Hydration vs. Moisturizing – Know the Difference!
Moisturizers and hydrators both help to make sure your skin gets all the water it needs to prevent dryness and dehydration and help your skin to appear more youthful and supple. But they work differently to contribute to skin health.
Dehydrated vs. Dry Skin
Your skin cells require water to be healthy. Skin that is well hydrated will be plump and “bouncy,” while skin whose cells have become dehydrated will appear shriveled and dull, and fine lines and wrinkles will be more obvious. Topical hydration products attract water to the skin cells and help to improve the skin’s ability to absorb nutrients and moisture. Hydrators contain humectants that attract water from the air and bind it to the skin. Some humectants to look for in products are hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, honey, and glycerin.
Dry, flaky skin is a signal that the skin is not able to create a barrier to lock moisture into the skin cells. Moisturizing products contain occlusive and emollient ingredients that create a barrier designed to trap any moisture that is present when the product is applied. This allows the skin to build its own natural barrier that will prevent water loss from the cells. However, if the cells are dehydrated, adding a moisturizer will be a temporary “fix” and you may find you need to reapply it throughout the day.
Hydrators and Moisturizers Work Together
Each product performs a unique function in protecting the health of your skin. It is important to understand that use of a moisturizer alone will not solve the underlying problem if your skin is dehydrated. Similarly, using a moisturizer on skin that is dehydrated will likely be merely a cosmetic fix. The ideal situation would be hydrated skin cells with topical moisture.
You can use both a hydrator product and a moisturizing product without adverse effects. When using the two products together, remember to apply the hydrator product first, then the moisturizer. This way you are providing your skin cells the moisture they need and a moisturizing barrier to prevent them from losing that moisture.
Let Us Answer Your Skin Care Questions
If you are suffering from dry, flaky skin and none of these tips have helped, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. We know that some dry skin problems require help from a professional who is an expert in skin care. The caring professionals at Derick Dermatology will be more than happy to answer your concerns and help you get your skin healthy. For your convenience we have offices to serve you in Arlington Heights, Barrington, Bartlett, Buffalo Grove, Crystal Lake, Elgin, Libertyville, Lindenhurst, McHenry, and Park Ridge and coming soon, Oak Brook.