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Moisture vs Hydration: Yes, You Need to Know the Difference

When your skin is dry, you purchase a skin hydrator. Or a moisturizer. Same thing, right? What if you learned there’s a big difference between moisture vs hydration? And it’s imperative to the well-being of your skin.

Dry skin does not discriminate between season or gender. The way your skin dryness behaves in the summer may be different than the way it behaves in the winter, but it can happen any time of year. And both men and women deal with this common skin issue.

But here’s what’s missing in your quest to make your dry skin look and feel better. Before you apply another skin product, you need to know why your skin is dry, what it needs, and how to deliver the goods.

Moisture vs Hydration: What’s the Diff?

Pop quiz! Does your dry skin need moisture vs hydration? The answer is both. They may get lumped into the same category and, yes, they both improve the look and feel of dryness. But they work in totally different ways.

When skin is dehydrated, it looks deflated, thin, and sallow. This is because hydrated skin cells contain water that makes the skin look plumped up and youthful. That cushiony, supple feel you love is due to well hydrated skin.

On the flip side is moisture. While hydration is going on under the skin’s surface, moisture creates a barrier on the top layer of skin, locking in that hydrated feel. Think of it as your beautiful skin combo. Hydration makes skin look and feel fabulous, and moisture keeps it that way.

The Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturizing Skin

Start by taking a good look in the mirror to determine if your skin is dehydrated, dry, or both. This step is key to giving your skin the care it deserves and kicking dryness to the curb.

Does your skin look deflated, tired, or less elastic? It’s likely dehydrated. Are you dealing with tightness, irritation, roughness, or a dull appearance? Lack of moisture is probably your top concern.

It’s important to note that any skin type, even oily, can become dehydrated. Water loss can be caused by damage to skin, dry climate, and harsh cosmetic ingredients.

Which Products Hydrate and Moisturize?

Use natural makeup and skincare beauty products made with humectant ingredients to draw water to skin cells and hydrate skin. A facial mist with aloe vera and facial serum that contains hyaluronic acid will make the skin feel healthy and soft. And hydrate the skin on your body with a scrub made with sugar and sea salt.

Moisture has two functions for skin. It seals in water to protect against dehydration and offers a smoothing and soothing feel to the surface of dry skin. Natural skincare brands that include emollient ingredients are essential to moisturize the face and body, and ward off feelings of dryness. Opt for creams and lotions made with shea and cocoa butters, and natural oils like argan, olive, and avocado.

Certain lifestyle tips will also help to keep skin feeling hydrated and moisturized. Be sure you are drinking plenty of filtered water each day and including healthy fats in your diet. And don’t forget the sunscreen!