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Hydrating and Moisturising: What’s the Difference?

When we think of hydration, we think of water. Naturally. It plays a crucial role in making sure our skin stays healthy, smooth and radiant. It’s little wonder skin care aisles are lined with products that promise to hydrate and moisturise our skin. What’s important to know and understand, is that moisture and hydration are in fact not the same thing. Both are key when providing nourishment. Knowing the difference will help you make the best choice when you decide which areas you need to target.

Both moisturises and hydrators make sure the skin receives the water it needs to avoid dryness, dehydration and signs of aging, as well as environmental damage and the effects of pollution. So, the difference lies in how they achieve results.

When skin is hydrated the cells are full of liquid, so they are plump and bouncy. If there is a lack of moisture they can become shrivelled, resulting in lacklustre skin. Topical hydrators help by infusing skin cells with water and improving the skins ability to absorb nutrients.

Moisturising, on the other hand is about encapsulating and sealing in moisture to build a protective barrier around the skin and avoid water loss. This gives the skin a soft and smooth feel.

Hydrate and moisturise!

If you are prone to dry skin, it seems obvious you will need a good dose of moisturiser to restore your skin’s appearance. While this may be true, it’s also a possibility your skin is not in fact dry, but dehydrated. To tell whether your skin is dry or dehydrated keep an eye on it’s condition. Dry? Flaky? This is a tell-tale sign that your skin is not producing enough lipid cells. This lipid barrier is there to protect and prevent water loss.

Meanwhile, if you’re dealing with a dull and lackluster complexion with fine lines and wrinkles becoming more noticeable, your skin may be battling dehydration. “Dehydrated skin means the cells are parched and starved of water. When this happens, they are not plump and volumized and appear shriveled collectively,” explains Dr. Guanche. “People can have hydrated but dry skin or dehydrated but moisturized skin. Ideally, we want hydrated, bouncy, swollen cells that have topical moisture locked into them,” she explains.

The ideal moisturiser and hydrator

Drinking enough water is still the easiest, and best way, to hydrate your skin, but those with dehydrated skin should choose a product that binds, and draws water into the cells. Exuviance Professional Deep Hydration is the perfect balance between moisture and hydration. It is specifically formulated to refill deep moisture reserves, help strengthen skin’s moisture barrier and neutralize daily environmental damage.