Moisturiser vs Hydrator

Moisturiser Vs Hydrator: Which One Is Best For Winter?

Have you ever wondered about the difference between hydrating and moisturising your skin? Let’s take a look!
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If you have never really looked into the details of a moisturiser, it is easy to confuse hydrator and moisturiser as the same thing. However, they are two different things and will give different results on your skin. While some people might need a moisturiser, others might need a hydrator. So this begs a question: what is the difference between hydrating and moisturising and what does your skin need between hydrating vs moisturising? 

Today, we will dive deep into moisturiser vs hydrator and help you understand the difference between them. So let’s begin, shall we?

What's The Difference Between Hydrating Vs Moisturising?

Difference between moisturising vs hydrating

Before understanding what to pick between hydrating vs moisturising, for your skin, let’s first understand the real difference between hydrating and moisturising. Scientifically speaking, moisturiser is used as an umbrella term for different types of moisturisers such as emollients, humectants, squalene and occlusive. However, in the skincare industry, the terminology can be defined as per the brand, making it confusing for the user. 

However, the major difference between a hydrator and a moisturiser lies in the process of how the product provides moisture to the skin. A hydrator works differently than a moisturiser to provide moisture to your skin. While moisturisers are occlusive, hydrators are humectants. 

Moisturisers use oil-based ingredients such as mineral oils, petroleum or emollients like plant oils, or esters. They create a protective layer on the skin to prevent water from escaping the skin, make your skin feel smoother and treat dryness. Hydrators on the other hand use ingredients called humectants such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin and absorb moisture in the air to hydrate your skin. 

The easiest way to understand the difference between a hydrator and a moisturiser is to take a look at the ingredients. For example, ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, aloe vera, honey, snail mucin, lactic acid, and citric acid, are all hydrators. On the contrary, ingredients such as a nut or seed oil such as coconut, macadamia, almond, hemp, shea butter and all forms of plant oils are moisturisers. 

Let’s dive further into hydrating vs moisturising and understand how to choose the right product for you.

How To Pick The Right Hydrator Or Moisturiser?

How to choose right hydrator or moisturiser

There are a variety of products in the market from creams to oils to balms to hydrators. However, it is important to understand that while all of the products work differently and use different ingredients, they have the same effect of moisturising and hydrating your skin. However, depending on your skin type and other factors, the ingredients you choose can determine the efficiency of the product. 

Moreover, most skin lotions have a combination of both hydrating and moisturising ingredients to create a working balance between them and hydrate your skin. For instance, Pure Sense Anti-ageing Sleeping Mask has hyaluronic acid which is a hydrating agent and rosehip oil which is a moisturising agent. The sleeping mask works perfectly to hydrate, moisturise and nourish your skin while preventing premature ageing.

However, sometimes it’s better for your skin to choose a product that is only either a hydrator or a moisturiser. For instance, if you have dry skin regardless of the weather, you should opt for a thicker moisturiser. If your skin has a tendency to peel off and the dryness is not caused by the weather, chances are the reason for this dryness is your skin’s tendency to not retain moisture on its own. 

In that case, you should opt for using a moisturiser with ingredients such as shea butter, or petroleum jelly that creates a protective layer around your skin and stops the moisture from escaping. For example, you can try Pure Sense’s Deep Moisture Body Butter, designed with shea butter and jojoba oil, which will help to trap the moisture within your skin and keep it hydrated for extended periods.

However, if your dry skin is caused because of hydration, hydrators or serums with hyaluronic acid, glycerin, etc., will work the best for you. In such a case you can try Pure Sense’s Hydrating Sleeping Mask, enriched with the goodness of cucumber and hyaluronic acid. 

If you have oily skin and want a moisturiser to protect your skin without it feeling too oily or clogged, you should use a water-based hydrator or moisturiser. More often than not, your excessively oily skin is caused by excessive sebum production that is triggered due to dryness in your skin. As you cannot use oil-based moisturisers to treat oily skin, you should use products with ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, glycerin, citric acids, aloe vera gel, etc.

We hope that now you have a better understanding of moisturising vs hydrating and can make the best decision depending on your skin type and condition.


Understanding the difference between moisturising and hydrating involves understanding how different nourishing ingredients work on your skin. By understanding these ingredients, you can make a smarter choice and have better results. If you have a normal skin type, you can go for a mixed product but if you have oily or dry skin, you need to be more selective as the wrong ingredients can worsen your conditions. Also, it is vital to only choose products with natural ingredients as the chemical-based ingredients can cause more skin problems and are not safe for your skin. 

FAQs On Moisturiser Vs Hydrator

1. Is hydrating better than moisturising?

Both hydrating and moisturising work differently and is not better than one or the other. Hydrating is more efficient for people with dehydrated skin due to weather or dry air. However, if you have year-round dryness, you should use a moisturiser as it will help your skin to retain moisture. The right product for you depends upon your skin type. 

2. Is aloe vera a moisturiser or a hydrator?

Aloe vera is an excellent hydrator that nourishes your skin by capturing the moisture from the air and providing it to your skin. Unlike petroleum jelly or shea butter, it does not create a protective layer around the skin but instead gets absorbed readily by your skin. So, if you have oily skin, you should use products with aloe vera as they will not make your skin appear greasy.

3. How do I know if my skin needs hydration vs moisture?

Oily skin requires any water-based moisturiser or hydrator as it can work efficiently for oily skin. However, if you have dry skin, it is important to understand the cause of dryness. If you have dry skin year-round that means your skin cannot retain moisture and needs a moisturiser that will lock the moisture in the skin. However, if it is caused due to dehydration, using a hydrator will help to provide a hydrator from outside the skin.