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Hydration vs. Moisture

Hydration vs. Moisture: Which Does Skin Need?

The variety of skincare has increased tremendously over recent years due to the growth of skin health research. The products and skincare terms that promise better, younger-looking skin are more numerous, and it can be a challenge to select the right skin care system.

Two terms that often confuse people are hydration and moisture. Do they mean the same thing? Do we need one and not the other? The truth is, we need both.


The skin care step of hydration is essential; it provides water to the upper layers of the epidermis. Just as the human body needs water to operate at its optimum level, hydrating products do the same for skin. Hydrating products contain occlusive agents to keep moisture from escaping, while humectants help more moisture stay in the skin.

Hydration can:

  • Increase the water content of the skin
  • Make skin plump and supple
  • Alleviate dehydrated skin


Moisturizing aims to form a barrier on the skin’s surface to prevent the water content already inside from escaping. This is accomplished naturally or through the use of skincare products. Most moisturizers are made of two ingredients: humectants and emollients.

Humectants like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, sorbitol, etc. work by attracting water molecules into the skin. Emollients mostly come in oils like shea butter, jojoba oil, and almond oil prevent water loss with their oil base.

Moisturizing helps:

  • Reduce transepidermal water loss (TEWL) by forming a barrier over the skin’s surface
  • Make skin soft and smooth

Hydrating and moisturizing are two different steps in skincare, and both are needed to keep skin well hydrated and healthy. To get the most out of hydrating and moisturizing products, experts recommend we hydrate first, then moisturize.

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and taking care of it is an investment in health. Clarity Med Spa believes in wellness; we work closely with each individual client to to get maximum results. Give us a ring today at (416) 960-2222 and let’s talk!