Hydration vs. Moisture: What Is a Hydrator?

Hydration and moisture are both extremely vital when it comes to maintaining healthy skin. However, did you know that these two words are not synonymous? In skin care at least. Actually, there are some key differences that are huge to getting all the proper steps of your skincare routine. 

So what is the difference between moisturizer and hydration? Great question. I’m going to highlight what moisture for your skin looks like as well as what a hydrator is and how to get proper hydration into your routine. By the end, you will be able to form a personalized skincare routine that can benefit you with knowledge standing behind it, so let’s get into it!



To simplify, moisture’s main goal is to keep your skin oily to prevent it from drying out or overproducing natural oils. Moisture comes in many forms meant for different levels of needed moisture, and while it can be tempting to treat each product with moisture marked on it the same, there are some key components of moisture to look for in order to have the best results with your skin type. 

It’s also important to note that moisture is a large term that clumps many different types of product into one category. Moisture has become a catch all for anything that helps your skin from drying out, hence why so many get confused mixing it with hydration. There are loads of types of moisture, but we’ll talk about it in a broader sense of the word today to help you learn the difference. 


Hydration or a skin hydrator is meant to bring water to the skin, a bit different from moisture that packs needed product on top of the skin to bring moisture. If your skin is dehydrated, then it’s time to look for a hydrator. However, if it’s dry and peeling, look for a moisturizer. Catching on? 

So how do you know if your skin is dehydrated? There are a few tell signs. Do you ever feel like your skin is missing life to it? Do you have a muted complexion that comes off dull? We’ve all had those times, and it can be a bit discouraging. Don’t get worked up yet! You’re probably dealing with dehydrated skin. 

Perhaps you have more fine lines and wrinkles forming suddenly? This is a huge indicator that your skin is lacking hydration. We don’t want any premature aging on our watch! Luckily, you now know a way to solve this dilemma. Look for a hydrator for your skincare routine.


So you know the difference between the two, but how does this apply to looking for products? This is where it gets a bit tricky, since most products have components of each in them. So what is a hydrator when it comes to products and a moisturizer specifically? 

It can be a bit difficult finding the specific ingredients for each option. Like I said, moisturizer is about adding oils on your face to help keep it from drying out and hydration is about bringing water to the surface.

Knowing this, you can look for a water based product that is lighter if you need hydration and a heavier moisturizer if you are typically dry.  Ofcourse, there are products that will have a mixture of the two, which would suit those with combination skin, but the issue is that they are not meant for the same thing. One is to solve dehydration and the other is to add moisture. 

Most moisturizing or hydrating products have humectants, occlusive, or emollient ingredients which will do both, but knowing which description means what helps fine tune to your skin. 

Also, hydration comes from more than skin products, so if you are looking dehydrated, then that is a huge sign to start drinking more water! This will benefit your body all around far more than any skin care product can. I can guarantee 9 times out of 10, you haven’t drank enough water for the day, so an extra glass won’t hurt. 

Now that you are a bit more educated on these two concepts, it’s time to examine your own skin and decide which product you need to run and purchase to give your skin that much needed nourishment. Go grab yours now! Your skin will thank you later. 

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