Do oils hydrate the skin?

Do oils hydrate the skin? 1

Oils bring the moisture to the skin, but not the water itself! Like other anhydrous lipids (substances that don’t contain water, like butters, waxes).

Oils are highly beneficial to the skin as they are great natural emollients and occlusive as they nourish, lubricate and form a protective lipid barrier on the surface of the skin to help retain the water and preventing trans-epidermal water loss (TEWL), etc. But since oils don’t contain any water, they do not moisturise by hydrating.

Scientifically, moisturizer is an umbrella term for moisturizer types:

  • emollients (fats and oils)
  • squalene (oil)
  • humectants
  • occlusive

For a healthy skin we need both – hydration and moisture, so the proper moisturising skincare steps should include use of (Almavera Naturals suggest to use separate instead of all-in-one products if possible):

1. Water

Hydrosols, flower waters (rosewater), springwater or aqueous: water-soluble (green tea extract), etc. are considered hydrators.

Always remember to stay hydrated from inside as well by drinking plenty of water as our body cells and the skin cells need plenty of water!

It helps to give your skin and body the hydration it needs to look and feel your best.

2. Humectant

Water-binding agent: typically draw water to the skin from two different places: 1) from a humid environment; 2) enhance water absorption from the outer layer of skin (hyaluronic acid; glycerin; even aloe vera; sugars: glucose, fructose, honey; amino acids, peptides, hydrolyzed proteins, and proteins; elastin, collagen; even some plant oils have humectant properties as Sacha Inchi..)

Look for most natural options!

3. Emollient

To soften and smooth the scales of the skin, reduce rough, flaky skin, can work also as occlusive agents: prevent trans-epidermal water loss or TEWL, and keep moisture locked in.

Plant oils are excellent natural emollients and they work as occlusive as well.

Occlusive substances have a hydrating effect on the skin because they form a barrier on the skin’s surface which helps to reduce the evaporation of water from the skin.


Yes, oils do not hydrate the skin BUT they are so important in skincare as natural and holistic moisturisers and nourishment!

The myth that oils are drying your skin is incorrect if you follow correct steps of moisturisation mentioned above.

In brief:

Hydrate your skin by applying source of water, then humectants, e.g. like hyaluronic acid, vegetable organic glycerin and follow up with an emollient/occlusive like plant oils to lock it in.


The information on this web site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease, and is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by a physician or other medical professional. None of the statements on this site are a recommendations as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Almavera Natural Skincare shares research and natural solutions from traditional use to scientific data to improve the condition, health and beauty of various skin conditions, based on thousands of years of herbal traditions and knowledge. Knowledge of plants and their holistic effect on the skin is constantly being supplemented by various professional training courses, herbal books and research of scientific studies, and personal experience. 

Please read all product packaging carefully and consult with a healthcare professional before if needed. We encourage you to test all products for possible reactions before using them.

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