A common misconception is that skin hydration is the same as a moisturizer. In general, people see “moisture” and “hydration” as interchangeable words that describe the same thing. However, despite their similarities, these two are very different types of products that serve various purposes for the skin.
Knowing the differences between the two will help you determine what products are the best fit for your skin’s specific needs. Want to know what sets a skin hydrator apart from a moisturizer? Keep reading to find out.
Differences Between a Hydrator and a Moisturizer
Hydrating is the process of infusing your cells with water in order to enhance your skin’s ability to absorb nutrients and moisture. Generally speaking, hydrators utilize humectants to replenish any water imbalance that may be causing skin dehydration. Humectants are ingredients that pull moisture from the surrounding environment and deliver it to your skin’s layers.
Common humectants include:
- Alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic acid or papaya extracts
- Hyaluronic acid
Moisturizing traps and seals in the moisture to build the skin’s natural protective barrier. Furthermore, moisturizing helps ensure that your skin remains soft and smooth for long periods of time. To reduce transepidermal water loss (TWEL), moisturizers form a barrier over the skin’s surface. These types of products work hard to retain the moisture that is present on the skin at the time of application.
Moisturizers typically contain occlusive emollients to create that extra layer that locks down moisture. This may include:
- Shea or cocoa butter
- Fruit extracts
Is a Hydrator or a Moisturizer Better for Your Skin Type?
The truth is that most skin products and lotions contain ingredients that will moisturize and hydrate at the same time. However, oftentimes your skin might do better with only a moisturizer or hydrator, not both.
Generally speaking, if you have dry skin, you can utilize a moisturizer to create a protective seal on the surface to lock in moisture. For those with dehydrated skin, try a hydrating serum to actively add water back into the skin. Look for a hydrating serum that contains hyaluronic acid to add a healthy dose of hydration back into the skin.
If you have oily skin, a water-based hydrator and moisturizer might just be what you’re looking for. People with oily skin typically have compromised barrier function, which in turn makes it difficult for their skin to retain moisture. Water-based noncomedogenic hydrators and moisturizers generally feel lighter on the skin and won’t clog your pores.
Schedule Your Health Consultation Today
Although it is the largest organ in the body, the skin is often the last to receive the vital nutrients that it needs to maintain a healthy level of hydration and glow. At skiin anti-aging lounge, our skin health experts will work with you to customize a beauty program that brings balance and harmony to your skin.
Conveniently located in Waukesha, our skincare spa is just minutes away from Milwaukee. Take the first steps to gain healthy, younger looking skin. Contact us to book an appointment today!