Dry skin is a really common problem and can have a big impact on the appearance of your skin. There are lots of things that can contribute to this issue, and one common reason for it is dehydration. Learning how to hydrate skin will give you an opportunity to improve your skin’s appearance and prevent dryness. This can also offer anti-aging benefits and give you that radiant glow most people want. Let’s take a look at why hydration is important for your skin and what you should do.

Why is skin hydration important?

We’re going to start by discussing the role that hydration plays in your skin. As you might already know, a large percentage of your body exists out of water. Your skin also depends on water to retain its elasticity, keep wrinkles at bay, and provide protection against UV rays.

Main reasons skin loses hydration

There are many reasons why your skin may lose hydration. Before we consider how to hydrate skin, let’s first look at some common causes.

  • Spending time in the cold or heat: If you expose your skin to hot or cold temperatures for too long, then it can actually impact hydration levels. Try to keep a neutral temperature at all times.
  • Using harsh soaps, detergents, and chemicals: Soaps and detergents with harsh ingredients can cause damage to the outer layer of your skin, also sometimes called a barrier. In turn, this can have an adverse effect on your skin’s natural ability to maintain hydration.
  • Using rough sponges, washcloths, or exfoliating products: Similar to products with harsh ingredients, if you use sponges or other items that are rough on your skin, it’s something that can hurt your skin’s barrier and affect hydration.
  • Taking long, hot showers or baths: While a hot shower can be a great way to relax, spending too much time in hot water can dehydrate your skin.
  • Not drinking enough water: Another thing that causes poorly hydrated skin is not drinking a lot of water. If you’re not getting enough fluids, it’s going to affect the hydration level of your entire body.

Medical conditions linked to dry skin

Apart from lifestyle factors, there are also certain diseases and medical conditions that can impact hydration.

  • Thyroid disease: Researchers have found[1] that people with thyroid problems have a higher risk of dehydration. This is linked to changes that happen to the proteins that bind to thyroid hormones.
  • Menopause: If you’re going through menopause, it means there are some changes that happen to your body – particularly due to hormone imbalances. This can also contribute to dehydration.
  • Diabetes: People with dehydration often find themselves thirsty, and the risk of dehydration also significantly increases with this disease.
  • Sjogren’s syndrome: This autoimmune disease causes dry mouth, as well as dry eyes. However, apart from this, it can sometimes also be a contributing factor to dry skin.
  • Poor nutrition: If you don’t get the nutrients your body needs, then your cells can’t function as well as they should. This can be disastrous when it comes to maintaining hydration in your skin.

Are moisturizing and hydrating the same thing?

It’s important to understand that moisturizing and hydrating are not actually the same thing. So, let’s consider a comparison of hydrating vs moisturizing. Hydration involves your skin absorbing moisture, usually from the air, and then using the moisture to put water into cells – or infuse the cells. Moisturizing rather refers to trapping moisture inside the skin as a way to build the protective barrier that sits at the surface.

Most effective strategies to hydrate skin

A multi-targeted approach is best. That means you need to hydrate your skin from the inside and outside. Drinking enough water is definitely a great start, but you also have to take a look at your diet. In terms of outside, make sure you use high-quality skincare products that have been designed specifically to help hydrate your skin.

Understanding your skin’s current hydration

There are a couple of strategies you can use to actually test how well-hydrated your skin is. One of the best and easiest ways is the knuckle test. You first need to place a knuckle onto your skin to squeeze into your skin a bit. If you let go, take a look at whether or not your skin jumps right back to the original way it looked. If your skin does, then you’re well hydrated. However, if your skin takes a few seconds to get back to the original position, it means you’re not well hydrated, and there might even be problems with your skin’s elasticity.

3-Day program to hydrate your skin

We’ve taken a look at the important role that hydration plays in skin health. Now, let’s turn our focus to a three-day strategy that you can use to improve hydration significantly. We’re going to assume you will start on Saturday – as you might have more time to focus on what you need to do to care for your skin this way.

Day 1: Saturday

When to wake up: Start your Saturday by making sure you get between eight and nine hours of sleep – so if you have to sleep a bit later, it’s okay. Research shows that a good night’s sleep can boost skin hydration[2] by as much as 30%.

  • What to eat today: Focus on drinking a lot of water during the day, but not too late at night, as you still need good sleep – so you don’t want to get up too often.
  • What to do today: Switch your pillowcase to a new, clean one, and take a look at the cleanser you’re using. Try to avoid foaming cleansers and ones that are highly exfoliant. Rather opt for something gentle.

Day 2: Sunday

  • When to wake up: By 8 am in the morning, you should have gotten enough sleep. At this time, you can start with your morning skincare routine and get ready for breakfast.
  • What to eat today: Healthy fats are an important part of skin hydration, so choose between nuts and seeds, or rather, some sushi. You should also include some zinc-rich foods, like beans, meats, and shellfish.
  • What to do today: Use Sunday to ensure you can go shopping for the skincare products you need to hydrate your skin. At this point, you should consider using a good oil on your skin. Olive oil and sunflower oil can be great options, but you can also consider a hydrating mask that you leave on overnight.

Day 3: Monday

  • When to wake up: By Monday, you’re ready to get back to work, so get up early, but remember to continue with the three-day process.

  • What to eat today: Today, you need to focus on vitamin C and fatty acids. Vitamin C helps with the production of collagen. Fatty acids are great for improving the moisture barrier of your skin.
  • What to do today: At this point, you should notice improvements, but if not, then your next bet is to use Vaseline. Apply some Vaseline to your skin. There are studies that show it can help reduce the amount of water you lose[3] through the transepidermal layers by as much as 98%. It’s also important to keep stress to a minimum.
Focus on vitamin C and fatty acids

What to do on the other days of the week

We’ve taken a look at a three-day system that helps with skin hydration. However, you need to ensure that you continue to take care of your skin for the rest of the week. So, let’s look at what you can do to maintain the hydration of your skin both internally and externally – this type of strategy will give you the best results.

How to hydrate your skin internally: Drinking lots of water can help give you the ability to hydrate your skin from the inside of your body. You should also add water-rich foods to your diet, like cucumber and watermelon. These further contribute to your internal hydration levels. There are also certain vitamins that can help to improve your skin health and make sure you don’t have to worry about a dehydrated face.

How to hydrate your skin externally: Apart from focusing on internal hydration, it’s important to continue taking care of your skin on an external level as well. Consider using something like squalane for skin. This can helo ensure you maintain the hydration and moisture in your skin.

Make sure to only use high-quality skincare products on your skin, such as Solvaderm’s Daily Hydration System.


How do you deep hydrate your skin?

There are a couple of things that you can do. Add a humidifier to your room and use high-quality skincare products that are designed to help boost hydration levels.

How can I hydrate my skin naturally overnight?

You can consider using a product that contains ingredients like coconut oil. An overnight mask can do wonders if it uses the right ingredients, but some people also find that oils or serums work great.

Is niacinamide good for dry skin?

Yes, if you use niacinamide, it’s going to help improve the natural barrier of your skin, and reduce moisture loss. It’s also great for reducing the overall dryness of your skin.


If you have dry skin, you may wonder how to hydrate it. There are a lot of options available, but it really starts with analyzing your own situation. Sometimes, a few lifestyle changes and the right skincare products are all it takes to improve your skin’s hydration and reduce dryness. Start with the three-day program we shared to help hydrate your skin, then continue to follow these tips to maintain the results.