Oct 22, 2023Saira Khan

Dry, Flaky Skin? Or Dehydrated and Tight? How to Tell and Treat the Difference.

Is your skin feeling dry and tight lately, almost like it’s stretched across your face? Or is it getting flaky and rough, with little dry patches popping up? I've been there myself!

Chances are your skin is either dry or dehydrated. It can be tricky to tell which is which. But knowing the difference is key to getting your glow back. Let’s look at what causes these pesky skin issues and how you can get some relief!


Dry Skin.

Got dry skin? Here are a few common culprits that can leave your face feeling tight and flaky:

1. Harsh Chemicals in Your Cleanser

Many cleansers contain sulphates and detergents that deeply cleanse but also strip away the natural oils that keep moisture locked into your skin. Overuse of foaming cleansers and scrubs with gritty particles can cause your lipid barrier to break down.

2. Fragrances and Harsh Preservatives in Skincare

Fragrances, chemical preservatives, and alcohols added to skincare can lead to irritation, inflammation and increased transepidermal water loss. This damages the skin's protective barrier and dries skin over time.

3.Temperature Inside and Outside the Home

During winter months, blustery winds outside combined with dry indoor heat can create a double whammy for dehydrating your skin. The harsh cold air outside freezes moisture in the skin while central heating saps any remaining humidity from the air inside.

4. Stress

Stress causes an increase in cortisol levels which triggers inflammation, collagen breakdown, and a disrupted skin barrier. This leads to a compromised moisture seal, allowing water to evaporate from the skin more rapidly. The result is chronic tight, dry skin.

5. Dehydrated Skin.

Is your skin looking dull and showing signs of ageing? Dehydration could be to blame. Here are some common reasons your skin can become parched and lack water content:

6. Not Drinking Enough Water

Drinking inadequate water is one of the most common causes of dehydrated skin. Water makes up 70% of our skin, so the skin suffers when the body is deprived of H2O.

7. Hormonal Changes Like Menopause

Hormonal fluctuations during perimenopause, menopause, and andropause can trigger changes in skin hydration. Declining estrogen levels lead to thinner skin and reduced Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that help skin retain moisture. This causes increased dryness.

8. Not Eating Foods Rich in Hydration

Hydrating foods like fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and foods with omega fatty acids nourish skin from within. A diet lacking in these hydrating foods can lead to drier, duller skin over time.

9. Not Stimulating Nutrients to Skin Cells

As we age, cellular turnover slows, skin loses collagen, and nutrient absorption declines. Using targeted skincare with antioxidants and vitamins can help stimulate cellular activity to better deliver nourishment where skin needs it most.


Look at your internal and external habits to identify potential causes of dehydration. Simple lifestyle tweaks like drinking more water, eating skin-loving foods, and using effective skincare can get your glow back!

At SAIRA we like to keep our information on skincare simple, relevant and achievable. Here are our top 5 at home action points you can incorporate to improve dry and dehydrated skin. 


Here are 5 actionable tips for keeping skin nourished, soft and smooth:

1. Drink Plenty of Water

Staying hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water daily provides moisture from the inside out. Increase water intake if you live in a hot, dry climate.

2. Incorporate Hydrating Foods

Eat skin-nourishing foods like avocados, walnuts, olive oil, and fatty fish. They provide essential fatty acids to reinforce the skin barrier. Fruits and vegetables boost hydration too.

3. Practice Waterless Cleansing

Use gentle, oil-based cleansers that won't strip natural oils. Avoid foaming cleansers with sulphates.

4. Apply Facial Oils

Face oils work by forming a lipid-rich barrier on the skin's surface, which seals in moisture, preventing water loss. This protective layer also aids in strengthening the skin's natural barrier, enhancing its ability to defend against environmental stressors, pollutants, and maintain optimal hydration, resulting in healthier, more resilient skin.

5. Choose Gentle, Organic Skincare

Opt for skincare free of synthetics, fragrances, and alcohols that can irritate and dry out skin. Organic, plant-based products are ideal for sensitive skin.


How can SAIRA skincare products help you with your skin hydration?

Organic oils are vital for addressing dry skin due to their high essential fatty acids, natural emollients, vitamins, and antioxidants. They nourish the skin's barrier, retain moisture, and protect against damage. They're non-comedogenic, absorb well, contain fewer additives than creams, and are suitable for all skin types.

10 reasons why hydrated and nourished skin is important for overall skin confidence and health.

  • Healthy Appearance: Hydrated skin appears plump and glowing, contributing to a youthful, fresh complexion. It reflects light better, reducing the appearance of dullness and fatigue.
  • Reduced Wrinkles: Adequate moisture keeps the skin's surface smooth and soft, diminishing the prominence of fine lines and wrinkles. It adds volume to the skin, making wrinkles less noticeable.
  • Improved Barrier Function: A well-nourished skin barrier contains a balance of lipids and proteins, which helps protect against harmful external factors like UV radiation, pollution, and bacteria. This prevents skin issues and maintains overall health.
  • Even Skin Tone: Proper hydration can reduce redness and inflammation, leading to a more even skin tone. Hydrated skin is less prone to irritation, making it look more uniform and calmer.
  • Prevents Dryness and Flaking: Dry skin can become flaky, itchy, and uncomfortable. Well-hydrated skin is soft and supple, preventing these issues, and ensuring a smoother texture.
  • Faster Healing: Hydration aids in the skin's natural healing process. When the skin is moist, it can repair itself more effectively, helping wounds, cuts, and irritations to heal faster.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Dry skin can be itchy, tight, and uncomfortable. Properly moisturised skin feels comfortable and smooth, reducing discomfort and the urge to scratch or rub.
  • Prevents Acne: Contrary to a common misconception, well-hydrated skin is less likely to produce excess oil to compensate for dryness, reducing the risk of clogged pores and acne breakouts.
  • Makeup Application: Smooth, hydrated skin provides a better canvas for makeup. It allows for easier application, a more even finish, and prevents makeup from settling into fine lines and imperfections.
  • Long-term Health: Maintaining skin health is not just about aesthetics; it's essential for overall well-being. A healthy skin barrier protects against infections, UV damage, and environmental stressors. Over time, this can delay the signs of ageing and ensure your skin remains vibrant and resilient.

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