Hydration vs. Moisture? What does your skin need?

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It is very common to get confused and use the terms "hydrate" and "moisturize" as synonyms. However, they have slightly different meanings.


Both are terms related to skincare and are often used in personal care and beauty products. From Jess Beauty, we tell you the differences between these terms and when to apply each one.


Difference between hydrate and moisturize


As we said, although they are often used interchangeably, hydrating and moisturizing indicate different issues.


That is, while "hydrating" focuses on maintaining the water balance in the skin and its barrier function, "moisturizing" refers to adding moisture to the skin and retaining it to improve the appearance and smoothness of the skin.

Both concepts are important for effective skin care and often complement each other.


  • Hydration refers to providing water to the skin to maintain its water balance. Hydrating products help retain moisture in the skin by creating a barrier that prevents excessive water loss.


These products often contain ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. Hydration is especially important to maintain the skin's barrier function and prevent dryness and flaking.


  • Moisturizing is the act of adding moisture to the surrounding environment or the skin. Moisturizing products, such as lotions and creams, help the skin retain moisture by trapping water on the skin and in the environment.

Common moisturizing ingredients include glycerin, aloe vera, and panthenol. Moisturizing helps keep skin soft, supple, and healthy-looking.

How do I know if my skin needs to be hydrated or moisturized? 


Determining whether your skin needs hydration or moisture depends on several factors, including skin type, weather, season, and other environmental factors.


Here are some general guidelines to help you understand what your skin might need:


Signs that your skin needs hydration


  • Dryness: If you notice that your skin is rough, tight, or flaking, it may need hydration. It helps replenish the water content in the skin.


  • Sensitivity: Dehydrated skin often becomes more sensitive. If you notice that your skin reacts easily to products or weather conditions, it could be a sign of a lack of hydration.


  • More noticeable fine lines and wrinkles: Dehydrated skin can make fine lines and wrinkles more visible. Proper hydration can help smooth the appearance of these lines.


  • Dull Skin: If your skin appears dull and lacks radiance, it could be a sign of a lack of hydration. It can help revitalize the skin.

Signs that your skin needs moisturizing


  • Feeling dry to the touch: If your skin feels dry to the touch and lacks softness, it could benefit from moisturizing. Moisturizing products help retain moisture in the skin.


  • Weather changes: In dry or cold climates, the air can be very stripping of moisture. You may need moisturizing products if your skin feels tight or uncomfortable in certain climates.


  • Dull appearance: Moisturizing can help give your skin a healthy glow and juicier appearance.


  • Redness and flaking: Dehydrated skin can be prone to irritation and redness. If you notice areas of redness and flaking, it could be a sign that your skin needs more moisture.


Ultimately, paying attention to how your skin feels and looks is key to determining if it needs hydration or moisture.


Are the same products used to hydrate and moisturize the skin?


In many cases, the same products can be used to hydrate and moisturize the skin, as the goals are similar: to keep skin soft, supple, and healthy by locking in moisture. However, some products may be specifically formulated to focus more on one of these aspects.


Hydrating products are excellent for preventing dryness and flaking of the skin, used for daily skincare.


Moisturizing products, on the other hand, help improve the appearance of the skin by giving it a smoother, more radiant appearance.


Hydrating products


Hydrating creams: These creams are designed to maintain moisture in the skin and improve its protective barrier. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides.


Hydrating Serums: Serums are more concentrated formulas that often contain potent ingredients to lock in moisture in the skin.


Hyaluronic acid and peptides are common in hydrating serums. Shine Bright Serum is a Jess Beauty product formulated with niacinamide, a powerful ingredient that hydrates and restores the skin's surface, preventing dryness.


Body Lotions: Hydrating body lotions are ideal for keeping the skin on the body soft and moisturized. Look for emollient ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, and urea. Silky Smooth Body Balm is a new product from Jess Beauty that hydrates and restores elasticity to your skin.


Face oils: Some face oils, such as jojoba oil, argan oil, and rosehip oil, can help seal moisture into the skin and improve its hydration.


Products to moisturize


Moisturizing lotions: Are formulated to attract and retain moisture from the environment and keep it on the skin. Ingredients like glycerin and aloe vera are common in these lotions.


Moisturizing facial sprays: These products, like sprays with hydrating ingredients, provide a quick dose of moisture to the skin throughout the day.


Moisturizing Face Masks: Moisturizing face masks are designed to provide an instant boost of hydration to the skin. They may contain ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and cucumber extract.

Post Workout Gel Mask by Jess Beauty restores relief to your skin after exercising, providing extended moisture and nutrition to prevent skin dehydration.


Moisturizing gels: Some gels are formulated to impart moisture to the skin without leaving a heavy feeling. They may contain cooling ingredients like aloe vera and vitamin E.


Many skincare products, such as lotions, creams, and serums, can combine hydrating and moisturizing properties. Therefore, when choosing skin care products, it is important to review the ingredients and descriptions to understand how they are formulated and what specific benefits they offer.


Also, remember that the choice of products will depend on your skin type, personal preferences, and specific needs. Visit jessbeauty.com and discover the products that will change your life.

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