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Hydrating and Moisturizing: Is there really any difference?

For most women, moisturizing morning and night is a core step in their skincare regime. But even if you moisturize daily, your skin could still be dehydrated. Here, we explain the differences between moisturizing and hydrating, and how you can create a skincare regime that’s just right for you.

No matter what your skin type, hydrating is key to building a glowing complexion. Drinking your eight glasses a day is important, but with environmental factors, pollution and sun exposure, most of us need a topical product to keep skin truly hydrated.

So, what exactly is hydrating? And isn’t it just the same as moisturizing?

Hydrating VS. Moisturizing

While these two terms tend to be used interchangeably, they actually offer quite different benefits. Both moisturizers and hydrators aim to give skin the hydration it needs to fight dryness and dehydration, but they do so via quite different actions.

Hydrators are water-based ingredients called ‘humectants’ that absorb water from the atmosphere or your skin and hold it in place on your skin’s surface. It helps to improve your skin’s ability to absorb moisture, so that your skin cells are plump and infused, leaving the surface softer, tighter and firmer. There are many humectants which support skin cell hydration, the commonly used natural humectants are hyaluronic acid, natural glycerin, aloe vera and honey. Synthetic sourced humectants such as silicon oils and propylene glycol may also be used in some products, so keep an eye out for them if you only prefer natural ingredients on your skin.

Moisturizers, on the other hand, are oil-based ingredients called ‘occlusives’. Their job is to create a seal on the surface of skin to prevent water from escaping, so the skin surface feels soft and smooth. This protective barrier can also help defend against possible external irritants, such as allergens in the air.

Common occlusives which are compatible with human’s lipids can be found in many plant based fats, such as shea butter, jojoba oil, grape seed oil and rosehip oil. Synthetic occlusives such as paraffin oil, petroleum oil and white mineral oil can also be used in special skincare products to address specific conditions, such as skin burns and wound treatment.

How do you know which one you need?

The condition of your skin will indicate which product you need.

If your skin appears dull or you have experience fine lines, wrinkles or sunspots, it is likely dehydrated, so you need a hydrating product. Remember? Hydrators work by binding and drawing water into cells to help skin maintain hydration levels. This is why it is important to include a serum to your skincare regime before applying any moisturizers.

Kanapa™ Luminous Facial Serum is an advanced formulation that combines hyaluronic acid and biomimetic peptides with the latest in stem cell technology to deeply hydrate skin, penetrating beneath the surface to leave skin softer, tighter and firmer. The hyaluronic acid used in the Kanapa™ Luminous Facial Serum is a proprietary form that due to its molecular structure is able to work in synergy with other ingredients, helping skin cells take in moisturizing ingredients and retain them, so skin is smoother with an improved tone and texture.

Note: Oily skin doesn’t mean it is hydrated, if you have oily skin, you may still need a hydrating product with a lightweight moisturizer, such as our Luminous Facial Serum and Ultra-Light Sheer Day & Night Cream.

If your skin is dry and flaky, this means your natural lipid (oil) barrier is not producing enough lipid cells to create a protective barrier. Depending on your skin’s needs, environmental conditions and seasonality, you will need to alter your moisturizers accordingly, for example, using rich and creamy cream during winter and dry seasons, and lightweight lotions in summer and humid environments.

Kanapa™ Restorative Night Cream and Nourishing Facial Oil are great choices for winter or dry seasons, delivering ultra-protective moisturizing effect, these oil-based products are packed with essential fatty acids as well as powerful antioxidants and botanic actives which penetrate deeply beneath the skin’s surface to nourish and protect skin cells. They also work perfectly at night, supercharging and repairing skin cells while you sleep. For best results, use Luminous Facial Serum before moisturizing.

For summer seasons or humid environment, swap the rich moisturizers with Kanapa™ Ultra-Light Sheer Day & Night Cream, it is packed with active ingredients, powerful antioxidants and soothing agents, easily absorbed by skin, leaving it feeling soft and smooth. 

Our Kanapa™ Skincare suite has been carefully crafted from premium, highly effective ingredients. These products have been dermatologically tested as suitable for all skin types and are free from BPA, parabens and mineral oils.


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