Moisture or Hydration? How To Tell If You Have Dry or Dehydrated SKin

What is the difference between dehydrated and dry skin?

How can you tell if your skin needs hydration or moisture?

These are two really important questions, and especially important to know if you have dry skin. Many people don’t realize there is dry skin and also dehydrated skin, and that they are not the same thing. Some people have dry skin. Some people have dehydrated skin. And some have both. So how can you tell?

You need to know when to hydrate, and when to moisturize. And yes, these are different.


Hydration means you are adding water, just like when you “hydrate” yourself by drinking water. Keeping your skin hydrated helps maintain a smooth and youthful appearance. Adequate hydration means your skin is plump and free of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dehydrated skin is dull and feels tight all the time. So if you have dehydrated skin, you need to first drink plenty of water, and second use hydrating products. This includes the use of products with water in them like lotions, creams, mists, serums, etc. This does not include facial oils or oil based serums and balms, as these do not include water in their formulation.

Other topical ingredients that hydrate are hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, hydrosols, honey, and glycerin. Look for products with these ingredients and use them on a daily basis. Products like our Aviva Hydrating Mist & Toner, which has hydrosol, aloe vera, and glycerin, are a great addition to your skin care routine for dehydrated skin. Use hydrating products before moisturizing products (continue reading for more info on that).



Moisturizing means you are locking in the water so that it does not escape. Therefore, this step comes after hydration.

Our skin is full of sebaceous glands, which produce sebum to protect our skin from drying out (which causes premature aging). Dry skin produces less of this sebum, resulting in water loss. I’m sure you have noticed that dry skin tends to look more aged, and this explains why.

Dry skin is skin that lacks moisture. Dry skin has dry, rough, and/or flaky patches. It needs oils to seal in the water. If you have dry skin you need to include a facial oil or balm in your routine and apply it after your hydrating products. Our Bella #1 hydrating oil serum was specifically designed for dry skin and is an excellent booster to include in your skincare routine. Simply add 2 drops with your moisturizer or apply after. 



So now what?

Like I mentioned before, you can have both dry and dehydrated skin, or just one, but everyone needs both. For some a cream or lotion is enough, and others need the addition of a mist, serum, or oils. Usually oily skin doesn't need the addition of moisturizing products, whereas dry skin does. Mature skin usually needs both.

Just remember the order to apply the products: hydrate first, moisturize second! Products in order: cleanse, mist, water based serum, cream, oil, balm.