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How To Stay Hydrated

Skin Hydration vs Moisturization: How to know which is better for your skin?

Skincare market is flooded with oodles of products which are often confusing, even buying a ‘simple’ facial moisturizer seems like a task with the terms like ‘moisturization’, and ‘hydration’ adding up to the mix-up. We just go on with these products as long as it gets the job done for plump, glowing and healthy skin.

Skin hydration and moisturization seem like two sides of the same coin but are in fact quite different with the goal of healing, and repairing dehydrated, parched and irritated skin.

As you go through this write-up, knowing the difference can be a game changer in your skincare as hopefully, you will know about your skin a bit more and how to cater to your skin needs (especially with dry, cold winters knocking on the door!).

Looking forward, you will know:

1: Difference between dry and dehydrated skin

How To Hydrate Skin

First step for curating your skincare regime narrows down to understanding your skin type and skin concerns. Do not and, I repeat, do not buy products just because your friend bought an XYZ face moisturizer or moisturizing cream that works well for them and might be good for you too. This notion might leave your skin in a bad state.

Bear that- ‘dry skin’ is one of the skin types and ‘dehydrated skin’ is a skin condition that leads to premature aging- fine lines, wrinkles.

Dry skin lacks oil or doesn’t produce enough oil with a damaged skin barrier. It appears flaky, and rough with more noticeable wrinkles.

Dehydration (fluid loss) or Dehydrated skin is just lack of water which makes your skin appear dull, feel tight and luster-deprived.

Click here to analyze your and build a personalized routine.

2: Know about Hydration and Moisturization

Hydrating Moisturizer

Although both hydration and moisturization work to get that near-perfect plump and radiant skin, they work quite differently.

Let’s consider it this way- Just as you drink plain water to stay hydrated, the cells in the skin also need adequate amounts of water for beautiful and youthful-looking skin. Consider a raisin and grape- A raisin is just a dried and dehydrated grape. From the look of it, raisins appear wrinkly, lifeless and shrink up just as dehydrated skin cells, whereas grapes appear supple, plump and fresh just as well-hydrated skin.

Hydration works by pulling the water from the surrounding environment into your skin cells and Moisturization locks in that water (moisture) from leaving your skin.

So, if hydration is all that you need, why use a moisturizer? Of course to seal all that water in the skin cells. Now you’ll know where we are going with this…

Humectants and moisturizers come into the picture for well-hydrated and moisturized skin.

Humectants or hydrating agents hydrate your skin with a ‘water consistency’. Hyaluronic acid, Niacinamide, Glycerin, Honey and Aloe vera are some commonly used humectants.

Skin moisturizers seal in the water content and protect the skin barrier function, and also tend to be on the ‘oily, thick and creamier’ side. Moisturizers can be occlusives (lanolin, petrolatum, beeswax), emollients (ceramides, fatty acids, shea butter, cetyl alcohol) or even humectants (Glycerin).

Must know:

‘Word hydration points that an ingredient is a humectant, whereas moisture points that an ingredient is occlusive.’

3: Balancing the skin needs- How to know if you need a hydrator or moisturizer or both?

Face Moisturizer

This is all about satiating the skin craving by maintaining the equilibrium of Hydration (Water) and Moisture (Oil) for dewy, elastic and resilient skin.

Must know:

‘If your skin is dry, it is lacking oil and needs a moisturizer.

If the skin is dehydrated, it lacks water content and needs a humectant or hydrating ingredient.’

Well-hydrated skin is soft, elastic and supple, but it needs oil to keep that hydration from eluding and avoid dry and flaky skin. On the other hand, smearing oil on dehydrated skin may noticeably smoothen it, but won’t have that soft and bouncy feeling that comes from hydration. You see, it’s all about retaining the oil-water balance of the skin cells.

