Most people don’t know this: Moisturizing the skin is important, but not as important as hydrating it. That’s right – there’s a difference between being hydrated and being moisturized.
If you don’t know this, there’s a good chance your skincare routine is not as effective as it could be. Moisturizing is about adding moisture to the skin, while hydration is about boosting the skin’s ability to retain moisture. In other words, your skin can’t be deeply moisturized if it’s not hydrated.
So what are the main differences between hydrating and moisturizing skin care products, and how can we achieve hydrated skin? Keep reading!
What You Need to Know About the Difference Between Moisture and Hydration
Moisturizing is an external process, while hydration is something that happens internally. While moisturizing is important for keeping your skin looking its best, hydration is essential for overall health.
What is Hydration in Skin Care?
Hydration occurs when your body is able to absorb and retain water. Hydrators bind moisture internally at the cellular level.
A lack of hydration is the leading cause of dry skin. Dry, dehydrated skin creates a domino effect that can’t always be saved by just a moisturizer, which seals in hydration but actually adds none internally.
When you are dehydrated, you are more prone to acne because water can help flush out toxins that cause breakouts. You’re also more likely to get eye bags – dehydration weakens the delicate skin under the eyes. Sunburns may even be more painful with dehydrated skin.
So how do you know which products are hydrating?
Water and humectants are hydrators for the skin. They bind moisture to the skin at a cellular level. Some examples of humectants are Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, and Polyglutamic Acid. Hydrating products, like serums and some moisturizing creams, are usually silkier in texture because they are meant to easily enter the pores.
What Moisturizers Do for Your Skin?
Moisturizers are the cornerstone of any good skincare routine. We all know that they’re supposed to lock in hydration, but what does that mean?
Moisturizers help to prevent water loss from the skin externally. They do this by enhancing the lipid barrier on the surface of the skin to help keep moisture in and environmental irritants out. This helps to maintain the hydration in the skin that already exists, but adds no additional hydration internally.
You can moisturize your face without hydration ever happening – think of all the oil-based moisturizers out there. In fact, moisturizers are not meant to enter directly into the pores. Moisturizers are oils, emollients, and occlusives – thicker in texture to serve as a nourishing and protective barrier.
Hydrated AND Moisturized Skin: Tips for Achieving the Perfect Balance of Both
If you want to achieve both hydrated and moisturized skin, you need to focus on both internal and external factors.
Want your skin to actually look and feel plump and dewy? You need to focus on products that help with hydration – think water- or Hyaluronic-based serums. Then follow with a moisturizer to seal it in.
Moisturizing during the day helps avoid dryness and flakiness that can lead to irritation and breakouts. Moisturizing with a heavy product at night can help lock in moisture and keep skin hydrated all night.
If you have oily skin, try using an oil-free moisturizer for daytime use to combat excess sebum production. Dry skin sufferers should look for products labeled “non-comedogenic” or “oil free” as these are less likely to clog pores and cause breakouts.
Make sure you’re getting plenty of water in your diet – vegetables are a great source of hydration! Cucumber water is especially hydrating. Remember: dehydration will guarantee that your skin will not be at its best.
Hydrated and Moisturized: the Key to Glowing, Dewy Skin
Long story short: if you want your skin to be happy and healthy, make sure you’re both moisturizing AND hydrating! With a little effort, you can have the soft, glowing skin you’ve always wanted.
Check out my bestselling hydrators and moisturizers to try it for yourself! If you already have a favorite, check the ingredients for humectants because many of my moisturizers are also hydrating.
David’s Recommended Hydrators
Biomimetic Botanicals Moisture Balance Hydrating Gel Cream - Clinical Results 24|7
(2-in-1 Hydrator and Moisturizer!) Buy Now
David’s Recommended Moisturizers
Base Moisturizer - The Lab Direct
(Mix with your favorite Serum to customize your own hydrating moisturizer! Buy Now