woman preventing dehydrated skin

Dehydrated Skin And How To Treat It

Everything you need to know about the characteristics of dehydrated skin & the best moisturiser to help combat it.

Dehydrated skin and how to treat it

Dehydrated skin - not to be confused with dry skin - is caused by lifestyle factors, diet or environmental elements (wind, sun etc) that can deplete your skin’s water content. All skin types - even oily skin types - can become dehydrated. Dehydrated skin can be dry and itchy, as well as parched skin highlighting fine lines and wrinkles. 

Skin sapped of moisturise may appear dull and uneven - water is a crucial ingredient in making skin look plump and bouncy. The good news is, with a few lifestyle tweaks and the helping hand of hydrating lotions and moisturisers, dehydrated skin is easy to treat. Read on to learn the characteristics of dehydrated skin, how to regain a glowing complexion and discover the best dehydrated skin products - including the best moisturiser for dehydrated skin.

How do I know if my skin is dehydrated?

Not sure if your skin is dehydrated? A simple test is to pinch a bit of your cheek. If there is any wrinkling, and the skin doesn't bounce back after you let go, then your skin may be dehydrated. 

Characteristics of dehydrated skin versus dry skin

Dry and dehydrated skin are often described interchangeably, but they are really rather different. Dry skin is a skin type - usually something you’re born with - and means your skin lacks natural oils - although weather and environmental conditions can affect it too.  Dehydrated skin, meanwhile, is a skin condition that is caused when your skin lacks water.

Signs of dry skin include:
- Scaly skin
- White flakes
- Redness
- Irritation



Characteristics of dehydrated skin include:

- Redness, itchiness and irritation: one major sign is increased sensitivity. Your skin’s hydrating barrier isn’t just the secret to a glowing complexion, with no moisture barrier the skin has trouble protecting itself against external stressors, such as bacteria and pollution, which in turn can strip the skin of water.

- Dullness: dehydration can sap your skin of its cell renewal powers - without adequate hydration, it can’t shed its outer layer, meaning old cells sit lacklusterly on top. This can lead to clogged pores, congestion and a dull complexion.

- Under-eye circles and sunken eyes: a sign that you, and not just your skin, are dehydrated. 

- ‘Shadows’ around the face (especially under the eyes and around your nose)

- Fine lines and wrinkles: these are natural signs of ageing but thirsty skin can accelerate the appearance of fine lines. Wrinkles on dehydrated skin will show up as a network of tiny, fine lines. 

women treating dehydrated skin

woman trying to cure dehydrated skin

Dehydrated skin and how to treat it

What causes dehydrated skin?

What you put in your body - or not - can affect your skin’s dehydration levels. Not drinking enough water can leave your skin thirsty. Water transports oxygen to your cells, removes waste, and protects your joints and organs. So it’s not surprising that a lack of water has such a big effect on our body’s biggest organ - the skin. You and your skin can become dehydrated from sweating a lot, especially during exercise, while external factors such as pollution can also have a dehydrating and drying effect on skin, studies have shown. Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol and smoking can all leave your skin parched. 

There are ways to treat dehydrated skin, through lifestyle changes and by using dehydrated skin products. 

How to treat dehydrated skin

lady having cured dehydrated skin

How to treat dehydrated skin

1. Drink plenty of water

Let's start inside out. Our bodies are estimated to be between 60-70% water and it plays an essential role in many of our bodies major functions. The blood is nearly all water, major organs rely on it to function at the peak of their powers, you need water to regulate body temperature and it provides the transport system by which nutrients travel to your organs and tissues. 

The standard rule is eight glasses of water or one and a half litres a day, but how much you drink depends on many other factors, including weight, exercise levels, the weather etc. Tuning into your body’s hydration needs is the best way to gauge how much water you need. The simplest, if not the most glamorous, way to check your hydration levels is to keep an eye on the colour of your urine - the darker, more strongly smelling your urine, the more dehydrated you are. 


lady eating food to avoid dehydrated skin

How to treat dehydrated skin

2. Lifestyle changes

What we do and eat can all affect our skin.

  • Drink alcohol in moderation 
  • Watch your caffeine levels 
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise regularly (and ensure you drink enough water - perhaps even an electrolyte fluid - afterwards) 
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables 

lady with dehydrated skin on face

dehydrated hands

Dehydrated Skin Products

How to treat dehydrated skin on your face

It’s not just what you put into your body that helps relieve symptoms, but what you put on it. Using dehydrated skin products in your skincare routine will help to rejuvenate skin: 

  • Wash your face with a gentle cleanser 
  • Avoid harsh exfoliants 
  • Moisturise with the right moisturiser for dehydrated skin
Use a moisturising day cream to lock in moisture throughout the day, while providing a shield against air pollution. The Rose Water Moisturising Gel Cream is a caring formula that leaves the skin feeling hydrated. For your evening skincare regime, discover the NIVEA 24h Moisturising Night Cream; enriched with Vitamin E to rejuvenate your skin while you sleep. 


Dehydrated Skin Products

How to treat dehydrated skin on your body?

It’s not just your face that becomes dehydrated; your body and hands can also lose moisture. Lock in moisture all over your body by slathering in lotion while you’re still damp from your shower or bath. Nivea Repair & Care Body Lotion works in balance with the skin to strengthen its natural barrier, instantly calming irritated areas, while moisture-locking lipids provide oils that bind and hold water in the skin.


Dehydrated Skin Products

How to treat dehydrated skin on your hands?

Our hands too can be affected by dehydration, particularly with frequent hand washing and anti-bacterial gels.  NIVEA 3in1 Care & Protect Hand Cream’s antibacterial properties strengthen the skin’s natural barrier while enriching jojoba oil locks in moisture and prevents transepidermal water loss (the technical term for when water evaporates from the skin). 
For really dry, tight skin, NIVEA 3in1 Repair Care Hand Cream’s concentrated formula with Provitamin B5 delivers a large, soothing and softening moisture boost alongside lasting protection for your hands.

Dehydrated Skin Products

What is the best moisturiser for dehydrated skin?

The best moisturiser for dehydrated skin depends largely on personal choice. You may need a super hydrating lotion every day, but you want to change up your moisturiser when your skin needs a hydration boost. Hydrating moisturisers don’t have to be rich and thick, and parched oily skins may prefer light, yet equally effective. but equally as refreshing gels. Read the ingredients: thirsty skins drink up hydraulic acid, a key ingredient in treating dehydration as it’s terrific at retaining moisture. 

NIVEA Repair and Care Body Lotion

If you are looking for the best moisturiser for dehydrated skin, discover the NIVEA Repair and Care Body Lotion. Providing 72 hour relief from dry, tight skin, the formula is enriched with an intense moisture serum ensuring your skin is cared for. Working in harmony with your skin's microbiome, the repairing lotion locks in moisture so it can’t be evaporated easily - keeping skin hydrated.