About your skin

Dry vs. Dehydrated 101

Navigate the difference between a skin type vs a skin condition.


Understanding Dry vs. Dehydrated Skin

Your skin may show all the traditional signs of dryness. However, the solution to your tightness, dullness, flaking and sensitivity may not be as simple as slathering on lotion or cream. When your complexion lacks moisture, you need to figure out whether it needs more oil or water—or you could end up making things worse. Here’s how to know the difference in order to get smooth, healthy and hydrated once again.

Dry vs. dehydrated skin

How to Tell the Difference

Dry Skin

Permanent skin type can‘t produce lipids

Can be managed that with proper regimen

Feels dry all over, including hands and scalp

Worsens with age

Needs oil-rich products







Dehydrated SkKin

Temporary condition from lack of lipids and water

Can be changed with proper regimen

Can feel oily and dry simultaneously

May experience breakouts

May experience breakouts

Defining Dry Skin

You may describe your skin as “dry”, but you might not actually have a dry skin type. What this means is that your skin doesn’t produce enough oil and is unable to retain hydration. This oil deficit affects everything from the quality and texture of your skin to its ability to protect against environmental aggressors. Dry skin is delicate, tight and susceptible to rough patches and redness. The lack of lipids also leads to damaged barrier function, increasing sensitivity and inflammation, and premature aging. While dry skin is a permanent condition, you can manage the symptoms and keep your complexion in a hydrated and healthy state with the proper care.

Defining Dehydrated Skin

Your complexion is always vulnerable to temporary water loss—no matter whether you have dry, combination, normal or oily skin. The optimal amount of water in the top skin layer ranges between 20 to 30 percent, but once that number drops below 10 percent, good-bye glow and texture becomes dull and lackluster. Once skin is in a dehydrated state, it compensates for moisture loss by pumping out more oil, leading to breakouts, irritation and dry patches—quite a different scenario from classic dry skin. Your top strategies: identify what’s side-lining your moisture levels and pick proper hydration products to boost your skin’s H20 levels.


Top Causes of Dehydration

External Factors

  • wind, cold and sun

    evaporates water from your skin.

  • Harsh skin & cosmetic products

    abrasive skin cleansers and topical medical treatments dry out your skin.

  • Nutritional deficiencies

    lack of vitamins, magnesium or fatty acids can aggravate dryness and water loss.

  • Alcohol & certain medications

    (nasal decongestants) may contribute to dry skin.

  • indoor air

    soaks up moisture and dries out skin.

  • Shaving and Hair removal

    strips your outer skin layer.

  • Smoking

    deprives skin of oxygen and moisture.

Internal Factors

  • Skin AGing

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    Diseases that affect the skin’s function 

  • SENSItive skin

    Redness-prone or rosacea skin can be vulnerable to dehydration

These top causes of dehydrated skin alter the state of the skin barrier and cellular cohesion. The epidermis, the skin's barrier, can no longer function as a protective shield and leads to excessive water loss. Skin becomes rough, flaky, tight, dull with dehydration fine lines.

Hydration Tips

The Process To Rehydrate Your Skin

Step 1

Replenish the Lipid Content

- Protective skin barrier is restored. Water loss is reduced.

Step 2

Store Water in the Epidermis

- Once the skin has regained proper lipid content, the protective skin barrier known as the Stratum Corneum, is able to trap and store water from deeper layers of the skin.

Step 3

Normalize Skin Sensitivity

The skin becomes more resistant as a result of the two previous steps:

- Normalization of the barrier function.

- Restructuring of the epidermis, better cellular cohesion.

Dry Skin

what helps
  • Apply serums, oils and creams to replace lost oils.
  • Gentle exfoliation to remove surface flakes and promotes cell renewal and natural production of lipids.
  • Mild cleansing. Use a mild lotion face wash and avoid bar soap or harsh foaming cleansers.
  • Turn on a humidifier at night to offset dry indoor heat in the winter.
what hurts
  • Drying your skin before you moisturize. Apply alcohol-free toner, serum and moisturizer to still-damp skin to trap in the hydration.
  • Products that reduce surface oils like harsh cleansers or powdery, mattifying makeup.

