Many see “hydration” and “moisture” as interchangeable words that describe the same thing; believing a skin hydrator is the same as a moisturizer. It’s a common misconception, and an easy mistake to make. In reality however, these are two very different type of products specifically formulated to serve separate purposes for the skin.
A moisturizers main purpose is to reduce transepidermal water loss (TWEL) by acting as a barrier over the skin’s surface. Moisturizers retain what moisture is present on the skin at the time of application. Therefore, if your skin is dehydrated at the time of putting on a moisturizer, it will only hold in what little hydration you have. By forming a protective seal over of the skin, these products reduce the risk of evaporation, protect the skin from environmental pollution, and maintain the hydration your skin already has.
People with disrupted lipid barriers often suffer from dry skin conditions. This is due to the fact that the skin is unable to coat itself with the appropriate amount of suprema, causing a loss of hydration. A moisturizer should aid in correcting the disrupted lipid barriers so that the skin can regain a healthy moisture balance. Remember, these products are only part of a solution, and are not a fix all to every skin.
While moisturizer seal moisture into the skin, hydration products are designed to increase the water content in the skin. Hydrators typically use the powers of hygroscopic ingredients to achieve this. This substance has the ability to attract water from its surroundings through absorption and then bind it to the skin, facilitating hydration. Glycerin, honey, and hyaluronic acid are some great examples.
Some moisturizers are even infused with hydration ingredients, but usually they are not able to penetrate the skin as deeply because of the moisturizer barrier. So keep in mind that depending on your skin needs, this combo product may not supply your skin with a sufficient amount of hydration (especially if you have dry skin).
Moisturizers and Hydrators serve two totally different purposes, and most people will need both products. Remember to apply hydration product first and a moisturizer second. This way, you are adding in hydration that your skin needs and then ensuring its stays put throughout the day. Incorporate a hydrator and moisturizer into your daily routine to stay glowing and dewy all the time!
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