Hydrating vs Moisturizing Skincare: The Differences Are Not Only Skin Deep

By karina / 18 December 2023

Hydrating vs Moisturizing Skincare: The Differences Are Not Only Skin Deep

Hydrating vs moisturizing is a hotly debated subject in skincare. One adds water, the other oil. But does that mean that, like oil and water, they don’t mix? Is there a winner in this duel? The answer may surprise you.

Before we even get into the details of hydrating vs moisturizing, let’s first agree that the ultimate goal is to make sure that our skin is getting everything it needs to stay optimally healthy and fight the signs of aging and environmental damage. Our skin has a Natural Moisturizing Factor (NMF) that protects itself from damage and water loss. If you’re seeing (and feeling) parched, tight, flaky skin—maybe even scaliness, redness, and cracking—your skin is crying out for help. And what it’s yelling is “SOS! I’m not producing enough lipid cells to form the protective barrier I so desperately need. Send moisture ASAP!” Moisture—in the form of oils--helps trap the natural oils and lipids on the surface of your skin, preventing water from evaporating, and helping to maintain a healthy moisture balance.

Hydrating vs Moisturizing: So, What’s Dehydrated Skin?

Dehydrated skin is like what happens to a grape when you dry it out: it loses its juicy, smooth plumpness and becomes a wrinkly little raisin. Hydration is the amount of water in the skin, and hydrators are formulated with ingredients designed to increase water content by catching moisture from the air and delivering it to the skin’s layers. “Dehydrated skin lacks water and requires hydration, while dry skin lacks oil and needs moisture,” explains founder and CEO Ulli Haslacher, who says it’s important to treat skin exactly according to what it needs… which is very often both, and depends on the climate in which you live or are traveling to.

Hydrating vs Moisturizing: How is Dry Skin Different from Dehydrated Skin?

While dry skin is likely a condition that’s embedded in your genes, both heat and humidity play a role in what your skin needs (and may also throw you for a loop, making you mistakenly believe that your skin is dry, when it’s actually dehydrated). If humidity is high, sweat simply can’t evaporate and stays with the outer skin, providing little to no cooling. If humidity is low, sweat quickly evaporates and cools the skin. “This is the reason why 80 degrees in the high humidity in Florida feels crazy hot, while 80 degrees in the low humidity in Arizona feels comfortable. However, if humidity is low, the outer skin cannot pull any water from the air into the skin, which it needs to stay hydrated,” says Ulli. That’s why Pour Moi has formulated a day cream for each of these climates—the Desert Day Cream for hot and dry climates and the Tropical Day Cream for hot and humid climates.

Hydrating vs Moisturizing: A Little Humidity is Good - for Both...

The skin naturally prefers some moisture in the air--but it’s the extreme levels of humidity that throw off the balance of skin. Pour Moi’s Temperate Day Cream is for times when you don’t even notice the humidity in the air because there’s not too much nor too little. In the summer, the temperature and humidity are both extreme, and we formulated moisturizers to prepare you for both ends of the spectrum. Excessive humidity in a hot climate can result in excessive oil production, leading to clogged pores and breakouts – which is why climate energized beautifiers (CEBs) like Coconut Acid are vital to keeping pores clear and helping excess moisture evaporate off of skin. Even with humidity, high temperatures and sun exposure can leave skin dehydrated, which amps up the oil even more. A lighter moisturizer is needed in this humid environment so skin doesn’t feel overwhelmed by the moisture from the atmosphere, the increased oiliness in the skin, and the hydration from skincare. This is why the Tropical Day Cream gives the skin exactly what it needs to restore balance.

...And So Is A Multi-Layered Skincare System

It’s important to note that both dry and dehydrated skin need a multi-layered skincare approach. That’s why a 3-step ritual like Pour Moi’s is so important to the health of skin and its barrier. Key ingredients like Hyaluronic acid, Glycerin, vitamin A, C and E help to boost hydration and nutrients to skin to keep it radiant, protected and moisturized in all weather elements. Start with using the Hydrating Balancer twice a day to prep skin, balance pH levels, and add a first layer of hydration. Second, nourish and hydrate with a concentrated Serum that delivers high levels of premium ingredients quickly into skin. Finally, select your Day Cream in the morning, or apply your Night Cream before bed, to deliver restorative ingredients to skin as it rests overnight. Another major question that most of us don’t even know to ask? Is our hydrator actually getting where it needs to go to treat our skin? Hyaluronic acid is an excellent hydrator that not just attracts water from the atmosphere but also holds the water molecule,” explains Ulli. “Because the large size molecules are the water grabbing kind, they sit on the surface. If there are no different sizes of Hyaluronic acids, and there is not enough water in the air for the large molecules to grab, they can turn against your skin and pull water from the deeper skin layers. Excellent skincare chemistry can take advantage today of pulling humidity from the air when it’s available, but when skin faces dry climates the smaller kind will help to offset the larger molecule size acid to keep it from turning against the skin. But the penetration of hyaluronic acid into the skin depends on how stable the ingredient is when applied to the skin and gets exposed to heat, air and light and also what molecule size the ingredient has (as it depends how deep it can skin into the skin).” Pour Moi’s HyalurTruf+ complex is a new light-weight skincare ingredient created to help skin find its natural moisture balance in all climates. Made from a blend of 3 different forms of hyaluronic acids and White Truffle, it takes into account that varying molecule weight, and helps with absorption because each molecule size has a different job. Plus, Pour Moi’s premium double-barreled packaging keeps active ingredients safe, stable and effective. Now you can stop worrying about the difference between hydrating vs moisturizing - apply Pour Moi's products and you're covered.