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Hydrating Or Moisturising: Difference And What Should You Go For?

Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturising

The Difference Between Hydrating And Moisturising...

Very often, while I am reading reviews (yes I read lots of reviews written by other bloggers!) of skincare products, I come across two terms... Hydrating and Mositurising... Of course some use it interchangeably, some use it randomly and a handful of them use it in the right context. Due to the sudden outbursts in using these terms on beauty blogs, I started inculcating them in my writing as well... But last night I had a dream... Errr... Yes I dream of ISLM... So anyways, I dreamt that I was
asked by one of ISLM's readers as to what the difference between Hydrating and Moisturising was...

Errrmmm... Yes I do anticipate comments when I write an article... So the first thing in the morning that I did was Google Difference Between Moisturising and Hydrating. And guess what, I was thrown a plethora of forum links and article links that explained the whole difference in varying levels of accuracy... So I read through many of them and formed my own opinion and here I am sharing it with you guys :)

What Is The Difference Between Moisturising And Hydrating?

Moisturising is all about creating a barrier on the surface of your skin to prevent the loss of moisture. It's main aim is to stop the skin from losing the moisture it contains. Thus when using a moisturiser, it is always recommended to apply it on damp/moist skin. This helps keep the skin soft and smooth. Moisturisers essentially contain emollients like Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter and Olive Oil. They form an oil-based protective layer on the skin's surface that traps water inside and results in a soft and smooth feel. These water-trapping agents are called Occlusive agents. Thus drier your skin is, the thicker your moisturiser should be.
Hydrating on the other hand is all about increasing the water content (hydration) in your skin. This addition of water in one's skin helps plump it and make it look more supple. They typically contain humectants like glycerin, sorbitol and propylene glycol. They attract water towards the skin and help it feel hydrated, refreshed and supple.

Should I Moisturise or Hydrate or Both?

Dry Skin
If you have dry skin, it makes sense to hydrate first and then moisturise. It's like you must first increase the water content in your skin by using a hydrating serum or a hydrating cream and then lock in the moisture by applying a thick moisturiser.
Body Butters generally contain both humectants as well as occlusive agents and hence they are perfect for dry skin.

Normal Skin
Ladies blessed with normal skin can do with body lotions and products that claim to have both properties of hydrating and then locking in moisture...

Oily Skin
Oily skin beauties should stick to only hydrating by using hydrating mists, sprays and gels. The oil secreted from one's skin generally acts as a natural barrier to trap in moisturiser and hence an additional use of a moisturiser is not recommended.

Hope the post was of help to you...

Please note that I am not a dermatologist or a certified skin care expert. The views in this article are all mine and are based on my research and understanding.


  1. lovely post! i had a faint description of both these terms.. now u made me more clear! :D

  2. Very informative. would be better if source was provided.
    Still a great post. :)

    1. aaah! why didn't I think of it before!!! Thanks for the suggestion babe... Next time I write a post like this, I'll include links for sure :)

  3. good one :) and very informative ... :)

  4. Wow, this is so useful Sam ! Do keep informative posts like this coming, I love 'em !

  5. Gosh I had presumed they were simply using an alternative term! Thanks for clearing that up :)
    My Beauty Junction


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