It's easy to think these two terms mean the same thing. If you were asked to define them then you'd use similar words to describe them. The frequency with which skincare companies use these terms interchangeably, adding to the confusion, means this is one of the most difficult concepts for us all to grasp...the difference between hydration and moisture.
Water, For Inside and Out
First, as we were taught in school, your skin is an organ. What you eat and drink can have a great affect upon it. In the summer months, we need to work a little harder to keep our bodies and skin hydrated, as the sun, sweat and heat create an even greater challenge.
As we are more active and sweat more, so too do we need to be sure we get enough water. Consuming around 2-3 litres of pure, clean drinking water daily. Sadly, fruit juice, squash, coffee or milkshakes aren't included in the 2-3 litre equation. This goal is a good starting point and essential for our overall health as well as our skin.
Drinking insufficient volumes of water will definitely worsen a dehydrated skin condition, to fix your skin’s current state, your best option is going to be 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.
Oil On Water
With the vast variety of skincare products on the market today, as a consumer, it can be difficult to figure out what each one contains, if it works and what makes it work. Specifically, one of the most confusing topics is the difference between hydration and moisture.
Dehydrated skin lacks water and therefore needs to be hydrated. Dry skin lacks oil and needs to be moisturised. It is important to distinguish between these two skin conditions because they can often be treated incorrectly, which is both time consuming and potentially expensive.
While hydration is what makes our skin soft and pliable, it won’t stay that way if there is no oil protecting that hydration from evaporating and abandoning the skin, which would leave it dry and flaky.
Conversely, to put 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 moisturised without receiving the amount of hydration will still look dull and feel uncomfortably tight. Dry skin that is hydrated but not moisturised will still flake and have a rough texture.