Hydration vs. Moisturizing: What You Need to Know

Up to 60% of the human body is made up of water. In addition to playing a key role in our health, water plays an essential role in making sure your skin stays smooth, healthy, and luminous. You’ve probably noticed the skin care aisle is jam packed with products that moisturize and hydrate your skin. However, these products are not interchangeable. 

Moisturizing and hydration are not one in the same. Today, we’ll talk about the differences and how each is essential to your skin health.

Hydration vs. moisturizing

“Hydration” refers to the water content within your cells. It’s the absorption of moisture from the air. Once this moisture is absorbed it infuses your cells with water to improve your skin’s ability to absorb moisture and nutrients. When water flows out of the cells, it needs to be replenished or it will become dehydrated.

“Moisturizing” involves capturing and locking moisture to build your skin’s natural protective barrier. This helps to prevent any future water loss to ensure your skin is smooth and soft.

  • Moisturizers: oil-based ingredients, including occlusive agents, such as petrolatum or mineral oil, and emollients like esters and plant oils. They work by creating a seal on the surface of skin which prevents water from escaping. 
  • Hydrators: include ingredients called humectants, such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid, that absorb water from the atmosphere to hold your skin in place.

What’s the difference?

Does your skin ever feel dry or thirsty? When this happens, it’s your body’s way of saying you need hydrators and/or moisturizers! They both work together to combat dehydration and dryness to help you achieve soft and supple skin. But how do you know which you need?

Typically, if you have dry skin, that means your skin is lacking oil and it needs to be moisturized. If you have dehydrated skin, your skin lacks water and it needs to be hydrated.

Hydration helps our skin to feel soft, but it won’t stay soft if it lacks the proper amount of oil to protect hydration from escaping. When hydration escapes, your skin can become dry and flaky. When your skin is dehydrated, putting oil on it may help it appear temporarily smooth. However, your skin will still be lacking the soft, bouncy feeling created by hydration.

Do I need a hydrator, moisturizer or both? 

The truth is, most lotions and skin products contain ingredients to moisturize and hydrate at the same time. However, your skin might do better with only a moisturizer or hydrator, not both.

If your skin is prone to dryness or you notice flaky skin, your skin barrier may not be locking in moisture. When this happens, applying a moisturizer can help to restore your skin’s bouncy and plump appearance. Moisturizer is extremely useful during the winter months when your skin is prone to dryness.

On the other hand, if you feel as though your skin is dull or you start to notice fine lines and wrinkles, your skin may be dehydrated. Applying a hydrator can help combat this issue to provide your skin with much-needed nourishment.

Collagen Queen’s Corner: Tip of the Week

Layer a moisturizer over a hydrating serum once you step out of the shower to seal in all that steam. It’ll work wonders on the health of your skin! 

Schedule your Rejuvalift skin care consultation today!

Your skin is the largest organ on your body, it’s often the last to receive the essential nutrients it requires to remain healthy and youthful. At Rejuvalift, I offer customized skin care solutions to help you look and feel your best. From Ultherapy and Secret Pro to TruSculpt iD and skin care consultations, our services are designed to bring balance and harmony to your skin.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment!