You need to moisturize and hydrate for your skin to look and feel its best. However, many people aren’t aware that moisturizing and hydrating are two very different terms. To help you get one step closer to reaching your skincare goals, read on to learn more about the difference between hydrating and moisturizing.
What Does Hydration Mean?
Hydration refers to the amount of water within your skin cells. When you hydrate your skin, you provide it with water, improve your skin’s ability to soak up moisture, and make your skin cells plumper and firmer.
When water flows out of your skin cells, this causes them to become dehydrated. This can occur in anyone, but the cell dehydration process happens more often as you age. This is where the skincare ingredients called humectants come to play.
Humectants allow you to hydrate your skin by drawing water from deep within the layers of your skin up to the surface. Humectants also help this water bind to the cells, giving the cells a better chance at absorbing the water.
What Does Moisturizing Mean?
Moisturizing, in its simplest terms, is the act of sealing water and oil into your skin to prevent your skin from drying out. In this way, moisturizing helps keep your skin’s protective barrier healthy. This protective barrier helps mitigate sun damage.
What’s the Difference?
So what’s the difference between hydrating and moisturizing? Both hydrating and moisturizing help your skin look smoother and more vibrant.
However, hydration provides the skin with water, and moisturizing helps strengthen your skin’s barrier to retain that water.
How To Tell What Your Skin Needs
In truth, you may not need to hydrate and moisturize, as your skin can be perfectly hydrated but dry and flaky skin due to an unhealthy barrier. If you notice that your skin feels rough, dry, or peeling, you likely need a moisturizer. Face oils have many benefits, one of which is being a great moisturizer due to their high lipid (fat) content. Using face oils consistently alongside the rest of your skincare routine can help strengthen your skin’s protective barrier.
If you notice that your skin looks dull or wrinkly or that it doesn’t bounce back immediately after pinching, your skin is likely dehydrated. Applying humectants like hyaluronic acid or salicylic acid will help draw up moisture and allow it to penetrate your skin cells.
And if you find your skin is both dry and dehydrated, just use your humectant in tandem with your moisturizer. The humectant will supply your skin cells with water, and your moisturizer will ensure that water doesn’t evaporate, tackling both problems at once!