The Difference Between Dry and Dehydrated Skin — and Why You Need to Know

While you may hear the terms dry and dehydrated used interchangeably, they aren’t the same! In order to properly treat your own skin type, it’s essential to know the difference. Not only what each means, but how to recognize it in your own skin!


What is dry skin?

Dry skin is a skin type, which causes your skin to produce less oil. Oil is needed to protect, lubricate, and nourish the skin. Unlike oily skin types, those with dry skin have a lack of the necessary oil in the skin. As a hereditary condition most often, it’s a trait you’re born with, rather than develop.

If you’re someone with dry skin, you may experience rough, dry, or flaky skin (that can sometimes appear in patches). While having dry skin doesn’t mean you won’t potentially deal with acne, you’ll notice that your skin is rarely oily and water-based lotions are never hydrating enough!


What is dehydrated skin?

Instead, dehydrated skin is a condition anyone can experience, even if you’re oily! It’s actually far more common than dry skin. Like the name indicates, dehydrated skin indicates a lack of water in the top layer of the skin. Dehydrated skin tends to appear dull, show accelerated fine lines and wrinkles, and feel tight despite added moisture.

If left untreated, the skin produces excess oil to compensate for the lack of water. This is where the acne comes in! What commonly happens is that the excess oils makes your skin breakout with more inflamed blemishes. To make matters worse, you might have an excessively oily complexion that feels hard to mattify throughout the day. This contrasts to dry skin types, who won’t or rarely produce excess oil.


Common causes of dehydrated skin:

-Not drinking enough water

-Indoor heat/AC systems

-Exposure to harsh temperatures (too much sun, wind, or snow!)

-Diet (consuming too much caffeine, alcohol, salt, etc.)

-Lack of sleep and other lifestyle factors

-Frequent traveling / airplane exposure


Are you dry or dehydrated?

Wash your face with a delicate cleanser (like our Facial Cleansing Oil), and check your skin an hour later. If it lacks moisture all over, you likely have dry skin. However, if only your cheeks or under eye area feels tight, it’s most likely dehydration!


How do I treat dry skin?

Dry skin types often have to use a super hydrating skincare routine in order to provide skin with the necessary moisture. Below, we list a suggested cocokind routine for those with dry skin.


AM Routine:

1) Cleansing Oil massaged onto face, rinse off with water

2) Rosewater Toner on cotton pad

3) Chia Facial Oil, Golden Elixir or Facial Repair Serum as your daily moisturizer

4) MYMATCHA under the eye area

5) Your daily SPF (we like the brands Goddess Garden and Coola)


PM Routine:

1) Take makeup off with the cleansing oil on a cotton pad

2) Do a hydrating face mask by mixing any of our oils with the chlorophyll mask. Mix the duo together and leave on face for 10-20 minutes.

3) Remove mask and follow up with the Rosewater Toner

4) Use the MYMATCHA under eyes or on dry spots

5) Use the Chia Facial Oil or Matcha Face Moisturizer to moisturize

*You’ll also want to make sure that you’re exfoliating regularly to make sure you’re giving room for new skin cells to come to the surface! Don’t over do it though – we recommend 2x a week using our Organic Sea Moss Exfoliator.


How do I treat dehydrated skin?

The solution to dehydrated skin is to increase your body and skin’s water content, which results in a healthy, smooth, and plump complexion. This is best done starting from the inside out! Start by increasing your daily water intake. While we always hear the rule of thumb of 8 glasses of water, try upping this to at least 10-12 cups a day!

You’ll also want to make sure you are having a limited to moderate amount of salt and caffeine – as these can be especially dehydrating. And for all the tea drinkers out there – herbal tea can count towards your daily water intake goals, but teas that contain caffeine cannot!

In addition, take note of your lifestyle decisions. Having a healthy amount of sleep is super important to maintaining your body’s pH level, which can help balance hydration and inflammation levels. If you are a frequent traveler and spend a significant amount of time on airplanes, try to increase your daily water and sleep intake above the average amount.

In terms of skincare products, you can also take topical action with hydrating toners, oils, or our hydrating collective sticks (including our highlighters). However, note that just because you have dehydrated skin, this doesn’t mean that you should ALWAYS use products geared towards “dry skin”. You could actually have combination skin or even oily skin, but due to the lack of water content in your body, your skin could appear dry. The best thing to do is listen to your skin and make sure to stay flexible! No matter what skincare products you use, hydrating your body from the inside out will be the most important factor here.


We hope our tips have helped! If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us at!



Dorna on

This was so helpful! I will definitely be more conscious to see what kind of skin I have.


Joni Flaherty on

I absolutely love your products and have recommended them to my friends, coworkers and family.

You are an amazing company!!!!!

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