Hydration vs Moisturization: What Is the Difference?

March 12, 2022

Hydration vs Moisturization

There's a relatively new skin condition that's popped up since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic dubbed 'maskne.' Many individuals are dealing with some worsening skin conditions, including acne, dry or oily skin, and more. 

If you've been wearing a mask and noticing changes in your skin, you may wonder the difference between hydration vs moisturization when it comes to your skin care products. 

Both play a key role in keeping your skin healthy - even under a mask - so how exactly do they differ? Luckily, we have put together a complete guide on hydration and moisturization skin products and how you can get the most out of your skin care routine, so keep reading for more information!

Hydration vs Moisturization

In terms of marketing, hydration and moisturizing often become intertwined. Understanding the critical differences between them can be a gamechanger when it comes to your skin's health.

So - to answer the question: yes! There is a difference between the two, and there are three main ways you can improve daily hydration and moisturization:

  • Diet
  • Skin care routine
  • Skin care products

When you implement all three, you can start noticing a difference in your skin's tone, texture, and overall appearance. 

What Is Hydration?

Drinking water can help hydrate your entire body and nourish cells. When water enters the cells, it helps flush out harmful toxins, which can improve the appearance of your skin. With more severe dehydration, your skin loses its elasticity and can become dry or itchy. 

To break it down - the term 'skin hydration' refers to cells retaining water, which gives you that brighter, plumper appearance. Drinking water alone is not enough to hydrate your skin, and most experts suggest that it is what you should not do that helps cells retain water and avoid dehydrating.

Some of the things you should not do are:

  • Use skin care products with alcohol
  • Use soap as a facial cleanser
  • Forget about the humidifier in dry climates
  • Take long and hot showers

When discussing hydrating your skin, it refers to helping move water into cells for a fuller appearance. You can easily start improving your skin's hydration through your diet.

Avoid processed foods or food with high amounts of saturated fats. Consider adding foods high in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids and watch your alcohol consumption since that can also lead to dehydration. A well-balanced and healthy diet can help your cellular health and hydration when push comes to shove.   

What Is Moisturization?

Moisturization is the other leg to this chair, and you simply cannot have one without the other. In reality, maintaining skin hydration through water and diet alone is not enough. Water flows too quickly throughout the body for significant changes in your skin (although it is still a critical component). 

Moisturization refers to preventing water loss and sealing in hydration. When your cells are well-nourished, a high-quality skin moisturizer can ensure your skin stays healthy and youthful all day long. 

Since moisturizers act as a barrier, it functions in more ways than just sealing in hydration and moisture - they can also prevent your skin from harmful environmental exposure. These can include dry air, toxins, and UV rays (if you choose a moisturizer with sunscreen). 

Finding the right moisturizer is arguably the biggest hurdle. Some moisturizers can cause more harm than benefit to your skin, and careful consideration should be taken to determine whether you have dry or oily skin. For example, oily skin responds better to products that contain hyaluronic acid since it is not part of oil-based ingredients, whereas dry skin products may need something more intensive. 

Can You Find Hydrating Skin Products? 

Some common skin care ingredients advertised for hydration are occlusives and emollients. Occlusives are more of a 'physical barrier' found in many moisturizers. They are not necessary ingredients that bring hydration into your skin, but they can help prevent dehydration when used with other products.

In some cases, these ingredients can feel more oily, greasy, or heavy. Emollients can help with skin hydration by filling spaces between skin cells, improving membrane fluidity, and skin barrier functions. Natural products like palm and coconut oil have emollients, but they can also be infused into skin lotions and creams. 

As a breakdown - emollients help cellular function, and occlusives help skin protection. The benefit is both ingredients are safe for use and don't cause very many irritants. Ensure you check into a product's reviews, other ingredients, and reputation before purchasing.

Naturally Dry Skin Problems

Your skin care routine is extra important if you deal with dry skin. Cleansing, moisturizing, hydrating, and toning are all critical pieces to solving your dry, flaky skin problems. Ultimately, find a routine you enjoy that you can stick with. 

A daily skin care routine is an essential element for dry skin management, and you may need different products for the morning and evening. Here are some products that can help get you started with a morning routine:

  • Cleanser
  • Serum
  • Eye cream
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen

In the evening, most of this list will stay the same, except you can avoid adding more sunscreen. Instead, swap it out for a booster or essence. A moisturizer is critical for your dry skin care routine.

Your daily moisturizer should have some of the following characteristics: 

  • Lightweight
  • Ultra-hydrating
  • Emollients
  • Occlusive (if you have eczema)

You may find your skin responds better to different moisturizers, so don't be afraid to try multiple products designed for naturally dry skin. You can also retain moisture in your dry skin if you apply sunscreen first and use overnight masks. 

If you don't want the hassle of purchasing separate sunscreen and moisturizers for your dehydrated skin, consider finding a multi-tasking product. Overnight masks may seem like a hassle, but they can provide a deep moisturization that rejuvenates and brightens your skin. 

