The terms hydration and moisturization are usually used interchangeably when it comes to skincare. However, they aren’t necessarily the same. While Hydration refers to the water content in the skin cells which makes them naturally plump and bouncy, moisturization is about trapping and sealing the moisture in the skin layers in order to prevent any water loss.
So, while moisturization and hydration both serve the same purpose of keeping the skin supple and healthy and preventing any dryness, yet the way both of these could be achieved and hence affect the skin would differ significantly.
Knowing what the Skin Requires
Probably the one red flag which makes a person think about moisturization is dry skin. So, every time it is the onset of the winters or dryness shows, the obvious result becomes to put on oodles of moisturizers. But, sometimes, it so happens that the moisturizer’s effect wears off faster than usual. Initially, such a concern is dismissed as the moisturizer not being good but there could be one other factor too which we might have inevitably overlooked. This factor is hydration.
Now, finding out whether the skin is hydrated or not is not as easy a task but it comes with its set of symptoms. Now, the skin has a natural lipid barrier which protects it from damage and water loss. Hence, if your skin appears dry and flaky, there is a high probability that it lacks adequate hydration. In such a situation, a moisturizer would be enough to take care. This is because dehydration results in reduced production of lipid cells which reduces the ability of the skin cells to hold the moisture back. A moisturizer can then work as an artificial barrier and do the work which the lipid cells would have otherwise done. However, this definitely doesn’t mean that hydration can be avoided. If the skin remains dehydrated for long, it does not just lose its luster and immunity but it becomes even more susceptible to getting fine lines, wrinkles, and other skin damage.
Now, to make sure that your skin remains hydrated, you may either be very careful about your lifestyle and intake adequate water or if you have already crossed the threshold then opt for rehydrating MediFacials or other such hydrating treatments as advised by your doctor.
Picking up the Right Hydrator or Moisturiser
Drinking an adequate amount of water still remains one of the best solutions for hydration of the skin but for those whose skin needs extra hydration, a hydrator in addition to a moisturizer would be required.
Natural humectants are known to improve the ability of the skin to hydrate itself over time.
Products containing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, honey, alpha hydroxy acids or marine extracts are thus naturally good to hydrate the skin. Similarly, synthetic humectants such as glycerine and propylene glycol are good too for those who need additional hydration.
Since these hydrating agents or humectants are water-soluble, they do not clog the pores of the skin and are readily absorbed in even the deeper skin layers. Also, make sure that the hydrating products that you thus users do not have alcohol because that tends to dry up the skin further.
Regarding the moisturizer to use, one can choose from lighter or heavier formats or the specially curated ones depending upon their personal preferences or requirements. Also, there are multiple moisturizers that are based on organic ingredients such as coconut, almond, shea butter, cocoa butter, etc and these are pretty good and long-lasting. Not just these help in nourishing the skin but also help in countering the signs of aging and fighting free radical damage. One can even try an oil or butter-based moisturizer too against the usual lotion variants.
Various skin types react differently to different types of moisturizers. Hence, while you may choose from the wide range of moisturizers available in the market or you may simply consult your dermatologist and they will be able to tell you the best moisturizer suited for your skin type.
All that being said, we hope that this blog will help you to understand your skin needs and decide upon whether it needs just a moisturizer or even hydration too.