Knowing the differences between skin types is important for treating your skin’s needs. But the distinctions between different skin types are not always as straightforward as they appear. Oily versus dry seems rather self-explanatory. You see oil on your skin, so you must have oily skin, right? Not always, since oil production can be a bit more complex. To help us sort through some of the finer points, we enlisted celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau.
Meet the Expert
Renée Rouleau is a celebrity esthetician based in Austin, TX. She is also the founder and creator of her eponymous skincare line.
Keep scrolling to find out if the oil you’re dealing with is actually a side effect of your skin’s dehydration!
First, let’s do a little refresher on the basics. “Dry skin produces little to no oil, which causes the skin to be dry and flaky,” Rouleau says. “Oily skin is skin that produces oil, and generally it will have large pores and look shiny or greasy.” That much probably makes plenty of sense to you, but the dehydrated skin distinction gets a little trickier.
Dehydrated skin isn’t necessarily overly dry skin. “Dehydrated skin is oily, combination, or normal skin that is lacking water and feels tight,” Rouleau says. “Having tight skin doesn’t necessarily mean it’s dry. Dehydrated skin, as a skin condition, lacks water content, but may still produce oil.” In fact, it’s probably over-producing oil to compensate for the lack of moisture in the skin, which is why dehydrated skin can easily get mistaken for oily skin. “Dehydrated skin is common among those with oily and acne-prone skin who use harsh products that strip the skin of water,” Rouleau says. If this sounds familiar, keep reading for Rouleau’s tips on how to get your skin back to a healthy state.