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Hydrating Skin Vs Moisturising Skin

Hydrating vs. Moisturising

The terms ‘hydrating’ and ‘moisturising’ are often used interchangeably in the world of skincare, but is there actually a difference between the two? Despite the way these terms tend to be used, it turns out they represent two similar yet distinct ideas.

To put things simply, ‘skin hydration’ refers to the water content of your skin cells, while ‘moisturising’ the skin involves locking in moisture on the skin’s surface. 

If you’re wondering whether you should be focussing on learning how to hydrate skin or how to moisturise skin, you should know that prioritising both is necessary to achieve a gorgeous, glowing complexion. Lucky for you, we’re here to share our expert explanations and advice about all things hydration and moisturising. Read on for our complete guide to moisturising and hydrating your skin, from the nitty gritty details to which ingredients to look for in your skincare products.

What Does Skin Hydration Mean?

When we’re speaking about skin, dehydration and hydration refers to how much water your skin is holding. When your skin cells are hydrated, they’re literally fuller. The benefit? Fully hydrated skin cells make your skin look plumped and can even visibly minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. By ensuring your skin is hydrated, you’ll be able to achieve a bouncier, healthier and more youthful looking complexion and avoid the visible signs of a dehydrated face.

What Does Skin Moisturising Mean?

Once the skin is plumped with water aka hydrated, moisturising is the process of locking in moisture on the skin’s surface to avoid developing dry skin. This is done by using rich and creamy ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil and ceramides to create a protective layer over the skin’s surface to prevent dryness. 

The protective layer formed by moisturising ingredients works to bolster the skin’s natural moisture barrier, which minimises how much water passes through the outermost layer of your skin and evaporates into the air. This process is called trans-epidermal water loss, or TEWL for short. TEWL is a normal process for the skin, but sometimes damage to the skin’s natural barrier can disrupt this process, leaving your skin dry.

Symptoms of Skin Dehydration

Dehydrated skin is a skin condition, rather than a skin type like dry skin. This means that any skin type can become dehydrated e.g. there can be oily dehydrated skin or combination dehydrated skin.

The signs of dehydrated skin are best understood using the ‘water balloon analogy’. Picture your individual skin cells as water balloons. An empty balloon will look limp and shrivelled, while a balloon brimming with water looks and feels taut and smooth. 

Key signs that differentiate dry skin from dehydrated skin include darker than usual under eye circles, more visible fine lines and wrinkles, dullness and even itchiness. 

Symptoms of Dry Skin

Dry skin is best understood as a skin type, but it can still be attributed to causes like harsh ingredients, heat and certain skin conditions. 

To understand how dry skin compares to dehydrated skin picture the water balloon again, but this time imagine one made of paper. Because the outer barrier is compromised, water will seep from the balloon as it slowly deflates. With an improved moisture barrier, the moisture would stay inside the balloon for much longer – which is why it’s important to moisturise your skin. 

Signs of dry skin include feelings of tightness, itchiness, flaking, redness or a dull appearance. 

How To Hydrate & Moisturise Your Skin

Now that you’re in the know about the difference between the two, it’s time to learn how to hydrate your skin and also keep it moisturised. It’s not as straightforwards as finding the best moisturiser for dehydrated skin and calling it a day. Instead, achieving hydrated, moisturised skin means you’ll need to look at things holistically. 

When it comes to skin hydration, you need to start by taking care of your body from the inside out. This can be as simple as hitting your recommended daily water intake (around eight glasses a day depending on your demographic) and consuming lots of water-filled fruits and veggies. 

Once the internal elements are taken care of, it’s then time to make sure you’re applying topical skin hydrators and moisturising ingredients within your daily skincare routine. Follow the below tips to learn how to effectively hydrate and moisturise your skin.

Apply Hydrating Skin Care

The best way to hydrate skin topically is to make sure your products are formulated with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides and glycerin. Ingredients like these are known as topical skin hydrators (or ‘humectants’) and they work by drawing in moisture from the air to hydrate your skin.

For example, our Confidence in a Cream Face Moisturiser & Day Cream is a quick absorbing cream designed to provide 24 hours of continuous facial hydration, thanks to hyaluronic acid and glycerin. 

If your skin is more on the oily side, don’t forget that all skin types need hydration. Our Confidence in a Gel Lotion Moisturiser is enriched with ceramides and glycerin to hydrate oily skin without clogging pores. Overnight, try our Confidence in your Beauty Sleep Night Cream and let the hydrating MemoryBounce technology hydrate your skin as you sleep. 

Apply Skin Moisturising Ingredients

Once you’ve ensured you skincare routine is enriched with hydrating ‘humectant’ ingredients, help create a protective layerseal to keep in that hydration with moisturising ‘emollient’ ingredients like shea butter and coconut oil. Ingredients like this are known as ‘occlusive’, which means they help create a barrier that locks in moisture and helps minimise TEWL. 

Looking for face moisturiser or moisturiser for dry skin with these ingredients can be especially helpful if your skincare routine includes ingredients that might be drying such as retinoids or some chemical exfoliants. That’s why our Hello Results Wrinkle-Reducing Daily Retinol Serum-in-Cream combines the powers of retinol with the moisturising properties of vitamin E.



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