Summer feels like a timely moment to talk about the difference between hydrating and moisturizing. Highly dehydrating, and full of an abundance of hydrating foods – summer sets course for helping us figure out that nature often provides what we need. Antioxidant rich and hydrating foods for the win!
As for hydrating and moisturizing – one starts from the inside, and the other starts from outside. Most people use these terms interchangeably, and don't think much about the difference. While they are both important, they are not both the same.
So what is the difference?
Hydration is the inward replenishment that we should all be seeking out more often. Drinking more filtered water is one of the easiest ways to add more hydration to your skin, plump cells, and give you a glow. Juicy foods and fruits that are high in water content also work. You've heard this before. Try drinking at least 40 oz of water for 40 days, and see if you notice a difference – we promise you will. Drinking water with added lemon, is an even better way to increase the quality of hydration that you are getting. (Air travel is one of the most obvious ways to witness what it can look like to rapidly lose hydration. If you've ever gotten off a plane and wondered what happened to you face – then you know what I'm talking about)!
Most products on the skincare aisle can't sell you real hydration. From drinking more water, to eating foods high in water content – hydration starts from within. No amount of oil, cream, or moisturizer, will add to the feeling of replenishment you get from being properly hydrated. Hydration refers to the water content within the cells, whereas moisturizer is used to prevent you from losing that hydration. Products that contain aloe (like The Mist), or hyaluronic acids and marine extracts are the most effective ingredients when it comes to adding hydration to the skin. While these elements can all be really beneficial, they are definitely not the same as eating foods, or drinking water that bring the "water of life" into your cells and show up on your face.
Moisturizers on the other hand, are about protecting the skin and building up a healthy barrier of moisture that prevents you from drying out. Our products do this very effectively. Oils and butters are considered moisturizers. They don't hydrate the cells, they moisturize your exterior. This is also very important. From sun exposure, to pollutants, environmental exposures, stress, blue lights, the list goes on of ways we zap the moisture from our skin externally. Protecting your skin with a healthy healing barrier of skin nutrition is key. Our goal was to create moisturizing products that deeply nourish and protect your skin.
I believe that the process of hydrating and moisturizing is mostly misunderstood. So much emphasis on moisturizing is placed on lotion. A lotion formula contains both oil and water which makes it very effective in terms of absorbing into the skin and giving you the hydration and moisture you need. However, because oil and water do not naturally mix, lotion formulas require an extra level of chemistry. Oil and water mixed together create the potential for bacteria to grow. Therefore you need to add preservatives and stabilizers to those formulas. I am by no means saying that lotions are bad, but I am saying that every ingredient isn't necessarily doing much for your skin.
The formulas we've created at Nucifera are designed for every ingredient to be beneficial and intentional. No empty calories if you will. Every oil, butter and essential oil has a positive impact on your skin's nutrition. Applying our products on damp skin is also a great way to boost hydration and moisture with no need for more complicated preservation techniques.
Our approach to skincare has always been about without and within. When your skin is feeling vibrant and good, chances are the rest of you is feeling much better as well. Skin issues are often (but not always) a symptom of something else going on internally. Pay attention to what your skin is telling you and act accordingly.
I saw something online recently that said "there is no normal" when it comes to skin. In a photo filtered world, "perfecting" has become common place. Of course there are an endless amount of skin types, colors, textures and tones. We are all unique and so is our skin. Yes, there is no "normal" because we are all different and feeling comfortable in your skin should feel uniquely you.
The superficial aspect to skincare can't be denied. However, if you look at your skin as your largest organ and a window into your physical health, you can use skincare as an opportunity to learn about your body. Healthy skin is happy skin (and inflamed skin is unhappy). If your skin feels uncomfortable, it's OK to seek improvement. My journey to better skin ultimately lead to better health and digestion.
Like the balance of hydrating and moisturizing, there is a balance with how we look and feel about ourselves. Too much obsession isn't good, and too much neglect isn't good either. I like to think that skincare can be a mode of greater understanding about yourself and your physical body.
A simple form of empowerment.