Hydrating vs Moisturising - What Is the Difference?

  • Updated October 10, 2022
  • by Honey Seida
Hydrating vs Moisturising

Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturising Cream

Everywhere you turn, various brands are trying to sell you endless products that promise healthy, smooth, and glowing skin. When you are faced with a number of various products to hydrate and moisturise your skin in the store aisles, the first step is to have a good grasp of hydrating vs moisturising and what each process actually means and involves.

There is a lot of talk about all the hydrating and moisturising products available in the market today, but which one should you use?

What are the benefits of hydrating and moisturising?

Why should you care about skin hydration and moisture at all?

Simply put, hydration is water-based while moisturising is oil-based. If your skin is dehydrated, you need hydration, but if your skin is dry, it lacks oil and needs to be moisturised.

What Is Hydration?

A hydrator (such as hyaluronic acid) helps to hydrate the skin using special ingredients. These substances collect the water in the environment or the product and absorb it through the air to the skin. This thin film of water works like a protective shield and helps the skin to retain its natural moisture, grow, stay healthy and strong, as well as keep away the harmful substances in the environment.

Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum is a perfect example of a hydrator. Think of it like a big bottle of water for your skin. Hyaluronic acid has several benefits, the most important of which is hydration.

Remember that regardless of your skin type (dry, oily, combination) or any other skin problem you may have (acne, aging, dullness), your skin is going to need needs hydration.

Read more: Best Skincare for Sensitive Skin

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What Is a Moisturiser?

A moisturiser contains oils that help to maintain the skin's natural moisture and keep it feeling soft. All skin has a natural sebum (oil) barrier, but as the skin becomes drier or older, this barrier begins to break down and the skin's moisture is gradually lost.

"Moisturiser" means trapping and locking in moisture to help to create another natural protective barrier for your skin and keep it hydrated. This prevents water loss and ensures that your skin remains soft and smooth. It also prevents wrinkles. All skin types need moisturisers, but if you are over 25, or have dry skin, you may need to moisturise more often than others.

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Do I Need Both Hydrating and Moisturising for My Skin?

Yes! Hydrators fight skin dehydration, while moisturizers fight dry skin and lock in that hydration, protecting it by creating a barrier. Of course, there are some products that are both hydration and moisturisers, like a multi-purpose hydrating and moisturising cream. 

Does Oily Skin Need Hydration or Moisturising?

All skin types (including oily) can use moisturisers as well as hydrating products. The skin's natural oils are removed with excessive use of toners and cleansers, which in turn causes the skin to produce more oil, which causes abnormal oiliness and more acne. So, you need to make sure to use moisturisers and hydrating products to protect your skin and keep it clean.

For oily, acne-prone skin, retinol serums with hyaluronic acid deliver plenty of hydration, while lightweight moisturisers (which also contain anti-acne and oil ingredients) can help to lock in moisture and protect your skin.

Read more: Acne Treatment

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What Products Should You Use for Hydration and Moisture?

Products that help to hydrate the skin are usually in the form of diluted serums or lotions. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Some products combine hyaluronic acid combines with other ingredients to fight skin problems as well. For example, if antioxidant protection and brightening are important to you, you can try a vitamin C serum that contains hyaluronic acid too.

Moisturisers, lotions, oils, and creams usually lock in moisture. If you have oilier skin, look for lighter lotions, and for drier skin, rich creams will work best. During the day, most people prefer a light lotion and a heavier cream at night.

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What Is the Right Moisturiser for Me?

We all know that oftentimes, what we put into our bodies can affect our skin as much as what we put on it. Water is essential and drinking it is the easiest way to hydrate the skin. Do not forget to eat enough fruit and vegetables as well

But when it comes to treating your skin from the outside, you need to use powerful products to keep your skin's moisture at a balanced level to see you through the seasons. It is always better to find the best hydrating and moisturising product for yourself by a little research added to some trial and error to find what works best for you.

Final Word

Have you ever felt like your skin is asking you to quench its thirst? That is what moisturisers and hydration are for. Both will help you to fight dryness and dehydration and have young and soft skin.

Hydrating vs Moisturising: Hydration makes our skin feel soft, but it will not stay soft if there is no oil to protect it. If water is removed, the skin becomes dry and flaky. However, slathering oil on dehydrated skin may smooth it out noticeably, but it still will lack that fresh supple feeling that comes only from hydration.

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