This Word Seems Made Up-Humectants:what are they?

humectants  plural of hu·mec·tant


A substance, esp. a skin lotion or a food additive, used to reduce the loss of moisture.It’s time for a science lesson! Before you scoff, science is awesome!

Humectants are substances that are used within skin/hair care or food products that are used to retain moisture. These substances are hygroscopic, meaning that they draw moisture from the air.

Glycerol (or glycerin) is a common humectant found in skin care products likes lotions or moisturisers. Humectants help by drawing moisture from the dermis to the epidermis. When we find ourselves in a humidity of 70% or greater, humectants will then draw moisture directly to the epidermis which is great news for those of us with dryer or dehydrated skin. This doesn’t mean you should stop having your 6-8 glasses of water though 😉

Honey. A natural source of humectants.

Honey. A natural source of humectants.

When the skin has been plumped up with water it increases in flexibility which means less cracking and more pliability. It also means that there will be a reduction of irritability caused by dry skin.

There’s a great in depth post on naturallycurly about humectants and what they do for your hair. Check it out!

Some examples of  natural humectants are: Lecithin, Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5), Glycerin,Honey

Synthetic humectants: Propylene Glycol, Ethylene/Diethylene Glycol, PEG compounds (eg Polyethylene Glycol), Synthetic alcohols (eg Glyceryl Coconate, Hydroxystearate, Myristate, Oleate)

Did I miss anything out? What are your thoughts? Do share!

Suaad xoxo