Dehydrated Skin

what helps
  • Use moisturizers with ingredients called humectants that attract water from the environment to keep skin soft and supple.
  • Wash with a mild, sulfate-free cleansing gels to manage oily bumps without stripping any more moisture.
what hurts
  • Excessive exfoliation. Too many acids and scrubs can strip moisture and irritate your skin.
  • Drying your skin before you moisturize. Lock water into place by applying your lotion over damp skin or with wet fingertips.

Hydrance collection & studies

Math Meets Scientific Innovation for Maximum Skin Hydration

In partnership with Stanford University, Pierre Fabre Laboratories has developed the first-ever mathematical model that provides an objective description of dehydrated skin. The more dehydrated the skin is, the more it curves, creating tightness and discomfort. Based on this one-of-a-kind model Avéne tested different combinations of ingredients and identified the most effective complex in reducing skin strain and therefore hydrating skin.

Model of objective description
of the hydration efficacy of an
active ingredient.

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Like a sponge, the skin becomes taut and curves when it lacks water, causing sensations of tightness and discomfort. But these sensations are actually quite subjective and can vary considerably from one person to another.

"Dehydrated" sponge Dry surface lines, tightness and tingling, discomfort

"Rehydrated" sponge Full of moisture, lush, and radiant

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Innovative Formula for Deep Hydration

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"This one-of-a-kind model enabled us to test various combinations of active ingredients and to identify the most effective complex of active ingredients for reducing strain and acting on skin hydration."

Changes in cutaneous strain over time under dehydration stress

Comparison of 3 active ingredient complexes to one standard.

The blue curve represents a measurement of stain during dehydration kinetics without the application of a moisturizing product.

The three other curves represent the change of cutaneous strain, under dehydration stress, after application of three different active ingredient complexes.

We can see that the pink curve shows a fast, sharp, and lasting reduction in cutaneous strain despite the dehydration stress. This curve corresponds to the complex of active ingredients selected for the Hydrance range. Its cutaneous hydration efficacy is remarkable.

The Avene Solution: Hydrance Featuring CohedermTM

To ensure proper hydration of the epidermis, products must provide both water, the essential element to cell rehydration and lipids to ensure an effective barrier against water loss.

1. CohedermTM

  • Lipidic-trio helps to restore a cohesive skin barrier to prevent water loss
  • Restores natural moisture micro-reservoirs & replenishes them with Avene Thermal Spring Water

2. transporting microspheres

  • Capture and store the Avene Thermal Spring Water and CohedermTM
  • Gradually release hydrating ingredients to allow for maximum skin replenishment

3. Avene thermal spring water

  • Soothes discomfort and tightness from dehydrated skin

Unprecedented efficacy of Hydrance

  • Helps to restore the skin’s natural micro-reservoirs & replenishes them with Avene Thermal Spring Water
  • Prevents water evaporation from the skin
  • Provides intense 24 hour hydration
  • Smooths away dehydration lines and soothes tightness and tingling sensations
  • Skin is soft, smooth and radiant
Normal to combination skin

Hydrance Optimale LIGHT Hydrating Cream

  • Lightweight texture provides long-lasting hydration
  • Absorbs excess oil with light mattifying effect
  • Smoothness and luminosity are restored

71% Avène Thermal Spring Water


Dry to very dry skin

Hydrance Optimale RICH Hydrating Cream

  • Rich, creamy texture
  • Helps restore the hydrolipidic barrier
  • Provides comfort and leaves skin soft and supple

58% Avène Thermal Spring Water


For all skin types

Hydrance Optimale SPF 25 Hydrating Cream

  • Rich oil-free texture
  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 25 protection
  • Enriched with Pre-Tocopheryl for anti-oxidant protection

52% Avène Thermal Spring Water


For all skin types

Hydrance Optimale Hydrating Serum

  • Non-greasy, oil-free formula
  • High concentration of Avène Thermal Spring Water for optimal hydration
  • Increases hydration level of the skin
  • Soothes and calms sensations of discomfort
  • Can be used alone or before day or night treatments
  • Enhances effectiveness of any skin care product used afterwards

77% Avène Thermal Spring Water


OUR CLASSIC sunscreens

New 100% Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+

Broad spectrum SPF 50+ protection for face and body with enhanced with a powerful anti-oxidant and soothing Avène Thermal Spring Water while offering 24 hour hydration and 80 minutes of water resistance. FREE from Oxybenzone and Octinoxate. Active Ingredients: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene