If your skin feels parched, you're probably reaching for a skin care product with the words "hydrating" or "moisturizing" on the label. The terms "hydrating" and "moisturizing" are often used interchangeably when referring to skin care products. But they each refer to two different - yet similar - skin conditions.
We'll explain the difference between the two products, how to decide which one you need (and which ingredients to pay special attention to), and how to incorporate both types of products into your skincare routine to maintain hydrated, healthy skin.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MOISTURIZING AND HYDRATING
Both moisturizers and hydrators ensure that the skin is adequately hydrated to combat dryness and dehydration, premature signs of aging, and environmental damage. The difference, however, lies primarily in how they achieve these results.
Hydrating products draw moisture - from deeper layers of the skin - and lock that water into the cells of the outer layer of skin. If your skin is dry, moisturizing products create a barrier that traps the water content in your skin cells and prevents it from escaping.
DEHYDRATED OR DY SKIN?
Now that you know the difference between moisturizing and hydrating, how do you determine which one you need? It depends on whether your skin is dehydrated or dry - yes, those are two different things.
The two complexion problems can have similar symptoms, but if you look closely, you can tell the difference. Dehydrated skin feels dry and can even produce excess oil because your skin cells mistake it for dryness and try to overcompensate. Symptoms of dry skin often include flakiness, dullness, a rough and flaky texture, itchiness and/or a feeling of tightness in the skin. Keep in mind that your skin may also be dehydrated and dry at the same time.
SKIN CARE INGREDIENTS THAT ARE HYDRATING
Use ingredients such as:
- Hyaluronic Acid
- Aloe Vera
- Marine extracts
SKIN CARE INGREDIENTS THAT ARE MOISTURIZING
In this case use ingredients such as:
- Almond oil
- Shea butter
- Cocoa butter
- Jojoba oil
HOW TO KNOW WHEN TO HYDRATE, MOISTURIZE OR USE BOTH
If your skin looks dehydrated, make sure you're drinking the recommended water per day, and try incorporating a moisturizer into your skin care routine at the minimum. If you suspect your skin is both dehydrated and dry, we recommend using a hydrator such as our 2.5% Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Serum to help move water into cells, followed by a moisturizer to lock in moisture.