Hydration vs Moisturization: How to understand what your skin needs

What’s really happening under the surface

Are Hydration and Moisturization the same thing?

Hydration and moisturization share the common goal of protecting your skin against dryness and dehydration, but these products work very differently on your skin. 

Hydration is focused on facilitating the ability of your skin cells to hold water and remain fresh, smooth and healthy. 

Moisturizing is focused on improving the skin barriers so that it can retain its natural oils and increase hydration. It can also improve the skin’s longevity by nourishing it with essential nutrients. 


Dehydration vs Dryness


Simply put, dry skin is a skin type and dehydrated skin is a condition. There are a variety of moisturizers for different skin types, but most hydration products can be used on all skin types. Using a combination of both types of products is usually recommended to maintain short and long-term elasticity, smoothness and firmness.

Dehydrated skin can feel lacklustre, sunken and often produce excess oil to compensate for the lack of dehydration. Often, oily skin types struggle to eliminate oil from their skin, when they should actually be adding hydration to their routine.


Water and Oil 

To break it down, think of hydration as water-based replenishment and moisturization as oil-based nourishment. Your skin often needs both, depending on your skin type, weather conditions and age.


How to tell what you need

The best thing you can do, regardless of your skin type is get both the products into your routine. If you have oily skin, opt for a water or gel based moisturizer and if your skin tends to be on the drier side, try thicker or oil-based products. Most hydrators will work effectively on all skin types. Here’s a breakdown of how to tell the difference via ingredients.

Hyaluronic acid is a popular hydrator.

Aloe vera, honey are hydrators. Our top picks below: (Link to product)

Lactic and citric acids are hydrators

Plant, nut and seed oils such as coconut, rosehip seed, squalane are moisturizers. 

Mineral oils are moisturizers.