Dry Dehydrated Skin Oil Water

Did you know that facial oils don’t hydrate? You read that right!

A healthy skin barrier is essential to healthy skin. Without it, your skin can become sensitive, reactive, flaking and uncomfortable. Even the best skin care products might not give you relief, if you don’t find the optimal [oil:water] balance your skin specifically longs for to be strong and healthy. 

But the great debate persists: “In order for our skin to be comfortable, do we need to add more oils or more water to our routine? Why do we still feel like our skin is dry and tight even when we drink 2L of water each day?”

The answer lies in 1) clearly defining your skin type, and 2) figuring out your skin hydration levels. When you have those 2 variables figured out, you will be able to figure out which ingredients (and product texture) will be appropriate to YOU, to restore a healthy skin barrier and balance out your skin. 

The following table explains the differences between a SKIN TYPE (based on the natural amount of oils your skin produces) and dehydration, a SKIN CONDITION of the skin that relates to water (or lack thereof) in the epidermis.


Table 1: Skin types vs. Dehydrated Skin Condition

In other words:



> the process of causing something to absorb water.




> the process of making (something, especially the skin) less dry by adding lipids and oils.



Defining your skin type is easy – if you start with the right definitions. Remember that a skin type is based on the OIL PRODUCTION and that dehydration is based on the WATER CONTENT of the epidermis. 


Generally speaking, here is the usual presentation of different skin types:


  • No oiliness during the day
  • Skin feels tight and lacks radiance
  • Flakiness 
  • Invisible pores


  • May have mild oiliness on the nose at the end of the day
  • Skin feels normal
  • No flakiness present
  • Small pores on nose and cheeks


  • Oiliness present in tzone during (or at the end of) the day
  • Skin feels comfortable
  • Large pores in tzone only (forehead, nose, chin)
  • Blackheads, “bumps” and acne may be present


  • Oiliness present all over during (or at the end of) the day
  • Skin looks shiny and client reports having to “blot” skin multiple times per day
  • Large pores all over the face
  • Blackheads, “bumps” and acne may be present



As previously mentioned, skin dehydration relates to WATER levels in the skin. Water is essential to all living cells, including skin cells, but drinking 2L of water per day is not enough to ensure hydrated skin. The dermis is composed of 95% of water (and the whole body 70%) so the problem isn’t the water we drink / don’t drink throughout the day, the problem lies in the CAPACITY of the skin to RETAIN WATER in the epidermis. Like little water magnets we would apply on the surface of the skin, that would attract water (from the environment, and from evaporation from the deep dermis).


Table 2: Dehydrated vs Hydrated Skin



While dehydrated skin can be a nuisance, it’s relatively easy to treat with the right skin care and lifestyle changes. If you are experiencing the following skin symptoms, you skin is likely to be dehydrated:

  • Paper-thin looking skin surface
  • Feelings of tightness (especially after cleansing)
  • Increased skin sensitivity
  • Fine lines on the cheeks and around the eyes, vertical fine lines on the forehead
  • Skin looks dull and thirsty
  • Flaky skin can sometimes be present




1. Treatment begins from the inside out to replenish and maintain hydration throughout the body.

Drinking 2L of water per day will help, but if you combine it with a high-quality collagen powder, you’ll see even better results! 


Here are a few highly pure collagen powders we recommend at the clinic: (click on the products for more info)

TruMarine Collagen Powder (2-pack, 50 servings)

TruMarine Collagen Powder (20 X 5g sticks)

ReHydrate + Collagen Powder (10 sticks) // this one has added electrolytes, and great for post-workout


Collagen not only helps with whole body and skin hydration, but it also helps strenghten hair, nails and joints! It’s a MUST HAVE in your daily routine – add it to your shake, your water bottle, your coffee, you’ll see results within weeks. 


