Hydrating vs Moisturizing: Treating Your Skin Right

This is the era of being slathered and moisturized and hydrated on the regular. That’s right, we’re talking supple, dewey skin and luscious lips. With summer fast approaching and record heat numbers on the rise, keeping your skin hydrated is more important than ever. 


There's an important distinction between dry skin and dehydrated skin. Dry skin develops as a result of oils that are lacking and dehydrated skin comes from a lack of water. Think of dry skin as a reference to a skin type, whereas dehydration is one way to identify a skin condition


We have natural oils all over our body, sebum being one of the most common. And while sebum in excess can create issues like acne and blackheads, with the right amount and actually keeps our skin in perfect balance. There are so many variables that impact dehydrated skin. 

Hydrator vs. moisturizer: The differences

You may notice when you’re shopping that skincare products are divided into categories like moisturizers and hydrators. Hydrators and humectants cover products like toners, serum’s and essences like snail mucin. Moisturizers tend to fall in the mall in emollient category, such as face oils and thicker moisturizing occlusives.

How do brands and companies categorize their products?

Branding can be a little tricky when it comes to identifying products for dehydrated versus dry skin. But there are a few tiers that hydrators and moisturizers tend to fall into.

How well does water work as a moisturizer?

A shocking fact that leaves many perplexed is that oral hydration has little to no impact on how hydrated your skin is. And water on its own cannot keep your skin hydrated and moisturized.


Water doesn’t bind well in moisturizers, so oil is typically combined to help hold it all together. Occlusives like petroleum and similar oily substances take care of water evaporation.

The main ingredients of moisturizers

Moisturizer ingredients can be broken down into occlusives, humectants and emollients. Many moisturizers are absorbed by the stratum corneum, or top layer of skin.


There are plenty of waxy and fatty occlusives that can keep your skin happy and hydrated. Humectants typically pull water from the outside in, but if you live in a dry climate and humidity is low most of that moisture is being pulled from the inside out. Emollients to make your skin feel smooth and soft.

Which is right for your specific skin type?

When determining which products benefit your specific skin type, there are a couple must-haves. But the holy grail, offering hydrating relief for both skin types, is hyaluronic acid.

hydrated skin

Hyaluronic acid can be an incredible option for folks with dry or dehydrated skin. When combined with an oil or aloe vera-based products, those with dehydrated skin will find relief. We recommend iS Clinical’s Reparative Moisture Emulsion as a quality moisturizer.


Hyaluronic acid holds 1000 times its weight in water, so applying with your skin already damp is best for exceptional results. Hyaluronic acid is an essential part of the skin care routine. No matter if you’re trying to fight anti-aging, acne prone skin, fine lines or sensitive skin HA is glad to help.

For those with dry skin

Since dry skin is often characterized by a lack of oils, you can probably guess the key ingredient in treating and keeping your skin luscious and tight. Our skin relies heavily on oil to keep moisture ample and flowing. Using body and face oil in the shower can be a great additive to your routine. 


Those oils trap the existing moisture on your skin inside.You’ll want to avoid hot water since it destroys lipid barriers in the skin. Running a humidifier at night or in your living room can benefit you (and your plants), by keeping the air moist and keeping the dry at bay.


If you deal with dehydrated skin

For folks with dehydrated skin, a lack of water means redness, inflammation and dark circles beneath the eyes. Fine lines and wrinkles begin to look more pronounced, and chugging all of the water in the world won’t directly fix your issue.


You can use a gentle cleanser followed with an antioxidant rich essence oil or moisturizer. With just a bit of tweaking to the way you approach your skincare routine, you can have hydrated, more noticeably glowing skin within a week.

The best product for oily skin types

There are some absolute classics that are still reigning champs to help folks with oily skin folks who are prone to oily skin. Niacinamide, salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid and Tea Tree oil are just a few to name. Benzyl Prock side, azelaic acid and even vitamin C can help balance out oil production in the skin.


Hydrators and moisturizers as part of your routine

While it might take a few tries to dial-in the right recipe for your skin type, adding in hydrators and moisturizers as part of your skin care routine can change the game up completely. You don’t know what your skin has been missing until you try certain products that fall in line and treat your skin concerns. 

Talk with an esthetician for product recommendations

You don’t have to live with dry, dehydrated or oily skin. Just knowing that there are options can empower folks to share their concerns with their esthetician.


If you’re curious about which products to combine, to avoid and to hit a home run in the smooth skin department, connect with us. We’d love to help you find a skincare product that helps you love the skin that keeps you protected from the world around you.