When the goal is a healthy and radiant complexion, one of the most important things to understand is the difference between hydration and moisturisation.

Although skincare brands use the terms ‘hydrate’ and ‘moisturise’ interchangeably, they are not the same thing. While both are essential to provide the skin with essential nourishment and nutrients, knowing the difference will help you determine which products best suit your skin’s specific needs.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about the difference between hydration and moisturisation.


In the context of skincare, hydration refers to the process of replenishing and retaining water in the skin and is essential for all skin types. It involves adding moisture to the deeper layers of the skin to ensure that it remains supple, plump and healthy. The primary goal of hydration is to increase the water content in the skin’s cells to improve its ability to absorb moisture and essential nutrients.


Moisturisation focuses on creating a protective barrier on the surface of the skin to trap and lock in existing moisture. This process involves using moisturisers or creams to seal in hydration and keep the skin’s barrier intact. Moisturisation is crucial for all skin types as it helps to maintain the skin’s barrier function, protects the skin from environmental aggressors and helps to prevent skin concerns such as dryness, sensitivity and premature ageing.


Hydration refers to the water content within the skin’s cells that allows them to swell and appear plump. Moisturisation is all about trapping and sealing in moisture to build the skin’s protective barrier and prevent water loss to keep the skin soft and smooth. Both moisturisers and hydrators work to ensure that the skin is getting enough water it needs to be healthy but the difference between them is how they achieve results. The easiest way to differentiate the two is to see a hydrator as the product that treats the deeper layers of the skin and a moisturiser as the product that is used to treat the surface layer of the skin. If you want to achieve a healthy and glowing complexion it is essential to use both a hydrator and moisturiser in your skincare routine. If you skip the hydration step, your skin will never appear plump and supple as your deeper skin cells will be lacking in moisture.


To know if your skin is dry or dehydrated, it’s important to assess your skin’s overall condition. If you have a dull complexion or fine lines and wrinkles, then your skin is most likely battling a hydration issue. Hydrating serums are typically water-based and lower in molecular weight so they can transport moisture deep into the skin’s cells to provide essential hydration. If you have dry or flaky skin, this is a sign that the skin isn’t producing enough lipid cells to form a protective barrier which means that it is unable to lock in moisture. This is when you need a moisturiser. Moisturisers are typically lipid-based and have a higher molecular weight which allows them to seal essential hydration on the surface layer of the skin.


Water plays a crucial role in making sure your skin stays healthy, hydrated and moisturised. As well as drinking enough water every day to hydrate your body from the inside, it is important to use water-based products on your skin too. GLIST sheet masks are predominantly made with water, as well as clean, natural and highly effective active ingredients.

Adding a sheet mask like our Ultra Hydro Plumping Mask to your skincare routine just twice a week will provide your skin with targeted hydration for a healthy and glowing complexion. Formulated with a powerful concentration of sodium polyglutamate and sodium hyaluronate, this mask transports active ingredients deep into the skin’s cells to retain natural moisture so you can enjoy immediate and long-lasting hydration. After using a hydrating sheet mask, don’t forget to use a good quality moisturiser to seal in the goodness you have treated your skin to.

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