By Eleanor Tucker
If you're unsure how dehydrated skin differs from dry skin, you're not alone. The difference is all about what you're lacking: if your skin is dehydrated, it's depleted of moisture. But it's dry, it probably has fewer natural protective oils, which is often either hereditary or something that occurs as skin ages.
The good news is that dehydrated skin is treatable. It's caused by not eating enough water-rich foods (the drinking water theory is yet to be proved), letting yourself get stressed or using products that are too harsh. Increase your fruit and veg intake, take more time to relax - and spritz on a hydrating mist like Caudalie Organic Grape Water Spray, which soothes and moisturises, even over your make-up.
Look for the word 'humectant' in your day and night creams. Traditional moisturisers artificially lubricate the outer skin layers while humectants actually seal the skin and hold water in. I'd recommend something light and unperfumed like Simple Kind to Skin Moisture Boost Hydro Cream, which contains hydrating glycerin.
Dehydrated skin feels tight and looks dull. Don't load on rich creams that can't penetrate the skin. "Think of a blob of butter sitting on a dishcloth, versus a fine olive oil," says Sîan Sutherland, Founding Partner of Mama Mio Skincare. "One sits on the surface, the other sinks through." Mama Mio Mighty Moisture contains humectants and, although lightweight, delivers heavyweight active ingredients.
Foundation doesn't sit well on taut, thirsty skin. If you're fed up with your base either sinking in or flaking off in patches, try a tinted moisturiser until you've solved the problem. The Body Shop Vitamin E Tinted Moisturiser Lotion gives just enough colour to boost radiance, but can be used as a hydrating primer under your usual foundation too.