How To Hydrate Skin: The Ultimate Guide

Take one look at the celebrities and the models on screen or in your favorite magazine. What’s one of the first things you notice? It’s probably the fact that their skin is constantly glowing to perfection without a single dry patch or blemish in sight.

And while the lighting may certainly help elicit a stellar glow, the reason you always see celebrities with picturesque and buoyant skin is that they know a thing or two about hydration. The good news is that you don’t need to be famous to achieve that Hollywood hydration.

If your skin is a bit more dry and dull than you’d prefer, here’s your ultimate guide to everything you need to know.

Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin

Dry skin and dehydrated skin are often used interchangeably, but there are some stark differences that are important to understand before you get into specific treatments. This is because both dry skin and dehydrated skin are treated with different methods, and improper technique can actually do more harm than good.

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition where there’s a lack of moisture or water in the skin. It can happen to anyone if you’ve got an oily or combination skin type. You can usually tell when skin is dehydrated because it’s dull and shows signs of aging, like wrinkling or loss of elasticity.

Dry skin, by contrast, is a skin type where the complexion lacks oils or lipids. With dry skin, it’s not about water. Instead, your skin might take on more of a flaky or dry appearance at most times of the day.

A good way you can delineate between the two is with the pinch test. Just pinch a small amount of skin on your cheek, abdomen, or chest and hold it for a few seconds. Let it go, and if the skin snaps back, you’re likely not dehydrated. However, if it takes a few moments to return to form, you might be showing signs of dehydration. 

Dry skin and dehydrated skin may be different, but they’re not mutually exclusive. You can have both dry and dehydrated skin at the same time. Not to mention, dry skin requires moisturization to restore the oils to your skin. But dehydration needs a little bit of a different course of treatment.

Rehydrating the Skin

Bringing some moisture to your skin isn’t as simple as taking a shower or a bath. There are some techniques to incorporate (and avoid) to help bring your skin back to its full potential.

Look For the Right Skincare Ingredients

There are plenty of skincare products out there that may claim to rehydrate the skin or reduce moisture loss. But some cleansers contain more harmful ingredients than helpful, and it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t be rubbing on your skin.

The three types of hydrating ingredients can all be incorporated to rehydrate your skin. Emollients are one, and these help with skin barrier function and lead to a better skin texture and appearance. Examples include ceramides and fatty acids.

Additionally, humectants are substances that bind with water and help to retain moisture for a longer period of time. Hyaluronic acid is a common chemical humectant, but you can get the same benefits from completely natural sources like marine algae. The latter tends to be a less abrasive and cleaner option for even the most sensitive skin types.

Finally, substances called occlusives can physically block water loss on the skin’s surface by reducing evaporation. You can look for ingredients like petroleum or mineral oils. While these are useful, they may be a bit too thick for oily or combination skin types. 

It’s essential to test a product first before going “all-in.”

For the best of all three worlds, our Revitalizing Sea Serum might be able to do the trick. It stimulates both collagen and hyaluronic acid production on your skin, which are two ingredients that are necessary to facilitate hydration. It’s also suitable for all skin types, so you can even give it a go if you’ve got dry skin, too.

Keep It Cool

There’s nothing more relaxing than a hot shower or a steaming bubble bath. And while you should still enjoy these at times, try to keep them to a minimum if you’re noticing the signs and symptoms of dehydrated skin.

Hot water encourages water flow out of the skin, causing it to evaporate while you’re in the shower. This naturally dehydrates your skin and can leave you feeling dull and dry after you’ve toweled yourself off.

Instead, opt for shorter, lukewarm showers that promote moisture retention and amplify the effects of any hydrating gels and creams that you might be applying. 

Use a Humidifier

Ever notice how your skin feels dull and dry during cold winter months? That’s because the air is a lot less humid than it is in the spring and summer. When the atmosphere physically has less moisture floating around in it, you’ll lose more hydration.

Humidifiers can help to keep the air moist by incorporating more water into the air. In general, it’s recommended that you keep your home’s relative humidity around 30% - 40% for maximum comfort.

Avoid Over-Cleansing

If you love skincare half as much as we do, we don’t blame you for wanting to cleanse your face all day, every day. But cleaning too much can quickly dehydrate your skin and reverse some of the positive effects of routine cleansing.

Cleansing is great for removing oils and removing dirt and grime from your pores. However, it also strips the skin of its natural biome, which keeps it voluptuous and glimmering. That’s why it’s important to only wash your face twice a day, morning and night. 

This gives you the benefits of facial cleansing without acting as an abrasive on the surface.

Wear Sunscreen

You probably already know the importance of wearing sunscreen from a safety standpoint. 

Over time, UV rays from the sun cause damage to the outer layer of the skin. This sucks out moisture and can lead to premature signs of skin aging, including wrinkles and dark spots.

Be sure to wear sunscreen of at least SPF 30, being careful to re-apply every 90 minutes or after going into a pool or ocean. Also, wear hats and sunglasses to protect the top of your head and eyes, respectively.

Never Too Late to Exfoliate

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin. Not only can this help improve the appearance of your skin by removing dull, dry flakes from the surface, but it can also make the fresh layer more absorbent of moisturizers and other hydrating gels.

With that said, you shouldn’t exfoliate too often. 

Once or twice a week is more than enough. Additionally, be sure to use gentle ingredients that won’t irritate your skin, such as coconut shell practices and marine silt that you can find in our Blue Algae Exfoliating and Detox Mask.

Drink More Water

It’s not just about adding more moisture on the outside. If you have dehydrated skin, you’ll want to increase your water intake to make up the difference. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, women should be drinking 11.5 cups of water a day, and men should be consuming at least 15.5 cups.

Don’t forget to incorporate more water-rich food into your diet. Try to incorporate more cucumber, watermelon, lettuce, or strawberries into your diet to get skincare benefits, as well as a plethora of holistic benefits for your overall health.

Skin In the Game

Dehydrated skin looks like dry skin, but the main difference is that dehydrated skin won’t snap back into place due to a loss of elasticity. Treating dehydrated skin revolves around adding more water to your skin and body.

Some of the best ways to rehydrate your skin involve picking the right ingredients, using a humidifier, limiting hot water showers, using sunscreen, and keeping facial cleansing to a twice-a-day maximum.

If your skin still isn’t looking the way you want, it might have to do with the types of products you’re applying. 

At One Ocean Beauty, we’re committed to harnessing the natural detoxifying powers of marine life in a sustainable way. That means healthier skin and a healthier planet. Upgrade your skincare system today.



Beneficial Effects of Marine algae-derived Carbohydrates for Skin Health | NCBI

Sun's effect on skin - Health Video | MedlinePlus

How to safely exfoliate at home | American Academy of Dermatology

Water: How much should you drink every day? | The Mayo Clinic