2. The second step involves lifestyle changes:

  • Start your day with a tall glass of water, before drinking coffee or eating breakfast. 
  • Increase your water intake if under 2L per day. (add mint, cucumber and lemon slices to make it more fun and palatable to drink throughout the day)
  • Reduce salt and sodium-rich foods
  • Reduce (or stop) alcohol and caffeine
  • Avoid smoking
  • Improve diet by reducing sugar, dairy, gluten and bad fats, while increasing green leafy vegetables, fruits and nuts.
  • Avoid overexfoliating with harsh scrubs and sonic cleaning brushes.
  • Avoid alcohol-based toners and serums.
  • Protect your skin before you go outside as UVA can promote skin dehydration. UVA is the main factor that can affect our skin, increase the ageing process, increase oxidants in the skin, dehydrate it and increase free radicals in the cells, damaging the skin.
  • Invest in a water-softener to reduce the mineral content of hard water (like we have in Calgary). Hard water contains limestone, which can remove water from the skin. If purchasing a water-softener is not a possibility, you can have a shower every day, but make it a short shower, and stick to water that’s warm rather than hot. Hot showers and baths can make the skin more dehydrated.
  • Also note that some medications that can alter water absorption and you should always discuss if you’re experiencing a side-effect with your doctor.


The third step involves choosing the appropriate ingredients to rehydrate the skin (aka water magnets) while choosing the right product texture that’s adapted to your skin type. 

  • Aloe serves the double purpose of hydrating the skin while soothing and replenishing important minerals into the skin. We love aloe vera!
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA) comes in different forms, from high molecular weight to low molecular weight. We also love HA as it is the most popular water-binding ingredient in the market – and it WORKS!!
  • Add a HA serum to your skin routine – fastest way to regain much needed hydration to your skin – and make sure you apply your skin care products on DAMP skin. You want to lock in the moisture, so use a thermal water, or a facial mist before you apply your serums, lotions and moisturizers. 
  • Choose your product texture appropriately: dry skin (lacking oils) should choose heavier moisturizers, while oily skin (overproducing oils) should go for lighter textures (think light lotions, not to clog pores). Using a light lotion on dry skin will not give it enough comfort, while using heavier creams on oily skin might clog it and lead to acne. 
  • No matter your skin type, always use a HA-containing serum underneath your lotion/ moisturizer.


In other words, you can have:

  • Dry (skin type) and Dehydrated (skin condition) skin
  • Normal and Dehydrated skin
  • Combination and Dehydrated skin
  • Oily and Dehydrated skin

But you cannot be dry (skin type, no oil) and oily (skin type, too much oil) at the same time. If you have some oiliness at the end of the day and your skin feels tight and is flaking, chances are high you have  a combination or oily skin type  AND dehydrated skin condition.



Ingredients to look for: nut or seed oils (such as coconut, olive, almond, sunflower, hemp), plant oils (jojoba, rose, tea tree), mango butter, shea butter, triglycerides, cholesterol, fatty acid, squalane, ceramides.

**Click on product for more info**


Aliquote Skin Cashmere Cream Cleanser

DermaQuest Nourishing Peptide Cream

DermaQuest Nourishing Peptide Rich

Aliquote Skin HydraBright Complex

SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore

DermaQuest Radiant Skin Oil (to mix with your favorite moisturizer for added comfort)



Ingredients to look for: aloe, hyaluronic acid, hyaluronan, honey.

**Click on product for more info**


Aliquote Skin Detox Micellar Gelee Cleanser

Aliquote Skin HydraGlow Mist

DermaQuest Essential B5 Serum (40% HA)

DermaQuest Essential B5 Moisture Matte

DermaQuest Niacinamide Youth Serum

DermaQuest Stem Cell 3D HydraFirm Serum

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 gel 

SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier


As you can see, there are a lot of healthy skin options! 

If you want to find out more about your skin, and the optimal skin products you should be using, contact us today at 403-287-1477 and let’s book you in for your personalized 1-hour consultation.

We will build a customized short and long term plan to ensure your skin remains as healthy as possible, for as long as possible. Namaste!

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