There is a difference between nourishing and moisturising.

A lot of us don’t know what this is. But we should because it could change the way you treat your skin and make it happier. (And if you are a regular facial person, then ask your therapist which type they tend to use and when, as it will be helpful.)

Essentially, nourishing means you get more than just hydration: you get nutrients, and your oil levels are being replenished. It will feel richer. Especially great for dry skin.

Moisturising generally means only your hydration levels are being addressed. Real good for dehydrated skin.

If you are using moisturising masks at home when your skin is actually in need of something nourishing, then that might be why it’s never as glowy and hydrated as you wish it would be. Similarly, if you are using something rich and nourishing, but you already have oily or healthy skin, it may be too heavy, and lead to dull skin or even congestion.

There will be times when you need ‘more’ than just moisturising, and that’s when nourishing comes in. You may notice that a lot of ‘mature’ or ‘dry skin’ (remember: dry skin is a skin type, not a condition, and it infers a lack of oil production; dehydrated skin is usually just thirsty for moisture, it will feel tight and fine lines will be more prominent. And yes, you can by dry and dehydrated) face creams use the term nourishing, and this is why.

I refer you now to the case of Area Woman #88 (“me”) who will serve as a case study for the purposes of explanation.

It was a sunny Sydney afternoon in the earlier part of the current decade. My jetlag was as heavy as the overpacked handbag on my shoulder. I began my facial treatment with relief, my skin was a desert-esque, unhappy mess from a month spent in NYC (snow, rain, wind, heaters, flights, Shakeshack) and it needed some TLC.

During the extremely painful but necessary extraction element of said facial, my wise, kind, talented facialist Natasha told me that when I had my next facial (or more accurately “a session of Omnilux Revive and a quick mask”) with another person (Jocelyn from The Facial Room) in a few days due to the impending Logie Awards, I should ask for a nourishing mask, rather than a hydrating one.

But why, I said, my palms sweaty with extraction pain. Because your skin is crying out for vitamins, minerals, amino acids and oils and a simple hydrating mask will not be up to the task, she said kindly, as she wiped unsightly blackhead debris from my clogged left nostril. I understand, I said, solemnly. I understand.


Good nourishing masks: Sodashi Plant Essence Replenish Mask or Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel or Dr  Hauschka Moisturising Mask …. Look for key words nourishing, and dry skin.

Dr Hauschka moisturising face-mask-2_300

Great moisturising masks: SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Masque, Clarins HydraQuench Cream-Mask, SK-II Facial Treatment Masks… Look for the words ‘dehydrated or thirsty skin,’ and ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

Clarins HydraQuench cream mask

Terrible moisturising mask: Thongs.


Responses to this drivel: 6 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 6 )


  • Mislisa

    very informative thanks keep it up

  • Jackie

    Thank you for writing this!! Your post was the first thing that popped up as I am trying to find/google the difference between certain types of lotions/body creams within a certain brand. You really helped me out, thanks again!

  • Faith

    I have an oily skin around my nose and in my forehead, which products can I use

  • Deborah

    I was in a horrible accident and blew my face up wearing oxygen and couldn’t get my face back it felt like plastic and very dry I am looking forward to try this. Thank you so much. D. Pitts

  • deborahpitts

    Soo,,I did not know that this was combustible. Nobody ever warned me. What should I do?,, I was gonna go after the oxygen co but I’m starting to think maybe the.  Beauty line. For not informing me of the hazards   Wit do you think

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