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What's the difference between moisturising and hydrating skin?

Do you moisturise, or hydrate? Photo: Getty Images
Do you moisturise, or hydrate? Photo: Getty Images

Our beauty expert Lyn Page has guidance on nourishing and rejuvenating menopausal skin.

As women gracefully embrace the transformative journey of menopause... who am I kidding? As women are catapulted into the unknown and rarely spoken about hormonal plunge of menopause, the importance of skincare takes centre stage. This natural phase in our lives brings about hormonal changes that can significantly impact the skin, making it essential to establish a dedicated skincare routine.

Gone are the days of a quick slather of whatever you picked up while food shopping. No, no, no - we now need a regime dedicated to finding our skin's balance. It’s totally worth it and here’s why.

Central to this regime are two vital practices: moisturising and hydrating the skin. I receive emails asking many things and this topic is mentioned frequently. So let’s set the record straight and explore the difference between these two essentials and uncover the unique benefits they offer our skin.

Moisturiser .v. hydrator

Let's begin by clarifying the distinction between moisturising and hydrating the skin. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, they encompass different aspects of skincare. Moisturising involves preventing moisture loss from the skin by creating a protective barrier that seals in the existing moisture. Hydration, on the other hand, focuses on replenishing the water content of the skin and enhancing its ability to retain moisture. By understanding this difference, you can select the most effective products to nourish your skin for your specific needs.

The power of moisturisers

Moisturisers are the cornerstone of any skincare routine, and their significance becomes even more pronounced during menopause. The culprit - dropping estrogen levels - ushers in a new chapter; the skin undergoes various changes that require special attention and care. Dryness, fine lines, loss of elasticity, thinning and hyperpigmentation become more pronounced, demanding targeted solutions. These enriching formulations contain an array of ingredients that nourish and protect the skin, infusing it with much-needed nutrients. Look for formulations enriched with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and natural oils. Opt for richer creams or oils that offer increased moisture retention and nourishments which create a physical barrier on the skin's surface, preventing moisture from evaporating into thin air. Additionally, moisturisers often boast humectant ingredients that draw water from the deeper layers of the skin, effortlessly quenching the skin's thirst. With their magical blend of protective properties, they work wonders in combating dryness, dullness, and sensitivity.

Hydrating secrets

Now, let's turn our attention to the art of hydration. Hydrators are an essential addition to any skincare routine, providing an instant surge of hydration to parched skin. Imagine indulging in a refreshing facial mist or a nourishing hydrating serum that infuses your skin with a wave of radiant vitality. Hydrators often contain powerful humectant ingredients that attract moisture from the environment and deliver it to your skin, effectively replenishing lost moisture reserves. With their ability to revitalise and invigorate the skin, hydrators play a pivotal role in enhancing the resilience of menopausal skin. By replenishing lost moisture, hydrators infuse the skin with a newfound plumpness and vitality. The skin becomes better prepared to ward off external stressors and maintain a healthy barrier function, ensuring that vulnerability is replaced by resilience, fortifying it against the challenges posed by external aggressors. For an intensive hydration session use a product infused with hyaluronic acid or glycerin - powerful ingredients that leave your skin feeling supple and glowing. For me, the best way to understand what your skin needs are is to speak to an expert. A dermatologist is a great place to start if you have concerns that the high street brands just can’t fix. If that’s too much to organise, educate yourself on ingredients using the above advice to dilute the noise of brands screaming their wonder potion benefits. There’s so much information online for you to read.

How to use

Cleanse skin, use hydrator and then lock in with moisturiser in that order every morning and before bed. That’s it!

Until next time…

Lyn Page is a Tarporley-based professional beauty expert with over 25 years of experience in the skincare and makeup industry. You can email any skincare or makeup questions to her at


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