Hydrator Vs Moisturiser: Which One Should You Choose?

Hydrator Vs Moisturiser Which One Should You Choose

Often, people get confused, believing that moisturiser and hydrator are the same cosmetic product. However, both act differently and have different properties. Their common goal is to keep skin hydrated and supple throughout the day. 

If you want to know the mode of action of the moisturiser and hydrator this article will explain them in detail. It will help you to choose between moisturiser or hydrator for your skin.



A moisturiser’s basic role is to lock the moisture into the skin cell to keep it hydrated. A moisturiser involves oil that helps to keeps skin supple with enough moisture.

Moisturisers (1) are formulated light and heavy so that they can be used according to the season. During warm weather, you may opt for lightweight moisturiser that have more water and less oil as their content. On the other hand, during cold weather, you may opt for a heavyweight moisturiser that contains ceramides, shea butter, or oils like almond oil.



Water is a major constituent of cells. It also forms a large proportion of your skin. Hence, it is always advised to drink enough water to maintain a sufficient hydration level in the body. 

When there is sufficient water in the cells, they reflect the light, making the skin appear bright and healthy. On the other hand, dehydrated skin (2) appears dull and aged. This is because in the absence of enough hydration, the cells shrink and lose their luster.

Hydrators help the skin cells to absorb atmospheric moisture and permeate water in the cells to keep them supple. This makes the cells plump and healthy. A hydrator’s base is water whereas it is oil in the moisturiser that binds water to the skin cells to keep them plump. 

Hydrators (3) use humectants, that is, water-loving ingredients that bring moisture to the top layer of the skin and keeps it sealed for a long time. Such hydrating agents are appropriate for most skin types as they are water-soluble and alcohol-free. They do not clog the pores or irritate the skin. Hyaluronic acid, Aloe Vera, honey are some of the ingredients that are popularly used as humectant. The cosmetic products containing such natural ingredients plump and soothe the skin. 

How to Choose Between Moisturiser and Hydrator?

Both moisturiser and hydrator provide nourishment to the skin. However, once you understand the difference between their functioning and features, you will be able to make an informed decision as to what is to be used. 

There are several factors that you need to consider when you want to make a choice between moisturiser and hydrator. You need to make your selection based on skin type, skin issues, age, hormonal factors, and environmental conditions.

Here are a few points that you need to keep in mind while choosing between moisturizer or hydrator-

When Your Skin Type Is Naturally Dry

In such cases, you may choose moisturiser as your skin nourishment tool. Some skin has a tendency to produce flakes that peel off easily that means your skin’s natural type is dry. In such cases, the skin does not produce enough oil and needs moisturiser. Regular application of moisturiser stops trans-epidermal water loss from the cells.

When Skin Appears Dry Due to Dehydration

In such cases, a hydrator can be used to restore the water content. If your skin appears shrivelled and parched temporarily, then the skin is dehydrated. Providing a topical hydrator to such skin can restore the hydration content and make the cells supple.

When You Have Mixed Skin Type

Such skin dries easily in cold weather and releases enough oil in warm weather conditions. People with such skin need to choose between moisturiser and hydration depending on the weather condition. 

When You Have Mature Skin

As people age with time, the cells start to lose the water. This makes the cells shrink, and therefore, the skin sags. Such people need to use moisturiser regularly to lock the water off their skin.

People with dry skin may choose a serum or emollient cream, while people with normal skin may choose a lotion or a cream to keep their skin soft and supple.


It is common to use moisturiser and hydrator interchangeably but both are quite different from each other. Their common function is to prevent premature aging of the skin, and fight the dryness of the skin. The major difference is in the process by which they fight skin dryness. 

Moisturiser forms a protective barrier to reduce water evaporating from the cells, thereby reducing the dryness of the skin. The best time to apply moisturiser and hydrator is early morning and before going to bed. People having sensitive or oily skin should consult a skin care expert to avoid acne breakouts, irritation or inflammation.

Image Source : canva

Related Articles

Was this article helpful?