Hydration VS Moisturizing
Skincare aisles are packed with products that promise to hydrate and moisturize our skin. Are they the same? What is the difference between them?
It is a common belief that skin hydration and skin moisturizing refer to one and same thing. However, they are different, and they each fulfill different goals in maintaining a healthy skin.
It is important for us to understand the differences between the two, so that we can pick the right products and ingredients that would benefit the needs of our skin.
The difference between Dry Skin and Dehydrated Skin
To be able to understand the difference between hydrating and moisturizing, it is helpful to understand the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin, as they each refer to a different condition.
Dry skin is a skin type and refers to skin that lacks oils at the surface. Dry skin occurs when the skin lacks the ability to produce an efficient amount of oil. It produces less sebum, it’s natural oil, than normal skin, and the lack of sebum means that the skin looks and feels dry. Dry skin tends to feel rough, uncomfortable, flaky and itchy.
Dehydrated skin is a skin condition that is due to the lack of water within the skin. If water flows out quickly from the skin, it becomes dehydrated and looks dull, lacklustre and feels tight. Dehydrated skin is caused by a variety of external factors as our harsh environmental and climatic stressors in Canada, but also includes unbalanced diet, caffeine consumption, poor sleep, all of which result in diminished water content in the skin.
Moisturizers and Hydrators both work to make sure that the skin is getting all the ingredients it needs to fight dryness and dehydration.
Despite the use of the terms in interchangeable ways, they each effect the skin differently:
Hydration is about the presence of water in our skin: hydrators add water to the skin and makes our skin plump and bouncy.
Moisturizers, on the other hand, is about oil at the surface of the skin to smooth it.
Moisturizing does not hydrate. Putting oil over a dehydrated skin may smooth it, but the skin will still lack the hydration it needs to make it feel plump and healthy. You could thus have skin that is at once dehydrated and oily. On the other hand, dry skin that is hydrated but not moisturized will still flake and have rough texture.