How To Care For Dehydrated Skin

Dehydrated skin is not just a cosmetic concern but also a health issue, as our skin, the largest organ, is highly susceptible to environmental factors. This makes it the first area where signs of dehydration often appear.

Manifestations of dehydrated skin include dryness, tightness, flakiness, redness, and the appearance of wrinkles. When skin is dehydrated, it shares traits with dry skin, but it's crucial to understand that dehydration and dry skin are distinct issues.

While dry skin is a specific skin type, dehydration is a condition that can affect any skin type, including oily, sensitive, or combination skin. If you notice signs of skin dehydration, immediate action is necessary to rehydrate and protect your skin, preventing damage to the skin barrier and more severe skin problems.

Here are some effective tips for caring for dehydrated skin:

person drinking a glass of water in a post about dehydrated skin

Drink lots of water

Water is essential for keeping our skin looking its best. When we don't drink enough, our skin can become dehydrated, leading to many problems, such as wrinkles, dryness, and even blemishes. Constant hydration is the best way to avoid these issues and keep your skin looking healthy.

Drinking much water daily is the most effective way to combat dehydration. Aim for around eight glasses of water daily, and add some refreshing ingredients such as mint or lemon to make it more enjoyable. You can also buy flavored Smart Water instead. We recommend The Best Flavored Smart Water Products.

You could also try warming things up with a mug of hot water, ginger, and lemon – this is a delicious way to get your daily dose of H2O for healthy skin. Drinking water is also good for your overall health[1]

colorful assortment of fresh fruits in a post about dehydrated skin

Eat more vegetables and fruits

Another way to get more water into your body is to eat more water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in water as well as contain essential nutrients that are beneficial to our skin.

Watermelons, tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, oranges, and grapefruits are some of the best fruits and vegetables for healthy skin. Consume a variety of these foods on a daily basis to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out.

modern humidifier in a post about dehydrated skin

Increase the humidity of your surroundings

If you reside in a dry and hot climate or if the air in your home is particularly dry, this can make skin dehydration worse. Spending most of your time around an air conditioner or heater can also dry out your skin due to low humidity.

To combat these effects, try increasing the humidity of your surroundings. You can do this with a humidifier, which will add moisture to the air and help keep your skin hydrated.[2]

applying a gentle, foamy cleanser on the face in a post about dehydrated skin

Use a gentle cleanser

When you have dehydrated skin, it’s important to use a gentle cleanser that won’t strip away your skin’s natural oils. According to a clinical review about The Impact of Cleansers on the Skin Barrier, harsh cleansers can further damage your skin’s barrier function, making it more difficult for your skin to retain moisture.

Instead, use a gentle, hydrating cleanser to clean your skin without removing its natural oils. The above review suggests cleansers with neutral or acidic pH, close to SC-normal pH 5.5, are the best for skin’s health.[3]

moisturizer in a post about dehydrated skin

Apply a moisturizer cream soon after getting out of a shower

After you shower, your skin is more susceptible to dehydration because its pores are open and its barrier function is weak. Prolonged and constant water exposure damages skin barrier function, with hot water being far more harmful. So, applying a moisturizer cream soon after getting out of the shower while your skin is still damp is important.

This will aid in retaining moisture and keep your skin from losing too much. If you have no idea what product to use, here are Vanicream Moisturizing Skin Cream.[4]

Use humectant-rich skin care products

A humectant is an ingredient that helps skin retain moisture. Some common humectants include glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, honey, egg white and yolk, molasses, and aloe vera.

If you have dehydrated skin, look for a skincare product that contains one or more of these ingredients. These humectants will help your skin attract and retain moisture, keeping it hydrated and healthy.[5]

weather conditions (sunny, snowy, windy, rainy) in a post about dehydrated skin

Pay attention to seasons and weather conditions

The weather can significantly impact our skin, and it’s essential to know how the seasons and weather conditions can affect our skin’s hydration levels.

For example, in the winter, the air is much drier than usual, making the skin dry. However, summer can cause our skin to sweat and lose moisture due to heat and humidity.

