For a supple, glowing, fresh complexion, we know that hydrating and moisturizing are essential for skin health. Water is our friend, and moisturizers are a staple in a proper skincare regime. But what exactly is the difference, and should you focus more on one over the other? Let’s break down some of the key factors of hydrating vs. moisturizing skin. 

A Glimpse into Hydration

At its core, hydration means introducing water into your body and nourishing your organs, including your largest organ, your skin. Ideally, you want to drink up to eight glasses of water each day. Your skin cells retain water, and when they’re happy and full, they plump up. Healthy, hydrated skin cells reflect light better, giving you that healthy glow. These factors combined can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while giving you that healthy glow. 

Dehydration can make your skin look sunken in and dull. And it can be straightforward to become dehydrated. You lose water when you sweat. Some medical conditions can cause dehydration. Certain climates can cause dehydration or dry out your skin if there is no humidity. Winter is a huge dehydration culprit. Also, if you do not consume enough water or foods containing water, your body (and skin) will undoubtedly let you know. 

Remember, you don’t just have to drink water to fulfill your daily requirement. You can eat water-rich foods such as celery, watermelon, peaches, oranges, lettuce, and cucumbers. These healthy and delicious foods are packed with water, giving you vitamins, minerals, and hydration. 

Beyond Water Consumption

When exploring the differences between hydrating vs. moisturizing skin, it is important to note ways to increase hydration beyond simply drinking more water and eating water-rich foods. You can bring water to the skin cells topically by using products containing hyaluronic acid, aloe, glycerin, or alpha hydroxy acids. Hyaluronic acid is so powerful that it can hold a thousand times its weight in water to retain moisture and prevent moisture from evaporating back into the air. 

Another option you may want to consider is a V2 Beauty Booster. The V2 Beauty Booster technique uses a series of needles to inject a high concentration of natural and free hyaluronic acid and a combination of antioxidants, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins. These injections boost skin hydration and improve skin quality. 

When injected beneath the skin, this beauty booster is very effective in plumping, filling, and targeting dehydrated skin, fine lines, and wrinkles. In addition to hydration, the V2 Beauty Booster activates fibroblasts within the dermis, laying down new collagen and elastin. Hello beautiful, firm, glowing skin! 

You can also spritz an alcohol-free misting spray directly onto your skin to improve hydration. Keep an eye out for refreshing mists that contain aloe. Though washing your face is fine to aid hydration, be careful not to overdo it. You can actually wash your face too much. Over-washing your face (more than two to three times a day) can eradicate your skin’s natural oils it needs to retain moisture. Using harsh cleansers can also dry out your skin. When washing your face, using gentle products will produce the best results.

If your environment is dry, especially in the winter, you may want to invest in a humidifier. This device helps increase the moisture and humidity in the air, especially when the air is very dry. There are many different types of humidifiers commercially available. 

Is My Skin Dehydrated or Just Dry?

Dry skin and dehydrated skin are actually two different conditions. When your skin is dehydrated, it may feel tight, rough, appear red, or dull. If your skin is dry, it means your skin isn’t producing enough oil, and your skin may be flaky. Dry skin is considered a skin type, and it doesn’t necessarily mean your skin is dehydrated. This is where moisturizer comes in. 

Moisturizer at a Glance

When your skin has trouble keeping water in the skin cells, you may need a moisturizer. This powerful tool literally locks in moisture, sealing any possible leaks surrounding your skin cells that could cause them to lose water. Our skin has a protective barrier on the outermost layer, which keeps bacteria, toxins, and pollutants out and the good stuff (water, nutrients, etc.) in. When our skin is dry, that barrier can crack and break open. Moisturizer helps prevent this from occurring. 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “lock in moisture” in an advertising campaign for a moisturizing product. That is exactly what it does while keeping your already hydrated skin cells happy and hydrated. When choosing a moisturizer, keep an eye out for ingredients such as shea butter or coconut oil. The type of oil needed that will be most effective will depend on your skin type. 

For example, if you have very dry skin, you may want to choose a moisturizer containing jojoba, sesame, olive, sunflower, or avocado oil. But if you have very oily skin, you may want something with grapeseed or argan oil. 

The Formula for Moisturizer Application

If you didn’t know, moisturizer should be toward the end of your skincare routine. It should be applied after serums, spot treatments, and eye cream but before sunscreen. To apply moisturizer correctly, follow these steps:

  • Put a few dabs of moisturizer onto the tips of your fingers. 
  • Using gentle pressure, apply moisturizer to your cheeks, starting from either side of your nose to your cheekbones. 
  • Next, apply moisturizer to your forehead using the same outward motion from your brows to your temples. 
  • Apply moisturizer to your jawline, once again sweeping outward from your chin to the base of your ears. 

Hydrating vs. Moisturizing Skin – Why Not Both?

Let’s say your skin is both dehydrated and dry. Don’t worry, it happens. For starters, try to increase your water intake as best as possible. Then, you will want to apply a hydrator mist or serum followed by your moisturizer. When starting a brand-new skincare routine, you want to use your lighter-weight products first. Moisturizer is considered a “heavier” product, so save that toward the end of your routine. 

Keep in mind that the seasons or climate may dictate which product you’ll need to lean on more, based on the environment and impact on your skin. 

Choosing the Best Solution for Your Skin

Now that you are more familiar with the differences between hydrating vs. moisturizing skin, you may still be in the dark about what products are best for your skin type and lifestyle. If that is the case, consider booking a consultation with First Impressions Rejuvenation Clinic. The knowledgeable and friendly practitioners can help you determine your skin’s needs and what products you may need to hydrate, moisturize, or both. With so many different products on the market, consulting with an expert will save you time and help you achieve the skincare results you want. 


Many people presume that if they get Botox® injections, they will end up looking like a wax mannequin in a museum instead of getting results with a more natural look. But in fact, this treatment is one of the safest and most popular cosmetic treatments worldwide. Learn more when you download our FREE ebook, 10 Truth Bombs about Botox®, and Fillers You’ll Be Relieved to Know.