A moisturizer and a hydrator both serve the purpose of providing moisture to the skin, but they work in slightly different ways.
Moisturizer: A moisturizer is a product that helps to lock in moisture and prevent water loss from the skin. It typically contains occlusive ingredients that create a barrier on the skin's surface, preventing the evaporation of water. Moisturizers also often include humectant ingredients that help attract and retain water molecules, increasing hydration levels in the skin. By trapping moisture and preventing dryness, moisturizers help to keep the skin soft, smooth, and supple.
Hydrator: A hydrator, on the other hand, is a product that increases the water content of the skin. It typically contains humectant ingredients which have the ability to attract water molecules from the environment or deeper layers of the skin and bind them to the skin cells. Hydrators, such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin-based serums, penetrate the skin and provide a direct source of hydration, replenishing moisture levels. They can be used alongside moisturizers to enhance the overall hydration of the skin.
In summary, while moisturizers primarily focus on preventing water loss from the skin, hydrators directly add moisture to the skin by attracting water molecules. Both are important for maintaining healthy, hydrated skin, and they can be used together for optimal results.