Hydrators vs moisturiser: Know the difference (and how to choose one for your skin)

Moisturisers generally possess oil-based ingredients such as petrolatum or mineral oil, and emollients like esters and plant oils

With age, dry skin becomes one of the most pertinent issues women face, which leads to itching, flakiness and, in some cases, even eczema and psoriasis. Lack of hydration is the prime reason behind these skin woes and most women are not aware of it.

“Many people feel hydration is the requisite for only those who have dry skin. But, as your body needs hydration for functioning, so does your skin,” says Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, celebrity aesthetic physician, founder and medical director of ISAAC Luxe.

So, what exactly is hydration for skin?

Is it similar to moisturising? And, how to select the right hydrating product for your skin? Also, what is the difference between a hydrator and moisturiser?

The expert explains that moisturisers generally possess oil-based ingredients such as petrolatum or mineral oil, and emollients like esters and plant oils. “When applied on the skin, it creates a seal on the surface. The seal locks the water and prevents it from escaping. By doing so, it makes the skin less dry. A hydrator contains ingredients called humectants such as glycerin or hyaluronic acid. It absorbs water from the atmosphere or your skin, and holds it in place. Since both the products work differently, it’s essential that one should choose the right skin essential as it can make or break your skin. It completely depends upon your skin type,” she said.

How to choose the best hydrator?

If you have oily skin, try water-based hydrators. Most people with oily skin feel their skin is not dehydrated. Oily skin type doesn’t symbolise your skin isn’t dehydrated. Rather, if your skin is dehydrated, it can actually exacerbate your oil issues.

“People who have oily skin, have a compromised barrier function because it gets extremely tough for them to retain moisture in the skin. As moisture leaves the skin, it becomes dehydrated, causing the skin to produce more oil. It’s a vicious cycle, and the only way to break it is to give your skin the proper hydration and moisture it needs. One should opt for a water-based, noncomedogenic hydrators and moisturisers. It has been observed that products, which are water-based, do wonders to your skin as they feel lighter and don’t clog your pores,” she explained.

If you have dehydrated skin, try hyaluronic acid. The most important thing is you need to actively add water back into the skin. The best way to do this is by adding hyaluronic acid. You should look for hydrating serums or the new profhilo treatment with hyaluronic acid, as this contains high levels of naturally occurring hyaluronic acid that will ensure your skin to look more hydrated, fresher and younger.

Hydrate from inside out. You should keep a goal of drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Your target should be drinking half of your body weight. Just in case, you cannot drink water every time, incorporate water-rich foods such as watermelon, strawberries, and cucumber in your diet.

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