Hydrating VS. Moisturizing: Is there really any difference?

For most of us, moisturizing morning and night is a core step in our skincare routine.
But even if you moisturize daily, your skin could still be dehydrated. Here, we explain the differences between hydrating and moisturizing, and how you can create a skincare routine that’s just right for you.

No matter what your skin type, hydrating is key to building a glowing complexion. Drinking your eight glasses a day is important, but with environmental factors, pollution and sun exposure, most of us need a topical product to keep skin truly hydrated.

So, what exactly is hydrating? And isn’t it just the same as moisturizing?

Hydrating VS. Moisturizing

While these two terms tend to be used interchangeably, they actually offer quite different benefits. And while both hydrators and moisturizers aim to give skin the hydration it needs to fight dryness and dehydration, they go about it in different ways.


What are they?- Hydrators are water-based ingredients called 'humectants'.
What do they do? - They absorb water from the atmosphere or your skin and hold it in place, on your skin's surface.
Why it matters? - Not only do they help improve your skin's ability to absorb moisture, but your skin cells will also remain plump and infused. Leaving the surface softer, and firmer.


There are many humectants which support skin cell hydration, the commonly used natural ones are hyaluronic acid, natural glycerin, aloe vera and honey. Synthetic sourced humectants such as silicon oils and propylene glycol may also be used in some products, so keep an eye out for them if you only prefer natural ingredients on your skin.


What are they? - Moisturizers are your oil-based ingredients called 'occlusives'.
What do they do? - Their job is to create a seal on the surface of the skin to prevent water from escaping.
Why it matters? - The skin surface feels soft and smooth. At the same time, a protective barrier can also help defend against possible external irritants, such as allergens in the air.


Common occlusives which are compatible with human's lipids can be found in many plant-based fats such as; shea butterjojoba oilgrape seed oil and rosehip oil. Synthetic occlusives such as paraffin oil, petroleum oil and white mineral oil can also be used in special skincare products to address specific conditions, such as skin burns and wound treatment.

How do I know which one I need?

Does tightness, exaggerated fine lines, or dull skin sound familiar?

Well, you're likely dehydrated and in need of a hydrating skincare product. Remember? Hydrators work by binding and drawing water into cells to help skin maintain hydration levels. This is why it is essential to include a serum to your skincare routine. But make sure you're applying it before any moisturizers.

Does dry and flaky skin tick the boxes?

This would mean your skin is dry, where your natural lipids (oil) barrier are not producing enough lipid cells to create a protective barrier. Depending on your skin's needs, environmental conditions and seasonality, you will need to alter your moisturizer accordingly. Use rich creams during the winter and dry seasons, and lightweight lotions in the summer and humid environments.

Dehydrated skin? ... add a serum

Use all year round, our Kanapa™ Luminous Facial Serum is an advanced formulation that combines hyaluronic acid and biomimetic peptides with the latest in stem cell technology to deeply hydrate skin, penetrating beneath the surface to leave skin softer, and firmer. The hyaluronic acid used in the Kanapa™ Luminous Facial Serum is a proprietary form that due to its molecular structure is able to work in synergy with other ingredients, helping skin cells take in ingredients and retain them, so skin is smoother with an improved tone and texture.

But the benefits from our Luminous Facial Serum ingredients don't stop at hydrated skin...

Luminous Facial Serum 15ml

Dry skin? ... use a moisturizer

For the winter or dry seasons try our Kanapa™ Restorative Night Cream and Nourishing Facial Oil, delivering an ultra-protective moisturizing effect. These oil-based products are packed with essential fatty acids and powerful antioxidants, to deeply nourish the surface of the skin and protect skin cells.

For summer seasons or humid environments, swap a rich moisturizer with Kanapa™ Ultra-Light Sheer Day & Night Cream (for women) or Hydrating Facial Fluid (for men). They're packed with active ingredients, powerful antioxidants and soothing agents, easily absorbed, leaving it feeling soft and smooth.

But the benefits from our Ultra-Light Sheer Day & Night Cream and Hydrating Facial Fluid don't stop at moisturized skin...

No time for complicated skincare?

With a few basics steps, you can create a skincare routine that isn't complicated and leaves you with healthy glowing skin.

  1. Cleanse: Remove dirt and impurities on the skin by massaging cleanser gently onto damp skin, rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat dry.
  2. Exfoliate: Apply exfoliator onto damp skin and rub gently in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water. Note: you only need to use an exfoliator 1-4 times a week depending on your skin.
  3. Hydrate: Apply 1 - 2 drops of serum on clean, warmed skin, as this enables the active ingredients to penetrate more effectively.
  4. Moisturize: Gently massage moisturizer to the face after the serum has been applied; allowing time for the serum to be fully absorbed.
Hydrate & Moisturize

Our Kanapa™ skincare contains a scientifically formulated blend of powerful natural ingredients from New Zealand and around the world. Our unique formulations are packed with natural oils and active ingredients, including Rosehip oil, Jojoba oil, Manuka honey and Nano-Lipobelle H EQ10- a form of CoQ10 - which helps fight free radicals that cause visible signs of aging.

You won't be surprised to find that our range is cruelty-free, dermatologically tested, clinically proven and contains no parabens, allergens or other potentially dangerous chemicals.

Nutrition for your skin

Our Kanapa™ range is packed with natural oils and active ingredients to hydrate and moisturize the skin while fighting free radicals that cause visible signs of aging.

Kanapa™ skincare


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