We often see debates about the words “hydrating” and “moisturizing” being used interchangeably when it comes to skin care products.
But they each refer to two different,yet similar,skin conditions.
What’s the difference between hydrating and moisturizing?
Hydrating ingredients add water to the skin, as well as help to trap water.
Moisturizing products actually try to improve the skin by decreasing water loss( lock in moisture)
Essentially, dehydrated skin lacks water and needs to be hydrated with hydrating products, while dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized with moisturizing products.
Dry skin is actually a skin type while dehydrated skin is something that anyone, no matter their skin type is, can experience.
Skin can become dehydrated from a variety of factors, including the products you use, an unbalanced diet, environmental stressors, and a poor sleeping schedule. Dehydrated skin tends to look dull, feel tight, flaky, and even sensitive.
You can actually also experience a mixture of oily and dry parts that never seem to feel hydrated no matter how many “hydrating” products you’re using.
Think of ingredients such as Hyaluronic acid.
Dry skin occurs when your skin lacks the ability to produce an efficient amount of oil while at the same time being prone to transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which is essentially the evaporation of water from the skin.
This lack of oil and water leaves skin without enough nourishment to keep it moisturized, making it appear flaky, itchy, tight, and even dull.
All skin types need both moisturizing and hydrating ingredients, but specially dry skin lacks oils.
Think of ingredients such as Glycerine, Ceramides,oils or other humectant ingredients.
Despite the interchangeable use of hydrating and moisturizing, when it comes down to it, they actually refer to very different skin conditions.
So, before you assume you either have dry or dehydrated skin, it’s best to analyze your skin so you make sure you’re using the right products and the right ingredients.