You might think that hydration is something only people with dry or dehydrated skin need to worry about. But moisturizing your skin is like moisturizing your body: Your body needs to be hydrated to look and feel its best and, whatever your skin type, your skin does too. But what exactly is hydration? And with so many different products claiming to give you the hydrated skin you crave: oils, creams and gels, oh dear! How do you choose the one that actually gives your skin the dose of hydration it needs?
Moisturizer or Moisturizer: What’s the Difference?
Scientifically, the term “moisturizer” is a generic term that includes several types of moisturizers:
emollients (fats and oils)
But in the world of marketing and in the world in which we buy products, the terminology has had a makeover. Moisturizer and moisturizer are marketing terms and can be defined by brands pretty much however they like. But while there is no absolute standard for defining a moisturizer and moisturizer, brands use usually these terms to differentiate how your skin gets the hydration it needs.
Is water a good moisturizer
Water alone is not a powerful enough ingredient to keep your skin hydrated. It’s also likely that by the time you leave the bathroom, the water has evaporated, along with the natural oils in your skin. In fact, the longer you wash your skin without applying moisturizer or moisturizer, the more your skin is likely to dry out.
The technical terms are occlusives, which you may see labeled as moisturizers and moisturizers (humectants). Moisturizers are oil-based ingredients, including occlusive agents, such as petrolatum or mineral oil, and emollients, such as esters and vegetable oils. They work by creating a seal on the surface of the skin that prevents water from escaping. They also make skin feel smoother and less dry. Moisturizers are ingredients called humectants, such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid, which absorb water from the atmosphere or your skin and hold it in place on your skin. It’s important to recognize that they work very differently because what you choose can make or break the health of your skin. The end goal may be the same, better hydrated skin, but the game plan for getting there depends on your skin type.
The million dollar question: What is the best product for your skin type?
There are a multitude of different products on the market, from balms and oils to creams, gels, ointments and moisturizers, but the truth is that most of them have the same effect. Most skin lotions and products contain both occlusive and emollient ingredients and humectant ingredients, allowing them to moisturize and rehydrate at the same time.
The particular form that a product, gel, balm, oil, cream, etc., takes. does not really affect the performance of the product. It’s the ingredients that count. The shape simply affects the experience of applying the ingredients. That being said, read the ingredients and experiment. Sometimes your skin may feel better with only moisturizer or moisturizer, but not both. By learning exactly how your skin likes to drink, you’ll optimize your path to hydrated skin.
If you have dry skin, try a thicker moisturizer
If your skin is naturally dry all year round and prone to flaking or peeling, chances are it’s not weather-related dehydration that’s to blame: your skin has simply struggling to retain moisture. For this, you need to moisturize it to create a protective seal on the surface of the skin to retain moisture. A thick, emollient moisturizer will keep water out of your skin and, with the right formula, provide the nutrients and nourishment your complexion needs to thrive all winter long.
If your skin is really dry, what is the best solution?
For really dry skin, occlusive agents are best, something with petrolatum works best. But if someone wants to avoid petrolatum, then shea butter or canola or soybean oil may work. Ingredients you’ll definitely want to try: Oils, including vegetable oils, like jojoba oil, and nut oils, like coconut oil.
If your skin is dehydrated, try a hydrating serum.
If your skin is dehydrated, you need to actively replenish water. Look for a hydrating serum containing hyaluronic acid, which retains an impressive number of times its weight in water and will provide a healthy dose of hydration to the skin.
Must-try ingredients: hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, honey.
Hydrate from within
Try to drink plenty of water. A good goal is to drink at least half your body weight in ml of water each day. So, if you weigh 70kg, aim for 2200ml of water per day.
Add water-rich foods like watermelon, strawberries, and cucumber. They can help give your skin and body the hydration it needs to perform at its best.
If you have oily skin, try water-based moisturizers.
Just because you have oily skin doesn’t mean your skin isn’t dehydrated. And if your skin is dehydrated, it can actually exacerbate your oily skin issues. People with oily skin often have a compromised barrier function, which makes their skin struggle to retain moisture. When moisture leaves the skin, it becomes dehydrated, causing it to produce more sebum.
It’s a vicious cycle, and the only way to break it is to give your skin the hydration and water it needs. Look for water-based, non-comedogenic moisturizers and moisturizers. Water-based products are lighter to the touch and do not clog the pores of the skin.
But how do you know if the product moisturizes or not?
So, the final verdict, when it comes to keeping your skin hydrated, which is better: a moisturizer or a moisturizer?
The answer is probably both.
As mentioned above, it all depends on your skin type and most common creams do both. But if you’re a skincare aficionado and indulge in unique ingredients and 10-step routines, you might be on the wrong track.
There’s no harm in using both moisturizer and moisturizer. Simply moisturize by first applying humectants like hyaluronic acid, then follow up with an occlusive like vegetable oils to lock in moisture. Or, if you want to keep it simple, look for a product that does both. Face masks are a great option for hydrating your skin with just one product. If you want a plump, hydrated complexion all year round, the answer is never one or the other. After all, there will definitely be a time, like winter, when you need to hydrate and rehydrate, the key is knowing when.