It’s a known fact that your skin needs water to survive, being the largest organ. Water is what skin needs to stay healthy, supple, smooth and radiant — whether it is by the simple act of drinking water or applying skincare products. There are just aisles to choose from. But the first one you picked up may have the word “moisturising” on it, and the next one would have the word “hydrating” — hang on, what?
If you’re like any regular consumers, many would just regard them as the same thing. Moisturising or hydrating, they both nourish the skin and claim that the skin will be well moisturised and glowy after application. Both of these indeed provide the same results for a healthier complexion. Now, the next question you must be thinking is: which one do I use then?
Identify your skin’s condition — is it dry or dehydrated? If your skin is prone to dryness, rough patches and flaky spots, that is when you know your skin is in need of a moisturiser. The natural lipid barrier is the one that protects the skin from damage and water loss. Dry, flaky skin is a sign that the lipid cells are not strong enough to form the barrier, which also prevents it to lock in moisture. Moisturisers contain both moisturising ingredients and oils to smoothen out rough patches so skin is soft and smooth.
Skin that is dehydrated, with noticeable fine lines and wrinkles, and also lacklustre complexion is one that needs hydration. These are the ones that usually contain hyaluronic acid to bring water to the skin using humectants (a type of substance that keeps things moist). They help collect moisture that is in the environment and bind it to the skin. Imagine as if your skin drinks up a tall glass of water but in the form of a hydrator. The idea is to get healthy, bouncy cells so the skin will be plump and radiant — because if they are parched and denied of water, that’s when the fine lines and wrinkles will appear more noticeable.
How would those with oily skin fit into these categories? Oily skin can also be dehydrated. Excess sebum and oil are sometimes produced with the cells are dehydrated, which is set in thinking that the skin is also dry thus the extra shine on your skin. In this case, a water-based moisturiser or hydrator would do the trick.