Oily Skin Problems

On the flip side, if you have oily skin, you may hesitate from adding moisturizers onto your skin with the fear it could cause breakouts, clogged pores, or acne. However, using poor products and skipping moisturizers can actually worsen your oily skin and lead to more problems. 

Skin oil is not the same as skin hydration. The sebaceous glands release oil that helps provide a barrier on your skin - this is what you see as 'oil.' On the contrary, skin hydration entails water absorption into the layers of your skin.

With dehydrated skin, you could put yourself more at risk of oily skin since your glands secrete more oil to compensate. So - after you cleanse, tone, and treat your skin, you should find a high-quality Aprisa moisturizer that can help keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

Preventing Acne

One of the main concerns with oily skin is breakouts and acne. Breakouts can happen when your body produces too much sebum. Genetics, diet, and other environmental factors can contribute to oily and acne-prone skin. Here are some common signs of acne:

  • Blackheads
  • Whiteheads
  • Pustules
  • Cysts
  • Nodules

There are some steps you can take that can prevent acne. Excess oil and dirt can clog pores, but on the flip side, stripping away all your skin's natural oils can also cause problems. 

For cleansers, choose products that are fragrance and sulfate-free. Find ones that you can use twice daily. 

If you have acne-prone and sensitive skin, you should avoid using products that include actives such as salicylic acid wash, exfoliator, or retinol cream. When picking out your moisturizer for acne, choose ones with fewer ingredients that are fragrance-free. Lastly, here are some daily habits you can start doing right now that can help clear up your skin:

  • Hydrate
  • Limit makeup
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Don't pop pimples
  • Watch your diet
  • Manage stress

If you suspect you have a food sensitivity, you may need to follow stricter dietary guidelines that help you eliminate foods safely. Before trying any new products or dietary changes, you should discuss your options with a doctor first.  

Day Cream vs Night Cream

Whether you have naturally dry skin or not, a night and day cream can help brighten, tone, and rejuvenate your skin. What are the differences between the two? 

A day cream is lighter with hydrating ingredients that protect your skin from harsh ingredients. It can help even skin tone and prevent dry patches. Some creams can also come equipped with sunscreen (which you should never neglect).

Here are a few of the hydration ingredients you should look for in a day cream:

  • Peptides
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Antioxidants (e.g., avocado oil, lemongrass)
  • Essential vitamins

After cleaning your face in the evening, night cream can restore and heal your skin. It deeply moisturizes and nourishes the skin while you sleep, which can help even skin tone and prevent wrinkles and fine lines.

Sometimes, oil-based ingredients can make your skin feel like it has a greasy layer on top. High-quality and nourishing night cream often contain jojoba oil that helps nourish your skin without an oily aftereffect. 

Reducing Fine Lines and Wrinkles

Several skin lotions and products advertise benefits for fine lines and wrinkles, but two of the best ways you can improve your skin's appearance are moisturizing and hydrating. When the skin starts drying or flaking, you can increase your chances of wrinkles, making it vital to purchase a quality daily moisturizer. 

Daily moisturizers do not have oil-based ingredients, so your makeup can smoothly sit on top while your skin becomes nourished. Look for ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid for the best results. Next, hydration plays a critical role in your skin's wrinkles and fine lines. 

We aren't talking solely about skin hydration, but whole-body hydration from drinking 11.5 to 15.5 cups of water daily, which is the recommended amount. Drinking more water can help hydrate your body and improve skin elasticity. When your skin elasticity improves, wrinkles and fine lines start diminishing, and you have a more youthful appearance. 

You can also opt for more fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as watermelon or spinach. And while those energy drinks may sound appealing, be wary of too much caffeine since it can cause dehydration. 

Keeping Your Skin Healthy

Now that you know moisturizers and hydration are key tools to keeping your skin healthy, what else can you do for healthier skin? You've already read how what you eat can impact your skin's health, but exercise also plays a critical role. Here are some of the benefits of exercise:

  • Improved oxygenation
  • Improved collagen production
  • Increased cellular growth
  • Prevent acne

Increased blood flow to your skin from exercise can deliver more oxygen and nutrients. This helps remove harmful toxins and waste and keep your cells healthier while preventing damage. Collagen production is another tool your body uses for maintaining a youthful appearance and reducing fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and more. 

More blood flow to your skin means improved collagen production so that you can stop worrying about signs of aging. Moderate exercise and activity can also boost antioxidant defense mechanisms. This increases levels of telomerase activity at the cellular level, which is responsible for helping replicate and grow cells. 

Find Quality Skin Care Products

Many companies claim to have an all-in-one solution for hydration vs moisturization products. Yet, the two are different and both equally important in keeping your skin healthy, younger-looking, and preventing acne or wrinkles. 

At Aprisa, we only manufacture all-natural ingredients that work with your skin rather than against it. Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin types, we have something for everyone.

If you're ready to get started with healthier skin care products, check out our website today!

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