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What’s the Difference Between Hydration and Moisturization?

What’s the Difference Between Hydration and Moisturization?

If you’ve ever shopped around for skin or body care, you’ve likely seen the words “hydrating” and “moisturizing” on product labels. Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they actually refer to different aspects and needs of the skin. Below, we explain the difference between the two, and how to incorporate both hydrating and moisturizing products into your routine for smooth, healthy-looking skin.

Hydration, Hydrators and Hydrating Ingredients

Hydrators and moisturizers share the same goal: To help the skin get enough water to prevent dryness and dehydration. But there are some important differences.

Hydration” is the absorption of water by the skin. “Hydrators” are lightweight, water-based skincare products that contain humectants (water-soluble ingredients), like seaweed, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, ceramides, and glycerin, which increase water content in your skin and keep it looking plump and youthful-looking. So what exactly does a hydrating skin product do?

  • Increases the water content of your skin
  • Provides moisture
  • Absorbs deep into the skin
  • Leaves skin looking bouncy and dewy

How to Know If You Need a Hydrator

Everyone can stand to use a hydrating product, but especially those dealing with dullness and fine lines and wrinkles—tell-tale signs of something called dehydration. This just means your skin is lacking water. So drink up and try some of our favorite hydrators.

Sea Minerals Mist

Sea Minerals Mist

This refreshing mist is like a glass of water for the skin. It’s loaded with minerals from Undaria seaweed as well as ultra-hydrating glycerin and aloe vera juice to replenish the moisture barrier. It deposits all of this goodness on skin, leaving it with a dewy and healthy-looking glow that you can otherwise get only from a tropical vacation. We use it first thing in the morning, before our serums, and then throughout the day as a pick-me-up when skin is feeling dry.

Nature’s perfect hydrator

Hyaluronic Sea Serum

Hyaluronic Sea Serum

This fast-absorbing treatment works like a dream. It’s clinically proven to instantly increase hydration and smooth the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and crow’s feet while it draws water-based moisture to the skin like a magnet. After just one use,100 percent of study participants immediately showed an increase in hydration.* So how exactly does this magic work? Two molecular weights of hyaluronic acid, seaweed and snow mushroom (all incredible humectants), work together to optimize moisture levels in the skin, keeping it soft all day. Our skin just drinks it up, and we can really see the difference in how plump and bouncy it looks and feels afterward.

*Based on a third-party clinical study conducted on 32 women ages 37-65 after one use.

Clinically proven anti-aging moisture

Hyaluronic Sea Serum

Moisturization, Moisturizers and Moisturizing Products

Moisturization” is the process of forming a protective barrier on the skin to help avoid water loss. “Moisturizers” are generally thicker and richer creams or oils that seal in hydration to protect or restore the skin’s moisture barrier, prevent water loss and keep skin feeling soft, smooth and glowing. They use emollient (oil-based) ingredients, like shea butter, squalane, and jojoba and argan oils. Unless a moisturizer is a pure oil, it will often contain hydrating ingredients as well, making it both hydrating and moisturizing at once. So to review, a moisturizing skin cream:

  • Helps to reduce water loss
  • Maintains moisture
  • Stays on the skin’s surface level
  • Leaves skin looking radiant and glowy

How to Know If You Need a Moisturizer

If you have dry, flaky, or sensitive skin, it may mean that you have a compromised moisture barrier and could probably benefit from a moisturizer. Moisturizers are also great for anyone looking for more of a dewy, glowy finish.

Seabiotic Water Cream

Seabiotic Water Cream

This practically weightless moisturizer is a beautiful option for all skin types, especially those who are looking for both hydration and lightweight moisturization. This microbiome-friendly formula is clinically proven to provide continuous hydration for more than 72 hours. The secret is a combination of hydrating and moisturizing ingredients, including humectants, such as Undaria seaweed, glycerin and hyaluronic acid, to replenish the skin’s moisture barrier and plant-based squalane, an emollient that provides lightweight and long-lasting.

Next wave hydration

Seabiotic® Water Cream
Award Winner

Advanced Protection Cream

Advanced Protection Cream

Our richer-than-rich anti-aging moisturizer, plumps, visibly firms and restores youthful-looking skin. It’s chock-full of humectants like aloe, Undaria seaweed and glycerin to hydrate, as well as ultra-rich emollients like shea butter, jojoba and a biomimetic lipid complex to soften, smooth and leave skin feeling supple. It also features a vegan retinol alternative called Bidens pilosa, a natural retinol-like extract that works to reduce fine lines and wrinkles while promoting a more radiant, even complexion. Our richest and most advanced cream yet is clinically proven to instantly increase hydration by 121% and protect skin’s hydration levels to reduce and prevent water loss, making it the perfect option for dry, sensitive and mature skin types.

Top anti-aging hydration

Advanced Protection Cream
Editor's Pick

Dayglow Face Oil

Dayglow Face Oil

Oils are one of our absolute favorite ways to moisturize. While face creams are a fairly new creation, people have been using oils to moisturize for ages. Unlike face creams, which hydrate and moisturize, oils fall into the moisturizing-only category. Our seaweed-infused Dayglow Face Oil is a lightweight golden elixir that looks and feels like a treat for the skin. The instant glow is undeniable, courtesy of ultra-rich emollient ingredients, like grapeseed and organic cold-pressed Moroccan argan oils. We love to use this after applying our hydrating serums and moisturizers to seal in all of that gorgeous hydration and keep skin looking glowy all day long.

Seaweed-infused face oil