Shop PCA SKIN products
Professional Services Navigation
Women applying PCA SKIN serum to face
A woman examines her forehead for dehydration lines.

Aside from wearing sunscreen, keeping your skin hydrated is one of the most important ways to ensure your complexion stays healthy and youthful-looking—regardless of your age. Hydrating skin topically with serums and moisturizers is key. However, hydrating from within also plays a role in your skin's overall look and feel. For instance, when you're not consuming enough fluids, you may notice dehydration lines. These appear similar to fine lines associated with normal aging, but they have a distinct cause.

So, how can you tell if you have these lines, and what can you do to treat them?


What Are Dehydration Lines?

Dehydration lines—sometimes called superficial or transient lines—are delicate creases that appear on the skin as a result of insufficient hydration. Unlike wrinkles, which occur from collagen and elastin loss as you age, these lines are temporary, and they typically only manifest when your skin lacks adequate moisture.

These lines commonly materialize in areas where the skin is naturally thinner and more prone to dryness, like around the eyes, mouth, and forehead. Despite their temporary nature, they can compromise the skin's appearance, leaving it looking dull and lackluster.


close up image of older, dehydrated skin.


What Causes Dehydration Lines?

Put simply, superficial lines result from a lack of water. Your skin cells and tissues thrive on hydration, so when your body is deprived of adequate fluids, the skin's natural moisture barrier weakens. This leads to increased transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and dehydration.

Aside from not drinking enough fluids, consuming too much alcohol or salt and exposure to environmental aggressors, like extreme weather and seasonal changes, can cause dehydration lines under eyes and elsewhere on the skin. Essentially, anything that dries out your skin can lead to these temporary lines. And while those with dry skin are more vulnerable, dehydration lines can happen to anyone, regardless of age or skin type.


Telltale Signs of Dehydrated Skin

Not sure if your lines are due to dehydration? Here are some other signs to look out for:

  • Dullness
  • Itchy skin
  • Redness and irritation
  • Dark or sunken under-eyes
  • Increased sensitivity


How to Minimize Surface-Level Lines

The good news about superficial lines is that several methods can help prevent and minimize them. Here are five ways to keep those pesky creases at bay.


  1. Drink Plenty of Fluids
    Healthy, hydrated skin begins with proper hydration from within. Drink water consistently throughout the day to replenish lost fluids and support optimal skin function. Adding hydrating foods such as cucumbers, watermelon, and leafy greens into your diet can also support skin hydration from the inside out.
  2. Use a Gentle Cleanser and Toner
    Avoid harsh cleansers and alcohol-based toners, as they can strip the skin of its natural oils and exacerbate dehydration. Instead, opt for gentle hydrating cleansers like PCA SKIN Creamy Cleanser, which removes impurities without compromising the skin's moisture barrier. Additionally, consider incorporating a nourishing toner into your routine. PCA SKIN Hydrating Toner includes Glycerin and Evening Primrose Oil to supply moisture and improve moisture retention.
  3. Apply Hydrating Serums and Creams
    Choose skin care products formulated with hydrating ingredients such as Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, and ceramides. These humectants attract moisture to the skin, creating a protective barrier that locks in hydration and prevents water loss. Incorporating a hydrating serum and moisturizer into your daily routine, both morning and night, can help boost the skin's natural defenses against fine lines and wrinkles. Try PCA SKIN Hydrating Serum followed by PCA SKIN Collagen Hydrator for plump, smooth, radiant skin.
  4. Try a Humidifier
    Dry indoor air can sap moisture from the skin, exacerbating lines and dullness. Try running a humidifier to help maintain optimal humidity levels in your home or workspace, especially during the winter months when indoor heating systems can further contribute to dryness.
  5. Practice Safe Sun Care

    Sun exposure accelerates skin aging and depletes moisture levels, leading to lines and wrinkles. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher daily—rain or shine. PCA SKIN Daily Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is an excellent option for all skin types. Additionally, seek shade during peak sun hours and wear protective clothing, such as wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, to shield your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.

    By following these steps, you can ensure that you're giving your skin the support it needs to stay smooth, supple, and radiant.


Kaleigh Fasanella
Kaleigh Fasanella is a New Jersey-based beauty and wellness reporter with over a decade of experience writing for both digital outlets and brands. She previously worked at magazines like Allure and Teen Vogue before going freelance to write for a variety of publications. While she loves all aspects of beauty, she's especially passionate about skin care and helping others learn about and care for their skin.