Height of Summer: TEWL

“I have oily skin, but also feel dried out from the inside! I feel like my skin can’t make up its mind!”

Oily-but-dehydrated skin is no stranger to the skincare world. More and more people are noticing that they have oily yet dehydrated skin, and steering clear of oils has not helped at all. So what’s going on?

Dry vs Dehydrated Skin

The simplest way to think about it is that dry skin characteristically lacks both oil and water whereas dehydrated skin is a condition where it lacks sufficient water. While dry skin might be a result of genetics, dehydrated skin is usually a reflection of the environment and your actions on the skin.

“What exactly am I doing wrong to my skin?”

A weakened skin barrier

It all comes back to your skin barrier function. As we learned before, the skin barrier is a natural shield between our skin and the external world. It keeps hydration inside where it belongs, and prevents foreign substances from coming in and potentially irritating the skin. Your barrier can also be disrupted by constant washing, too many new products, overuse of acids and actives, harsh scrubbing, etc.

Once you have a compromised skin barrier, your once tightly-linked fence now has plenty of gaps where things can come in or out! Once the skin barrier is altered, hydration escapes quickly and easily, increasing your TRANS-EPIDERMAL WATER-LOSS (TEWL). And that’s when your skin will feel dehydrated and produce a lot more oil in an attempt to keep the remaining water in. Besides water evaporating from your skin, harmful things also have a higher chance of getting in. This is when your skin might also start feeling more sensitive or reactive, and products/ingredients that did not cause problems before will give your skin irritated and inflamed.

Sounds like your situation? Please head to our blog post on the skin barrier to find out what influences the integrity of the skin barrier and how to repair it.


Quick tips on fixing dehydrated skin

  • Make sure you’re hydrating from the inside out! Do you still feel thirsty even if you drink plenty of water? If you feel like your body is having trouble holding on to the water you’re drinking, see if you are getting enough electrolytes through your diet or beverages. Avoid (too much) coffee or alcohol, things that make you pee can dry you out from the inside!
  • Simplify your cleansing by choosing a barrier-friendly cleanser such as Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser and limit washing your skin to once a day (or as needed)
  • Layer humectant-rich products with ingredients like glycerin, sodium pca, hyaluronic acid, urea, aloe, honey and etc. These ingredients help your skin hold on to the water you give it so that it doesn’t evaporate as quickly.
  • Look for products containing ceramides, cholesterol and fatty acids that will help rebuild your skin barrier.
  • If your skin is severely dehydrated and sensitive, try a normal saline solution mask

Always remember that healthy skin starts from respecting your skin’s natural functionality. Treat it with care and your skin will love you back.

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