When it comes to skincare, hydrating and moisturizing are considered top priority in creating and maintaining a youthful and glowing appearance of the skin, as they address the skin’s need for water to appear healthy and youthful. However, for the average consumer, products that display these keywords may seem indistinguishable from one another, when in fact they are very different — so, what’s the difference between hydrating and moisturizing, and why does it matter?
The key difference between hydrating and moisturizing products is the difference between oil and water. Despite their description as being water and oil, rather than repel one another, they often work cohesively to create youthful and glowing skin when both types of products are included in a skincare routine.
What Is Hydrating?
Hydrating products represent the “water” portion of the oil and water relationship that these types of skincare products share. Skincare products that declare themselves as “hydrating” typically contain humectants that function to increase the content of water within the layers of the skin. Humectants, a hygroscopic substance, act as a water magnet by attracting water molecules from the lower layers of the skin as well as from the air that surrounds the skin.
Scientifically speaking, they are a substance that form hydrogen bonds with water molecules; a bond that helps to moisturize dry skin by drawing water to it. Dehydrated skin typically thirsts for this type of product, as the skin lacks the moisture necessary to present itself as healthy and youthful.
What Is Moisturizing?
While hydrating products function to bring moisture to the skin by means of hydrating the skin cells with water, moisturizing products act to lock in the acquired moisture brought to the skin, by preventing further loss of water content.
Application of moisturizing products help to build the skin’s natural protective barrier to help further reduce the loss of moisture by water, all while keeping the skin’s surface looking smooth, rather than flaky and dry. The use of moisturizing products are essential to those with dry skin, as the composition of dry skin increases the likelihood of loss of the skin’s water content.
The Difference Between Dry Skin vs. Dehydrated Skin
As highlighted in the differing descriptions of moisturizing and hydrating products, differing skin types require one over the other, if not the application of both, but how do you tell the difference?
One way to determine if you have dry skin is if the appearance of the skin is dry and flaky, a texture that is a telltale sign that the skin is lacking its natural lipid barrier that moisturizers help to rebuild. If the skin appears dull and fine wrinkle lines are visible, this could be a sign that the skin is dehydrated. It is possible that the skin is both dry and dehydrated, if not one or the other.
Remember to Hydrate!
Products aside, the most beneficial way to both moisturize and hydrate the skin come from the consumption of water or water-dense foods, such as cucumbers and watermelon. When the body is dehydrated, the skin reveals the tell-tale signs of its condition, lacking bounce and suppleness in appearance and defining any wrinkles that the skin has developed through natural aging.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, when the body becomes hydrated, so does the skin that covers it. Hydration by means of water consumption results in the layers of the skin naturally developing the volume and health that moisturizing and hydration by use of skincare products produce. Remember to hydrate!
Want to get glowing, more radiant skin? Dr. James Cardi and his talented team are highly experienced helping patients achieve their skincare and aesthetic goals. We provide microdermabrasion, chemical peels, and much more. Request an appointment online or call our office at (401) 313-3287 to set up an appointment!