When it comes to skincare, one of the most common goals is to achieve properly moisturized skin. However, it can be challenging to distinguish between skin that is truly hydrated and skin that merely appears shiny due to excess oil. Here are five ways to determine if your skin is genuinely moisturized, ensuring you maintain a healthy, radiant complexion.

1. Your Skin Feels Supple and Bouncy

Healthy, moisturized skin should feel supple and bouncy to the touch. It should not feel tight or dry, but rather, it should have a certain elasticity and softness that indicates adequate hydration.

Dr. Barbara Sturm, an aesthetics doctor, emphasizes the importance of how your skin feels: “Healthy, moisturized skin should feel supple and bouncy, not tight or dry. Look for a healthy glow, not just an oily sheen” (Source: Dr. Barbara Sturm Website).

I used to mistake oily skin for moisturized skin until I started using a hydrating serum. The difference was noticeable; my skin felt soft and springy, rather than greasy and slick. That supple, bouncy feeling was a clear indicator of true hydration.

2. No Dry Patches or Flakiness

If your skin has dry patches or flakes, it is likely dehydrated, even if it appears oily on the surface. Dehydrated skin can overproduce oil to compensate for the lack of moisture, leading to a shiny yet dry texture.

Caroline Hirons, a skincare expert and author, explains, “Dehydrated skin can often overproduce oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. If your skin feels oily but also tight and flaky, it’s likely dehydrated and needs more hydration, not less” (Source: Caroline Hirons Skincare).

During winter, my skin often became flaky, especially around my nose and cheeks. Even though my forehead was oily, those dry patches were a clear sign of dehydration. Switching to a richer moisturizer with hyaluronic acid helped eliminate the flakiness and balanced my skin’s hydration levels.

3. Makeup Applies Smoothly

One way to test if your skin is properly moisturized is to see how your makeup applies. Well-hydrated skin should provide a smooth canvas for makeup, without clinging to dry patches or flaking throughout the day.

Dr. Justine Kluk, a consultant dermatologist, states, “If your makeup clings to dry patches or flakes throughout the day, even after applying moisturizer, your skin is likely dehydrated. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid and glycerin in your skincare products” (Source: Dr. Justine Kluk Website).

I used to struggle with makeup settling into fine lines and dry patches. After incorporating a hydrating primer and switching to a more effective moisturizer, my makeup started to glide on more smoothly and stayed flawless all day. This was a clear sign that my skin was finally getting the hydration it needed.

4. The Pinch Test for Skin Elasticity

The pinch test is a simple yet effective method to check your skin’s hydration level. Pinch a small area of your skin, such as your cheek or the back of your hand, and release. Well-hydrated skin will bounce back quickly, while dehydrated skin will take longer to return to its original shape.

Dr. Vanita Rattan, a cosmetic formulator and educator, explains, “The pinch test is a good way to check for skin elasticity. Pinch a small area of your skin and release. If it bounces back quickly, your skin is well-hydrated. If it takes a while to return to its original shape, it’s a sign of dehydration” (Source: The Skin Nerd).

I tried the pinch test on my cheek and noticed that my skin took a moment to bounce back. After increasing my water intake and using a hydrating serum, I tried the test again a few weeks later. This time, my skin bounced back immediately, indicating improved hydration.

5. Skin Looks Plump and Radiant

Healthy, hydrated skin should look plump and radiant. It should have a natural glow that comes from within, not just a shiny surface from excess oil.

Hyram Yarbro, a skincare specialist, notes, “Healthy, hydrated skin should look plump and radiant. If your skin looks dull and lifeless, even after applying makeup, it could be a sign that it’s not properly moisturized” (Source: Hyram YouTube Channel).

After using a lightweight moisturizer that didn’t provide enough hydration, my skin looked dull and lifeless. Switching to a product with glycerin and niacinamide brought back my skin’s natural radiance, making it look plump and healthy.

The Science Behind Skin Hydration

The Role of Hydration in Skin Health

Proper skin hydration is crucial for maintaining the skin’s barrier function, elasticity, and overall appearance. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology highlights the importance of maintaining proper hydration for healthy, youthful-looking skin.

Internal and External Factors

Various factors can affect skin hydration, including age, environmental conditions, and skincare practices. A study in Skin Research and Technology reviews these factors and provides recommendations for maintaining optimal skin hydration levels.

Practical Tips for Maintaining Hydrated Skin

Choose the Right Moisturizer

Select a moisturizer that suits your skin type and contains hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides. These ingredients help attract and retain moisture in the skin.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated from the inside out. Aim for at least eight glasses of water a day, and more if you’re active or in a hot climate.

Avoid Harsh Cleansers

Use gentle cleansers that do not strip your skin of its natural oils. Harsh cleansers can disrupt the skin’s barrier and lead to dehydration.

Use a Humidifier

If you live in a dry climate or use indoor heating, a humidifier can help maintain moisture in the air and prevent your skin from drying out.

Apply Moisturizer on Damp Skin

For better absorption, apply your moisturizer on damp skin right after cleansing. This helps lock in the moisture and keeps your skin hydrated longer.


Determining if your skin is truly moisturized, rather than just shiny, is essential for maintaining a healthy, radiant complexion. By paying attention to signs like skin suppleness, absence of dry patches, smooth makeup application, skin elasticity, and overall radiance, you can ensure your skin is getting the hydration it needs.

Remember, the key to well-hydrated skin lies in choosing the right products, staying hydrated, and adopting good skincare practices. By following these tips and listening to your skin, you can achieve and maintain beautiful, healthy skin.

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Hello there! I'm Rebecca Silver, a beauty aficionado with a diploma from the International Beauty Institute. I've devoted my time to crafting articles that break down the world of beauty into easy, actionable tips. Whether it’s about nurturing your hair, caring for your skin, mastering makeup, or pampering your nails, I make sure each piece of advice is simple to follow and effective. My mission? To guide you through enhancing your natural beauty with routines that are tailored just for you. Beauty is a journey, and I'm here to navigate it with you—one fun, confident step at a time. Let's embrace and celebrate the beauty in all of us.Linkedin

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