Hydration vs Moisturization – PART II: Moisturization

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Learn how hydration is different from moisturization. What steps to take to moisturize your skin and make it appear more supple and vibrant.

Hydration vs moisturization

Hydration vs Moisturization, what is the difference? 


Now that we have established the definition of hydration, let’s have a look at skin moisturization. When we say a skin doesn’t have moisturization we are referring to lack of smooth suppleness in the skin that comes from skin oils. Lipids in the skin surface located between the cells are like “mortar” in a brick and mortar analogy. These lipids are composed of cholesterol, ceramides and free fatty acids creating an impermeable barrier that helps with reduction of water loss or TEWL. You want your skin’s barrier function to be optimum because you want water locked in your skin layer to get that suppleness as well as protect your skin from penetration of potential irritants. 

Some might say can’t I just add water to my skin? Adding just water to a dry skin is pointless if your skin barrier is not functioning properly. The water will be lost as quickly as it was added.

Moisturizing, unlike hydration, is adding oil and lipids because these ingredients have an occluding effect and will decrease the water evaporation from skin, hence more hydration. 

So, hydration and moisturization go hand in hand and are equally important. A well-balanced skin regimen contains a combination of hydrating and moisturizing elements working together to make sure the skin’s stratum corneum (SC) layer is well hydrated with an optimized barrier function.

How to moisturize your skin

  1. Do not over cleanse. It is so crucial to reiterate how important it is not to over cleanse your skin and strip away all lovely protective lipid layers from it. I am going to repeat myself here again: Avoid over-cleansing which can impair the barrier function. Use a gentle facial cleanser. If you use regular soaps or facial cleanser with harsh cleansing agents (called surfactants) you are jeopardizing your barrier function by stripping healthy beneficial oil from your skin. This will cause more water loss and dryer skin. If you are open to oil cleansers try Lumin8. If you like foam cleansers you may try Clair or Uplift. They both are gentle and effective. Uplift contains fruit acids that can help with hydration of skin.
  2. Replenish Ceramides. Ceramides are a part of the skin lipids and as we age the level of it in the skin decreases, especially in our hands (at age 31-40 it decreases 62% in face and 78% in hands)! We also lose more Ceramides in the winter time. This explains why your skin desperately needs Ceramides. When the level of ceramides in the skin decreases, you know the drill: it weakens the skin barrier, leading to dry, dull and blemished skin. Ceramides can improve skin conditions by building a protective layer that keeps the moisture in the skin and plumps it up. Essentique product that contain ceramides are Amorous, Elevate and Petale.
  3. Replenish Lipids. Bottom line, take care of the lipids in your skin. As we age we are facing depletion of lipids in our skin and an external booster can be a game changer. don’t be a stranger to oils. They can do wonders for your skin. Some oils have the same composition to sebum such as jojoba oil or squalane. Some oils like primerose oil are rich in linoleic acid which is an essential component of skin lipid composition. They all can be found in Reine. Reine is absolutely divine and is packed with a diverse oils each chosen meticulously for their exceptional properties. Or try R3 which is all about rose! Rosehip seed CO2 oil, Rosehip whole fruit oil and Rose enfleurage essential oil! It will make your skin so smooth due to its high carotenoids content. 
  4. Use premium moisturizers. Moisturizers are also great for providing skin with good hydration and moisturization. With well formulated moisturizers you can hit two birds with a stone. They contain emollients, humectants, as well as mixture of minerals, vitamins, ceramides, bio actives with hydrating properties such as hyaluronic acid, snow mushroom extract and the sky’s the limit.  All Essentique moisturizers are loaded with exotic oils and butters that contribute greatly to skin barrier function as well as top notch anti-aging active ingredients that give your skin a proper hydration and elasticity. Check out Line-Break, Elevate, Amorous or just opt for face and body oils such as Soma.
  5. Do it in the steam room! A personal tip: what I like to do is take my oil blend serum to the steam room and let the steam and oils do their magic. Give it a try and you will get addicted!

Happy Moisturizing y’all!


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