Wondering how to fix dehydrated skin? When your skin is dehydrated, that means it literally lacks water. It’s parched. Skin becomes dehydrated for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common—and least addressed—is climate.
So, how does weather impact your skin’s water content? Very cold, harsh weather dehydrates the skin by triggering inflammation, disrupting the skin’s protective barrier and enabling water to seep out through that broken barrier. This process is called transepidermal water loss—or TEWL. At the other end of the climate spectrum, in very hot, dry climates, such as in the desert, outside air functions like a blow-dryer set on high: As the extreme heat causes water (a.k.a. sweat) to emerge on your skin, the hot air sucks it right off your face. The result: super-thirsty skin.
However, unlike when your tongue feels thirsty, drinking water won’t satiate dehydrated skin. “People think when their skin becomes dehydrated that guzzling water is the answer. But in extreme climates like polar and desert conditions, your whole body becomes dehydrated, so water goes first to your major, life-sustaining organs, with very little left over for the skin,” explains Ulli Haslacher, founder of Pour Moi skincare. So, how to fix dehydrated skin? A better strategy, she explains, is to use Pour Moi topical products that contain ingredients that work synergistically with your environment’s temperature and/or humidity to minimize skin’s water loss (TEWL), as well as draw water from the air back into your skin. Here, quick fixes for the thirstiest of complexions.
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin – Step 1: Use the Right Cocktail of Ingredients
All of Pour Moi’s moisturizers do exactly this: Each of the brand’s four Day Creams, Polar, Desert, Tropical and Temperate climates, are formulated with something called HyalurTurf+, a unique cocktail of Hyaluronic Acid molecules in three different sizes. Need a refresher on Hyaluronic Acid? It’s a substance that occurs naturally in the skin, and its function is two-fold: to hold onto moisture (it can hold up to 1000 times its weight!) and to draw water to the skin from the air.
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin – Step 2: Target Moisture in The Air
The reason Pour Moi uses three different sizes of Hyaluronic Molecules is because not all molecules function the same way. For instance, while larger hyaluronic acid molecules keep the skin well-hydrated in humid conditions, when the climate is extremely dry, and moisture in the air is sparse, larger molecules may turn inward, pulling water from inside the body to the skin’s surface. This is something we don’t want because it’s crucial to our good health that water inside our bodies stays there! However, the smaller molecules in the HyalurTurf+ cocktail can successfully draw water from the air, even in dry desert and polar climates, negating the need for the larger molecules to start pulling from inside the body. Thus, HyalyrTurf+ harmonizes with whatever climate you’re in, ensuring your skin is getting just the right amount of moisture, without ever resorting to stealing water from the rest of your body. This is key for how to fix dehydrated skin in the long term.
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin – Step 3: Protect Skin from Environmental Aggressors
In addition to this proprietary blend of Hyaluronic Acid, Polar and Desert Day Creams are also laced with ingredients called Climate Energized Beautifiers (or CEBs) which help to meet your skin’s specific hydration needs in extreme weather.
The Desert Day Cream’s CEBs include Squalane Oil, which creates a thin, non-greasy barrier over the surface of the skin to support the water-retention efforts of HyalurTurf+. This daytime formula also contains protective agents that minimize moisture loss when you go between extremes, such as from oppressive outdoor heat into a building where the air conditioner is blasting.
Polar Day Cream’s CEBs includes Squalane Oil as well, but the oil is complemented with rich Shea Butter in this cold-weather formulation. Together, the duo acts as a substantial barrier against moisture-zapping frigid air and blustery winds. Like the Desert formula, this Polar daytime formula is also spiked with skin-soothers that protect the skin from moisture loss as you transition between ice-cold weather outside and toasty-warm temperatures inside.
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin – Step 4: Slough Off Dead Skin Cells Regularly
Gently exfoliate two to three times a week to ensure you’re getting rid of any dead cells on the surface of your skin. If those cells are allowed to build up, they can inhibit the absorption—and efficacy—of your day cream. To safely slough, just use a clean, damp wash cloth; a vibrating cleansing brush; a gentle granular scrub; or a mild, at-home chemical peel.
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin – Step 5: Cleanse Skin Gently
When choosing a cleanser, opt for something that doesn’t leave your skin feeling squeaky clean. (Squeaky often means stripped of moisture). Instead, choose something creamy that leaves the skin feeling soft. Also, don’t over-wash, especially in hot weather, as even something as benign-seeming as water can strip skin of moisture if used excessively. Finally, keep your face-washing water temperature moderate (neither hot nor cold) because, just like extreme temperatures outside, splashing very hot or very cold water on your face can trigger a dehydrating response.
And, steer clear of ingredients in cleansers known to be irritating. When your skin is aggravated, it can disrupt your barrier function and enable moisture loss. Some ingredients to avoid: alcohol, heavy fragrance, acids and even minty additives (menthol, peppermint) that may feel soothing initially but can aggravate over time.
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin – Step 6: Add in Multiple Layers of Hydration
In all weather situations, your skin benefits from having more than one layer of hydration. That’s why Pour Moi is a 3-step ritual. From the very first step, our Hydrating Balancer, skin is protected, moisturized and balanced. In our second step, Serum, skin gets a concentrated dose of nutrients and anti-aging ingredients. And lastly, our Day Creams and Night Cream seal is serious moisture so skin is healthy, moist and flexible in all climate conditions.
How to Fix Dehydrated Skin – Step 7: Balance Your Diet
Take stock of your diet and the ways in which it may be dehydrating to your body—and skin. In particular, alcohol, caffeine, and large amounts of sugar, can exacerbate dehydration.