The challenge of achieving a well moisturised skin is a common feat amongst people with dry skin. Hence the quest and necessity to clamour for moisturising products when sourcing for skincare.

The tricky part is moisture can be lost into the atmosphere simply because it originates from water. It will be a wise choice to then root for products packed with humectants.

What are Humectants?

Humectants are ingredients which draw moisture. It is also a substance, especially a skin lotion used to reduce the loss of moisture.There are natural and synthetic humectants. Natural humectants come from either plants or animals while Synthetics are derived from manmade chemical processing and formulation.

Beauty Lab Chemist, Danusia Wnek describes humectants as “water-loving ingredients that draw moisture into the stratum corneum, the top layer of skin, whether through the environment or through the deeper layer of skin (the dermis)”.

Why Humectants?

In ensuring skin hydration, humectants are one of the most effective ingredients that provide, such as they transfer moisturise from the atmosphere into the skin thereby preserving skin hydration.

Where to use Humectants?
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Humectants should be used majorly for dry skin (surfaces). If you possess oily skin, you should be aiming for more of products that will help tone down oil production. Natural humectants such as aloe vera and honey possess soothing properties for sensitive skin.

When to use Humectants?

It’s best to use them during humid or rainy seasons. The reason being that humectants draw moisture from ANYTHING. If the environment you are in is dry and your skin isn’t, humectants can draw the moisture from your skin into the environment. Tricky right? So it’s best to say your skin will enjoy the enormous benefits of humectants more during the seasons mentioned above.

Types of Natural Humectants

Aloe Vera – Often referred to as the magic plant, stores gel/water in its leaves which is used for skincare.

Baobab – Adansonia, “Upside Down Tree” or Tree of Life. The plant extracts and fruit pulp are humectants.

Glycerin – It could either be synthetic or natural. Natural glycerin is derived from either animal fat or plant oils.

Hyaluronic Acid – This exists within the deep layers of the human skin, lubricates tissues and joints.

Honey – Manufactured by honey bees from the sugary secretions of plants.

Hydrolyzed Wheat – Derived from the hydrolysis of wheat gluten.

Lactic Acid – This is obtained either from the fermentation of milk or sugars.

Rice proteins – Rice proteins are separated from the carbohydrates in rice grains by enzyme treatments.

Sorbitol – A natural sugar found in fruits and plants.

Skin care therapists advise the use of humectants with two other effective moisturising ingredients; occlusives and emollients. Occulsives seal in moisture thereby prolonging the duration of skin moisturise. Emollients treat the skin helping to prevent skin irritations and infections.

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