Skin Care Saturday with Mindy Armandi

Hi, everyone! Welcome to another week of skin care saturday! This week I want to talk about the difference between hydration and moisturizing.

You’ve probably seen a lot of articles or advertisements use these two terms interchangeably. Although both are essential to your skin health, they are very different and they really shouldn’t be referred to as the same.

Hydration vs. Moisturizing 

Hydration actually involves the plumping up of the cells of your skin. It’s usually created by a serum with hyaluronic acid, which are humectants. Humectants attract moisture into the skin cells. Moisturizers create a barrier over your skin. This barrier locks in the moisture. I like to use Nivea on my hands, but I prefer the European brand, which I buy on Amazon (it feels less sticky). 

I’m often asked if water is a humectant or a moisturizer. The answer is no, because water will simply evaporate from your skin. The idea is to attract water to be kept into your skin.

The best way to do this is by adding a formula that hydrates and a formula that moisturizes into your skin care regime.

Light to Heavy

When it comes to skin care products, you always want to start with the lightest product and work your way to the heaviest. I like to start with a hydration serum, such as NeoCutis’s Micro Serum, to hydrate my skin. I love it. Whenever I feel dry, I put a little on my skin (especially when I don’t get enough water in during the day). 

In general, bio serums are ideal for hydration because they have hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, peptides, and growth factors to enhance the skin. They are light, and after you work them into your skin they will attract moisture to your skin cells. 

Next you work in your moisturizer over the hydration serum to seal in and protect the moisture barrier in your. I like to use the NeoCutis Bio Cream Firm rich formula. I prefer the rich formula because I tend to get a little dry (especially in the winter). I usually use a richer formula at night for my skin because I’m not getting younger. This product is amazing, you can feel it tighten the first time you use it. It’s incredible!

  • Serum to hydrate the skin cells and attract moisture from the air into the skin.
  • Moisturizer to increase the moisture barrier and lock in all of the moisture.


So that’s the basic difference between hydration and moisturizing. While they are often used interchangeably, they each have a unique purpose for your skin health. I hope that clears things up a bit. If you have more questions or want to learn a little more, check out our recent blog on moisturizing and hydration.

See you next week!