Toronto Skincare: Is Your Skin Dry Or Dehydrated?

Is Your Skin Dry Or Dehydrated?

Natural Skincare

Dry skin or Dehydrated Skin?

With winter in full swing, we are seeing so many patients visiting CONNECTED with the primary concern of dry, flakey, irritated skin. Part of our process in treating this is to determine whether their skin is truly dry or if they are actually struggling with dehydration.



Dehydrated skin is skin that is both dry and oily at the same time. This occurs because skin is lacking in water, and as a result tries to compensate by producing more oil to keep itself hydrated by keeping water in. It distinguishes itself from traditionally dry skin, because dry skin lacks both water and oil. Dehydrated skin just lacks water.

That’s one that thing makes dehydrated skin especially annoying. Unlike dry skin, which isn’t very prone to acne because it lacks oil, dehydrated skin is a breeding ground for acne because of the overproduction of oils.

Dehydrated skin is also a symptom / condition NOT a permanent skin type! That’s a huge difference. And why many people find their skin normalizes and becomes less oily after they’ve successfully treated dehydration.



  • Feels oily and greasy a few hours after cleansing
  • Feels tight (especially on the upper cheeks)
  • Wrinkles or creases easily
  • Flakes
  • Looks dull and lacklustre
  • Prone to irritation as well as acne


There are both internal and external causes of dehydrated skin; however, more often than not the cause will be due to external factors, particularly the use of skincare products containing skin sensitizing ingredients. Essentially, dehydration can be understood as your skin complaining that it doesn’t like something you’re doing to it…either from using too many products, the wrong kind of products or products with irritating ingredients.



At CONNECTED we believe customization is crucial for an effective treatment plan and each patient is treated to a unique plan based on their specific needs. We highly recommend booking a consultation with our skin health experts to create a plan that delivers the results you desire but in the meantime here are a few general tips to restore skin hydration:

  • Avoid harsh or stripping cleansers - Opt for ultra gentle and pH-balanced cleansers and avoid over-cleansing the skin. Cleansers and skincare products should have a slightly acidic pH to normalize the integrity of the Stratum Corneum (your skin's outer protective layer). Maintaining healthy skin pH regulates skin, balances oil production and composition of sebum, allows your dead skin to slough off when it should, and helps facilitate the growth of healthy bacteria and yeast (i.e. the skin flora).
  • Step away from abrasive or chemical exfoliants - Topical exfoliants like AHAs, astringents and abrasive granules can induce damage to the Stratum Corneum leading to accelerated water loss, irritation and inflammation.
  • Boost your humidity - Cold weather, harsh winds and low humidity can all exacerbate dehydration. Invest in a humidifier at home to combat this irritant.
  • Include ceramides in your skincare routine - Ceramides are the most abundant part of the skin’s protective barrier, accounting for approximately 50% of it in addition to cholesterol and free fatty acids. Ceramides help to repair damaged skin and create a waterproof barrier.
  • Manage excessive oils - To remove excess oils, opt for gentle blotting papers. Random hint: toilet seat covers from public restrooms are made of the same material as more expensive blotting papers.
  • Be patient - This process can take time; it is not an overnight fix.

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