One of the most difficult concepts to grasp when it comes to skincare, is the difference between hydrating and moisturizing.  I’m going to try and break it down for you in a way that makes sense.  First and foremost, you need to remember that your skin is an organ.  What you eat and drink plays an important part of how your skin looks.  During the summer months, we need to work a little harder to keep our bodies and skin hydrated, as the sun and heat provides an even greater challenge.  If you are active and sweat a lot, you need more water.  I’m talking about pure clean drinking water, not the kind you used to make your coffee  Drink 6-8 glasses of pure water daily will boost the hydration in your skin, is a good starting point and will improve your overall health.

Now here’s the tricky truth.  While not drinking water would definitely worsen a dehydrated skin condition, to fix your skin’s current state, your best option is something more topical. When we drink or eat something, that substance must undergo all of your body’s other processes before actually arriving at your skin’s surface. Thus, the impact of your drinking water over time Is helpful, but not significant enough to immediately repair pre-existing damage.

Many people believe hydrators and moisturizers are one in the same, or are a marketing scheme to make you buy more products.  The truth, however, is that they are quit different. Our skin has a natural lipid barrier that protects itself from damage and water loss. If you’re prone to having dry, flaky skin, that’s a tell-tale sign that your skin isn’t producing enough lipid cells to form a protective barrier, making it unable to lock in moisture. And that’s where moisturizers come in. They help trap the natural oils and lipids on the surface of your skin, prevent water from evaporating, and maintain a healthy moisture balance. Hydration, on the other hand, refers to the amount of water in the skin, and hydrators are specially formulated with ingredients called humectants for this purpose: to increase water content by catching moisture from the air and delivering it down to the skin’s layers. Hydrating products are designed to increase the water content of the skin while moisturizing products are formulated to seal moisture into the skin.  

In summery, dehydrated skin lacks water and therefore requires hydration, and dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturized. So how do you know what your skin needs? As an example, if you are in water all day, your skin will be hydrated but will likely have lost all of the natural moisturizers on the surface. It will become rough and scaly as soon as the water evaporates. Similarly, if your skin is dehydrated, it will appear dull no matter how much surface oil you apply.

While hydration is what makes our skin soft, this result is transient if there is no oil protecting that hydration from evaporating and exiting the skin.  Conversely, to apply oil on top of already dehydrated skin may smooth it, but it will still lack the hydration that makes it feel soft and elastic. Dehydrated skin that is moisturized without receiving the amount of hydration will still look dull and feel uncomfortably tight.  Dry skin that is hydrated but not moisturized will still flake and have a rough texture.

How do you choose a hydrator and moisturizer?  

Your skin will benefit most from a hydrator containing hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is by far the gold standard for hydrating, it is found naturally in the human body and it can hold up to a thousand times its weight in water.  Check out Simply PEACE Facial Repair Serum and Simply LOVE Facial Repair Serum, both contain hyaluronic acid, to up the water content of your skin. Not only will will doing so help the skin regain its proper moisture balance, but it will also increase the powers of your moisturizer.  Hydrating ingredients make the skin more receptive to absorbing all the beneficial ingredients offered by a moisturizer. 

For powerful moisturizing benefit, check out Simply DIVINE, Simply BLISS, and Simply HAPPY whipped tallow facial butters.  The powerful ingredients in these facial butters means a little goes a long way in keeping your skin gently nourished while also counteracting the signs of aging and free radical damage.

When it comes to oily skin or acne-prone skin, adding both steps in your skin care routine may seem unnecessary, but oily skin could be a sign of dehydration. Women usually associate oil with breakouts—this is simply not the case. Stripping the skin of any oil without replacing it can cause your skin to respond by producing excess oil.  This reaction can overwhelm the pores and cause congestion and breakouts. It will also cause your skin to age faster.  My advice? Continue to hydrate and moisturize. Skin heals faster and most efficiently in a moist environment.  Lightweight gels and creams, found in Simply Wellness products, are “non-comedogenic” and would be your best options as they won’t clog your pores and are less likely to cause breakouts.

Remember to apply hydrating products first and a moisturizer second for the best results.  

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