Hydrating vs. Moisturizing: Whats the Difference?
When it comes to the beauty industry, there are a lot of terms to be learned. What can make it even more confusing is the fact that some words seem to mean the same thing—or at least are used interchangeably. The biggest culprits we’ve noticed falling into the aforementioned category are the words “hydrate” and “moisturize”. These two words are often used to mean the same thing—i.e. hydrate/moisturize to help dry skin—but is there really no difference? Read on to find out.
What’s the Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturizing?
We reached out to dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali to find out what the difference is between hydrating and moisturizing, or if there really is no difference at all. According to Dr. Bhanusali, there is indeed a difference. “Dehydrated skin indicates a lack of water and needs to be hydrated, as well as retain water,” he says. Moisturizing, on the other hand, is for dry skin which shows epidermal compromise.
How to Tell If Your Skin Needs Hydration or Moisture
Now that you know hydrating and moisturizing refer to two different things, you’ll need to find out which you’re in need of. Determining which one your skin needs requires first knowing whether your skin is dehydrated or dry. The two complexion concerns can have similar symptoms, but if you pay careful attention to your skin you can spot the difference.
Dehydrated skin will feel parched and can even produce excess oil, while dry skin flakes. Keep in mind, it’s also possible for your skin to be dehydrated and dry. Once you’ve figured out which skin issue you’re dealing with (or if you have both), deciding whether to hydrate or moisturize is completely uncomplicated. If you’re dehydrated, you need to hydrate. If you’re dry, you need to moisturize.
How to Hydrate Your Skin
For skin that’s dehydrated and in need of hydration, Dr. Bhanusali recommends using products formulated with hyaluronic acid. Have your pick from a few of our favorites:
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Daily Liquid Care: This line offers something for everyone. Whether your skin type is oily, dry, or extra dry, there’s a Hydra Genius product that will work for you. Formulated with aloe vera and hyaluronic acid, each one plumps skin with hydration for a healthy look.
Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream: Wouldn’t it be nice to tackle dehydration and aging all at once? Thankfully, hyaluronic acid is often included in anti-aging products too. This anti-aging cream fits the bill. Not only does is contain hyaluronic acid, but it visibly lifts, firms, and re-texturizes skin.
Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Cream: If you’ve ever noticed your skin is so dehydrated that it not only looks dull and less plump, but dehydration lines appear, this cream is for you. It acts as a fix by evenly spreading water throughout all areas of the face to re-hydrate dry and dehydrated areas.
How to Moisturize Your Skin
While dehydrated skin is best addressed with water, dry skin needs oil to in order to be moisturized. The simple solution is adding a facial oil into your skin care routine, like any of the below:
Vichy Neovadiol Magistral Elixir: Don’t worry, oils don’t have to be sticky or greasy. In fact, this one won’t even leave skin looking shiny, it has a dry, satin finish. The replenishing facial oil concentrate nourishes skin with moisture for a total transformation.
Biotherm Liquid Glow Skin Best: We love a multi-tasking product, and this one is no exception. Besides simply smoothing on the nourishing oil—which also offers an illuminating effect—try using it as a face mask or for a facial massage.
How to Hydrate and Moisturize Your Skin
In case your skin needs both hydrating and moisturizing, there’s a way you can do both—at the same time. Mix a few drops of your facial of choice into a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid. That’s all there is to it.