When you see skin care products labelled hydrating and moisturizing, you might be confused because these words are used everywhere so casually. Even though the terms are closely related, there is a significant difference in what they do.
Hydrating simply means increasing the water content in your body, and moisturizing means enforcing the skin to prevent water loss due to evaporation.
While both these products are used to achieve the same result, hydrators are often used as a remedy and moisturizers as a preventive measure.
Keeping your skin hydrated is as important as keeping your body hydrated. It’s quite practicable to keep yourself hydrated by drinking water regularly; your skin, however, needs to lock in the water and protect it from evaporating due to the change in weather. Our skin needs clean water and the natural moisture that it produces. Dirty air can clog the pores, and weather change can tweak its temperature. Summer heat can cause dehydration; monsoon is cool water, and winter is dry and cold.
So, the best way to prevent these is to use a moisturizer. If you have dry skin, your skin lacks the natural oils to stop evaporation. However, keeping in mind, not all skin types are a hundred per cent dry or oily. A face moisturizer for dry skin helps you reinforce the oils, store water for a longer duration, restore optimum temperature and shape in the cells.
If your skin is dull and wrinkly, it lacks moisture and is dehydrated. If the skin lacks the nourishment it requires, hydrating products are the solution.
That said, if you have oily skin, it does not necessarily mean your skin cannot be dehydrated. Having less moisture and high oil content can worsen your oily skin problems such as acne. The key is to be hydrated all the time. To compensate for the water loss due to evaporation, it produces more oil, making it a vicious cycle.
Water-based hydrators are suitable options. It is not because it adds water to the skin, but water-based products do not feel heavy and don’t clog the pores.
Then again, it does not mean dry skin is always hydrated either. Weather changes can be affecting your skin’s requirements. Winter is relatively easy for oily skin, and summers tend to be brutal on the skin. Since everyone lies somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, there are various products for various reasons.
How do I hydrate and moisturize my skin?
Drinking water is a healthy way to stay hydrated, but dehydrated skin cannot be restored to its full health buy just drinking water. Dry skin loses its ability to draw enough water for the cells and does not produce old enough to bind them.
Hydrators are made of natural humectants like aloe, honey and hydroxy acids that help the skin cells to draw enough water. Using it regularly trains the cells to keep the process frequent and efficient. Even with some various most hydrators are suitable for all skin types and don’t have side effects. Glycerin and propylene glycol are some of the synthetic compounds that are well recommended in the products too.
Hydrating products come in cream, lotion and masks as well. These are required every season, but the composition is different. It would help if you had a product for summer and another for winter.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Overnight Mask has Glacial Glycoprotein, derived from sea glaciers known for its ability to flourish in extreme climates. It provides long-lasting hydration. Using it once or twice a week is enough.
Moisturizers come into use when your skin healthy, but it’s just losing water very quickly. Depending on how much oil content a product is okay for your skin, hundreds of moisturizing products are out there.
While lotion and cream are sufficient for the skin type in the centre, different weather calls for other products with different compositions.
For dry skin in summer, you need lightweight moisture-rich products such as gel or lotion. In winter, to deal with the cold and dry air, you need heavy oil-rich moisturizers.
For oily skin in summer, you need light oil-free products to prevent acne. This allows your skin to breathe and help retain water too. In winter, most products are fine, but a lotion is preferred over the cream.
How to use hydration and moisturizers daily?
The general method is using the hydrator first and then the moisturizer. Most people have a routine of using them at night but using them before applying sunscreen is also suitable.
Depending on what you need, moisturizers are categorized into several groups.
Gel moisturizers: Oil-free, dehydrated products with hyaluronic acid, which is a natural humectant.
Moisturizing cream: these are oil-rich but also contains ceramides.
Kiehl’s Ultra facial cream has all the qualities. It is a lightweight cream suitable for all skin types and provides hydration for up to 24 hours. So, you apply it once a day and move on with your tasks.
What are face serums?
A face serum for dry skin is an oil-based product that not only tackles the dehydration problem but nourishes the skin to prevent a wide range of issues altogether. It is more than a hydrating product. Most serums are paired with moisturizer since serum repairs thin skin from the inside, and moisturizer protects it on the outside.
Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate Oil is an antioxidant serum that energizes your skin. Being lightweight, it’s suited for all skin types.
Since this combination of serum and moisturizer works fine, does it mean you don’t need sunscreen?
You do need sunscreen, but some people do not prefer it as adding too many products on the skin before going out only makes it bulky and clogs the pores.
A great option is Kiehl’s Ultra-Light Daily UV Defense Anti-Pollution SPF 50. It is a lightweight sunscreen with SPF 50 PA. It protects against UVA/UVB rays and is suited for all skin types.
The last thing to add to your skincare routine is Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil. It is a makeup removing natural face cleanser. It dissolves the dirt and oil and replenishes your skin with moisture. It relieves your skin, allowing it to breathe and prepares you for a goodnight sleep.