What are the common emollients used in skin care products?

Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD

Emollients are ingredients that soften skin and seal in moisture, creating an occlusive, protective barrier on the surface.

The common emollients are:

  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Mineral oil
  • Lanolin
  • Petrolatum
  • Paraffin
  • Beeswax
  • Squalene
  • Coconut, jojoba, sesame, almond, and other plant oils
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Olive oil (oleic acid)
  • Triethylhexanoin
Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

More About this Book

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

Continue Learning about Moisturizer Ingredients

Moisturizer Ingredients

Moisturizer Ingredients

With so many moisturizers on the market promising different results, it's important to consider the ingredients. Humectants like glycerin and urea help by absorbing water from the air and holding moisture in the skin. Emollients l...

ike mineral oil, lanolin and petrolatum fill spaces between skin cells, replacing lipids and smoothing and lubricating rough skin. Occlusives -- like petroleum jelly and cocoa butter -- are oily substances that form a film on the top of skin, sealing in cracks and preventing moisture from escaping. Some additives like fragrances could cause your skin irritation, so check any lotion's ingredient label before using. Know which moisturizer ingredients to look for with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.