Have you ever wondered what the difference between 'moisturize' and 'hydrate' is? There is a key difference that by knowing will help you chose the right products for your hair, skin, and body!
It can be so overwhelming walking any beauty product aisle and seeing words like 'hydrate', 'moisturizing', and 'anti-humectant'... but what do these words really mean? Aren't they all the same?
"The process of replacing water in the body. This can be done through drinking water, eating foods that have high water content, drinking other fluids or an intravenous or IV line. "
Basically, Hydration means the water is actually being replaced. The water molecules will actually penetrate and be absorbed. When your hair and skin are fully hydrated, it increases elasticity. In skin, this helps improve the appearance of wrinkles. In hair, this helps improve strength and reduce static.
Firstly, the best way to hydrate is also the easiest! Drink your water and eat high water content foods, such as cucumbers and melon. Next up, when looking at products for hydrating qualities, steer away from anything oil based. Oil will cause a seal and prevent the water to actually be absorbed.
My favorite hydrating hair treatments are Kevin Murphy's Hydrate.Me line ! It includes a wash, rinse, and masque. It's an indulgent, yet quick, way to deliver hydration directly to your dehydrated strands. In other lines a treatment masque is intended to replace your conditioner once a week (or every 3 shampoos if you're an infrequent washer). However, Kevin Murphy products take inspiration from skincare. In that way you are meant to wash, then masque, then condition. The masque can be left on as little as 3 minutes or as long as 10.
Skincare is even more personalized than hair, as it tends to be more reactive. When looking for a hydrating skincare product, you will want to look for serums. Hyaluronic acid is a huge buzz word right now and for good reason. Hyaluronic acid is created naturally in your body, and it helps hold onto water in your tissues to keep them lubricated. Products that include a degree of this powerful ingredient are sure to boost your hydration and plump your skin!
Moisturizing means to seal in moisture already within the skin or hair. Remember when I said to properly use a Hydrating masque you do it in-between your wash and rinse? This is exactly why! First, your wash exfoliates and cleans the surface of dirt and debris. Then, your masque delivers that hydration, and finally, your rinse (or conditioner) will seal down and lock it in.
A couple of important things, moisturizing is very important, but if you are dehydrated then moisturizing can contribute to more dehydration as it won't allow any more water in. Are your hands raw and cracking from all the hand washing and sanitizing right now? (me too, sister) Don't just slap on any old lotion! Your skin wants and needs to be able to absorb water. Make sure you are washing your hands with a hydrating, gentle soap, then pat -- don't rub dry. Then, put on a hand cream to seal in that moisture. You can also pick up hand masques at most drugstores to do in the evening... (hello #selfcare!).
How do I moisturize my hair? I'm so glad you asked !! Besides using a great conditioner you should be moisturizing those ends everyday you don't wash. You can do this a few ways. Firstly, before you blow dry prep your hair with a moisturizing styling product, like an oil. You have thin hair though, and the thought of oil on your hair terrifies you right? Don't be scared ! Just put a smaller amount on very damp hair (even before you towel dry) and only put from ears down. Now, it's day two...or three..or four, since your last wash -- how do I make those ends soft again? Let me introduce you to my hero product, Dry Conditioner ! Dry Conditioner delivers a boost of lightweight hydration and moisture in one ! All this to be said, the best way to keep those ends soft is as simple as gently brushing every night with a good quality brush to help distribute your natural oils from your scalp.
Humectant vs. Anti- Humectant
Which should you be grabbing?
Being as humid as it usually is during the summer, humectants, such as castor oil, honey and vegetable glycerin, extract moisture from the air around you, keeping your hair moist. An anti-humectant hair product will keep your hair the way it is with no effect due to the atmosphere or weather because it repels moisture from the environment.
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