There’s a lot of chatter about the difference between hydration for the face and using a moisturizer. Which one should you be using? What are the benefits of keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized? Why should you care about hydration and moisture? Give us a few minutes, and you’ll be an expert on hydration vs. moisture.
First off, let’s define hydrators and moisturizers…
What’s the difference between hydration and moisture?
Simply put, hydration equals water, and moisture equals oil.
If your skin is dehydrated, it is lacking water. And if your skin is dry, it is lacking oil.
What is a hydrator?
A hydrator (like hyaluronic acid) helps to bring water to the skin using humectants. These humectants help collect moisture in the environment and bind it to the skin, which allows the skin to absorb the water.
Pure Hyaluronic Acid serum is the perfect example of a hydrator. Think of it like a big drink of water for your skin. There are multiple benefits of hyaluronic acid, and hydration is key. No matter the skin type (dry skin, oily, combination) or concern (acne, aging, dullness) every skin needs hydration.
What is a moisturizer?
A moisturizer contains oils that help lock in hydration and keep the skin feeling soft and smooth. All skin has a natural lipid (oil) barrier, but when skin is drier, or aging, that lipid barrier starts to break down, and the skin loses moisture.
Do you need both hydration and moisture for your skin?
Yes! Hydrators fight dehydrated skin, while moisturizers lock in that hydration and create skin barrier protection.
Some products, like Multi-Active Hydrating Night Cream, are hydrators and moisturizers combined. Talk about a win-win!
Does oily skin need hydration and moisture?
All skin types (even oily!) and skin concerns (even acne!) can benefit from hydration and a moisturizer. If skin is constantly stripped of hydration and natural oils from toners and harsh cleansers, it will overreact by producing even more oil to try and protect the skin. The result can be oilier and more congested skin.
For oily and acne prone skin, retinol serums with hyaluronic acid give a much-needed boost of water to the skin, while lightweight moisturizers (that also contain acne and oil fighting ingredients) help lock in hydration and protect the skin.
Which products should you use (and when) for hydration and moisture?
Products that aid in hydration are typically serums. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Some products combine hyaluronic acid with other ingredients to fight additional skin concerns. For example, if antioxidant protection and brighter skin are important to you, try a Vitamin C serum that also contains hyaluronic acid.
Moisturizers, lotions, oils, and creams typically lock in moisture. If your skin is oilier, look for lighter weight lotions and for drier skin, rich creams are best. During the day, most people prefer a lightweight lotion, and a heavier cream at night.
The Best Skincare Routine for Dehydrated or Dry Skin
Typically, you’ll cleanse the skin, follow with a gentle toner, use a serum, and finish with a moisturizer (don’t forget to use SPF during the day!).
If your skin is more dry or dehydrated, formulas that are richer in texture and gentler on the skin are recommended.
Below is an example of a skincare routine for dry skin…
Morning Skincare Routine
- Start with a gentle cleanser that is milky or creamy in texture. Avoid gels and foams as they are typically formulated to help control oil and can strip oils from the skin. If the skin has been thoroughly cleaned the night before, and the skin feels dry and flakey, it might be best to cleanse the skin with warm water only, and move on to a toner and serum
- Use a gentle toner that also products against free radical damage with Vitamin C. This will also help balance the pH levels of the skin and allow the skin to further soak up serums and moisturizers
- Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum is perfect for dry and dehydrated skin. Apply one to two drops onto the palms of the hands and press into the face, neck, and chest. Feel free to layer another serum with Vitamin C to further ward off free radical damage, brighten the skin, and help reduce the appearance of dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles.
- A rich eye cream is recommended to smooth fine lines around the eyes, add moisture, and allow eye makeup to be applied more evenly.
- Follow with a moisturizer like Multi-Active Hydrating Night Cream if the skin is especially dry and dehydrated. Even though it’s called a Night Cream, it’s OK to use during the day for drier skin. If the skin isn’t as dry, use a Vitamin C Facial Day Cream instead. It is lightweight and helps for more flawless foundation application.
- Always always follow with a broad spectrum sunscreen. We recommend an SPF of 30 or higher and applying about 1 tablespoon to the face, neck and chest. No, it doesn’t count if there’s SPF in your makeup… no one uses a tablespoon of foundation on their face, chest, and neck. ;-)
Evening Skincare Routine
- Thoroughly remove your makeup with makeup removing wipes or micellar water. Follow with a cleanser to further remove residual makeup as well as dirt and pollutants. Skin that is drier, would enjoy a Vitamin C Cleanser as it’s gentle and does not use harsh scrubs or ingredients to strip already dehydrated skin
- Even dry and dehydrated skin needs exfoliation. Two to three times a week, use a Mineral Enzyme Exfoliant to gently remove dead, dry skin cells.
- Follow with a serum. We recommend using hyaluronic acid to further bind water to the skin while sleeping. Feel free to mix in another retinol serum to aid in cell turnover and help reduce the appearance of fine lines.
- Don’t forget to apply your eye cream at night. Keep those eye looking their best. :-)
- Use either a hydrating night cream or a retinol cream. At night, it’s best to use the heaviest textures as the skin is working on repairing and regenerating cells and the additional moisture helps lock in all of the active ingredients just applied.
- Sweet dreams!
As the seasons change, and your skin changes, feel free to mix and layer your products differently.