Hydrating Products vs. Moisturising Products: There's A Difference

Eesha Kokane , 16 Aug 2019

Hydrating vs. Moisturising

Trust me, I was as confused as you probably are right now. There are a ton of different skincare products out there. Understanding the purpose of each and every one of them can be confusing AF. From cleansing balms to essences to facial oils, the skincare industry is exciting yet intimidating. However, being a beauty junkie, you can only imagine how surprised I was when I learnt that the terms “hydrating” and “moisturising” are not the same thing. Even though these terms are often used interchangeably, there’s a difference between them. Here’s what you need to know to clear up your confusion:

What’s The Difference?

Oranges and tangerines may seem like the same thing but they are not. Similarly, the terms hydrating and moisturising may sound like the same thing but they are not.

  • Hydrating Products: These products add water to the cells within your skin and help your skin store more water.
  • Moisturising Products: These products help trap the hydration that is already present in your skin. In simple words, moisturising products lessen water loss from your skin.

What Are Hydrating Products?

When you use skincare ingredients which are formulated with ingredients that attract water to your skin, you’re using hydrating products. Most of them contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid (HA) and Sodium Hyaluronate. Ingredients like HA are humectants, which helps attract moisture from the air and deposit it onto your skin. This will restore your skin’s elasticity and keep it supple.

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Clinique Moisture Surge
Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner


What Are Moisturising Products?

If you have been using products which contain ingredients like glycerin and ceramides then you have been using moisturising products. The main purpose of moisturisers is to help your skin avoid water loss. Hence using a moisturiser is going to help your skin create a protective layer which plumps your skin and retain moisture.

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Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturiser | Source: Kiehl's
The Face Shop Rice & Ceramide Moisturising Cream | (Source: www.amazon.in)
Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturiser (Source: Cetaphil)


Which One Is Better For My Skin?

If you want to know which category will suit you better then the first thing you have to do is identify your skin type.

  • Dehydrated Skin: If your skin feels both dry and tight then it has experienced water loss. Your skin can get dehydrated due to a number of reasons like a bad diet, environmental pollution, excess stress etc. To restore the hydration levels of your skin, you should opt for hydrating products.
  • Dry Skin: If your skin feels itchy and there are visible dry spots and flakes then you have dry skin. Which means that your skin cannot produce enough natural oils on its own. Since your skin doesn’t have a barrier made of natural oils, your skin will also lose water. Hence if you have dry skin then you should use hydrating products first and then moisturising products later. For example, you can use a hydrating toner or serum after cleansing your face and after that apply a good moisturiser.

Were you as surprised as I was when you found out the difference between hydrating and moisturising products?

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