The Best Products for Dehydrated Skin


Figuring out your skin type can be difficult, especially if what you’re seeing in the mirror isn’t exactly straightforward. This is certainly true if you have what is typically called “dehydrated skin.”

Dehydrated skin generally feels dry and rough on the surface, but can range from normal to oily underneath. Another unique aspect of dehydrated skin is that it tends to come and go, which makes it hard to pin down. When skin is oily and dehydrated at the same time, it can still feel dry and tight, and can even be accompanied by flaking.

Paula's Choice Skincare Options for Dehydrated Skin

Our best options for dehydrated skin if it also tends to be normal to oily are our RESIST products for normal to oily/combination skin or our SKIN BALANCING products for normal to oily/combination skin.

These routines include:

  • Gentle yet effective cleansers that don’t leave skin feeling dry, tight, or greasy.
  • Replenishing toners that give back instead of take away from skin.
  • Antioxidant serums to fight pollution and environmental damage. Add one of our RESIST Boosters or Serums to drench your skin with copious amounts of hydration and strengthen the surface to make it glow with healthy radiance and smoothness.

Our RESIST Omega+ Complex serum and RESIST Hyaluronic Acid Booster are ideal solutions to help restore dehydrated skin. They not only provide a bounty of antioxidants, but also include skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredients (such as ceramides and hyaluronic acid). The RESIST Omega+ Complex serum also includes omega-3, omega-6, and omega-9 fatty acids to strengthen skin and promote its overall health.

What to Avoid if You Have Dehydrated Skin

Although there are a number of causes for dehydrated skin, more often than not it’s the result of using skincare products that contain harsh or skin-sensitizing ingredients. In a sense, it’s your skin complaining that it doesn’t like something you’re doing!

Skin-aggravating ingredients, such as SD or denatured alcohol, menthol, peppermint, or fragrance, can dry out the surface of skin and leave it feeling parched. They also stimulate oil production at the base of the pore, making skin oilier and more likely to clog pores.

The same can happen if you use harsh scrubs or stiff-bristled cleansing brushes that damage skin’s surface. Even overdoing the use of beneficial products can have a negative effect. Although BHA or AHA exfoliants, high concentrations of retinol, and a high-strength vitamin C product can have amazing results, for some people, using them too frequently can cause their skin to become dehydrated. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to how your skin reacts, and then respond accordingly!

Once you stop using problem products and start being gentle to your skin, wonderful things will start to happen. And, when you add skincare products filled with nourishing, skin-renewing ingredients, you’ll be able to learn your true skin type, and find a routine that takes care of all your concerns. Best of all, you won’t have to deal with dehydrated skin anymore!

References for this information:

Journal of Chemical Physics, December 2014, issue 22
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012, volume 96, pages 77-80
Annals of Pharmaceutical France, May 2011, issue 3, pages, 135-141
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, February 2000, issue 1, pages 21-52
International Journal of Cosmetic Science, April 2003, issue 1-2, pages 63-95

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books about skincare and makeup. She is known worldwide as The Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula’s Choice Skincare. Paula’s expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international radio, print, and television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to busting beauty myths and providing expert advice that solves your skincare frustrations so you can have the best skin of your life!

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