The Important Difference between Hydrating and Moisturizing: What You Need to Know

People often think hydrating the skin and moisturizing it are the same thing.  There is an important difference between the two and it will ultimately make all the difference in how your skin looks and feels.  Skin is both oil and water loving.  Every single cell in the body is comprised of water and lipids (fat).   The outside of every cell membrane is comprised of fats while the inside is water.  Water is what makes cells plump and fats are what make them pliable and elastic.  So when it comes to caring for your skin, you can have oily skin but it can still be dehydrated.  In other words, it may produce plenty of oil but it is lacking the water or hydration that keeps it plump.

Skin can become dehydrated by not consuming enough water, over-exposure to the outdoor elements, lack of sleep, frequent travel by planes and change of time zones, processed foods, lack of exercise and, of course, the wrong products for your skin type, to name a few. However, you can not replace water or lipids through diet alone.  There is a belief that if we consume enough water, that alone will hydrate our skin.  In the larger, over-all health picture, it is absolutely essential that you consume at least half your body weight in ounces of water per day.  This helps flush toxins, aids in organ function and transports vital nutrients throughout the body which will reflect in healthier skin.  It is also essential to consume healthy fats such as avocados, olive oil, nuts, eggs, organic butter, and high-fat fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines. A healthy high-fat diet will ensure that cell membranes remain pliable and able to communicate with each other.  When you deprive yourself of these healthy fats and oils (as we’ve been led to believe for decades now) cells become brittle, can’t communicate with each other and break down.  One of the outward signs of poor cellular communication is saggy, droopy skin.

The quickest way to address both hydration and moisture is with topical products. With coconut oil as the new, all-around Healer of All Things, it is still only oil.  Many clients were commenting to me that they’ve been using coconut oil or oil-based products for their skin but it still felt dry!  How can this be? Oil creates the seal to prevent dehydration but it doesn’t provide the water that plumps the cells. No matter how much oil you slather on your skin, it will not penetrate.  So how do we address this?

I’m thrilled that oil-based products have made a come-back.  BUT…they need to be used in tandem with a water-based product for optimal results.  I love using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based toner, water-based serum and then an emollient (oil-based) moisturizer as the final seal.  Again, the water-based products do the plumping while the oil-based products provide the seal to prevent evaporation.  With that combination, you’ve got a winning solution and you’ll be able to feel and see the difference in your skin.  Most products will have some sort of formulation of both water and lipids.

What type of ingredients provide hydration?  Look for products containing hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, aloe vera, glycerin, algae extract, panthenol…to name a few.  Talk to me about creating the perfect formula for your skin by combining serums from Le Mieux or AnneMarie Borlind and using our very own, locally produced, oil-based line from  Pure Luxe Apothecary.

Everything you need to support yourself and your skin topically, nutritionally and emotionally is available here at EdenSpa, lovingly chosen and explained to you by ME:)

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