Adapting your skincare routine to the season and weather conditions is critical. In the winter, you might need to use a heavier moisturizer to combat the dry air. In the summer, in contrast, you might need to use a lighter moisturizer or even skip it altogether if your skin is prone to sweating and oiliness. However, this change should be made according to your skin type and specific weather conditions.[6]

Hot Shower in a post about dehydrated skin

Avoid hot showers and baths

While a hot bath or shower can feel great, the hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dehydrated, irritated, or dull skin.

If you have dehydrated skin, it’s best to avoid hot showers and baths altogether. Instead, opt for cold or lukewarm water, which will help keep more moisture in the outer layer of the skin.[7]

scratching itchy skin in a post about dehydrated skin

Don’t scratch your skin

It’s natural to get itchy skin when the skin is dehydrated, but scratching makes the problem worse. It irritates the skin and can damage skin cells, resulting in dry and flaky skin.

If you have itchy, dehydrated skin, try to resist the urge to scratch. Instead, use topical treatments or lotions to soothe the itch.[8]

A person gently applying an exfoliating scrub to their face in a post about dehydrated skin

Exfoliate your skin at least once a week

When you have dehydrated skin, you must exfoliate at least once a week. Exfoliating will help remove dead skin cells from the skin surface, which can cause a dull, uneven complexion.

Some ways to exfoliate your skin include scrubs, maskspeels, and brushes. Choose a gentle exfoliator that won’t irritate your skin. Salicylic acid and glycolic acid are two common exfoliating acids that can be found in over-the-counter skin care products.

probiotics in a post about dehydrated skin

Use probiotic product

Probiotics are good bacteria that are good for our health. Fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, and sauerkraut contain them. Probiotics are also available as supplements.

Probiotics help improve skin health by boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and helping fight off bad bacteria. Many probiotic skin care products are on the market, including cleansers, toners, moisturizers, and serums. Using these products can also help improve the health of your skin.[9]

 sunscreen in a post about dehydrated skin

Always use sunscreen

Sunscreen is vital to any skincare routine, but it’s essential if you have dehydrated skin. That’s because sun exposure can lead to further dehydration and dryness.

Make sure to use sunscreen products with at least SPF 30 every day, even if you’re just going to be indoors. Apply sunscreen to all sun-exposed areas of your skin, including the face, neck, hands, and arms. Use sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.[10]

professional dermatologist checking a client in a post about dehydrated skin

Consider getting treatment from a board certified dermatologist

If you’re struggling to get your dehydrated skin under control, consider seeking treatment from a board-certified dermatologist. A dermatologist can help you find the source of your dehydrated skin and develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Don’t try to treat dehydrated skin on your own. See a dermatologist if you’re struggling to get your skin hydration under control.


Dehydrated skin can be a nuisance, but it can be easily managed with the right skincare routine. You can have hydrated skin that feels and looks great all year by following the tips we mentioned above!


What Are Signs Of Dehydration In Skin?

Dryness, tightness, and flakiness are the most common signs of dehydration in the skin. Additionally, the skin may appear dull, lifeless, and gray. Dehydration can also make the skin more prone to skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Can Drinking Water Fix Dehydrated Skin?

Drinking a lot of water is always essential for good health, but it won’t necessarily fix dehydrated skin. That’s because dehydration is a skin problem that has to be treated from the outside, not the inside.


  1. Pubmed: Dietary water affects human skin hydration and biomechanics
  2. Healthline: “Wellness at Work”
  3. Pubmed: The Impact of Cleansers
  4. NIH: “Impact of Water Exposure and Temperature Changes on Skin Barrier Function”
  5. Wikipedia: Humectant
  6. Pubmed: Climate change and dermatology
  7. Healthline: “Should You Wash Your Face with Cold Water?
  8. PubMed: Skin Surface Hydration
  9. PubMed Central Journal: Health Benefits of Probiotics
  10. Pubmed: Solar UV radiation reduces the barrier function of human skin

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