Moisturization vs. Hydration.
When you’re out and about looking at skincare, most likely you’re seeing the words “moisturizing” and “hydrating” over and over again. Often they’re used interchangeably, which can lead to a bit of confusion. Although they share the same goal–to help skin get enough water to prevent or heal dry, tight, or dehydrated skin–the big difference is how they work, especially on a cellular level. So, what you think may be a skin hydration issue may actually be a moisture issue, and vice versa. Both, however, are super important in keeping your skin looking smooth, fresh and healthy.
What’s the difference?
Let’s start with the basics. Weather, diet, stress, and age can affect both hydration and moisture levels in the skin. The key is to find the right balance. Simply put, hydrators are responsible for actually increasing the water content of your skin cells. They actively put water back into your skin, as well as draw more moisture from your environment. When your skin cells are hydrated, they are full of water, which helps them appear plump and smooth out the overall appearance of your skin. This is also what helps your skin both look and feel smooth, soft and healthy. If your skin is dehydrated, it may appear dull, or you may notice that fine lines and wrinkles are more visible.
Moisturizers, on the other hand, help that water stay in the skin. Your skin has an outer “moisture barrier”, made up of natural oils which is responsible for sealing in moisture and protecting the skin. When you use a moisturizer, you are preventing water loss, which in turn leads to smoother, softer skin. (This is why it’s important to moisturize right after you get out of the shower. Trap that water in before it can escape!) If your skin is dry and flaky, lack of moisture might be your issue.
A balance of both.
All skin–whether extra dry or overly oily–needs hydration. This can be done simply by drinking lots of water or changing your diet, but you can also actively add more water into your skin with hydrators. Hydrators are typically lightweight and suitable for all skin types. When looking for a good hydrator, look for products that have humectants. Humectants are ingredients that draw moisture and water into your skin. Look for products that contain glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and aloe.
Unlike dehydrated skin, dry skin might be a little more out of your control. Sometimes dry skin is just your skin “type.” Using good moisturizers, however, can help ensure that your skin is retaining as much water and moisture as possible. Moisturizers range from ultra-light to thicker and heavier, and which ones you use can vary from season to season, or based on your skin type. For example, acne-prone skin can benefit from a lighter moisturizer. Super dry skin might benefit more from a thicker cream or serum. While moisturizers are a must-use during the dry winter months, they are equally as important to beat the summer heat.
What to look for.
Everyone’s skin goes through cycles, but it’s proven that a balance of both hydration and moisturization is key to maintaining smooth, healthy and comfortable feeling skin.
If you’re not sure where to start, Huron’s Face Moisturizer is a lightweight, fresh feeling gel-cream that acts as both a hydrator and a moisturizer. Built to work both instantly and over time, it feels cool going on and keeps skin looking and feeling smooth and healthy without any heavy feel or shine. Aloe and Glycerin (those humectants you just read about) draw in moisture from the environment, delivering long-term hydration. Super-hydrators such as Sodium Hyaluronate and Pentavitin (a natural hydrator) relieve dryness for up to 72 hours- especially good for those who shave or face the elements a lot, like sun, wind or even dry, indoor conditions. In addition to locking in moisture, the Face Moisturizer smoothes the look of fine lines, and protects from environmental pollutants and the damaging effects of blue light and high energy visible light.
At the end of the day, moisture and hydration needs not only vary from person to person, but also from season to season, and even day to day. Armed with some skin care knowledge and a great Face Moisturizer, your skin will look fresh, healthy, balanced and feel great.