The term "hydrate" and "moisturize" are often used interchangeably but you may be surprised to know they are not the same thing. Knowing the difference will certainly help your skin to best address its needs and help keep it healthy and looking more beautiful much longer. I will try to break it down to make it easy as possible so you can be an expert on this in no time.
So what is the difference?
"Hydration" is the absorption of WATER from the environment to the cells. "Moisture" is the the binding or locking of OILS (or lipids) to the skin to help prevent its loss on the surface. This also relates to the difference between dry and dehydrated skin.
Why should this matter?
When skin lacks water within, it is dehydrated and can show signs of flakiness, dullness and you may see more fine lines and wrinkles. Redness and sensitivity may arise if dehydration is more severe. These are some of the signs that skin needs hydration. However, hydrating skin alone is not the most effective method unless you also provide it moisture to keep it all in.
When skin is more consistently dry, it lacks enough lipids and needs to be moisturized. The skin barrier is often compromised and cannot hold on to the lipids skin needs on its own. Unfortunately, skin dryness can be genetic as some have skin that may be genetically pre-determined to not produce a lot of oil. Moisturizers become even more crucial to help provide both comfort and needed support for your lipid barrier.
What if your skin is oily?
Your skin still needs both a proper balance of hydration and moisture. The main reason is, if skin's natural hydration and oils are out of balance, it will try to correct the issue by producing more oil and potentially cause more issues including congestion and breakouts. A routine that includes effective hydrators and lightweight moisturizers can make huge differences for those with oily skin concerns. Review the difference between dehydration and dryness in the previous section to see which may need to be more immediately addressed for your skin.
What to look for in products
To effectively hydrate your skin, you need a hydrator with humectants that can pull in water from the environment and allow it to be absorbed by your skin. Some of the most effective and well-researched humectants include Hyaluronic Acid and Glycerin. It's easy to find skincare with Hyaluronic Acid in the ingredient list these days. However, just because a product contains the ingredient, it does not mean it is effective. Topical Hyaluronic Acid is well-known by experts to have fleeting effects and not last long on the skin and even potentially pull water away from the skin. This is why it was important for Lex and Jong to come up with Hydrative HA+ Intensive Volumizing Lift Serum to not only address these concerns but exceed expectations for results. Find out more about the science behind this product and what it can do for your skin HERE.
To effectively moisturize your skin, you need an occlusive. These include waxes, butters, silicones, and petroleum. While some in "clean" beauty like to promote plant oils and plant-derived ingredients for use as moisturizers, the scientific fact is, the most effective occlusives are often not easily replaceable by plant-derived or many "natural"-based ingredients. I still see people who use oils as their moisturizer, and if you ask many skincare experts and dermatologists, she or he will agree that oils are NOT moisturizers and they cannot effectively do the job.
What effective occlusive agents do, is work to lock in oils and hydration to help prevent transepidermal water loss and keep skin looking and feeling smooth by strengthening and replenishing skin's lipid and moisture barrier. They help to ensure stronger skin that functions better to keep the good (such as water and good oils) in and the bad (irritants and environmental aggressors) out.
All Lex and Jong moisturizers are formulated with effective occlusives and provide many specific benefits for your skin.
Other things you can do to support your skin internally is drink water (even though the skin is one of the last places to get it, it's still good for you) and include foods with Omegas/EFAs (essential fatty acids) in your diet as our bodies cannot make certain ones even though your body needs it.
How To Apply Hydrators and Moisturizers
Since hydrators are usually in serum form and meant to penetrate the skin, apply your hydrator first. Follow with your moisturizer to help seal in all the goodness and keep the surface barrier strong.
I hope you found this informative and helpful. If you have any other beauty concerns you'd like me to discuss, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you for your support, and I look forward to hearing from you!