When you start out in the world of skincare there are tons of products floating around targeted at specific skin types and concerns: oily, blemish-prone, mature, dry, sensitive. However, the word that doesn't surface immediately, yet affects the majority of people at one point or another, is 'dehydrated'. Now, dehydrated skin does not mean dry skin. Dry tends to be a skin type, whereas dehydrated is a skin condition that can affect all skin types. So, you can have oily or blemish-prone skin that is still dehydrated. The skincare goddess Caroline Hirons (who, by the way, has taught me everything I know) has a genius post detailing all the ins and outs here, I highly recommend you read it and take notes.
Now, if you are suffering from dehydrated skin the causes are as much external as they are internal, so it's most likely going to be down to a combination of weather, diet, water intake, stress levels and skincare routine. So if you really want to get a handle on it, as with any skin concern, there are probably some lifestyle adjustments you're going to have to make... a lot of it comes down to the fact that a lot of us just don't drink enough water. You can't just take care of what's on the outside without taking care of what's on the inside... hate to break it to ya, but all that 'beauty comes from within' malarkey does have something to it.
That being said, there are plenty of things you can do routine wise to help combat the dreaded dehydration (try saying that 5 times fast). It's best to stay away from anything that's going to strip your skin of its natural moisture, foaming cleansers I'm looking at you, or anything that is going to coat it and block any moisture from doing it's job, ahem silicones! The best thing you can do is start using a hydrating serum, ideally one that contains hyaluronic acid, so as to maximise the effect of any oil or moisturiser you add on top. As per the tube, hyaluronic acid holds up to 1,000 times it's weight in water, which means that it essentially acts as a glue locking in any moisture you add on top. It's not long before your skin starts to look softer, more elasticated and glowy- I can vouch for that one. Indeed Labs Hydraluron (£24.99)is an amazing offering, just smooth a pea sized amount over your face morning and night under your moisturiser of choice and you are good to go, so a tube will last you quite a long time. Also, it's usually on offer for 1/3 off at Boots so that takes it down to around £16. If you had a little extra to spend, I would also recommend the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Intense Hydrating Booster (£57). Serums are the one area of skincare that you can most definitely justify splashing out on, personally I feel like they make the most difference.
So to all those 20-somethings who have mysterious wrinkles appearing well before they are due, to those whose foundation ends up patchy or flakey, or to those who just feel their complexion is a bit sallow, chances are your skin is dehydrated. Time to sort that shizz out!