Tips & Advice

Hydration VS. Moisture: What Does Your Skin Need?

A complexion that can’t be fixed with loads of dewy foundation and a bright highlighter is likely suffering from dry and dehydrated skin.

Dry and dehydrated skin can be the result of many internal and external factors. To fully understand what your skin needs you’ll need to understand the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin.

Dry skin is considered a skin type where not enough oil is being produced. This can be connected to hormonal imbalances, underactive thyroid or genetics. The natural lipid barrier of our skin protects itself from damage and water loss. People with dry, flaky skin suffer from an inadequate production of enough lipid cells on its own so they need extra reinforcement.

Dehydrated skin is considered a skin condition where there is a lack of water. Dehydrated skin is often caused by either external elements, diet or lifestyle choices. All of these factors reduce the skin’s water content. Dehydrated skin creates more oil to make up for missing water, this can cause breakouts, irritation and dry patches. This can even cause the skin to feel oily and dry at the same time.

Common symptoms of dehydrated skin include:

  • Itchy Patches
  • Tired skin: dull, flaky and dark under eyes
  • Sensitivity
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

In order to combat dry and dehydrated skin, you now need to understand the difference between moisturizers and hydrating products. Who thought skincare was so complex?!

Both moisturizers and hydrating products work to ensure the skin receives enough moisture, but they work in very different ways.


Moisturizers help to trap the naturals oils and lipids on the surface of the skin to prevent water from evaporating and to maintain healthy moisture balance. They work by forming a barrier over the skin’s surface to reduce the amount of water loss. The moisturizer doesn’t add water to the skin but rather prevents the current water in your skin from leaving the skin. This means if you have dehydrated skin and you are only using a moisturizer you are not actually adding any additional hydration to the skin.


Hydration refers to the amount of water in the skin. Hydrators are formulated with hygroscopic ingredients called humectants that increase water content by catching moisture from external factors (like from the air) and delivering it to the skin. Meaning they actually increase the water content in the skin deep down throughout its layers. Examples of humectants are glycerin, honey, and hyaluronic acid.

To achieve dewy and glowy hydrated skin start by applying hydrating products first to increase the water in your skin. Then follow with a moisturizer to lock in the water and ensure it stays throughout the day.

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