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Why Humectants are a Life Saver in Skin Care

humectants in skin care

Trends come and go, but one thing that will never go out of style is healthy, glowing skin. There are different properties and ingredients that can help achieve this goal, such as humectants. A humectant is a common moisturizing agent found in beauty products used for your hair and skin.

It's known for its ability to retain moisture while also preserving the overall properties of the product at hand, and you're probably more familiar with humectants than you think.

So, what exactly should you know about humectants? So here’s the lowdown on this hydrator and the potential benefits for your skin…  

What Is a Humectant?

A humectant is a substance that is key to keeping the skin hydrated. It’s an ingredient that helps draw moisture to the skin’s surface and retains water so that the skin does not end up drying out quickly. It is commonly used in face and body products such as serums, lotions, and creams.

Familiar humectants include hyaluronic acid and collagen-boosting properties, both of which are commonly found in our daily skin care.

Different humectants have different origins, but they all have a common purpose as skin hydrators. Some humectants are derived from natural sources, such as honey and aloe vera, while others are synthesized from other sources to create ingredients like glycerin and propylene glycol. 

It's of note that as humectants draw in moisture, they should not be applied to dry skin. Always add humectants to damp skin.

Benefits of Humectants

Draws Moisture In: Humectants are designed to act like a sponge and attract water. They are often able to hold up to 100–1000 times their weight in moisture.

Keeps the Outside World Out: Humectants that are occlusives will work to seal off the cracks in the skin.

Can Double as Keratolytic: Urea, a humectant, can also be an agent that helps remove skin. It is effective on dry or rough skin, such as on the heels.

Preserves Properties: Humectants can help dissolve actives and preserve products.

Exfoliates: humectants can work as exfoliators and remove dead skin cells to even out the moisture levels in the skin. 

Soothes: Humectants function as a way to soothe and calm the skin after experiencing irritation.

Pretty and plump:  humectants can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by plumping the top layer of your skin.

Side Effects of Humectants

While there are no general “side effects” of humectants, it is important to note that application is best after cleansing, while the skin is still damp.

Humectants can be dry skin’s BFF or worst enemy. The problems start when there is little humidity in the air, and the humectant is applied several times a day. It will begin to steal hydration from deeper skin layers, which in turn can dry out the skin.

How to Use Humectants

If you have a skin care routine, you are probably already using humectants without realizing it. Water-based skin care products are formulated with humectants because they moisturize and have preserving properties. 

Products with humectants can be applied at any stage of your skin care routine when your skin is still damp. We cannot stress the point of applying the products when the skin is still damp, to help the product easily absorb into the skin.

Products with humectants can be applied at any time, day or night. Humectants should be sealed with an occlusive product unless you live in an extremely humid environment. Otherwise, all of the moisture the humectant worked to bring to your stratum corneum will be evaporating into air.

For skin care that is rich with humectants and other hydrating ingredients, look no further than Wild Naturals! Aloe vera, manuka honey, shea butter, cehami flower extract, and carrot seed oil are just some of the incredible natural ingredients that can help protect, nourish, and send your skin glowing!

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