July 14, 2021 3 min read
Hydrating and moisturizing might sound like the same thing, but they are actually not. For some this is not a surprise, but for others it might have you scratching your head. I am going to explain the difference and then show you a list of ingredients that are great for each one.
Moisturizing addresses the outer layer of your skin and is what gives skin a soft feel. Hydrating goes beyond the outer protective barrier and addresses what’s underneath. Skin that looks moisturized can also still be dehydrated - which is why it is important to understand them both.
Now let’s get a little technical. Humectants are the “Hydators”. They LOVE water and work by pulling moisture from around them and drawing it to the surface of your skin. This gives skin that soft and supple feel. Occlusives (oil based emollients) are the “Moisturizers“ . They actually repel water and are what create a protective barrier on your skin trapping in moisture. This is what gives skin lasting and deep hydration.
Think of your skin and the environment around it. If your skin is dehydrated and your environment is dry, using only humectants (hydrators) will pull moisture from the deeper layers of your skin, causing further dehydration, and they won’t contribute to your skin’s outer protective layer that prevents moisture from escaping. Using only occlusives will repair your skin’s outer protective layer, but it will not help repair dehydrated skin which needs more water added to it. This is why many moisturizers have both humectant and occlusive ingredients, so that they can address both needs.
For dehydrated skin, focusing on providing your skin with more water. Below are things you can do to actively add water to your skin:
For dry skin, focus on repairing your skin’s protective barrier which causes flakiness and dryness. Below are things you can do to help keep skin soft:
For oily skin, focus on balancing your skin’s natural oil production and repairing your skin’s outer barrier. Remember that oily skin can still be dehydrated and consequently it will produce more oils to compensate for lack of hydration! Below are things you can do to help oily skin:
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