes, however, dry skin symptoms aren’t dry skin at all, rather a confused patch of skin that needs moisture, even though it’s oily. Thankfully, it might be easier than you think to determine if you have dry skin symptoms or if you have dehydrated oily skin.
Does your skin feel dirty after using a moisturizer on supposedly dry skin? Well then you might just be dealing with dehydrated skin. Do you have an abundance of clogged pores even though you wash regularly? You might have dehydrated skin. The easiest way to understand the difference in dry skin symptoms is that dry skin is skin that is lacking in natural oil, dehydrated skin is lacking in water, and sometimes your skin can be lacking both. Many lotions will not properly consider both, and that might be why no amount of Lubriderm is helping your condition. Your skin needs both oil and water to be healthy.
Surprisingly, dehydrated skin is a much more common condition than dry skin, especially for women who, often unknowingly, use a lot of skin products with harsh chemicals such as sulfites, parabens, and drying agents found in alcohol-based toners that strip the skin surface of water. Dry skin type is characterized by having very small pores because there is not enough oil production to dilate the follicles, which normally happens with oily skin. Because of this lack of oil, dry skin symptoms include the appearance of rough or even flaky texture with more visible wrinkles that is inflammation and irritation-prone that may even lead to dermatitis. By contrast, dehydrated oily skin type is most often found in people with combination skin that is oily, acne or blackhead prone. Dehydrated oily skin can leave you with a feeling of tight skin and can also display fine lines and flakiness because of the deflated cells that are unable to keep the surface smooth. When looking really closely with a magnifying glass, dehydrated skin appears to have tiny triangular shaped fine lines.
Moisturizers are helpful for combating dry skin symptoms, and drinking plenty of water and using a dehumidifier can assist with treating oily skin that isn’t getting enough water. In both cases, do not over exfoliate as it may remove too much natural oil from your skin and potentially lead to irritation. If you find, however, that your skin conditions are not easily remedied by home care and over the counter lotions and creams, it’s best to speak to your health care provider to determine if your skin woes are the cause of other underlying conditions.