Is There a Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturising?

Is There a Difference Between Hydrating and Moisturising?

Often used interchangeably, there is a difference between hydrating and moisturising. Here’s how you can pick skincare products depending on what you need.

Did you know that even though ‘moisturiser’ and ‘hydrator’ are interchanged in a conversation, they are not one and the same? While your skin may be both ‘dry’ and ‘dehydrated’, it is imperative to decode the difference so you can choose your skincare products wisely. Keep reading to discover the difference between hydrating and moisturising along with skincare rituals to keep your skin healthy, moisturised, and radiant.

What is the difference between hydrating and moisturising?


Woman in bath towel applying moisturizer on left hand after bathing. Sking and beauty care.

Ingredients that hydrate your skin include humectants such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and aloe vera. They help to absorb water from the environment and increase the water content within the skin cells. Dehydration can lead to lacklustre skin. Topical application of hydrating ingredients will enhance your skin’s ability to absorb more moisture and nutrients.

Moreover, oily skin may also experience lack of hydration. This is because dehydration occurs due to lack of water and not lack of oil. To put it simply, signs of oil do not equate to signs of hydration. Unlike dry skin (characterised by lack of moisture) which is a skin type, dehydration is a skin condition which can impact all skin types.

How to know if your skin lacks hydration?

Some common characteristics of dehydrated skin that mark the difference between hydrating and moisturising include:

  1. Dull complexion
  2. A feeling of tightness or roughness
  3. Sensitive skin
  4. Onset of signs of ageing such as fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging

Which products can help combat dehydration?

dr g hydra cool plumping serum

Potent serums containing hyaluronic acid are one of the best solutions to visibly parched, tight, and patchy skin. They can keep your skin plump, radiant, and smooth from within by tackling dehydration at a deeper level. Use gentle yet effective cleansers that don’t leave your skin tight or greasy. For moisturisers and serums, incorporate products that are packed with antioxidants, hydration-boosting, and skin-replenishing ingredients.

Try our Hydra Cool Plumping Serum. It delivers antioxidant protection and contains hyaluronic acid that provides hydration at several skin depths. Regardless of the difference between hydrating and moisturising, our hyaluronic-based serum benefits every skin type.

Follow it up with a moisturiser as that will create a barrier to lock all the ingredients in. Go for the Dr. G 99% Aloe Hydra Gel. Packed with natural aloe vera extracts, it contains soothing and moisturising properties. Plus, it is sensitive-skin friendly.


If your skin lacks moisture, you have dry skin. Dry skin is caused by a lack of moisture in the corneous layer, which also makes your pores less visible due to the lack of sebum. The lack of moisture also means that your skin loses its natural elasticity, which is why it feels tight. Moisturisers containing emollient properties can help lock the moisture in skin cells. Dry skin also means that the skin’s lipid barrier is not strong enough to retain moisture.

How to know if your skin lacks moisture?

Some common characteristics of dry skin that mark the difference between hydrating and moisturising include:

  1. Flaky or itchy skin
  2. Appears and feels dry
  3. Feels rough
  4. Onset of fine lines and wrinkles, especially around the eyes

Which products can help combat dryness?

Dry skin benefits from skincare products that infuse it with moisture and nourishment. If your skin is dry, opt for oil-based or cream-based cleansers. Emollients, such as vitamin E and shea butter, are the secret to soothing and nourishing dry skin. They strengthen the skin barrier, thus preventing moisture from escaping and irritants from getting inside your skin. They are also beneficial for anyone dealing with skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

If your skin is dry, it is probably dehydrated too. You can add a hyaluronic acid-based serum to infuse a boost of hydration. To combat dryness, bring nourishment to your skin by adding a rich, creamy, and long-lasting moisturiser. Try Dr. G HA Intense Moisturiser. It is a lightweight cream that provides 24 hours of intense hydration. Furthermore, it contains coconut extract which helps provide enhanced moisture retention and gives skin a youthfully smooth texture.

Irrespective of the difference between hydrating and moisturising, remember to complete your skincare ritual with a good sunblock that is SPF 30 or greater.

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