Moisturizing vs hydrating the skin-what's the difference?

Did you know that there was a difference between moisturizing your skin and hydrating it? I didn’t.

Now I realize that the skin care products out there are all very different and can be a bit misleading in terms of the benefits for your skin.

The quick answer is that oil or wax based products, such as oils and butters are generally considered moisturizers. (although they don’t actually moisturize)

That’s right, moisturizers aren’t don’t actually moisturizer. Instead they work to form a protective barrier and our skin by filling in the cracks and seal in the moisture we already have in our body. If you’re dehydrated and lacking in moisture, the so called “moisturizer” won’t actually help to add moisture to your skin.  However, it will hopefully help keep you from losing moisture as fast.

On the other side, water based products or products that contain a high amount of aloe vera work to add water or hydrate the skin. 

Some products even contain humectants which attract water from the air and retain it on the skin. Examples of humectants are glycerin, lactic acid, sodium lactate, and honey.

Finally, there are also ingredients, not necessarily known for their hydrating or moisturizing effects, but help form the protective barrier or “film” and can be added to give skin a boost.

These include beeswax, vegetable glycerin, and cetyl alcohol, They’re especially good for dry or dehydrated skin, or in those seasons when extra protection is beneficial such as a Canadian winter.

There’s no question that best way to keep our skin at it’s best is by eating well, sleeping well and of course, by drinking a lot of water.

Sometimes though, we need a little help and that’s ok. Hopefully this helped you figure out which product is best suited for your skin.

For more information about the skin and to learn a little about it’s anatomy, check out the next post or click here to shop Made with Metta’s variety of skin care products.'