Water plays a central role in making sure your skin stay healthy, smooth, and radiant. It is a power ingredient, which is why every skin care aisle is lined with products that promise to hydrate and moisturize skin. You will often see the words hydrating and moisturizing being used interchangeably on the labels of your favorite skincare products. But did you know that they each refer to two different yet similar skin conditions?
While both are equally essential and key contributors in providing skin with much-needed nourishment, knowing the difference will help you make the best choice when targeting your skin's specific needs.
Let Us First Understand What "Hydration" & "Moisturization" Both Mean
It is the absorption of moisture from the air and then infusing your cells with water to improve your skin's ability to absorb moisture and nutrients.
It is about trapping and locking in the moisture to build your skin's natural protective barrier. This will prevent any water loss and ensure that your skin remains soft and smooth. It helps in preventing trans-epidermal water loss.
So, What's The Difference?
Have you ever felt that your skin looks like it's begging you to quench its thirst? That's what hydrators and moisturizers are for. They both address the importance of making sure the skin is getting all the water it needs to fight dryness and dehydration, premature signs of aging, and environmental damage. The difference, however, lies mostly in how they go about achieving these results.
In clear terms:
- 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 makes your skin feel soft and supple, but it will not stay soft if there is no oil to protect that hydration from escaping. If hydration escapes, the skin ends up dry and flaky. However, putting oil on dehydrated skin may visibly smooth it, but it will still be lacking that soft, bouncy feeling that comes from hydration.
Moisturizing products will prevent moisture to evaporate from your skin, reinforcing your skin's barrier function. A well-functioning skin barrier is important for keeping bacteria and chemicals from entering the body and keeping the good stuff including your moisture from leaving the skin.
Hydrating products are all about increasing the water content in your skin cells themselves and moisturizing products are all about locking in that moisture.
Moisturizers are 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. They also make the skin feel smoother and less dry. Whereas, hydrators are ingredients called humectants, such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid that absorb water from the atmosphere or your skin and hold it in place on your skin to keep it nourished
It is important to recognize that they work very differently because which you choose can make or break your skin health. The end goal might be the same that is better-hydrated skin, but the game plan to get there depends on your skin type.
How Do You Know If Your Skin Needs A Hydrator, Moisturizer, Or Both?
If your skin tends to be on the dry side and it feels flaky, it is easy to assume that a healthy dose of moisturizer is all it takes to restore its plump appearance and youthful glow. While this may be true at times, it's also possible that your skin may not, in fact, be dry but dehydrated. And if the latter is true, then a hydrator is what you need to get the skin at the right place.
To determine if your skin is dry or dehydrated, it is important to take note of your skin's condition. The skin has a natural lipid barrier that protects itself from damage and water loss. If you are prone to having dry, flaky skin, it is a tell-tale sign that it is not producing enough lipid cells to form a protective barrier, making it unable to lock in moisture. And that is where moisturizers come in.
According to skin care experts; a moisturizer's job is to reduce the amount of water that evaporates off of the skin to minimize water loss from the skin. They lock in and seal in moisture. Moisturizing is particularly helpful for skin that is dry and peeling or flaking after undergoing a chemical peel, using certain products, or during the winter season.
Meanwhile, if you are dealing with a dull and lackluster complexion with fine lines and wrinkles becoming more noticeable, your skin may be battling dehydration. Dehydrated skin can be experienced when the cells are parched and starved of water. When this happens, they are not plump and volumized and appear shriveled collectively. People can have hydrated but dry skin, or dehydrated but moisturized skin. Ideally, what your skin requires are hydrated, bouncy, swollen cells that have topical moisture locked into them.
What Is Best For Your Skin Type?
There are numerous over-the-counter products in the market, from balms to oils to creams, gels to ointments to hydrators. But the truth here is that most of them do the same thing.
Most skin lotions and other products will contain both occlusive and emollient ingredients and humectant ingredients, so they moisturize and hydrate at the same time. According to skin care experts, the particular form that a product takes, gel, balm, oil, cream, etc., does not affect the performance of the product. It is the ingredients that matter. The form just affects the experience of applying the ingredients.
That explains why it is important to read the ingredients and experiment. Sometimes your skin might do better with only a moisturizer or hydrator, not both. By learning exactly how your skin likes to drink, you maximize your way of hydrated or moisturize the skin.
If You Have Dry Skin, Try A Rich Moisturizer
If your skin is naturally dry year-round and tends to flake or peel, chances are, it is not weather-related dehydration that is causing your dryness but it is your skin that is having a hard time retaining moisture.
To improve your skin's condition, you will need to moisturize to create a protective seal on the surface to lock in moisture. A thick, emollient moisturizer will help prevent water from leaving your skin and, with the right formula, will provide the nutrients and nourishment your complexion needs to thrive all winter long or even in other seasons.
If your skin is really dry, a good, old-fashioned petroleum jelly, also known as petrolatum can do wonders. For really dry skin, occlusive agents are the best, something with petrolatum works the best, say dermatologists. But if someone wants to avoid petrolatum, then botanical ingredients such as shea butter, canola oil, or soybean oil can work. In reality, petrolatum is the best.
Some ingredients you will definitely want to try and are harmless to your skin are petrolatum, oils including plant oils, like jojoba oil, and nut oils, like coconut oil.
If You Have Dehydrated Skin, Try A Hydrating Serum
If your skin is dehydrated, you need to actively add water back into the skin. You can look for a hydrating serum with hyaluronic acid, which retains an impressive 1,000 times its weight in water. It will add a healthy dose of hydration back into the skin.
Ingredients you'll definitely want to try in this case are: hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, honey, green tea, etc.
You can try the hydrating and nourishing Oriental Botanics' Australian Tea Tree Anti Acne Face Serum
. This is a clarifying and nourishing facial serum for restoring the acne-prone and oily skin to its healthy state. It helps to tighten the enlarged pores and reduces sebum overproduction. As a result, your face stays grease and shine-free for a longer time. It fortifies the protective moisture barrier of the skin that helps to keep the skin supple and soft. Its bioactive constituents help to calm the stressed and inflamed skin. The nutrient-rich serum helps in repairing the damaged skin and minimizes further damage. Natural antioxidants help to protect the skin from oxidative stress that is responsible for speeding up the premature appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
If You Have Oily Skin, Try Water-Based Hydrators And Moisturizers
Even if you have an oily skin type, it does not mean your skin is not dehydrated, and if your skin is dehydrated, it can actually exacerbate your oil issues.
People with oily skin often have a compromised barrier function, which makes it hard for their skin to retain moisture. As moisture leaves the skin, it becomes dehydrated, causing the skin to produce more oil.
It is a vicious cycle, and the only way to break it is to give your skin the proper hydration and moisture it needs. Look for water-based, noncomedogenic hydrators and moisturizers. Water-based products will feel lighter on the skin and won't clog your pores.
You will love the Australian Tea Tree Anti Acne Face Gel
from Oriental Botanics. This is a fast-absorbing, non-greasy face gel enriched with natural oils and plant extracts for moisturizing and nourishing the acne-prone and oily skin. It is a non-comedogenic gel that quickly permeates the skin without clogging the pores and improves the condition of the stressed skin. It restores the skin's lipid barrier without leaving behind greasy residues so that your skin feels soft and smooth without feeling greasy. Rich in nutrients that help in the regeneration of the skin cells, this face gel helps to repair the damaged skin. It helps to protect the skin from oxidative stress due to exposure to pollution.
Your skin definitely needs both hydration as well as moisturization. Botanical and natural ingredients are the best sources to get proper nourishment without exaggerating other skin problems. Try our products that are sourced from natural substances.
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