Skincare formulations, serums, creams, lotions and face masks that are richer in texture and gentler are recommended for skin which is more dry or dehydrated. One is the Retinol serum which has been proven to fight the signs of ageing, fade away fine lines, wrinkles, and plumps and smoothen the skin with care. Moisturizers with spf is always a thumbs-up for added skin barrier and sun protection.

Carefully examining your skin condition can make a hell lot of difference in improving your skin barrier, texture and tone.

4: What does oily skin needs- a hydrator or moisturizer?

Skin Hydration

Hydration and Moisturization are a boon for all skin types and conditions. But picking a suitable ingredient for oily skin can be tricky, as it may clog the skin pores, aggravate acne or can contribute to a greasier or sticky appearance. We don’t want that, don’t we?

If you have oily and acne-prone skin, I vouch for Hyaluronic Acid Serum with Ceramides for boosting skin hydration and glow from within. Opt for lightweight, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic moisturizer cream for face in your routine with oil-fighting ingredients (prevent clogged pores, breakouts and) to lock in hydration, keep away excess oil, for well-nourished and radiant-looking skin.

Must know:

‘You can be oily and dehydrated, but you can’t be oily and dry.’

5: ‘Layering’ for maximum hydration and moisturization!

You can always combine or ‘layer up’ the hydrating and moisturizing ingredients to reap the most benefits for your skin. The order in which you apply these skin wonders and for how long may be a game changer for glowing skin.

Want to know the - Top 5 Skincare Ingredients To Moisturize Your Dry Skin

Firstly, apply a humectant to provide the skin with a surge of water and fight dehydrated skin. Secondly, apply a moisturizer to seal the hydration into the skin. Experts suggest letting each product work into the skin for about 30 seconds then waiting a minute or so and putting on another product. This will enable the product to thoroughly seep into the deep layers of the skin to make it moisturized and hydrated. Also, moisturizers should be applied to moist skin just after bathing, to lower the chances of evaporation.

Bonus tip (eat right)- Increase your fluid intake - drink plenty of water and incorporate water-rich fruits and vegetables like cucumber, watermelon and strawberries in your diet for a natural skin glow. Munch on nuts and seeds which contains natural oils to moisturize and hydrate the skin from the inside. Thank me later!

Stay Hydrated

6: Sum up

There you go - Dry and dehydrated skin looks dull, flaky with wrinkles and is uncomfortably tight. So, regular use of moisturizers or skin hydrators serves as an essential step towards building an anti-aging routine for an effortless glow, more resilient and healthy skin.

Don't forget- Skin thrive the best with the proper balance of water and oil!


Q. Can drinking enough water make my skin beautiful?

Ans. Water contributes to about 60% of healthy adult’s body weight. It is advisable to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day to toss away the toxins from the body and skin. Moisturizers can recover the skin barrier, improve the look and feel of dry and dehydrated skin by giving a healthy glow.

Q. What is an oil free moisturizer?

Ans. An oil-free moisturizer can be a lotion or cream mostly made up of hyaluronic acid and glycerin (humectants) that serves the purpose of hydrating the skin without using oils.

Q. I have extremely oily skin on the face. Which type of moisturizer for oily skin can I use?

Ans. Using gel-based moisturizers after washing the face works well for those with oily skin. Lightweight, oil free moisturizer that does not clog the pores are extremely gentle on the skin without aggravating acne conditions.

Q. What do ceramides do skincare?

Ans. Ceramides support skin renewal, and keep the skin barrier intact, making the skin well-moisturized and healthy.

Q. How does hot water bath/showers affect my skin?

Ans. Taking long, hot showers can strip off natural oils from the skin, damage the skin barrier, making the skin dry, red and irritated. Switch to lukewarm water and use a moisturizer after for skin hydration and glow (Don’t ignore the feet!).

Q. How to stay hydrated in winters?

Ans. Avoid drinking cold water, instead opt for temperature beverages. Drinking warm water, and healthy hot beverages, for example, ginger tea, green tea or cinnamon tea is a good idea to stay well hydrated.

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