Is my skin “dry” or “dehydrated”?

The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually two very different things. Dry skin refers to a skin type, and is due to the lack of oils from skin that produce less sebum than normal, thus lacking the lipids needed to form a moisture-retaining barrier. Dry skin may feel rough and flaky.

Dehydrated skin refers to a skin condition, and is due to the lack of water in the skin. That’s because dehydration is a result of your lifestyle: long hours in air-conditioning, not drinking enough water, putting on too much makeup, and even, not sealing in the moisture on your skin with proper skincare. Dehydrated skin may look dull and feel tight.

This means that no matter what your skin type – normal, dry, sensitive, combi, oily – your skin could still be lacking moisture.

What to do with thirsty, dehydrated skin

Have you ever noticed that when your skin is dehydrated, it produces more oil? It’s the way skin protects itself from further damage. When you have an oily complexion it’s not always easy to distinguish when your skin is dehydrated. But when your skin feels dehydrated while oily, the trick is to drench it with moisture. This will naturally produce less sebum.

But that’s only part of the solution. Your skin needs a way to keep the moisture in. That’s where oil comes in – and it not only retains moisture, it also nourishes and supplements skin.

The key is to achieve an ideal balance of water and oil in your skin – so it’s not too oily or too dry, but instead better hydrated and nourished. Think of it as water and food for your skin – you need to achieve a perfect balance for your skin to perform at its best.

Imagine hydrated, petal-soft skin

Hydrated, petal-soft skin isn’t something that happens by chance on a “good skin day” – it takes work to achieve. Luckily for us, New York-based skincare brand Fresh has made it easier for us with their new Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum.

Designed to deliver the ideal balance of deep hydration and nourishment to the skin, this bi-phase oil+water formula helps to both hydrate and nourish even the deeper layers of your skin.

The appeal of deeper hydration is to strengthen the skin’s barrier to maintain moisture levels for soft, supple skin.

This incredibly lightweight serum is quickly absorbed into skin, leaving no greasy residue. We love its beautiful botanical oils, such as camelina and rosehip, that soothes, tones and creates the ideal conditions for all-day deep hydration.

Suitable for all skin types, Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum is meant to be used after your facial essence and before moisturiser. Start by turning the bottle from cap to base to combine the formula.

Tailor to a dewy or matte finish

You can even tailor your finish by varying the number of times you shake the bottle – five shakes for a soft, dewy finish; more for a matte finish. The more times you shake the bottle, the smaller the oil molecules become, giving your skin a more mattified look.

Whichever finish you prefer, your skin absorbs the same benefits from the formula.

After you’ve combined the formula, pour two to three drops onto your palms and massage the serum into your face and neck using an upward motion, avoiding the eye area. Use it morning and night.

The serum makes for wonderful self-care. It has the brand’s signature rose scent and smells like a freshly picked floral bouquet.

But remember: This isn’t a facial oil. It is a serum – which means you can layer it with other serums, using the “heaviest” serum last.

Sign up here to receive a Fresh Rose Indulgence Starter Kit and see the difference for yourself.

What happened when we tried it

To test out how well the product works for different skin types, we had two testers, one with dry-combination skin, and another with oily-combination skin. Here’s what they found after using it for a week.

Tester #1: Dry-combi skin

The first time I used it: I was fascinated by how I could choose the finish by the number of times I shook up the bi-phase formula. Since my skin has both dry areas and an oily T-zone yet is dehydrated, I opted for a dewy finish the first time.

My skin looked brighter, softer and plumped with moisture right away. The fine lines I have on my forehead looked less prominent too.

I really enjoyed the silky texture and how lightweight it felt. All the rest of my serums and moisturiser went on right after and my skin never once felt heavy or greasy.

After seven days: My skin continues to look hydrated and healthy. I’ve come to look forward to this part of my skincare routine, both for its effects on my skin and how it’s so sensorial to use – from the texture to the rose scent. It’s added to the many tiny self-care moments I incorporate into my busy day.

I realise too, that I’m paying more attention to how my skin feels every day, so I can select the best finish for it. If it feels dry, I go dewy. On hotter days when my skin feels oily and heavy, it’s the matte finish. Whatever finish I end up with, there is one constant: skin always feels really moisturised, comforted and smooth.

Tester #2: Oily-combi skin

The first time I used it: I have oily yet dehydrated skin, and am prone to breakouts. So I’ve always been hesitant about adding oil to my skincare routine.

The first thing that struck me about the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum was the rose scent. It has a subtle earthy undertone which I find very calming.

My skin felt smooth yet not greasy. I was surprised that there was no greasy finish around the corners of my nose, given the oil and water formula.

It truly did leave a hydrating layer on my skin. I let the serum sink in for a few minutes and followed up with my usual moisturiser. My skin remained hydrated all the way to the afternoon.

After seven days: My skin feels very refreshed even after cleansing and applying toner. I’m enjoying the lightweight finish on my oily skin – and I haven’t noticed any excess oil build-up.

I even tried skipping moisturiser and layered my makeup over the serum. My primer went on smoothly and my pores looked less visible too.

What both our testers with different skin types found after using Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum, is that the texture was lightweight and not greasy on skin. It was also fast-absorbing. The best part: it had a perfect balance of water and oil, and the bi-phase formula delivered long-lasting hydration and nourishment to the skin.

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum, $95 (100ml). Available from 18 June 2020, at Fresh boutiques at #B3-46 Ion Orchard, #01-43 Raffles City Shopping Centre, #02-33 Jem Beauty Kitchen, Takashimaya D.S. and Sephora.

Flash this article when you purchase a Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum at Fresh, and receive a Soy Face Cleanser (50ml). Limited to 50 redemptions, until August 31, 2020. One redemption per customer. At Fresh boutiques at #B3-46 Ion Orchard, #01-43 Raffles City Shopping Centre, #02-33 Jem Beauty Kitchen, and Takashimaya D.S.

Brought to you by Fresh