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Hydrator vs Moisturizer, What Does Your Skin Need?

The not-so-secret way to keep your skin looking healthy, smooth, and glowing is by keeping it hydrated and moisturized. Besides regularly replenishing your body with water, using the right products can help you achieve a radiant complexion. Well-hydrated and properly moisturized skin has a lower chance of being oily, dry, or blemished.

But did you know that hydration and moisturization are two different things? You might have encountered hydrators and moisturizers, thinking they were synonymous. They are two different products with similar purposes but distinct approaches. This article will help you understand their differences.

Hydrator VS Moisturizer

Hydrators and moisturizers are developed to keep skin hydrated and improve skin conditions, but they have different formulations.

When your skin is hydrated, it means that your skin cells are plump with water. Hydrators contain humectants or the ingredients such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin that absorb water from your outer skin to keep them hydrated. In essence, hydrators target your skin cells. These topical products provide more water to these cells and increase the skin’s capacity to absorb more moisture and nutrients.

On the other hand, moisturizers contain oil-based ingredients like mineral oil or petrolatum and emollients like plant oils and esters. These products work by making a seal on your skin’s surface. This seal prevents water from escaping your skin. As a result, your skin might begin to feel smoother and more supple. When you use a moisturizer on your face, you build up your skin’s moisture trapping and sealing capacity, keeping your skin smooth and soft.

How to Choose the Best for You

When Using Hydrator

A hydrator is safe to use by users with any skin type. Since it is water-soluble, it should not clog your pores. Try to find a hydrator that has no alcohol content to avoid skin irritation.

When Using Moisturizer

Moisturizers come in many forms with many different ingredients. Choose a moisturizer based on skin type, skin condition, weather condition, and temperature.

On skin type:

  1. For dry skin, look for thicker formulations like a serum or emollient cream.
  2. If you are acne-prone, choose a lightweight and oil-free moisturizer.
  3. If you have combination skin, choose a cream or lotion-type moisturizer.

On weather and temperature: In cold and dry weather, dermatologists recommend using a heavier moisturizer; during warm and humid days, a lightweight moisturizer would be better.

If you want to learn the best type for your specific skin condition, you can always ask your dermatologist for their recommendation.


Both hydrators and moisturizers were developed to give you better-hydrated skin, but they work in different ways. Knowing their difference can help you better choose which product your skin needs. The facial skin is more sensitive than other parts of your body, and choosing the wrong product can break it. Before you buy a product, you must understand your skin’s qualities and needs.

Keep your skin hydrated by using the right products. If you are looking for a moisturizing face wash or a hydrating facial cream, you can get them from our store. Beauty Rehab RX is dedicated to formulating and providing gentle, beauty solutions to our client’s skin problems. Shop for our products now.

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