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Dehydration Lines Under Eyes: 5 Signs

Have you ever woken up to a new wrinkle or two in the morning? 

While you’ve likely had regular fine lines before, sometimes those early morning lines can be a little suspicious. 

As in, they definitely weren’t there yesterday.

If that’s the case, we’re here to put your mind at ease – what you’re looking at probably isn’t a new wrinkle. Instead, you’re probably noticing some dehydration lines.

What Are Dehydration Lines?

Dehydration lines are very similar to fine lines. In fact, you may have seen some dehydration lines and written them off as fine lines. However, there are several key differences between dehydration lines and wrinkles.

The main difference is that dehydration lines are incredibly shallow. They won’t look as deeply set as fine lines do. Dehydration lines also come and go as your hydration level changes, while fine lines will stay unless you use products to reduce them.

5 Signs of Dehydration Lines

So, how do you know whether or not you have wrinkles or just plain old dehydration lines? Here are five signs that you might have dehydration lines.

Itchy Skin

Because dry skin isn’t as elastic as hydrated skin, it gets tight when it’s not properly hydrated. This can lead to flakiness and itchiness.

Since your skin is itchy and dry, you may also notice red patches from unconscious itching. Itchiness is also a sign of dry skin, which is a slightly different issue than dehydrated skin.

Your skin could be itchy for any number of reasons, but if you have itchy skin and some of the other signs we’ll discuss, dehydration is a possibility. 

Basically, itchy skin on its own doesn’t necessarily indicate dehydration, but it’s definitely something you should investigate.

Sensitive Skin

If your skin is dehydrated, it slowly loses the protective barrier that keeps it safe from the environment. This can leave your skin feeling sensitive and irritated.

Beyond itching, you might see more redness where your skin is irritated, and you might notice that your skin is more sensitive to skincare products. Sensitive skin is another symptom that could mean many things, but it could likely indicate dehydration if it crops up with some of these other signs.

Dull Skin

If your skin is dehydrated, it will probably have a general lackluster look. You might notice that your cheeks aren’t flushed, your skin isn’t glowing and happy, or your skin doesn’t feel fresh. 

These are all signs of dehydrated skin. Dehydrated skin can’t turn over dead cells as fast as hydrated skin can, which can cause dead skin cells to build up on top of your skin.

These skin cells can cause your skin to look dull and even grey, but they can also clog up your pores and cause blemishes. Because of this, blemishes can also be a sign of dehydrated skin.

Dark Under Eyes

Dehydration can cause the skin to lose its plumpness and brightness, which can cause your delicate under-eye skin to look dark and sunken. However, dehydration can also cause your under eyes to look a bit puffy.

Under-eye bags can result from a number of things, including lack of sleep, stress, and inadequate nutrition. However, one of their main causes is dehydration. If you see dark under your eyes alongside your fine lines, the chances are high that you’ve got a case of dehydration lines on your hands.

They Show Up and Go Away Overnight

The main way to tell if you have dehydration lines or wrinkles is to track how quickly they show up and if they seem to go away. 

While it may seem like they show up out of nowhere, wrinkles and fine lines take years to form. Because of this, they can also take years to erase.

If your fine lines disappear an hour or two after your moisturizer or they probably aren’t actually fine lines. 

You most likely have dehydration lines since they can disappear just as quickly as they show up.

How Can I Reduce and Prevent Dehydration Lines?

If you think you have dehydration lines, there’s no need to panic. 

Since they aren’t really wrinkles, these pesky little lines may be easy to smooth. Here are some of our best tips to reduce the appearance of dehydration lines and prevent them from occurring in the first place.

Stay Hydrated

Since dehydration lines are caused by dehydration, one of the best ways to turn them around is to stay hydrated. Although everyone is different, experts agree that drinking around eight glasses of water a day will help you stay hydrated.

Being adequately hydrated will help to contribute to your overall health, and a healthy body can result in healthy skin! However, it does not mean that your skin will be hydrated from drinking water alone. Because of the skin’s barrier, you have to hydrate the skin from the outside in. 

Staying hydrated is important because having enough water in your system greatly impacts your skin’s natural hydration mechanisms. Basically, you’re fixing dehydration lines from the inside out!

The great news is that you aren’t stuck with water. You can swap out a few of those glasses for fresh fruits and vegetables, herbal teas, milk, and even coffee. These foods and drinks are made mostly of water, so they are great sources of hydration.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: moisturizing is key. 

Drinking water is important, but not all of the water you drink goes into your skin. The best way to make sure that your skin is as hydrated as possible is to use moisturizer.

We recommend our Weightless Oil-Free Moisturizer. Our vegan and cruelty-free formula provides gentle yet deep hydration while keeping your pores clear and skin soft. This moisturizer is especially helpful if you have dry skin.

We also recommend our Intensive Eye Renewal Cream for the area around your eyes. This eye area is most susceptible to dehydration lines and is also incredibly sensitive to dehydration. Eye creams like this one are specifically formulated for the thin skin under your eyes and are better at keeping it hydrated than regular moisturizers.

Another option is to go for a hydrating SPF, like Supergoop Play. Reapplying your SPF works overtime by also helping to keep your skin moisturized!

Wear Sunscreen

We might sound like a broken record, but we really mean it. Sunscreen is vital to any hydrating skincare routine because it helps reduce sun damage.

Sun damage and hydration may not seem like they relate, but you’d be surprised. Sun-damaged skin has a hard time creating hydration for itself and retaining external hydration. This is why sunburned skin is often dry and flaky. 

This is also why sun damage tends to result in more visible signs of aging. Dry and dehydrated skin has a harder time bouncing back from stress, creating lines and wrinkles.

You should apply sunscreen every morning before your makeup, and you should reapply throughout the day. Dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen every two hours or as directed on packaging. If you don’t reapply, then you risk sun damage – and, of course, dehydration lines.

Check Your Skincare Products

Even if you regularly use moisturizers and sunscreens, it doesn’t hurt to double-check your products. If you have dry skin, using the wrong product can leave you dehydrated and produce those dreaded dehydration lines.

If you have dry skin, you should be using a heavier moisturizer to help fill in the cracks of your dry skin and infuse it with moisture. Check your current moisturizer for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, peptides, and ceramides. All of these ingredients are specifically used to patch up and hydrate dry skin.

Your sunscreen should also include some of these hydrating ingredients to keep your skin as happy as possible. Most importantly, check that your sunscreen of choice is broad spectrum. Broad-spectrum sunscreen fights off both wrinkle-causing UVB rays and burn-inducing UVA rays. 

Introduce a Hydrating Serum

If you want to quadruple your moisturizing routine, try using a hydrating serum. This serum should come after cleansing and before moisturizing, and its job is to get as much moisture into your skin as possible.

We recommend the iS Clinical Hydra-Cool Serum. This serum uses hyaluronic acid to provide deep hydration and also reduce irritation so that your complexion can be bright and youthful-looking. You should use a hydrating serum in the morning and in the evening for the best effects.

Final Thoughts

While they may look similar, dehydration lines and wrinkles are two very different things. Luckily, you probably have the former if your skin is itchy or dull and your lines come and go with each day.

The good news is that dehydration lines are easy to fix! If you stay hydrated, moisturize, and use the right skincare products, you can easily prevent them. 

If you found this helpful, be sure to check out some of Shani’s other skin tips. Happy glowing!



Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day? | Mayo Clinic

Sunscreen and Your Morning Routine | Johns Hopkins Medicine

4 Simple Ways to Tell if Your Skin is Dehydrated | North Pacific Dermatology


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