Moisturize vs Hydrate : What Does Your Skin Type Need?

Posted by Empress Naturals on

Have you ever wondered about the distinction between hydration and moisturization when it comes to skincare?

While many associate these terms with addressing dry or dehydrated skin, the truth is that they play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin for everyone.

Hydration is not just a concern for those with specific skin types; it's a universal need, just like the way our bodies require hydration to look and feel their best.

hydrate vs moisturize

But what exactly is hydration, and how does it differ from moisture? With a plethora of skincare products on the market, each claiming to provide the ultimate dose of hydration, such as oils, creams, and gels, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one that truly meets your skin's moisture needs.

In our latest blog, we will explore the intricacies of hydration versus moisturization, uncovering their similarities and differences. We'll also provide valuable insights to help you select the ideal skincare product that effectively replenishes and locks in the moisture your skin craves.

Hydrate vs Moisturize : What’s the difference? 

hydrate vs moisturize

From a scientific perspective, moisturizers encompass various types, including 

  • emollients (fats and oils)
  • squalene (oil), 
  • humectants
  • occlusives. 

However, in the realm of marketing and consumer products, the terminology surrounding moisturizers and hydrators has undergone a transformation. In this context, "hydrator" and "moisturizer" have become marketing terms, and their definitions can vary depending on the brand.

While there is no universally accepted standard for what distinguishes a hydrator from a moisturizer, brands often use these terms to differentiate how the skin receives the necessary moisture.

Technically, occlusives are often labeled as moisturizers, while hydrators refer to humectants.

Moisturizers typically contain oil-based ingredients, including occlusive agents like petrolatum or mineral oil, as well as emollients like plant oils. These substances create a barrier on the skin's surface, preventing water from escaping and imparting a smoother, less dry feel.

On the other hand, hydrators primarily consist of humectants such as glycerin. These ingredients absorb moisture from the atmosphere or the skin itself, effectively retaining and holding it in place on the skin.

It is crucial to understand that moisturizers and hydrators work differently, and choosing the appropriate option can significantly improve the health of your skin. While both aim to achieve better-hydrated skin, the approach to attaining that goal varies depending on your specific skin type.

Moisturizer vs Serum vs Lotion

hydrate vs moisturize

Moisturizer, serum, and lotion are all skincare products designed to hydrate and nourish the skin, but they differ in their composition, consistency, and intended purpose.


Moisturizers are generally thicker, creamier products that provide a protective barrier on the skin's surface to prevent water loss.

They contain a combination of water, oils, and occlusive ingredients (such as petrolatum or mineral oil) that help lock in moisture and make the skin feel softer and smoother. Moisturizers are typically used as the final step in a skincare routine, and they are suitable for daily use to maintain overall skin hydration.


Serums are lightweight, fast-absorbing liquids or gels that contain a high concentration of active ingredients. They are formulated to deliver targeted benefits, such as anti-aging, brightening, or hydrating effects.

Serums often contain a higher concentration of potent ingredients like antioxidants, vitamins, or peptides. They penetrate deeper into the skin to address specific concerns and can be used both day and night.


Lotions have a lighter consistency compared to moisturizers and are usually a blend of water and oil. They provide hydration to the skin and are typically easier to spread and absorb quickly.

Lotions are suitable for individuals with normal to slightly dry skin and can be used on both the face and body. They are often used as a daily moisturizer or for overall body hydration.

Hydrator or Moisturiser : What does your skin need? 

hydrate vs moisturize

If you have dry skin, you need a thick moisturizer

For individuals with dry skin, opting for a thicker moisturizer is highly recommended. If your skin tends to feel dry year-round, with flaking or peeling being common occurrences, it's likely due to your skin's inherent difficulty in retaining moisture rather than seasonal dehydration.

To effectively address this issue, moisturization is key. By applying a dense, emollient moisturizer, you can create a protective barrier on the skin's surface that helps lock in moisture.

The right formula will not only prevent water loss but also provide essential nutrients and nourishment for your complexion to thrive, even during the winter months.

If you're dealing with severe dryness, what's the ultimate solution? Look no further than good old petroleum jelly, also known as petrolatum. According to experts, occlusive agents like petrolatum are highly effective for combating intense dryness.

However, alternatives such as shea butter or oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, or even canola oil can also provide beneficial results. It's important to note that while various options exist, petrolatum remains the top choice for combating severe dryness.

Read our blog on Finding the Right Moisturiser For your Skin type how to know more about the ingredients you should focus on. 

If you have dehydrated skin, you need a hydrating serum 

If you're dealing with dehydrated skin, it's crucial to replenish lost moisture. Opting for a hydrating serum can be highly beneficial.

Look for serums containing aloe vera, cucumber extract, or honey that can provide excellent hydration benefits. Incorporating these hydrating elements into your skincare routine can help restore and maintain optimal moisture levels in dehydrated skin. 

If you need more guidance on hydrating ingredients and products for your skin, check out our blog on Hydrating Heroes for Skin. 

If you have oily skin, you need water based products

Dehydrated skin can worsen oil-related issues. Oily skin types often have compromised barrier function, leading to moisture loss and subsequent dehydration.

This, in turn, triggers the skin to produce more oil, creating a vicious cycle. 

To break this cycle, providing your skin with the appropriate hydration and moisture is essential. Opt for water-based hydrators and moisturizers that are non-comedogenic.

These products will feel lighter on the skin and won't clog pores, helping to maintain proper hydration without exacerbating oiliness.

Empress Natural’s Nourishment Picks 

Overnight Repair

Empress Natural's Luxe Night Elixir is a powerhouse rejuvenating solution. Enriched with seven potent antioxidants, this luxurious elixir effectively combats signs of aging and restores tired skin.

Its blend of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients fights against environmental stressors, providing much-needed nourishment. With reparative fatty acids, it aids in sun damage repair, while its gentle formulation soothes irritated skin. 

Body Nourishment

Experience ultimate hydration with Empress Natural's Luxury Massage Oils. These exquisite oils are perfect for replenishing dry hair and skin, particularly after days spent at the pool or beach.

Infused with high-quality essential oils, they provide exceptional hydration and nourishment while promoting blood circulation for a radiant, glowing complexion.


At Empress Naturals’, skin hydration and nourishment is our highest priority! Empress Naturals’ skincare is formulated specifically keeping in mind the needs of mature skin. 

Our aim is to provide you with 100% Pure and Organic Skincare that makes you feel incredible in the skin that you have. We nurture mature skin with ingredients that come directly from nature.

We provide ageless radiance and luminous skin without exposing your skin to the thousands of toxic ingredients that are still legal in the country. Infact, our products, highlighted by prestigious Rosehip Seed Oil, are safe to use even when pregnant or breastfeeding ; though we recommend you check with a medical professional.

Our products are non-toxic, clean, Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free with USDA Certified Organic ingredients. All of our ingredients are cultivated responsibly and sourced from sustainable farms throughout the world with ZERO hazardous preservatives.

Explore clean skincare by Empress Naturals. Invest in your health!

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